Art Project – 23 Helped and Helping

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Art Project – 23
Helped and Helping

By Jessica C

Andrew’s problems started with not hearing everything
He designed a girl’s prom gown instead of a boy’s suit,
Andrew’s problem, turned into an opportunity…
Focus now is on Andrea…

Terri says, “I’ve seen you before. If I understand correctly, while your life is very good, there’s been a lot of changes? That has to be hard.” She waits to be sure I’m not offended; “To get so much attention and not be sure if you’re a girl or a boy has to be especially hard.”

I say, “Thank you. I’m both, but I want to live my life as a girl. I wish you had time, I would like to talk to someone like you. Hoping you understood and would be a friend.” …Terri gives me a grin, “I can give you a few minutes now and more when we land and get into the terminal.” She holds out my hand, looks to my Mom asking. “Do you two trust me to be a friend?” …I get up and go with her.


We land at the capital city airport and another hour are soon home. I quickly get myself soaking in a warm bubble bath having moisturizing oils. It is very relaxing. Leah has come into visit and to keep me awake.

“Leah, did Mom tell you about the stewardess I met on the jet coming home. You know I was having trouble with the attention I’m getting and the pictures coming from wherever. She was nice enough to come visit with me. She helped me to relax during the flight and spoke with me after we got off. I can’t believe she took time just for me.”

Leah says, “You’re kidding me aren’t you?” She soon realized I’m serious. “Andrea, hopefully she would have done the same if you we just another flier. But you’re not, you were a special person on her flight. She wants to make sure people like you are happy. Mom thinks she saw you’re new to this attention you’re getting.

“Leah, we exchanged email stuff. If I let her know when I’m flying out of here she will try to be one of the stewards. She said she has a niece my age, so what happens to me feels personal for her.”

“Changing the subject,” Leah says, “Mom has ordered a hot tub to be out on our back deck.” …I interrupt her, “I wonder how hard it would be to add to the deck and make sure everything is in good shape.”

Leah, “Sis, I’m saying, won’t it be nice we can both be in there talking as we enjoy the water and girl talk.”

Leah and I both head back to our apartments, mid-week. We’re both more at home doing our studies and work there as well enjoying time with many friends and places we’re comfortable with. The travel back is mostly a sister time, but Andrew too is present. He has to be if I’m here. There’s a funny moment when as Andrea I speak out loud to Andrew and Leah hears me.

Leah says, “That answers one question in my head, ‘If you ever talk to Andrew like another part of you?’” She continues, “You know Andrea, I find this you to be healthier and happier then when I only saw Andrew.”


After we’re back; Mrs. Randolph, who has an apartment across from mine knocks at the door to ask a question. She says, “Good, it might sound silly Andrea, but I’m glad it’s you and not Andrew. Tomorrow, I’m having out-patient surgery and I’m trying to find a ride there. My daughter’s juggling her schedule so she can pick me up after it is done. She’s hoping to be there when the surgeon shares what she did.”

I ask, “What time do we need to be there?” I’m glad it is 8:00 a.m. and not at 6:00. “Will there be someone to wait with you until the surgery and during it just in case?” Elizabeth’s face saddens, because there isn’t. I ask, “Would it be okay to wait with you?”

“You don’t want to stay with an old women like me. It’s a woman’s thing anyway.”

I say, “I have grandmas too; you could be like another one. As to the woman thing, I thought that is why you wanted me instead of Andrew. I know I’m not as you’re use to a woman, but I’m here.”

Beth smiles, “If you ever care to have a cup of tea with an old woman, I usually have something baked around to nibble on.”

I can’t help but smiling, “I have time now, if you do.” It is like an answer to prayer to have a woman like Beth open up to me. I’ve only seen glimpses into her apartment before, but it is cozy, like stepping into Grandma Stephens’ house. I find the visit more interesting as she was a nurse in Viet Nam and since then.

She says, “I experienced a few would be girls in Nam. One even found that he like it very much, but it was hard for him to look good and be taken serious.”

I asked, “What happen to him?”

“Several of us appropriated enough stuff and helped to get him off the base a few times. It was work, but he worked hard and enjoyed being accepted by us. He was like the others we cared about along with the mess of soldiers and airmen who wanted to get back states side safely. I myself lost track of almost everyone except two other nurses. We lost two women who had cancer, probably victims of Agent Orange. The government denied it for a long time that we were exposed enough to harm us.”

Beth finally asks a question that she was resisting to ask, “I don’t want to intrude into your personal life. But, my daughter says you’re a clothes designer. I say you’re too young. I’ll be direct, I didn’t think women would like getting clothes designed by someone like you? …There I said it.”

I giggle as I find her demeanor charming, though a bit archaic. “Your daughter is right. Seemingly most of my customers like the quality and the prices of my clothes. There’s a great many who could care less about me. Those who don’t like it, either don’t buy my clothes, though I know some do. Most accept me at some level.”

She brings out a small plate of date-nut bread and cookies, along with the cups of tea. “I am embarrassed as I find you very charming. I wish I wasn’t an old fuddy-duddy. Please forgive me.”

“I apologize, because when I think of veterans I don’t imagine people like you. I’m glad we’re becoming friends.” We both heard knocking at my door and now my phone is ringing. It’s Leah. “Is it alright if I see what my sister wants?” It was Ms. Randolph who opens the door and invites my sister in, telling her I’m here.

We’re going to go to the Pub to eat. I’m wondering if we should invite Beth. Once my sister finds out she’s a nurse from Viet Nam, we both want her to come if she will. Beth says, “That would be great, I just need to stop drinking and eating before 8:00 p.m.”

We all decide to change and Leah comes to my apartment as I have new outfits we’re both wearing to see other’s reactions.

The early evening at the pub changed as Beth’s stories captures the interest of many. We’re there until 9:30, but Beth did well as she stopped eating and drinking at 7:30.


I was awake around five as I want to exercise and do some designing before I take Beth for her surgery. I’m now working on fall clothes; I even have winter designs for next year in my brain. It is a cold yucky March day which makes it all easier. I wear a three quarter length skirt and blouse. I eat some breakfast and take a breakfast bar.

It feels nice to be another woman with Beth. Once she’s changed into a gown at the surgery center and hooked up with IVs I’m back with her. Once a nurse came in to check if Beth was shaved where needed for the surgery. Beth is amused with how modest I am and caring about her privacy. Beth says to me after the nurse is back out. “I am glad you are being respectful of me, but if you’re my female friend relax. See it as you’re one of the girls with me. I know I am thankful you’re here with me.

The surgery is pushed back a half hour and then until 9:00. She is ready to go to surgery when Liza arrives. Beth introduces me to her daughter and Liza’s eyebrow raises when she hears my name. I give my new grandma a kiss and Liza does so as her daughter. The surgery can take up to an hour and a half and I’m uncomfortable leaving her daughter alone to hear the first news.

Liza thanks me, saying. “I am impressed that you have the character to be around for a woman old enough to be her grandmother. I have a daughter who will be here in a little while, but I want to thank you now for staying.”

She says, “Your likeness on the internet does you justice. I admit you look older like my eighteen year old senior.” She shows me a picture of Lyn.

Like usual I’m asked if I do in fact design my clothes. I show her a design on my tablet in design mode. The swatches of material available for my choosing. We’re working through it, a when a shadow comes from behind us and I turn and recognize Lyn from the picture.

She’s fairly sure she recognizes me, until I stand and she sees me wearing the three quarter length skirt. I giggle, “No, it is not my regular choice. I thought it would be in keeping with bringing your Grandma to the hospital.”

Lyn soon is around giving me a hug, saying, “My Gran isn’t like that but I’m sure she was happy you brought her here. You have a friend for life, whether you want it or not.”

It is another ten minutes before word comes that Beth is out of surgery and they’ll see the doctor in another fifteen minutes. We didn’t need to wait that long. The surgeon recognizes Liza and guesses we’re her daughters.

“An ovary was taken out, with a cystic tumor that might be or turn to cancer. Beth will be kept overnight. Liza I encourage you to have someone stay with her at night through her appointment Friday afternoon.” Though her apartment is a one bedroom apartment the sofa folds out to a bed. I offer my extra bedroom if another person wants to come and stay the night. Lyn says, “If you’re serious I’d like to stay too.”


I ask, “Lyn are you a size two?” She smiles amused I could guess her size. “If you wear one of my outfit’s or dresses to school. You are welcome to do so and then keep it. All I need it an honest assessment of it.” Free sounds good to most teens our age. She is a good year plus older than me, but we’ll be the same year in university if she goes.

Before I can excuse myself, Lyn wants me to show her the outfit or dress she might be wearing. I have two outfits her size and I believe Leah has another. She favors the one I’d have picked out for her.

I’m back at my apartment when Terra calls. She has three orders to place but her computer won’t connect with our order site. We are both happy to see each other, so it is a good excuse to get together. Terra uses my computer to place her orders and she’s happy as the orders total over a dozen items or outfits.

We take some time for each other and she is one of the few who can honestly tell how much my breasts are growing in size and sensitivity. If one’s a normal girl it is not spectacular but we’re both happy. I know she has been seeing more guys but for now and tonight we’re all that matters. She had brought me out of my shell and has helped me to blossom. I dated before but for Andrea; she’ll always be my first date, kiss and love.

She and I even shared some wine as I shared the delay of my surgery.

It was eight o’clock that night when Lyn calls and hands the phone to her grandmother. Beth says, “Thanks for giving me a ride and staying around after I went to surgery. Liz and Lyn are now even bigger fans of yours.” She tries to tell me she’s paying for Lyn’s outfit. It took a little to get her to understand that I was not really treating her granddaughter Lyn. She would earn the dress by wearing it and giving me feedback.

She must have heard Terra in the background as she questioned if I’d have room for Lyn to stay. “I have her penciled in for two nights. A third night if we can go out together with friends Friday night.” I hear Lyn say, yes in the background. That switches a night out with Terra to Saturday night.


Tuesday I see Dr. Monica Triggs and Wednesday Dr. Saga Dotter. Monica shows me the maturing of my complexion and how I am feminizing. I guess I saw the change and have been enjoying the difference. But to see it as she is showing me now it is more dramatic and pleasing to my psyche.

When I got back to my apartment, Beth, Liza and Lyn were all there in Beth’s apartment. Lyn is excited to stay with me, but confesses. “Our school is on spring break this week so I won’t be earning the outfit.” She and I agree to go shopping the next day and eat lunch together. It is something Dr. Dotter has been after me to do; making new friends and getting out without a business or school agenda.

My appointment with Dr. Dotter goes well. She is after me to give Andrew some more time. Coming away from the appointment; I’m wondering if she had written anything that delayed my surgery and transition. The thought came after my appointment. My next appointment with her won’t be for a month.

My mother is coming up Thursday. It is something she arranged with Leah but she’s staying in her room in Andrew’s apartment. Along with checking on her grandmother Beth and spending some time with her. Lyn is learning designing 101. She is crude in her ability but like most young women has some neat ideas as to what she likes. The little nuances that each of us would like to make in an outfit, makes for new designs. Three of Lyn’s have promise and will be incorporated into two designs for new clothing. Two to be incorporated with sizeable changes for fall. Those two will also be there when I get to designing outfits for next spring.

Grams gets good news that they believe her operation appeared to get everything. She would have her next appointment in three months. Mom and I had gone with Beth on Friday, as something came up for Liza. We could both tell Beth was not comfortable waiting three months and that her daughter was not with her.

We requested an appointment for one month but the person scheduling said it was impossible as insurance and Medicare would not allow it. The three of us are stubborn enough to insist. Even with mom and me paying upfront, it was still not going to be allowed.

I and JC had already given to the University Hospital and Clinics through our companies as well as through X-Press Inc. Finally it’s agreed she would have a regular checkup with her doctor, presumably for a reason not verified yet by her doctor.

Lyn and I are to go out with three of her girlfriends with guys meeting us at a games area. It is part of the mall which is good as mostly the guys get lost in the games. I, because of being Andrew know the games well and could have enjoyed playing more. But when the girls go window shopping and then to a late movie I am with them. Half of the guys came with us to the movie. I find myself along with Lyn getting into the movie and crying the same time the other girls do.

Tonight, Lyn and three girls come to my apartment and it’s a pajama party. I am cautious about so many girls staying over. Mom’s next door and ready to come over if needed. I had planned to sleep in my bed apart from the three girls, but my mattress is soon in the living room and we plan to squeeze together. We take turns using the shower, sink and toilet.

I woke up once in the night with a mess of legs, arms and bodies around me as well again when I wake up in the morning. This time to find Joan’s hand massaging one of my breasts to the point I’m awakened with such a wonderful euphoria. Lyn hits me with a pillow to be quiet. Then seeing what Joan is doing she hits her twice. Joan didn’t fully wake up, instead she moves to me and begins sucking on my tit. Lyn, I and now another girl give her a moment before we fully awaken her.

Joan is supposedly stunned at what she was doing, though two of the girls have had similar experiences with her. Lyn points out the bright pink state of my breast. I pull down my top long enough to get up and run to the bathroom. I am from the toilet washing my hands when two of the girls rush in. One sits on the toilet in relief and the other is growing more anxious.

Wanting a shower I step into the shower before taking off my night clothes and begin the water. It’s a foolish thing to do as the water is ice cold to begin with. Lyn is now in the bathroom saying, “You know from this side your silhouette is all Andrea.

I hear the bathroom door fully latch and then locked. Lyn opens the shower door and scoots inside. I had been washing my body with a soapy washcloth. Automatically I begin washing the body in front of me. Lyn is a good inch taller than me. She is slightly heavier but mostly in the right places. She begins kissing me when I turn the water colder. I then let myself out of the shower. “You can’t blame me,” Lyn says. “I was just trying to return your kindness.”

Once out of the bathroom wrapped in my robe, I bump into my Mom on the way to my bedroom. She gives me a half serious slap on the butt as she follows me into the room. She is mindful the walls might have ears as she sits me down and gives me a good talking.

The girls are hurrying to get dressed and out when my Mom emerges from my room. She says, “You know that can’t happen again for Andrea. Please relax and someone can help me get some breakfast.”


Except for Lyn going across the hallway to Grandma Beth’s the other girls are gone, when I get a phone call. Terra is calling, though she’s outside in her car. She wanted to come and do it personally but she’s crying too hard. I too am crying when I ask, “I want you to come in please. Would you rather see Andrew or Andrea?”

Terra says, “You’re the same to me.”

“Please come in, I think we both knew it was coming, but we should remain good friends.” It is five long minutes before my mother lets in Terra and leaves us crying together. It is a long time of tears, memories and Terra needing more. I was very sure she had found a guy friend, but it would be weeks before that would be known.

Mom left to be with Leah as she had intended when she came. I spent five hours moping around crying now and then and feeling sorry for myself. Finally I answered my door and it was Beth and her daughter Liz. They assumed I was distraught because my mother came down on me because of my time with the girls. When they hear about Terra and me. Liz says, “So was it Andrea who loved her?”

“It’s not that easy, but as Andrew I probably would be quieter about it and stuff it in.” Left alone I knew I would be okay. As much as I want to be angry at Terra, knew I owed her for opening my world and encouraging me to become me…

Story to be continued…?

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