Unlikely Quarterback – 20 Elaine to Get on with Her Life

Printer-friendly version


Audience Rating: 



Character Age: 

TG Elements: 

TG Themes: 

Other Keywords: 


Unlikely Quarterback – 20
Elaine to Get on with Her Life

By Jessica C

Bryce Royce learning he’s androgynous, says I’m Elaine…
Being Elaine not the boy Bryce, should be okay,
Except Bryce is Mr. Royce’s boy and a football player!
…Bryce/Elaine became an unlikely Quarterback;
…now insists she’s Elaine.

Travis and Dane took Rhonda and Elaine to the shore after the Prom. This morning they went out for a morning swim. Rhonda giggles, “I’m sure they’re doing it to get themselves clean and have the fun of swimming while doing it for free.” We, Rhonda and Elaine, share the good time each of us had, joyful for the other as well. Rhonda says, “By the third time last night, I was getting sore as Travis felt being rough as satisfying for me like it was for him. How was it for you?’

I say, “I was pretty sore when he went into me even for the first time. I like feeling like a woman, I just need to better prepare myself. Expecting him to take his time wasn’t a good idea. My surgery correcting things will take place the week after graduation.”

“I am now looking forward to having my surgery even more. I’d like to be able to have a man like any woman.” We both take long showers. Mine starts out with lukewarm water minimizing any odor in getting clean. Thoroughly clean, I use a hotter setting to relax. I think making out as we did used some different muscles. “I’m not planning on being active sexually for a while.”

I’m wearing shorts under a long tunic top; depending on one’s viewing angle; it appears more as a dress with little underneath. I forgot to bring a second pair of shoes, thus I wear my heels to breakfast.

One guy gives Dane a high five. It is only after accommodating the young man; does he learn it’s for bringing new hot candy into the restaurant. I blush as Rhonda says, “Elaine was wondering if some young man would be willing to go get her a pair of sandals?” Several people interrupted us during our breakfast asking if the request was for real. They’re saddened after we said no. One young teen tried to ask and then guess my shoe size.

Our waitress gave us two bill. She says, “Only one is for payment. I am hoping Elaine might sign the other one for me as an autograph to keep.”


We’re walking out when Renee a young girl stops Rhonda and me, saying, “I have a brother like you, but he doesn’t look as pretty as you when he dresses up.”

We took some time to talk to Renee about listening to her brother Mark. He’s only twelve she says, I ask Renee if she ever calls Mark by another name. “I’m too embarrassed to call him Marci.”

“I liked that you were strong enough to tell us about him. Does Mark/Marci just like to dress up as a girl or does your brother say he’s really a girl?”

Rhonda asks, “Renee are you here with your family? If so maybe we could go and talk with them, if everyone is willing.”

Renee walks back to her family and Renee’s Mom and brother return to talk with us. Mrs. Stanley says, “I think we would like to talk with you but not here and now. I wonder if you could give me a number to call and arrange a time to meet while we’re here.” She indicates they had just gotten to the shore and would be here until after Memorial Day.

I turn to Mark and for once I’m towering over someone. I ask, “Mark, are you wanting to visit with me, as I’m a transgender girl?”

He says, “I know I don’t look it, but I’m a girl.”

“I think, I can see the girl inside of you. Did you know for a long time, before others recognized you as a girl?” He shook his head no. I say, “They didn’t see me as a girl either? I think you’re pretty fortunate if you mother recognizes there is something to talk about.”

I tell him, “I was at a prom last night, and right now I’m too tired to talk. What would you say if I could come back here Monday with my Grandmother? We could talk then?”

Plans are put in motion and we’ll arrange to get together Memorial Day.

It is the first time I experience Dane being a little shy about being with me. I feel bad about it and understand in a way. It changes however the rest of our time together. I am glad Grams lives closer to the shore as I get dropped off first. Dane walks me to the house and gives me a kiss on the cheek. I give him a hug and thank him for the wonderful time.

He asks, “If you talk with them Monday or others; are you likely to talk about what you and I have done together?”

I assure Dane, “Our friendship is personal. I don’t talk about us like boys in the locker room. I kind of drive the same point home. “You better not either. I wouldn’t like that.” Dane has a look of surprise in his eyes as he realizes I know how guys talk.”

He went back to the car, and Rhonda comes running up to the house. “I hope you are alright,” she says. “If you want someone to go with you and Grams Monday; I think I can get here.” Rhonda gives me a hug and a kiss on the cheek.

We text as she’s going home tonight.


I am struggling not to go to sleep; I want to visit with Grams. She is happy to show me the pictures she took of me and Sara. Soon I’m falling asleep on her couch and she covers me with a light blanket and puts a pillow under my head.

It is 6:00 in the evening and Sara, my Dad and Mom are coming through the door. I’m more than a bit scared that is until Uncle Paul taps me on the shoulder, whispering, “You’ll be safe. Heather and Sara wanted the three of you together to share pictures and about your proms.”

The evening starts off well enough, though there is a tension in the air. Sara has brought her dress, intending just to show it. We talk her into wearing it another time, so we can casually enjoy seeing her in it. She invites Heather and me to go with her as she’s changing. Aunt Kenda has volunteered to comb and pin her hair where helpful. She agrees with Aunt Kenda to let a few curls to hang freely. It actually looks as good as it did for the prom, like she’s now unleashed to have fun.

I gasp as I see Sara in her panties and bra. I am more than a little in awe about how beautiful she is. She is partially dressed when Uncle Paul knocks at the door. He has Heather’s gown for her to wear. Heather has blonde hair and a tan that holds year around. I think it’s her Native American genes.

I get to help Sara into her gown; I’m surprised how easily she zips up the back. She could easily do the top three buttons but she asks me. Heather’s Mom is working her magic on Heather’s hairstyle. Her long blonde head of hair has a lot of natural curl, but some more had been added, Kenda pins enough to maximize the beauty of her hair.

They are finishing up her makeup, when Sara says, “Are you going to wait for a special invitation Elaine or are you waiting Aunt Kenda’s undivided attention?”

“I thought it was just going to be you two; I didn’t think, you’d want me to be changing with you.”

Aunt Kenda had stepped out of the room and comes back with my prom gown, saying, “I hope you do not mind but I have another panty and bra for you to wear this time.”

It is nice to go out among the family. Pictures are being taken of the three of us together, individually, and with immediate family. My family for tonight continues to be Grams. I do have one picture with mom, Sara, dad and me near him. It was a very anxious time for me. I wasn’t asked to be in the middle with Sara. I’m sure I’d have trouble doing it.

Dad did sit near me as we talked. It was like talking to another person. It wasn’t the dad I knew. Sara later says, “That’s the way Dad was when you were eight and nine. You have to like that.”

“It was when I began playing sports, and Dad was already pressuring me. I was never boy enough for him. That was when he started hitting me in secret.”

Sara starts to say, “No that was after you were eleven.” I started to shake and tear up, and Sara quits speaking and hugs me. “I’m sorry, I didn’t know or I forgot.” Shortly after our meal and I was in the kitchen. Mom and dad decided it was time to go home. Sara didn’t even get to change back into her other clothes.


“Grams, yesterday before the prom, you had a solution to our problems. Is that about next year and my staying in my high school?”

Heather is giving me a hug, “I’m hoping you will move to be with Grams, so we can have a full year of going to school together.”

Grams says, “I’m not saying we’ll do it, but the Robinson’s have a small cottage behind their house that his mother lived in. It’s been vacant almost two years and they’re finally open to renting it. That’s if they can find the right people. I called them and it would be manageable for one school year.”

I know the youngest Robinson girl, she’s just a year older than Sara. It has been a long time since I’ve been in Grandma Robinson’s place. It seemed cozy enough but I never looked at it as a place I might live.

The idea of being able to do more with Heather has its own attraction. I have been touched by her acceptance of me. We have even talked about going to college together. Heather says, “You know you need a break from feeling attracted to one person or another.”


Tuesday during school, I get a message from the school office that I am to see Mr. Higgins in the gymnasium after the end of this class. I go and he asks me to sit with him in a section of seats that have been pulled out. Max Sievers is there to greet me, before leaving. It is relaxing to see a smile on his face.

Coach Higgins says, “I want to share an idea and I want you to think about it seriously and not say anything quickly. I have heard from a number of football players that would like to have you on the team next year. I have heard about your concern about opposition teams going after you. And what it might be like playing the full season.

“But what if, we have you as our second or third string quarterback, only to be used in emergencies? Offensive linemen like Max Sievers say they will give you all the protection you need. Max says, he’d even guarantee it. I’d agree to use you only if the starter gets injured in a game. If it is to replace the starter for performance, I’ll have another quarterback ready and in his place.

“We will have most of our starters back and look to be even a better team than last year. Jack Rivers might even be the second string quarter back if he doesn’t earn his stripes as a team player. But I think he got the message in the play-off game.”

I’m wanting to quickly say “No.” Coach is pretty sure the longer I think about it, the more I will be tempted and wanting to play.

“Coach, you know there is no way for Max or you to guarantee I’ll be protected. Heck, if we run an option, I might need to run with the ball. Even when I came in late, I was a target to be knocked on my ass.”

Coach says, “You don’t have to run, you can go down without being hit, I’ll understand.” I say, “And will you explain that to everyone in the stands. I think my Dad needs to be a coach more than I need to be a backup quarterback. If I came into a football game and the game is on the line, you know I couldn’t play it safe. ”

Coach says, “We will keep you safe and you would probably only be needed in two games tops. But you know for us to fail to hold a lead or to fail to score could cause us two losses. You know what those defeats could mean for us to repeat going to the play-offs. One of those games could in fact be for the state championship itself.”

I’m thinking, when we’re interrupted by Rhonda shoving the doors open and making her presence known. She’s speaking loudly as she walks across the gym, “Elaine do not listen to him; you’re Elaine a woman. You’re even smaller that Bryce was. Think what getting a beating in football would now mean. You don’t need to prove anything or owe it to the team or anyone.

“Coach, how dare you, be willing to sacrifice her again.”

Coach says, “Rhonda, you weren’t invited to be here; she has a good head on her shoulders and can make decisions for herself. I am not asking her to decide right now but to think of it. She’d be able to run cross-country. Just think what it would mean to her reputation if a couple of times she’d make a difference in our school winning games. We’re going to have a very good team, she could be the piece that makes us a great team.”

Rhonda asks, “Elaine are you the same as you were, when you took a beating? Look at your waist and hips, how about your strength for passing or holding onto the ball. Do you want to bulk up and go through the strength regimen you swore to your father you wouldn’t?”

I say, “Sorry Coach Higgins, but I’ve come too far to step backwards. I am happy for once. I’ll find new challenges. I’m more likely to be a cheerleader than a quarterback.”

Coach says, “I needed to try and I’ll hold out the opportunity for you to decide otherwise. You have won my respect and you won’t lose that.”

I turn and walk away with Rhonda, thanking her for being there. Rhonda asks, “Are you really thinking of becoming a cheerleader?”

“No, but I kind of like the look. I will try to learn some of their moves and to be able to cheer at the same time.” Rhonda agrees it is not as easy as it looks.


I talk with Rhonda; telling her Grams idea about where we’d live if I stay here for my senior year.

Rhonda says, “You know if you press my parents, I think they would give into you staying at our house.”

I say, “I think it could get a little touchy especially if it doesn’t work between Jennifer and me.” Rhonda looks again wondering if I’m kidding or not.

I know that I’ve come to love Jennifer; I just don’t know if it is the romantic love of two lovers. Beside that I’m not really interested in making a lasting decision quite yet.

“You know Jennifer really likes you a lot, but she knows you need the time and space to discover who you are. Living with your Grams at the little Robinson bungalow could be good for the two of you.”


I say, “Yes, it’s close enough to walk to where the other is, with space for each of us.” My phone buzzes, its nurse Laura.

“Hi Laura, its Elaine, what do you want? …The baby what do you mean you need me, where’s Jack? …Just a minute.”

“Rhonda, do you think we could get out of school and you get me to the Stronghold Medical Center? Laura’s going to have her baby and she wants me with her.”

“Laura, we’ll me leaving here within five minutes. I think we can be there in thirty minutes. I’ll call you once we’re on the road. Mrs. Adams will bring us.”

Mrs. Adams greets us and tell us to buckle up, “Neither of you can tell anyone if I get speeding. My brother tells me the police won’t be looking for speeders until school is out.”

I ask, “Mrs. Adams how does he know that?” Rhonda says, “Uncle Steve is a Sheriff’s Deputy for the county.”

Ma Adams says, “If he or Officer Richards sees us, they just might escort us to the hospital.” She was right. Five minutes out of town, her brother pulls alongside of us and agrees to give his sister an escort. Another officer will join the escort once we’re in Monmouth County. We did not speed as much as most lights changed for us and those that did not, we safely negotiated. The whole trip takes twenty-one minutes.

I get safely out of the car, hug Officer Steve and go into the hospital.


Having been there, I already know the floor and way to the OB wing. Mr. Martin was waiting outside the room. I go in give Laura a kiss on the cheek. Nurse Robin says, “Please wash up and I will help you put on a gown and mask. You got here in time, Laura is dilated five centimeters and she’s the labor room.”

I am ready to panic, and as we’re ready to go, Laura reminds me, “Tell me to take refreshing breaths between contractions, encourage me to push when the nurse and doctor says so, and to relax when they say that. Don’t be surprised if I yell like a sailor, Mom says that sometimes happens.”

“What happens if I faint?”

Laura says, “Please tell yourself, you won’t, I need you. It’s important to me that you’re here.”

I ask, “Shouldn’t I have gloves on?” Nurse Robins says, “Your hands were washed with an antiseptic. Most moms prefer it this way and Laura asked specifically.” Dr. Jennings has a male intern that checks Laura first. He’s cute but Laura says, “Excuse me is Dr. Denise not here to deliver my baby?”

Ron says, “Yes, I’m in training and Dr. Jennings is my supervisor; up until you’re dilated to 7 cm. I’ll be checking you. At that time I’ll be fully taking over as your doctor.”

I ask, how long is that likely to be? He says, “Anywhere from fifteen minutes to the next three hours.” Laura smiles at me, “As long as things go well, the baby will dictate most of that.” It is almost an hour when Dr. Denise Jennings came in. She checks Laura and says, “Okay let’s move into the delivery room.” I heard there birthing beds, but I thought maybe that was just in the major cities. It is like seeing something from a movie set.

I am holding Laura’s hand when she asks if I have my smart phone with me. I say, “I left it in the other room. It’s in my purse.” One nurse asks me, “Do you mind if someone gets it and brings it in here?”

Dr. Denise asks, “You won’t be squeamish seeing another woman’s vagina opening up a spewing water, blood and then the baby will you?” She is a little surprised when I say, “I haven’t seen many women naked; don’t worry about all you described.”

Laura says, “You’ve seen a lot of football injuries. Plus didn’t you help your friend Karen in her recuperation from extensive injuries in a car accident. Dr. Denise, I’m sure she’s up for this. It’s a quick course in womanhood 301.”

Denise giggles as she is checking Laura. “Well the program is about ready to go full force. And I’ll be asking you to push. You are at 10 cm and I’m ready to break your water.” With that water with a little blood comes gushing out of Laura. “Now Elaine you can encourage Laura to push when I ask. Please listen to me as well as the nurses. Laura when you feel the urge begin to push.”

The doctor sees the contractions come and says, “Push Laura.” I ask her to push and by her grunting I know she is. She squeezes my hand and lets up, “Is this when, I’m to encourage you to take refreshing breaths?”

Nurse Robin says, “We have a quick learner or she’s been here before?” Dr. Jennings asks, “IS that true have you been in helping someone before?” I’m sure they’re joking with me.

Laura says, “I knew she could do it.” “They’re coming again…” “Push Laura, you’re doing well,” I say. Her grip is a bit stronger this time. Robin shows her grips she can hold onto. I feel Laura’s neck and begin to rub where I can feel her getting tense. We have gone through many cycles of Laura pushing and relaxing. Doctor Denise says, “This time I want you to push and then hold it until I say relax.”

The contractions start again and as Laura pushes, she starts to scream. Her voice is strong unlike I ever heard, “Good, good Laura, push hard.”

Laura yells back at me, “I know, I know! What ‘you think I’m doing!” Aww!”

“Relax.” Robin echoes the doctor. I say, “You’re doing well, relax with cleansing breaths.”

Laura says, “You want to breath for me go ahead.” Timidly I say, “I’m just doing as you asked me.”

Denise says, “You’re doing okay, don’t get offended this is a bit of the sailor talking.”

Strongly I say, “Shore leave cancelled.” Laura laughs, just before the contractions start back up.”

Dr. Denise says, “You made some progress her head is pushing against the opening. Push and then hold.” Laura’s pushing and Dr. Denise says “Her head is crowning, push a little more and then hold... Hold.., relax.” I am not sure, I’m keeping track. The clock shows another hour has passed.

Dr. Denise says, “I want the head to fully crown and for you to push ‘til a shoulder is out. I know you can do it.” I wipe Laura’s forehead, around her neck and chest. Laura tries smiling but yells as strong contractions hit her. “Aww s-h-*-t!” I patted her hand and she took hold of my hand and is squeezing. I’m saying sh*t as well but not out loud, this hurts.

Dr. Denise says, “The heads coming, keeping pushing. Can you see in the mirror?” My head is down next to Laura’s I point to the mirror. “Relax, you did well the right shoulder’s here.”

“She’s not small, how can she be coming through there…” Dr. Denise says, “Push again, here she comes. Continue to push. She’s coming, oh she’s here.” They use a rubber bulb to squeeze out any debris from her nostrils and mouth. The baby cries and they’re holding her up. Dr. Denise clamps off two sections of the cord. “Do you want to cut the cord Elaine?”

“She’ll bleed; I’m afraid.”

Laura says, “Please, I already told Denise I want you to do it.”

Dr. Jennings says, “See this area between the two clamps that is where I want you to cut.” I can’t believe I’m doing it but I have special scissors ready to cut where she says. “Easy but firm, cut.” I did and I felt it cut through the cord. Robin and the doctor and others say. “You did well, are you sure you haven’t done this before.” The baby is a girl, I wonder if the doctor already knew? She’s put on Laura’s belly, with Laura holding her on both sides.

A nurse takes her, saying, “She’ll be right back. The baby cries, I wonder what happened. Laura touches where she’s bled and given birth. “Elaine, here’s a keepsake.” She touches my forehead and then my lips. I kiss her finger as she does.

“Can I?” I look to a nurse. She just says, Easy.” I bring two fingers up to Laura’s head, not sure what to do. I know Laura’s Catholic, so I make a cross on her forehead. “God’s blessed your baby’s mother.” I lean over her and we hug. I straighten up and they bring the baby back to her. They raise Laura a little more than 45 degrees.

Laura cradles the baby, as I ask, “Does she have a name?”

Robin says, “She may want to wait for the father.”

Laura asks, “Dr. Jennings, did Jack tell you the name if he wasn’t here?”

Dr. Denise whispers in Laura’s ear and Laura says it out loud, “Jacquelyn Laura Marie Martin, how do you like your name?”

“Jacquelyn, you are as pretty as your name.” I say, “Laura, she looks like you.” With that Laura’s body expels the afterbirth. “Yuck that is gross, what good is that?”

The other nurse says, “If a mother was stranded and would need to wait for help. It would be good for her to eat that both for nourishment and to get rid of the scent of blood out of the area.”

“Extra gross, you’re kidding aren’t you?”

Nurse Jana says, “Baby Jacquelyn is seven pounds three ounces and nineteen point two five inches long.” They begin to wheel Laura out of the delivery room and to her room. I suddenly begin to shake and want to cry. I sit down and put my head into my hands weeping. “I can’t believe I just did that. Dr. Denise comes to me saying, “It is okay, witnessing a little miracle like that can shake a person. You are not the first.”

The doctor asks, “Are you Elaine Royce, Dr. Owens patient?”

I look up to her, “You’re not going to tell my Doctor are you?”

She says, “No, but someday you might want to tell her. That is up to you. Laura is a special nurse. You must be extra special to her. That’s quite an honor for a mother to share.”

“I don’t understand why, she chose me, but I did say I would help her if I could. I’m not even fully a girl.”

Dr. Denise gives me a hug, “I don’t think you could have been more of a girl, what do you call it, a BFF? Elaine, I along with Laura believe you are already a young woman. Someday your body will catch up with you.” It was another moment before we left the room as others were waiting to clean it.


I make my way out to the waiting room; the grandparents had just gone in to see Laura and Jacquelyn. I get to share with Grams, Ma Adams and Rhonda. Again I get weepy eyed as I share how beautiful it was, “Grams, it was like I was part of a miracle. I just witnessed it, but that was neat enough. I can’t describe it. It wasn’t all beautiful but it was the most beautiful thing I’ll ever see.”

Grams says, “How did you feel being helping in there?”

“Like now, I can’t believe I got to be in there. I even cut the baby’s cord.”

Grams asks, “Is it okay to wipe off your face?”

I ask, “Do you have a mirror? I have to see where she marked me.”

Ma Adams guesses, “You mean Laura did that to you?” I shook my head yes. Rhonda says, “Gross…”

“Rhonda if you were there and it happened to you. I think you would see it differently.”

Rhonda says, “You are definitely a young woman now. Have you thought any more about when you’re having your operation? It shouldn’t change your appearance much.”

Ma Adams says, “As it changes her hormone balance. I am sure there is a chance it might change some. How noticeably we’ll have to wait and see.”

I touch my breasts; knowing they’ve begun to develop. “I don’t mean to be sexist, but I hope my breasts will develop naturally like a regular woman.”


It was a troubling day that led to a more troubling night. I’m told I was screaming for help and woke up as the whole Adams family comes rushing into the room. There are still many around who do not accept as Elaine. They take whatever opportunity to hassle me calling me various names. Tonight I was dreaming that Prescott, Tony and Drew were chasing me. Scott’s hand slithered across my breasts. I think he thought I should like it.

Ma Adams is hugging me as we rock together; she asks, “Have you told Dr. Akers about these episodes?”

“I told you before I want to work through this by myself.” Jennifer kisses me on the cheek, “No offense, but you’re not doing well with this.”

I look at Jennifer; hearing what she said, but also wondering if it’s time for a change. Grams and I are to sign the rental agreement tomorrow or the next day on the Robinson place.

Ma Adams says, “I don’t want to lose you, but you do realize the scary parts of your life are here. You might want to think twice about staying here. When you’re stronger and have you life established, you can live here.”

Jennifer says, “Mom, how can you say that.”

Mom and Dad Adams both say. “You can still get together. You won’t be that far away.”

Jennifer grabs me in the morning, “Throw on some shopping clothes. We talk of nothing serious today.” We’re soon out an on the road and Jenn is talking to Heather, “Meet us at the Brunswick Mall. I have Elaine with me and we both need a fun time shopping.” It is ten o’clock when we get there. Jenn is serious for moment. “No buying anything right now. Try on the clothes and everything and anything. If you want to buy something we can do that after lunch.”

I’m having a great time until I see Margaret; she’s struggling to get people to listen to her. “No I do want or need my wheelchair!” I have the audacity to ask if I can help. The workers say no. But Margaret pleads, “I just need to sit and rest.”

I help get her to a bench seat and Jennifer sits next to her. With her arm around Margaret she’s stable. I kneel in front of her and massage her leg muscles and then go around her and massage her neck and back. One worker says, “Okay you have good intentions, but what next?”

I ask Margaret, “If you have enough energy to do two stores. Which shall we go to?” Margaret looks at me, “Are you for real? Maurice’s and LL Bean.”

Dara whispers to me, “You better not be getting her anything nice, she’ll just soil it and ruin it.”

I say, “She’s a girl for crying out loud. I know what it’s like not being able to be a girl.” People look at me strangely.

Someone asks, “Do you care to explain that statement?” I simply say no and when Margaret is ready we get up and walk to LL Bean. It is a bit awkward but we help her try on a pair of designer jeans. It is at Maurice’s we find a pair that looks better. Margaret is glowing as we set those aside to buy them and look at a pair of Moccasin style slippers that go halfway up her calf.

Once I get home I talk to Grams and say, “I want to talk, but not about me. I think I want to be a therapist, a physical therapist.”

Heather and Jenn both tell Grams, “You should have seen her and how she helped this woman with MS. We think she made the woman’s day, maybe even changed her life.”

Jenn says, “I think it reminded Elaine when she was helping Karen. She seems to have a gift for it.”

Two days pass and as far as where I will be in the new school year; it is settled. I will be living with Grams at her house and getting on with my life. This summer I will be a candy-striper at the Stronghold Medical Center in the physical therapy department. I will be helping to transport patients and do a lot of watching. But as Grams says, “It is a good start for getting on with your life.

This story will stop for now…

If Elaine’s story will continue only time will tell…

If you liked this post, you can leave a comment and/or a kudos!
Click the Thumbs Up! button below to leave the author a kudos:
138 users have voted.

And please, remember to comment, too! Thanks. 
This story is 5715 words long.