Friends Part 3

The final part of this mostly autobiographical tale.

As so many before me and since, I tried to get around loneliness by playing sports. I was terrible but in my enthusiasm to try to fit in I inspired others to stop slacking and play harder. They hated it but in truth they saw me trying hard and couldn’t counter the effort without being exposed as being lazy.

The benefit of joining the team was months of things to do and single-handedly keeping several teammates from failing, earning me respect and thanks of the team. They, in turn, went out of their way to keep people from going after me to prove their manhood. I may not have made friends but I was allowed to be myself without fear of being bullied by folks looking for easy fun.

The ladies kept me at a distance but only because I was so busy. A few were ecstatic that I was helping their boyfriends and would come to me for help themselves knowing I was “safe” due to the unwritten law among teams: don’t date teammates’ girlfriends.” The guys heard how I was with them and I was the only guy who never made a move on them and the only one to treat them like people not sex objects, something that they greatly appreciated and made their boyfriends think inwardly about how they should treat the ladies.

Those without boyfriends were not interested in me sexually and were kind enough to leave me alone in class while being nice enough to work with me whenever it was needed. We made small-talk and more than a few mistook me for a girl and pointed out which members of the class were lesbians in case I was interested. I politely declined with a blush which often led to them saying they’d put in a good word if I wanted it.

I may have been big and had gynecomastia but I wasn’t a girl inside. I actually never thought about being a girl, I was just me. I didn’t have a problem with being mistaken for a girl, I just didn’t care what people thought as people simply didn’t pay me any heed. I simply didn’t give them anything to use against me as if they were to make fun of me they’d be the ones in trouble for going after a transgender student or a gay student rather than the fat student.

Over time I was a stellar student who was sought after by classmates for help. I had no reputation, I was simply a ghost until someone needed something. Those who knew me simply told others that I was around and would help without charging a penny, I didn’t want money nor would I accept it. If I failed to help them pass I would be in trouble and have to pay them back, if they passed and paid up I would have to give the money back for running a business in school so it was lose-lose no matter what.

Sophomore year I ended up being asked to help out the school as part of a multiple-class promotion. Guys from each year dressed up as girls and joined in a lip sync promotion for the school’s newly annual lipsync contest. I was the girliest of the guys in my year and didn’t bat an eye at being asked, I simply didn’t care what others thought and the few who nominated me knew I would do it because I was asked. The juniors and seniors sent someone who was too masculine to even get a second look as being anything but a guy but the freshmen sent a boy who was fully dressed and who styled his own hair and put us in makeup.

He was the closest to us at being a girl. I may have had breasts and thighs and sadly a butt but he padded himself out in all places to make himself truly into a girl. The two others were reluctant to do as us so they were put into the role of being support rather than stars giving us the starring role.

After our promo was shot and edited we saw just how good we looked on camera. I was a natural as the reluctant friend while he shined bright. Our counterparts were all but cut out as they simply didn’t move and only joined us for split seconds, enough to show they were there and dressed up but almost easily missed.

We talked outside the studio, with him being reluctant to talk to me but knowing my reputation as a nice guy and someone to vent to he told me that he loved being given the chance to dress up. I saw the sadness in his eyes and told him warmly “one day you will get out of here and will be who you need to be. This place may be keen to show how forward it is with academics but it is still years behind in gender and sexual equality.”

He smiled at hearing that. I sighed and admitted “you see and hear a lot when people ignore you. You are already thought of as a girl, if you really are people most won’t really care about it because they won’t want to get expelled for breaking the law or school rules. The ones to fear are the assholes who would go against you no matter what. They don’t care, they are never going to graduate and if they do they will just end up selling drugs on a street corner.”

We were a hit with many classmates thinking we had finally come out. I just shrugged and told the truth, I did it so someone else didn’t have to. If it puts butts in the seats then it worked the way it was supposed to. If it didn’t then it was no big deal and would be forgotten by all in short order.

We talked a few more times since that day and he was starting to see many people getting used to him being a girl. I saw him smiling at that, giving me the impression that there was more to his act that day than it appeared. It was his life, I didn’t want to say anything about it.

Time continued to pass. People ignored me but I continued to help others out and actually was on good terms with most of my classmates. There were always a few jerks but those were jerks to others and were always the thugs who would be destined for jail and prison.

Junior year I reverted back to being a loner thanks to being put in the worst classes and not having the ability to ask for help when I needed it. I needed someone to tell me to do what I needed to do but it was too late to help me that year and I barely passed two of my most important classes. I was ashamed of myself in almost failing two classes I normally did well in- history and English. My writing was sound, I simply didn’t do the extra work that went on before writing my papers.

Senior year was simply me trying to be who I wasn’t. I thought I was destined for college, instead I was destined for hourly wages. I didn’t have the funds to go to college and when my grants ran out I was on my own. I knew this and simply didn’t bother, what’s the point?

I was lucky though. This year the boy I befriended sophomore year finally stopped acting like a boy and came out as being a girl. She went through hell but she did so with a smile on her face and was giving me confidence that I should just shove off my own idiocy and try for college. I was accepted and got a full grant so I was going to school for free, she had made it possible with her kind words.

For the previous three years I had eaten alone and fast during lunch. By senior year I got stuck with other loners at the loner table with an open invitation to join them. They were good to me and I helped them out in their classes while they helped me with some of the issues I had in my own.

My newly out female friend sat among us. She and I talked daily and I was proud of how she had stopped acting like she wasn’t and started to look more and more like one of the other girls in school. She asked what was up so I happily told her that she was one of the best looking girls in school and those other girls were jealous of her, getting a smile and blush from her with a subtle “if I liked guys you’d be the one for me” from her.

She opened up my eyes to life after that. I listened to her tell me about her life outside of school and what she had to endure for years. I felt horrible, I was pitying myself but she was forced to hide her true face and who she was from the world.

She asked about me which I had to blush at and explain that I wasn’t like her, people just thought I was. I could empathize but I wasn’t like her. I was just a pitiful person, misery was my constant companion but I wasn’t a woman inside like her. She understood, she was just glad that someone in the school was able to understand and more importantly not try to use her as so many tried to do.

I sought out information to further understand her life and what she went through. I spent hours reading into the lives of others, making notes of how they were so alike yet each different. She was a classic “right in front of your face” girl that simply needed a push in the right direction from hormones to get her life as a woman started.

Others weren’t as lucky and I really felt for them. She didn’t have to endure the fear of death threats or shame from the entire school, she simply got ignored and talked about behind her back but it was no different than they did to others who weren’t liked. Her family didn’t understand but they didn’t abuse her, she had help and her family knew to just bide their time until she left for college before severing all ties to her.

I found a whole new world online. I had never thought about transgender people before but I was fascinated by them. I found the downside as well as the seedy side of transgender life and had to work out what was fantasy, what was economic, and what was real life. It was hard but as time went on I found just what was what.

I found a website that contained countless stories centered around different kinds of transgender people. I took a liking to one about a group of ladies who suffered a horrific accident and prospered to the point of creating real-life centaurs. It took e a while but I started to appreciate the magical water park run by a kindly grandmother. Then I discovered the odd yet fascinating world of a wizard who gives you exactly what you deserve with your purchases from his ever hiding magic shop.

I wasn’t much of a student and despite having some intellect I didn’t do well enough to get past a 2-year degree. I spent much of my time being an uncle and helping my family. I hated it but I was a glorified babysitter and was too disabled to work with “normal” people. So I dived into the online world and started to see that people would do anything to earn a dollar.

This was significant. This was my omen. I could do better. So I started to write. I wrote then rewrote then wrote again until I had a trilogy. This led to me posting it on a site I discovered by accident. This led to people giving suggestions and help. This led to a place to enjoy the time and see that I wasn’t alone. I may not be transgender but I wasn’t alone. I may not have regular real world friends but I wasn’t alone in the world. I found people who were actually interested in what I had to say and offered input to help me while taking what I said to heart. They are some of the kindest people ever and they may not be traditional friends but hey are real friends and for that I am grateful. After decades alone, I finally had friends.

So that’s life.

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