Jaimie's Day

Jaimie isn’t your typical sophomore at Winnisimmet High School. She is rich. She is popular. She is a cheerleader. She is smart. She is dating a handsome football player. This is a typical Friday in April for our not so typical girl.

Events take place three months after “Righting Wrongs" and just before "Heading East- Mark"

5:15 AM
I can hear her knocking on my door. I get out of bed and let her in. I know if I don’t she will end up waking up my brothers and they will be crabby all day. She has tears in her eyes as I help her into my bed, cuddling her to assure her she is alright.

Cat’s eyes show she is sorry and I forgive her. She can’t help it at times, she is still a toddler and they get nightmares. She is a pest most of the day but she puts on an act. When we are alone she is good, hugging me a lot and kissing my cheek. I know she loves me and just doesn’t like to show it around people. She’s the same way with Jessie, Claire, Christina, and Kylie. She likes them but just can’t show it around others. Dad says she is just like Hannah and I believe him, she is different when we are alone than when we are with all of our friends.

6:30 AM
I fell back asleep for another hour’s rest. The alarm goes off and I slip out of bed. Cat’s asleep but I am not taking chances, I grab my clothes and put them in my bathroom to hang while I show. I know she’s young but she is talking more so if she sees that I am not like her or mom but more like her brother “down there” she could say something leading to a lot of awkwardness that we don’t need. Most of Winnisimmet knows I’m trans but it is still awkward and there are a lot of bigots out there who could harm me or us.

I stare down at myself. I’m almost 16 and theoretically could have “it” altered so I have what I should have been born with but I don’t want to deal with the problems yet. I don’t want to lose a summer with my friends nor have them worry about me. At least when I am 18 I can have more options and have it done close to home.

My boobs look like they are growing larger. I know my birth mother was well endowed but I hope they don’t get much bigger. Richard has been stealing way too many glances at them and the other guys in school are ogling me too much for my tastes. I am glad that I am never alone except in the girls bathroom or locker room, I just don’t trust some of these boys. Scott, Miles, Richard, and Michael are there to protect me if there is trouble but that doesn’t stop some from trying to feel me up whenever they get close enough.

6:45 AM
Cat knows I am up and smiles when I exit the shower. I pick her up and carry her downstairs, kissing her on the cheek. Mom is already up and setting our breakfast down, kissing Cat and hugging me. She whispers “another one?” to me which I nod, I don’t know if she is concerned or if she is surprised by Cat coming to me instead of her. I tell her “I’m closer than your room, she doesn’t want to wake up Michael or Miles.” Mom hugs me and says “you are a good sister” then kisses my forehead.

Sometimes I can’t believe she is my mother. She is just too kind and caring. My birth parents were good people but mom is just so loving and unafraid to speak her mind. She tells us what we need to hear and gets us to tell her the truth when we are trying to lie.

Dad says Richard is like her, and I’m like Richard’s mom and dad. I hope I can become a doctor, people are always telling me I am a good listener and would make a good psychiatrist or psychologist but I don’t know what I want to do, I just want to help people. Richard is always reading mom’s law books and grandma and grandpa love telling him stories about cases they were involved in. I am proud that he cares about something so early, it saves him from worrying later.

7:15 AM
Last checks are done on our homework. Michael is struggling with his creative writing paper. I offer to help but he turns me down. I can see that he is really struggling but he won’t let anyone help him. I’ll try to get Reed, Eric, and George to get him to get me to help him, he won’t listen to my request but he never refuses them. I text Reed quickly and tell him “please get Michael to let me help him with creative writing”.

Miles is having some trouble with chemistry reaction equations. It’s harder than it looks which caught the natural problem solver off guard. He doesn’t hesitate to let me help him as I was having the same troubles so we do a couple before dad has to leave. We ride in with him while Michael walks with Reed, but thankfully Reed got my text and said “Uncle Sean said same thing.”

7:35 AM
Dad has to stop and get donuts from the Market Basket. He said they taste better than the ones Dunkin Donuts has but I think he doesn’t want to be tempted to drink coffee. He won’t stop me from drinking it and mom never gave up the habit, the hardest he drinks is tea and the occasional soda. I heard some students saying he is an alcoholic and drinking coffee brings back memories of AA meetings but it’s garbage, he just doesn’t like getting anxious from the caffeine. He doesn’t like being jittery, and after Cat and JD were born it took him months to ween off of it.

7:50 AM
Miles and I get to work finishing his equations. Some of them are complex and are hard to figure out what goes where but once we notice the pattern we are able to solve them quicker. After 10 minutes he hugs and thanks me for saving him from failing our test tomorrow.

Michael joins us and asks me if I can help him with his creating writing paper. I accept and tell him he is overthinking things. I pull out my notes on his work and let him see what I think about what he has done and give him some suggestions about how to fix things. He nods and leaves, whispering a quick “thank you, sis.” Miles asked if I had known he would give in, I nod and tell him “I went over his head to Reed, I don’t want him to fail because his pride won’t let him ask for help. I’d be a bad sister if I didn’t do it.”

8:10 AM
Another used tampon left hanging in my locker. Dad and Uncle Jake have cameras setup to catch the person but it still stings that despite people in school knowing me since 6th grade there are idiots who do stuff like this. I stopped complaining long ago, it’s useless. They will do it no matter what. The funny thing is it’s always boys who do this so they have to fish them from the trash after their sisters or mother disposes of them making it all the more creepy and gross.

Richard sees the little “present” and just shrugs. I kiss him for being considerate; he has been through more than I’ll ever know just by dating me. I never knew if I was going to like boys or girls when I was allowed to become a girl but something about him made me fall hard for him. I know not all trans girls like boys but I like Richard and I have loved him since our first semiformal in 7th grade. He is just too much of a gentleman to me to ever have eyes for any other guy.

Miles and Michael just move off and text dad, telling him to check the video. Michael has calmed his temper about these things alongside me after beating up one boy and getting threatened with going to jail by the cops last year. Uncle Willie had some choice words with the officers about it, asking them if they were willing to endure an investigation into why they didn’t investigate the incidents instead just taking the word of known troublemakers about the incident. Michael got off easy, while Uncle Willie ensured that the officers were “retrained”. So far they haven’t been assigned to the school and are stuck working overnight shifts and holidays, so I guess he got a little revenge for the threats his own way.

Scott sees the tampon and gets angry again. He knows who did it and wants to have “words” with him. I calm him down, dad will handle it. He nods and moves on, trying his hardest to keep his temper in check.

I smile at the man who is the only other person I would ever have eyes for. We have known each other since we were little but he and I have had an unspoken bond that not even Richard and I have. If I never moved east I would have dated him, but since he didn’t move east until a year and a half after me and his dad was found to be beating him badly he was too late to date me. Plus he and Stacy are just too good together; they were made for one another. He loves here deeply and she loves him deeply.

We have simply become close as brother/sister. He and I just talk in private a lot. Still, a girl can’t help but have her heart flutter at seeing a strong, handsome young man who is the greatest gentleman she has ever encountered, can she?

8:15 AM A Period
Mr. Gold, our algebra teacher, complains about our homework. He seemed surprised that I had some trouble with functions and the quadratic equations. I tell him “I am trying; math has never been my strongest subject.”

Mr. Gold did this on purpose. He wanted to show that even the best students can have problems. I know he wouldn’t put me on the spot unless it was to help with a problem and he knows that I would have the best help if I needed it. Dad wouldn’t let me fail, he wouldn’t let any of us fail.

Patrick said he knew someone who would gladly help me if I needed a tutor. I had to decline but he insisted that if I got less than a C+ on the next test I was going to sit down with her. It was odd that he was pushing this, he never interacted with me about school so it was odd to have him insist like this. I know he cares about me so I take him up on his offer, but only after the next test came back.

Mr. Gold is surprised that of the seven of us Michael does the best. He tries to downplay it but Miles tells the truth- Michael is good with equations. He keeps touting Michael as the next big stock genius which Michael always says isn’t true but all of us know he is lying, he is VERY good at math and can predict trends before many experts. What started as a few thousand that he invested from his summer job earnings has compounded in the course of over almost a year and a half into $1 million. Uncle James wants to have him work as an intern and is insisting that he take finance next year when we gain a full year elective but Michael is reluctant. I’m trying to get him to do it, it’ll set him up for college especially Bently or Boston University.

9:20 AM B Period
Chemistry proved to be slow and tedious. The reaction equations are getting more complex. Mrs. Walker is a tough teacher who expects us to keep up. There is little review so we have to do it ourselves. The time usually spent in other classes on review she uses to teach us more. She says that we can either cram then study or we can space things out. I am not buying it, I think she just doesn’t like teaching the same thing over and over again

I get teased when I make a mistake in an equation. I’m supposed to be “little Ms. Perfect” so making a mistake is always visible and harsh. Mrs. Walker is no help, she uses me as a way of getting out frustration about our lack of progress. Sometimes I want to yell at her to back off but it would only net me detention.

Michael senses my frustration and asked her to show us the equation if she feels like making fun of us. She threatens him with detention but he calls her bluff and adds “you have so far not shown us how to solve these, instead you spent more time criticizing us for being slow. If you devoted half as much time to teaching us the right way instead of critiquing us for doing it the wrong way we wouldn’t have the problems in the first place!”

Michael’s outburst gets heard by Mr. Herman who is prepping in the small office next door. He pokes his head in and looks right at Mrs. Walker, expecting her to say something untoward a teacher. She glares at him and asks him “how did you put up with this lot?” He smiles and tells her “I didn’t spend half the class complaining about them being slow, I showed them what they were doing wrong and how to fix it. Perhaps if you spent a little more time reviewing the material instead of plowing ahead you might avoid these problems especially with a group who are not afraid to stand up to teachers who are in the wrong.”

Mr. Herman is our favorite regular teacher for a reason- he always stands up for us. Mrs. Walker doesn’t even try to defend herself and ignores him. He whispers to me “we will work at home” which I nod back in appreciation. The class knows I’ll get help from him so they don’t bother to ask what he said, and Mrs. Walker knows not to make any comment about it either as she would have to explain why she was picking a fight with Mr. Herman thus needing to explain more about her teaching. It wouldn’t be pretty and she wouldn’t win, only lose.

10:10 AM
Nothing in my locker this time, the custodians took care if it quickly. Dad texted me to say the culprit is suspended for four weeks, he was caught trying to do it again and was clear on the video. I know he wasn’t alone but it’ll send a message to others and buy me some peace of mind for a month. He will of course have to come up with a good story about why he was suspended.

10:15 AM C Period
Rumors are already circulating about a boy caught with several bloody tampons in a bag in his backpack. Jenna, my BFF and my biggest defender after Scott and Michael, tells everyone the truth. Earlier this morning she was walking to her locker and snapped a picture of him opening my locker with a key stolen from the main office that opens all of our combination locks. He also had the bag out in the open and was right in front of my locker with the door open no less. Scott told her about my unwanted “gift” and texted dad and Uncle Jake the picture. The video wasn’t needed after all. I love her for her timing, sometimes her accidentally forgetting her books pays off!

Dad’s class is the usual fun as we talked about “The War To End All Wars” and learned about a lot of small things that had a big impact. He loves to show pictures and maps, something the others are grateful for. Dad knows how to capture our attention and keep it all period, he always has with us. I am still sad that only Michael, Scott, Jessica, and I got to see him at his earliest days but am pleased that we have been lucky to have his both years as our teacher.

He gives us the usual homework but adds “your project will be to pick one of the devices we talked about today and write a paper on why it was revolutionary and what replaced it later on.” There were grumbles about a paper but dad knows that this will be beneficial to us in the next chapters. I already know what I will do my paper on, X-Rays. The others coordinate with one another until we have a consensus. There is some overlap but dad is fine with this, hoping that the overlap leads to different views on the same thing.

11:10 AM D Period
English with Mr. White is kind of boring as we are midway through our Shakespeare play. I like Macbeth but some of the other students just don’t grasp its subtleties and concepts. Scott won’t stop complaining that he and Stacy are the only members of the group to have to act in the school’s play but Mr. White assures him he is the perfect person for the role.

I would have wanted to audition but I know what would have happened if I actually did get a part, there would be media and protests and headaches that aren’t worth it. Mr. White sensed my disappointment and assured me that I was his choice to be understudy so there is always a chance that I could be in the show for one performance. Stacy winked when he said that, I tried to back out but he told me calmly “the hell with other people, you are our student and we could care less what others think. You didn’t audition but we won’t let you off the hook. Plus your aunt and uncle have already said Stacy needs a night off for a doctor’s appointment and there wasn’t anyone better to replace her.”

12:05 PM 3rd Lunch
I am still numb to what Mr. White had said. In line for lunch Stacy whispered “mom set it up without me knowing, Uncle John and Mr. White got her to do it. You deserve the role, not me. Just enjoy it, please cousin?”

She really knows how to push my buttons. I can’t say no to her puppy dog eyes. Nobody can. She can make your heart melt with a flutter of her eyes. Dad said it’s her mother’s doing, she has done the same thing to him since they met. I love her all the more as she only does it to me when she is serious about something and it’s the only way I will agree to what she wants to do.

Reed is complaining about Kylie having yet another sleepover and having to stay home to study for a big test on Monday. We have sympathies for him but we all know that it is necessary because of the state testing that we have to endure in three weeks. Once we get back from vacation we have those annoying MCAS tests that are all the more important for us as sophomores. Reed is lucky, he only has a light yearly test but we are getting the toughest one since it’s the guide to see if we are wasting our time as students or if we are actually learning something.

Courtney had a big surprise for when she sat down. She flashed her new driver’s license. She is the oldest of us and when she passed the 16 and a half year old mark she made Aunt Gabby book her a driving test. Patrick and David worked hard with us on our driving since we all underwent driver’s education in the fall but she is the first to earn hers. I can’t get mine until next November; hopefully I’ll be able get mine during Thanksgiving weekend.

12:30 PM E Period
Mrs. Herman assigns us another test. Her tests aren’t too hard but the vocabulary is piling up and the grammar is getting harder to understand and use correctly. She is a good teacher and we all love her class. I am truly going to miss her next year as she takes a year off so she can settle into motherhood. We pleaded with her to come back for the 2nd semester but it wouldn’t be fair to her replacement and little Ben or Belle wouldn’t like that. She is going to be there for us, she won’t let us struggle. We are family, after all.

I am still annoyed that Michael has Courtney in the class. I love Will and Courtney and guess French will come in handy someday but I still wish I was in Spanish with Richard and Jenna and the others. It was for the best but it sucks that we have to split up as a group.

Miles sees me staring off and tells Michael to cool his libido. Courtney blushes and quietly apologizes but it’s not her fault, it’s Mrs. Nunez’s fault. How she could think she could ever get away with harassing Miles like she did I’ll never know. I am just glad that she was unable to get a job in this state and had to take a job tutoring out in Montana of all places.

1:25 PM F Period
Mr. Howard reads Michael’s work and suggests he get help from me and Miles. He reluctantly tells him “I asked her this morning.” Mr. Howard just nods and starts class. Scott’s short story got a lot of attention with Scott refusing to divulge Reed’s assistance. Mr. Howard seems to know that Reed is involved given how much they have been seen working together so he lets it slide. He will have Reed next year, we already know Reed wants to take this class.

Claire gets put on the spot for not finishing her work on time. She and Daisy were sick the last two days and wasn’t able to do anything but he wasn’t listening to her excuse. Claire was on the verge of tears until Miles asked him if he needed to confirm it with Dr. Beretta who drove them to the hospital, getting Mr. Howard to backtrack quickly. Claire hugged him after class, handing Mr. Howard the note from Dr. Beretta telling him that she was ill and unable get out of bed let alone type. She didn’t have the chance to give him the note before he focused on her, and she was too nervous to say anything about it.

2:30 PM
Hannah and Paige were squabbling over prom dresses again. Pete and Bryan smartly stayed out of it, talking about their college acceptance letters. Pete was sounding sad that he might not be able to attend until Bryan had a sly expression. We all knew dad was going to help Pete out, knowing Pete would never ask for help he was “hiring” Pete to serve as his personal assistant over the summer months. Plus dad already told us Pete had earned a scholarship from Salem State for all four years due to his academic performance. He could have paid for all four years as a gift but Pete won the scholarship outright and without dad’s help. Pete just didn’t know any of this, so they were gently making him ease his fears.

Uncle Dan came by with Jessie, Francesca, Iris, Sam, and Rebecca to go shopping for the middle school semiformal. Reed was supposed to go with him but he had plans with Eric, George, and Michael to study and practice. Michael and Reed had a test for their yellow belts in karate, something we were all happy they were doing especially now that Michael wasn’t always floating around the background between Scott, Will, Richard, and Miles.

3:00 PM
The girls were trying on various dresses. Sam and Iris were shy around one another; it was obvious they were starting to have feelings for each other. Sam was scared to do anything, fearing that her gender change would cause problems. Iris was scared of what the others would say, she was still seeing herself as an outsider in their group. The truth is none of us cared, we wanted Sam and Iris to be happy and they make each other happy.

Francesca confided in me as the two tried on similar looking dresses that she was scared that neither would have the heart to ask the other out. She knew Iris liked Sam a lot, Iris was her best friend since they were infants and she could see the change in both when they were around one another. We would come up with a plan to help them at some point, even if it meant sitting them down and making them confess their true feelings to one another. It’s harsh but if it’s the only way so be it.

4:30 PM
I did my homework. It’s early but tonight is the Lip Synch Contest at school. It’s going to be a huge one, Uncle Jake has some special surprises in store for the students. I’m not participating, but Jenna, Jessica, and Christina are.

5:30 PM
Dinner was quick as all of us got into the car and headed to the school. Dad, Aunt Melanie, Uncle Willie, Uncle Paul are talking with Uncle Jake and dad doesn’t look happy. Aunt Melanie has a huge grin on her face, she was planning something with Uncle Jake.

Stacy giggled at the sight. She whispered “mom is helping introduce the acts tonight.” I knew something big was going on but Stacy wouldn’t say anything more. Rebecca had a big grin as well, she knew but wouldn’t say anything either.

6:00 PM
Aunt Melanie came out and told about the origins of the event including some of the first participants. She then showed a quick clip and there on stage was dad, Uncle Willie, Uncle Paul, and Aunt Melanie! Aunt Melanie waited for the thunderous applause down and explained “we four have been brought together through chance after years apart but we are here tonight on behalf of our beloved school and our children. John, or Mr. Finn to all of you, made a promise two years ago to the kids of his class and we are now going to collect on it. Hit it, guys!”

Dad, Uncle Willie, and Uncle Paul came out in wigs and sequined dresses. They were singing “Barbie Girl’ by Lady Aqua. It was hilarious, the three were in character and when the “Ken” part started Aunt Melanie joined in. The song ended with a huge round of applause and dad taking a bow. He then told the crowd “she has been waiting years to get me to do that again” earning a huge laugh.

6:50 PM
The girls were fantastic in their rendition of Toni Basil’s “Hey Mickey”. They were singing to each of their boyfriends with each getting a big kiss as the song ended. It wasn’t all that impressive overall since they were cheerleaders but it was more about the boys than them. Miles was shocked to be pulled up onstage with the girls but Eric and George didn’t fight it, knowing it would help the girls’ act.

7:15 PM
We were shocked to see that Reed, Eric, George, and Michael were performing. They were performing “Kung Fu Fighting” by Carl Douglas dressed in their karate gis. Michael and Reed were wearing their yellow belts, they must have just earned them earlier. Reed was doing exceptionally well, he was handling the bulk of the singing while Eric and George did most of the actual fighting. It was the best of the night so far.

8:30 PM
Reed, Michael, Eric, and George won 1st place. Christina, Jenna, and Jessica finished in the middle of the pack but they were just happy to do well. Miles was flushed and embarrassed as he was getting teased by the parents about his stage kiss which led to Christina to kiss him again.

10:00 PM
Cat comes into my room just before I want to lay down to go to sleep. I can’t say no to her so I tell her softly “come on, it’s alright.” I know she’s perceptive about what’s going on around her even if she isn’t sure what exactly is going on. She is smart, but she is also sensitive. She knows people are bad to me and others and sometimes I can see her getting upset and angry at people for bad mouthing me or the others. She is so much like mom and dad it’s amazing. I love her to bits. She falls asleep in my arms as I nod off. It was an easy day today, eventful but easy.

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