Art Project – 16 Mixed Up, Straightening Out

Art Project – 16
Mixed Up, Straightening Out

By Jessica C

Andrew’s problemos w attention-defic t caught up wit him…
Designin a prom gown insted of a suit,
Turned s’werdnA problemo in2 an op port unity…
And rea became visible W Andrew is set on beeing himself
or Andrea as s/he chooses…


Cozier asked, “Andrea do you know Stevie and his friend Marvin?” I asked back, “We’re they the guys who asked us to dance…” With a finger over his lips, “Shoos, not so loud, others shouldn’t hear.”

A little quieter but not quiet enough, “I didn’t even get to finish dancing with my guy, before I was requested to leave. I guess, I’m too young for the Flowery Saddle Club.”

Professor Jean Cozier finished the discussion and was happy to finish that class. And I wasted no time in getting home.


I packed a weekend bag before I went to school Friday morning. Not sure where I was going, just sure I would get away. Get text from Vee, JC’s office manager, “Janice Richards, your artist friend will be at Capital City Museum, this weekend. She’ll make time for you, just confirm with her please.”

Text Leah and she confirms she is coming with me… My last class, I get a text from Tamara, “Coming in from Chicago who’s meeting me at the Airport. I’ll be landing at 3:50 this afternoon. I hadn’t heard from anyone… I’m looking forward to seeing you again.”

Leah’s at school to pick me up, and I tell her, “There’s a change of plans. We need to go to Patterson Airport and pick up Tamara from Chicago.”

Leah says, “Oh sorry, I forgot to share the message she’s coming to see you. When did you get the message?” Patterson’s a regional airport that I usually try to avoid. We’re there in time for Tamara who’s getting two checked in bags. Hugs all around.

I tell Tamara, “Your traveling is not done for today; we’re heading for the capital. The good news is, we’ll be taking the weekend off. We’ll see my artist friend Janice Richards.” I pick up Tamara’s plane tickets, they’ll be a business expense, as will the weekend.

Tamara hopes the weekend will be with Andrea. Our stop at the apartments to pick up our luggage includes me changing all my stuff. A travel cosmetic case is always ready. I’m changing and packing, using my fall fashions. Tamara is a size smaller, but I have an outfit for her to wear tomorrow night.

We hit the end of rush-hour traffic but hit some weekend travelers already getting away. Courtline Inns and Suites is close to the museum. We check in, shower and change as we get to the museum before Jan’s 7:00 p.m. presentation. Her blend of art and technology, still blows me away.

She has her painting of a violent storm at the Grand Canyon now on her media presentation. She point to a small cave and then zooms in. I’m in the cave, with Tamara and Leah and the cave is littered with clothes and boxes being blown about. I’m saying, “Forget the rest our car is here.” And with that she’s captured us walking toward a car. Tamara looks at how we’re dressed, saying, “That was probably us coming into the museum.”

Jan Richards says to her audience, “That’s using art to give life a new setting.” She asks, “What would be the problem or attraction of using this to promote fashion?”

A female student says, “If they’re wanting our folks as customers they’d lose them and environmentalists.” …Another woman says, “But if they’re selling to youth and young adults they’ll make customers. It’s engaging, the second time the commercial is shown people will be watching to catch what they missed. I for one think I like her sister Leah’s outfit.”

The first woman says, “How do you know which one is Leah?”

Jan says, “You who are men here should not miss the point. Women will establish relationships. Not only is Andrea of Andrea’s Treads known, but people remember those connected with her.” Jan says, “Some of us like it because it uses art. Did any of you recognize the music?”

The audience goes quiet until, “I’m a classic musician, but part sounded like a jazz version of the “Grand Canyon Sweet.”

Janice says, “I knew at least three of you were here. And I was glad one of you recognized it. As Lora said, there is now different reasons for different consumers to identify with such an advertisement. I did not know until early this morning that Andrea would be here. Their walking in the promo was Andrea and friends walking into the museum.” Her audience is now turning around to look and see if it is true.

“Andrea, I know you did not come to be put to work, but would you please come up front for a moment?”

We had walked in half way to find several seats without distracting the group. I now continue up to the low platform that Jan is working from. We hug and she has me turn to those gathered for her presentation.

She puts a small mic on me, saying, “This young woman is among a growing group that promotes artists, allowing us to make a living. Some may mock it, but many artist starve before their art work is known enough to sustain a living.”

Those who plan to be artist should consider being business people as well. Others can create ways their art can be translated into another form, such as architecture. May be sculpture wanted by the public or a buyer. The National Geographic and other groups use the art of photography to connect people to be interested in the world and societies around them, or even back into the past. It creates interest that funds future explorations and study.”


It is good to get together with Janice Richards afterwards. We join with her, a musician friend and others extending the night. We’re back at someone’s place and some people just relax while others come and go. Janice and our group begin talking about art, but it’s not time for business.

Tamara stays close with me while Leah moves around getting into other conversations and visiting. Tamara is behind me and I’m leaning against her as we’re visiting with Janice. JC called talking to Jan saying she’ll be around tomorrow or Sunday. I hadn’t known they were friends.

Jan runs her fingers through her hair, and has loosened her clothes, pulled off stockings as well as jewelry. She asks in a quizzical way how she was in her presentation and responding to others. While she did well tonight and the other time I saw her. It becomes evident she’s more comfortable with her art and working that with media than sharing it with others. I’m guessing she’s a perfectionist in someways.

The problem is she does a marvelous job at presenting it in a way others can connect and understand. She grabs a book reading poems and thoughts from women through the ages. I’d call them mystics. I find myself enthralled, like I am walking with her on an isle near Ireland. The woman we encounter there is so in tune with God and the Christ. We hear voices whispering of what she has done; men as well as women are devote disciples of Brigid. There are others and the night is long.

Janice sees a light playing on the window and realizes we have visited through the night. Leah and Tamara had left sometime that I didn’t know. Janice takes me to her suite and throws me some clothes. I go to a second bedroom and bath where I shower then squeeze into a pair of panties. Like she did last night I loosely brush my hair and run my fingers through it. The blouse is oversized and will hang nicely over me. The skirt is long and layered, it wraps around my waist and hips.

I have called back to Leah, she and Tamara are just rustling out of bed, she says. We are to meet at the museum around 11:00 a.m. Leah will be on her own and I’ll have lunch with Tamara. Other than a visit to one or two stores the day will be ours and relaxing.

Janice and I visit a bakery, getting pastry and tea. Sliced strawberries or kiwi lay on the pastry with a sprinkle of confection. Our time is casual, observing people we’re responding to questions from one another. She shows interest in knowing me. I am amazed by the layers and threads that form her. She is philosophical and spiritual as well as artistically inclined. Her knowledge of computers gives her tools to feed her creativity and desire to know more and go deeper. We are there from seven-thirty to near nine-thirty.

We walk to the museum together where we find her easel and her paints being set up. She has a her Sondra, who is setting things up. There is a painting on the easel, the painting is barely started. They call a security person to make sure nothing is disturbed. Sondra, Jan and I walk through the museum. Sondra and Jan comment on some pieces, neither agreeing nor disagreeing. They ask me to do the same. When I ask a question, Sondra says, “Relax and just see what you see.”

It seemed like longer but come 10:05 Jan is in front of her painting, and Sondra is awaiting any request. I am free to stay or look around. Come 11:00 Jan is to have another presentation; I am encouraged to miss it. Jan does call me to her, she applies unique colors as eyeshadow to my face. She says, “Now you’ll be free to move about.”

I greet my sister and Tamara, neither of them recognize me by my appearance, only by voice do I give myself away. Neither are big into museums, so we’re soon heading downtown to look at stores. We soon find Closet Full Boutique and good to its word it is filled with fashions deserving to be in a woman’s closet. Ms. Bennett is surprised I’m here. I’m there but she fails to recognize me. She spots Leah and asks her where I am.

I was over to a section of the store where my line is displayed. I am disappointed that it is off to the side, not in the general path of traffic. When Ms. Bennett comes over and welcomes me, she knows something is upsetting me. She says, “Our sales of your clothing is quite good.” It is something I already know, but I’m wondering why it is not used to attract shoppers.

“May I call you Doris?” Given permission, I speak. “My look today is so I can be out and about without people noticing me. But I’m wondering as good as your sales of Andrea’s Threads are, why you’re not using them to attract in more customers?”

She says, “They do very well there, plus my traditional shoppers like to think they’re buying something special…” I interrupt her, “Something most others might not be able to afford. Yes, I know. …My understanding is that my fashions have brought back in younger shoppers. Do they just buy my line? It was my understanding the trend is they include other purchases as well.”

Doris is quiet, confirming what I said is probably true in her store as well. I know some stores are reluctant to change the layout of their clothes, especially long established names and brands.

I had sent out a message ten minutes earlier that I am at the Closet Full Boutique, downtown in the city. A saleswoman comes back with two customers, saying to Doris, “These customers say Andrea Stephens is here. Is she really coming here or is it a hoax?”

The saleswoman does not recognize me but I speak up anyway. “Yes, I’m already here, but it was only the spur of the moment that I made it known, I’m here.”

Both customers are college students finished classes for the week. Connie and Deb know each other but hadn’t come together. Connie smiles as she looks at me saying, “I’m an art student; it looks like Richards’ influenced you more than vice a versa. But I do like most of what you design.” We exchange greetings and I do with Deb as well.

I ask them both if they have anything special coming up for the holidays. “Will you dress up,” I ask? And then I suggest that they select something they would like to wear to it? Deb is off and looking, they’re not limited to Andrea’s Threads in their consideration. Connie describes one of my outfits she’s seen on the internet and asks Ms. Bennett, “Where do you have that outfit. I looked for it before but hadn’t found it anywhere in the city?”

Doris says, “We have things like you’re describing.” Connie’s disappointed.

The other things are from upper line fashions that I was pushed to design, but stores like Bennett’s have not yet stocked my clothes as such. I pull out a small tablet and do a quick search. I ask Doris, “Can I ask, if this is what she’s looking for? If she would buy it. I would have it here overnight if needed and you will have the sale.”

Doris says, “Yes.”

I ask, Connie and she says, “Yes, but I not only wanted that blouse, but you have another dress up blouse that has red, grey and blue swirls. It is cheerful and works for the holidays but isn’t limited to Christmas.” Tamara says which top it is and I locate it on my site.

“Connie could you be back in tomorrow if I can have them here overnight?”

She says, “I can be but I need to figure if I can afford them.” That might mean she needs her parents or someone’s approval to spend that much. Or it is herself holding to a budget. Doris says, “We accept most credit cards, you can just charge it.”

“Yes, that’s how I’d buy it but I still have a limited budget.”

Doris and I soon agree on ordering two each of the skirt in various sizes and the same for the blouses. Only Connie’s will be the colors she’s asking for. Both Doris’ store and Connie will get good deals. I include two signed posters in with the order that “I, Andrea, was here!”

Doris has the right to price my outfits up to ten dollars over what we recommend. Though they’d have to retag them to do so. The hour we’re there a dozen customers came in to see me. I was glad only two were upset that I was wearing Jan’s clothes and not my own fashion. Doris acknowledges more customers came in seeing the interests of others.

I already have three designs in my head that I’ll call creative artist, inspired by Janice Richards. I would need to get Jan’s approval if it comes to a reality.

Tamara shops with me at a fabric store as I am looking for dress material with which to make my original designs with. It is in draping different materials over Tamara and liking several that I get an idea: quickly drawing a peacock tail print with tree wood and leaves. Another is a palate of colors of solid red, yellows and blues as well as blends of the three. Tamara laughs as I can be racing sixty miles per hour with ideas and stop for ten minutes considering one small detail.

I have been known to stop the process believing I will keep the idea until I get back to it. I have lost no less than three designs that way. Then again I have poured a solid twenty hours in a design that was scrapped on the design table.


Now I stop as we are invited to a champagne dinner given in honor of Janice and the museum. I picked up my dress at O’Brien’s our second stop in the afternoon. Tonight I’m wearing a short evening cocktail dress in an off red. Its brightness accents my youth in comparison to many who will be there.

A John and Martha Wallace would-be supporters of the arts are grateful I am there. Their daughter T’more a seventeen year old teen was brought with them. Until T’more and I met she was there under protest. It is not merely my presence that wins her over, though we did bond quickly. She is awed to meet Jan the media artiste. T’more is much more energetic and outgoing than the crowd, even me. She is slowed down as Jan gets her to see more deeply into art.

She is my first experience as Andrea of another woman turning on Andrew. I am not sure if she knows what she’s doing pertaining to Andrew. She knows we hit a cord. We both do our best to control ourselves in public and retire in separate directions. Jan and Leah both realized what had happened and what didn’t happen. Once out of my dress back at our suite, Leah enjoys taking me to the shower and turning on the cold water.

Once, I will design a shawl of five feet of a fine mesh material that will go over one dress for Janice. It appears to be a special unknown design of color. It will be re-released in two years or more for a series of dresses and outfits of fairies and mystics.

The weekend is important as I learn the importance of relaxing; I make personal friends of both Janice and Tamara business associates. T’more and I will rarely get together but our bond will last. I lay awake Sunday night in bed as Andrea, dreaming as Andrew making love. And yes he was first in my dress of Saturday night.

The time served another purpose of saving Andrew’s juices into a bottle.


I go as Andrea to school come Monday; it is a shortened week with Thanksgiving coming and the day is filled with quizzes, reviews and for American history a comparison of two early settlements New England and Virginia.

Before I travel to the university for my college course, I receive a text from Mom. “The Flowery Saddle Club is a very good investment. Please swing by there with Leah after your class and sign a binding letter of intent. You will obtain thirty-five percent interest for forty thousand dollars and another twenty-five in a loan. You’ll be a silent partner, but your being visible will help.”

Class-wise it will be another night of Cozier instructing well while upsetting me. He is still upset with me and making threats to my grade. If need be, I could afford the financial loss of losing credits.

Andrew being a good boy, is a misnomer from the past year. I tell Cozier as I’m leaving class for my buying into the Flowery Saddle Club to remember him. He doesn’t believe me which is understandable, but I tell him I am going there now to sign papers. And I tell him I’ll buy him a drink if he shows up.

I get there at 9:30 and the evening is slow. I am surprised to see Dan my step-father here. He has the original document and copy to be signed. We are signing the document with Terra Wells. Her significant other, my step-dad and Leah are witnesses. And Professor Dr. Cozier comes in as we finish signing the documents.

I have been given a small glass of champagne to celebrate as Terra and I toast one another. I greet the Professor and suggest a kiss. He is very willing and soon plants a bigger kiss on my lips than I expected. I am repulsed but wait and kiss him on the cheek. Pictures of both were taken.

He says. “I don’t know what kind of parents you have but I’m going to enjoy toying around with you.”

I turn and introduce, “Professor Cozier, I’d like to introduce you to my Step-father Dan Johnson.”

Cozier quickly makes claims of entrapment and that I should not think of scamming him. I simply state, “I have no desire to do more than finish this class with you. I do hope that I will get a fair grade. And I don’t want to hear of students being mistreated by you in or out of class.” He finishes his drink and starts to walk out. I say, “You or Nicolle are both welcome here, this is a safe place if you’re on good behavior.”

I knew my Dad wanted to follow him out and either give him a piece of his mind or worse. Instead he turns to me, “Why are you letting him off the hook, even inviting him back?”

I say, “Weren’t you the one telling me once about the guy who said, ‘Keep your friends close and your enemies’ closer.’” Terra shares with both of us, “When Nicolle comes here, two drinks and her lips are loose. Mr. Johnson, I learned a long time ago you don’t want to get into bed with scum like that. But it is not bad to know what they might be up too. Most of what Nicolle says here has only a remnant of truth, but it’s helpful to know.”

I ride back to the apartment with Dan and he takes Mom’s room in Andrew’s apartment and Leah gets her things and sleeps with me. Leah again knows I’ve not been sleeping well, but with her there I end up falling to sleep at one in the morning and it is a restful night.


Come morning and our getting around Leah comments, “I am finally glad to see the other side of Andrew show up. I was beginning to think you became a saint.” We both stop next door and give Dan a good-bye kiss.

I wasn’t planning to go six days as Andrea but here I am. Once I’m at school Megan rubs up against me, “I hope you’re not coming to school as Andrea just to keep me at a distance.” She invites me to sit with her at lunch. I will need to wait fifteen minutes as we’re on stagger lunch shifts.

I know Megan is attracted to me as Andrea as well. During lunch she even suggests that Andrea and her share an apartment at the University. I am more interested in becoming close friends, wihile fringe benefits for both of us would not be discounted.

Chemistry today is a test using our lab capabilities. It is something how she and I work together. She has begun understanding chemistry. Our lab experiment goes well and is easy enough. Using a quarter of Sandra and Allie’s solutions we solve their experiment as well. I am only tickled that I am still a contributing member of our team. As class ends Megan celebrates by giving me a hug.

Megan and Andrew had hugged and kissed before, but Andrew was bound up top then. Today my little girls are warmed by hers. Going out the door she says, “Yes, I can enjoy this too.”

Come the end of school today I receive a note encouraging me to take tomorrow off with the possibility of a winter storm. Mrs. Stein says, “We are happy you’re a student here and have adjusted so well. Please play it safe and get back to your home at Hillside. See you Monday.


A group of students are going to meet at one of our spots, Megan sends a note she’ll be there for an hour. “I want to go over your web page and see if you agree with a holiday outfit I want?”

It has become uncanny to me that I quickly learn a person’s style and preferences. I like friends like Megan who have a variety of tastes and things they look well in. There is a red skirt and a print top I kind of expected her to pick as she did. I do suggest two tank tops for her to wear under the blouse she chooses for an added look. Everything will work for a white skirt that I know she has, along with slacks that she occasionally wears. I quickly put my tablet away, telling others they need to go online or better to buy from a store.

Soon I’m back to the apartment and packing. Dan has stayed around but insists we go home soon. He says, “I hear you sent your sister Heidi money to be home for Thanksgiving. I told her I would help now as well as the holidays. She’s called your Mom that she is coming in tomorrow night. Luckily home is enough further south that her flight has a better chance of not being canceled.”

I pack two suitcases with the larger one full of Andrea’s things and Andrew’s clothes thrown into his suitcase. I am glad that I have some clothes for Andrew and Andrea already at home. It is dark by the time we set out for home. Dan and I in one vehicle and Samantha with Leah in our car. I’m already thinking, I’ll get to take my driver’s test come Friday morning.

We’re less than a half-hour from home and our stomachs are growling when we stop for Chinese food. Dad had me call thirty minutes earlier and Mom is here to eat with us. Their tea helps me to warm as I take a drink and hold the cup in two hands.

Mom lightly giggles at me, “How is Andrew to show himself with those fingernails?” They are long for a boy. Filed down a little and with no visible polish they’re usually passing. I know, I’ve been doing it the past two weeks.

I see Tendra, a girl I know, and say hello as she passes our table. She turns to see who called her and I ask, “How are you doing?” I’ve forgotten I met her at an arcade celebration when I first moved back to Hillside.

She says, “If I should know you, what’s your name?”

I reply “Andrew, we met at the arcade contests at the end of last summer. I mean the year before.”

Tendra laughs then stops, “I’m sorry but you don’t look like the Andy I met. You do look like someone I’ve seen but I can’t remember where.”

Sam says, “Maybe on TV.”

Tendra looks again, “Yes, you kind of look like Andrea, but you look older.” Tendra looks side to side. Maybe she recognizes Leah. “You’re not playing a prank on me are you? You’re not really Andrea of Andrea’s Threads?”

I say, “Yes, but don’t you remember me as Andrew at that event?”

She says, “Would you go with me to the women’s rest room?” When I say yes; she says, “I don’t think even that Andy was brash enough to follow me into a girls’ bathroom. I know some say Andrea’s a boy, but there is no evidence of that.”

I’m frustrated as Andrew by now; I stand up smoothing my outfit. Conscious how I look and that I’m naturally speaking with Andrea’s voice. “I’m sorry, I understand. I am Andrea and we did meet. I’m sorry to have confused you.” With that I’m expecting her to continue to the restroom.

Tendra takes my hand saying, “Take your purse and we can go together. You could use fixing your makeup and hair.” We go into the girl’s room and are soon followed by another girl looking for Tendra.

Tendra’s back out of the toilet stall she used. I am soon out of mine and going to the sink. Tendra begins to introduce me, “Steph, this is…”

Steph puts out a small scream, “Andrea, Andrea’s Threads!”

Tendra says, “Don’t tell anyone that I brought him into the girl’s restroom.”

Steph says, “Of course she’s Andrea.” “Hi Andrea, how come you’re here? Wow, it’s good to meet you!”

I explain, “I’m coming home from school. It’s nice to meet you too Steph. I take it you know of my clothing line.” I’m pretty sure her tops are mine. Steph turns around trying to show a clothing label printed onto the top.

Between Tendra and Stephanie it sounds like an echo as they’re asking me, “Can you come… Can you come… meet our friends… meet our friends… from our club… there’s sixteen of us. It might as well be a girls’ club there’s only two guys and one of them isn’t here tonight!”

I fix my makeup and add a touch more color for it being night. We walk together passed my table and into a side room. There’s thirteen other girls and a guy who is probably at least six foot. A few recognize me before Tendra can tell them.

My Mom comes to get me and I end up introducing her to them. Instead of going back Mom and I sit for a moment. It is a Spirit Club from the Plainfield Community Schools. I ask Darrin, “Why are there just two guys part of this club?”

He says, “Most guys don’t like clubs dominated by girls.” So I ask, “What about you and the other guy, besides the obvious they aren’t scary?”

Darrin chuckles, “No offense but maybe they’re afraid they’ll end up looking like you? Didn’t your classmates in your art class last year change you?”

Now it’s my and my mother’s turn to laugh, I say, “Do you think some really believe that?” Silence, then I ask, “You know the truth don’t you?” By now Dan, Leah and Sam are in the room eating at another table.

Tendra says, “We have time explain to us?” Others shake their heads.

“I was in fact in an art class with only upper class girls, but it was I heard part of an assignment. Instead of designing and making a suit or tuxedo, I designed a lavish prom gown. I didn’t hear the part of it supposing to be for me, sewing it or the part about needing to model it. I knew little about girls’ clothes so I got a job at Carole’s Towne Shoppe in Hillside. And Carrie helped me learn what I needed to know both to work there and then for my project. I was surprised that it came easy and I liked it. Girls stuff is so much more creative and just a lot nicer, not to mention the girls.”

“The girls in class tried to warn me but they also complimented my designs. It was after Thanksgiving that I finally realized they were serious. But I have attention deficit and every school in the past went overboard in making allowances. I was kind of spoiled that way. I figured the further I got and then if I made it to the New Year, they’d have to make allowances.

“Well by then it was a problem of Mr. Murphy and I both getting stubborn? I couldn’t get the girls I wanted to model it, and the girls in my class gave measurements close to mine. I wasn’t or at least didn’t know I was transgender at that time. I had already bought most of the material and cut out some patterns. The first two pieces I sewed together were bad, but my new friends Tera and Jennifer rode me until I knew what I was doing. Along with Ms. Miller, my sewing teacher, I mastered what I needed to do.”

“Jennifer was the first to convince me I’d make a good looking girl. I was in almost total denial.” Tendra says, “You already knew you were interested, didn’t you?”

I said, “Terra and I finally convinced the original girl I wanted, to model it for me. But the closer we got to the art festival, the time to model it. I knew Mr. Murphy had it in for me; and I decided not to give him any satisfaction. With Terra saying she’d take me to the prom, I set it up. Mr. Murphy would think he beat me, and I was set to win.”

“Well, I kind of won yet Mr. Murphy won by getting me to model my gown. Miss. Miller had JC Harper come and things flew from there. I couldn’t believe my designs and making dresses and gowns was to continue. I kept thinking this or the next time would be my last time dressing as me. But I love it now and it’s just over six months.”

I ate my dinner and it was past time to leave and get home. The Spirit Club left first and Tendra who’s a senior hugs and rubs up against me to say good-bye. She even stuff a note down my blouse. She didn’t know that she turned me on but she did.


This ride home, I was with Mom and she began talking about me maturing. It was kind of embarrassing because I expected that it should come from a dad. Knowing I’m different I knew Mom should be the one, but I thought I knew enough.

The talk didn’t get too far in the car, but Mom was set to talk to me as long as it took. “Andrea, you’re one person and Andrea/Andrea are maturing. They’re not separate and you need to be mindful of that. I have a Marianne Guess a counselor, who could work to bring the two of us through this together. I know you have your own counselor and you’ll probably not like the idea but I hope you give it consideration.”

“Mom, I agree. There will probably be things I won’t want to share with you. Is this Marianne near my school or here?”

Mom says, “We’d probably start with her after the New Year and I’d be staying more there.”


I wake up dreaming about Tendra, Terra and others, but Mom’s knocking at the door saying, “Matt Scott’s on the phone.” I’m changing to Andrew’s voice to kill his interest.

Matt nicely apologizes and then says, “It might be odd Andrew, but we have a State play-off game Friday. I’m hoping you’d come to the game and root us on as Andrea.” I talk to him as I put a robe on and go find my Mom once more.

I’m covering the phone, “Mom, he’s wanting me to go to the play-off game Friday as Andrea.”

Mom says “You can go if you want to. You’d be able to go with your Dad or the Scotts; I know Mrs. Scott and his sisters adore you.” Mom stares, “Don’t leave him hanging, say yes or no.”

“O sorry Matt, I had to ask permission. I guess it’s a go.”

Matt says, “Call the school this morning and get a student ticket. Make sure you pick it up today also. …Do you hear that? And I’ll pay for it, it will be in my name. If you need a ride I’d think you could get a ride with your friend Jennifer or with my Mom and sisters. If we win, I wouldn’t mind time to celebrate with you.”

When I hang up, I turn leaning against a counter and Mom’s looking at me. “Mom as Andrew I just made a date, kind of, with another boy. I know I’m going as Andrea but isn’t that kind of weird to you?”

Mom comes over to me, “I kind of think it is actually an ideal setting. Consider it, you’re wrestling with you expanding identity. And this will be a non-anxious time, it’s not like you’re hot passionately in love with him but you do find at times you’re relating to boys. Take it as an opportunity to find out what your interests in boys is.”

“Mom, I’m not interested.”

She says, “Well the choice was just yours and you decided to go. Right now I think you should quickly get dressed and get to school. I am sure there are teachers and students that will be happy to see you.”

I call Jennifer about coming to school; again I begin talking like Andrew but Jennifer’s wanting Andrea. “Please Andrew brush out your hair and find something enjoyable to wear as Andrea. I think my boyfriend is more comfortable with you that way.” She says, “Murphy went on a trip beginning last Friday. I’m sure Ms. Shurts will be glad to meet you. I know Ms Miller will, she thinks one of her sewing students make it big. We even have a new advanced class on textiles and fashion thanks to you. There’s eight of us.”

“I don’t know if you knew Blake, but it’s Blaze now and she’s a lot like you yet not. She might be Blake even before the end of the semester.”

I’m dressing as we’re talking as I’m sure Jennifer is at her sink fixing makeup and hair. I can hear her makeup cases and jars against a sink top. Suddenly Jennifer says she needs to go. She says, “I need to talk to you about Matt Scott before he asks you out…”

We’re disconnected.

To be continued…
Happy Thanksgiving 2016

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