Parting of the Ways Part 3- Jaimie's Trial

I wanted to do something different but never envisioned that I'd write an afterlife story. Sorry to anyone who doesn't believe in this but it was a way of both removing Jaimie from the mainstream story while giving characters who were featured once and never again or who were referenced but never appeared a chance to get their due.

If talk about the afterlife, limbo, heaven, hell, or any deities isn't your thing you can easily miss this part and not miss a single thing. It won't be mentioned again, it's just an interstitial while I research surgeries and aftercare.


Jaimie was in a hazy fog as she suddenly felt herself coming around after being put under for surgery. She wasn't in her body, it was clear by the fact that she was in a long sky blue dress with matching gloves and shoes that she wasn't in the hospital or back home. She was dead, or she thought she was dead given that there was no rational explanation except that.

Jaimie walked through the fog until she saw a bright light up ahead. If she really was dead she hoped it meant she was going up instead of down. She feared the worst, maybe the zealots were right and she was condemned to damnation for daring to go against God's chosen path for her.

As she approached she noticed that it was a large clearing. There were people there, most of them she didn't recognize and hoped they were not waiting for judgment like her. The few she did sent a shiver down her spine, they were the last people she wanted to see in life or in the afterlife and if they were there it didn't bode well for Jaimie.

The crowd parted. There was a clear differentiation between the sides. She realized now what was going on, Jaimie Finn was on trial for the crime of changing genders. Her afterlife was on the line.

The "send her down" crowd was made up of Lord Harry Smith, her uncle Nigel's brother and her cousin Ethan's biological father. With him was Nelson Hogan, the man who assaulted Junior Kelly and Kylie Pena as their kindergarten teacher. They were joined by Ted Blue and Marlene Saunders, her sister Ella and brother Logan's uncle and former stepmother.

They weren't the worst of the crowd, the ones who scared Jaimie the most were her parents. Jamie and Loretta McKinnon sneered at their daughter with angry looks mumbled angry insults about her being a freak and deviant that started to make Jaimie recall them as people before they perished trying to take her to conversion therapy to stop her from thinking that she was a girl.

She looked over at the other side, the side that appeared to be people in her favor. She didn't know most of them, in fact, only three were known to her directly. She felt horrible, she didn't know how to react to them yet she felt that they were no danger to her and were there for her benefit.

Jaimie saw that Logan and Ella's biological mother Linda Brown was giving her a loving look which filled her with warmth. Beside her doing the same was Juan Perez, her great-uncle Jorge's favorite nephew and one of the most amazing men she had ever met. The final person she recognized was her paternal grandmother, Catherine Finn. She hadn't seen her grandmother in four and a half years, not since Jaimie's tearful goodbye at the hospital and to Jaimie's surprise, she looked years younger and much healthier.

Beside Catherine was a man who looked vaguely like her dad but strongly resembled her aunt Karen and uncle Roland. The man happily embraced Jaimie and told her he was proud that she was turning into the woman she was. He introduced himself as her grandfather, Brent Finn, sending her stepping back in tears at meeting the man who had made her dad what he was as a person and whose legacy of trying to improve the world while helping those who need help influenced her dad and aunts.

Jaimie looked at the others with them. Brent smiled brightly as he introduced a tall, slim, beautiful woman whom he called "Lady Karen 'Sammi' Smith." Jaimie hugged her tight, knowing this woman was the woman who gave birth to Ethan and who was a strong influence on making him accept Nichole as a person while unintentionally making his grandparents accept Jaimie's family as an extension of the Smith family as a whole.

Next up was a woman whom Jaimie could tell was her cousin Nichole's mother. She looked just like Nichole and if not for her father's nose and cheeks Nichole would have been mistaken for the younger sister of this woman. This was tough for Jaimie, she didn't know what to say as she didn't want to upset her because of her association with her aunt Karen who had won Nigel's heart after her death.

Jaimie happily told the woman "your daughter is becoming so beautiful, she looks just like a younger version of you." She smiled brightly at that, adding a surprising "please, call me Aunt Gemma. I am happy that Nigel found someone to love now that I am gone. Your aunt is what I hoped he would find in a woman and I am pleased that he got the son he deserved in Ethan, Bryan, and Nigel Jr. Hannah is a great sister as is Emma, she is in good hands and has the best possible role models for how you should act as a woman in all of your cousins."

Finally, Jaimie was introduced to a woman who had strong masculine features but who was also feminine in appearance. Brent nodded to her as he gave Jaimie the indication that she was alright with her. He happily admitted "this young woman is Leslie Brown, the person who opened our eyes and who made it so Louis Reagan, Walter Gorman, and I helped others like her. She is your unofficial aunt and namesake for both my son and daughter. Your aunt Katie is a direct beneficiary of having known us, and through her, you were helped become who you are."

Jaimie thanked her with all her heart, barely containing herself with Leslie hugging her tight and shedding tears of her own. She looked up at Leslie and saw that she wasn't quite like her but understood why given the rough times she had to go through during the dark years of the past. She had not had her opportunity to fully transition but she meant a lot to the family regardless.

Next up for Jaimie were two men whose deaths harrowed tough, taxing times for their children but whose presence was still felt years later. The elder of the two introduced himself as Jerry Peterson while the younger introduced himself as Harold Morris Jr. Jaimie shed more tears at hearing the names, they were the fathers of her cousins Bryan and Hannah Smith and Claire, David, and Patrick Peterson.

The two were pleased to tell her that she had done more for her cousins than she would ever know simply by being herself and trying to help her cousins as friends and family. Harold added a soft "she is just like me to the outside world but inside she is trying hard to be like you. You may be younger but your cousin Hannah is always going to be in your shadow and that is driving her to be her own person thus making her into a better person. Thank you."

Jerry added a warm "my little girls needed you and through you, they have become greater than their biology. She may not have known me but your aunt was right to say I'd love Daisy as my daughter, she is just like my sons and was the bridge between her sister and her brothers that was needed. Claire is the woman I knew her mom to be at the same age and the boys are better men than I could have ever hoped they would become. Just by unifying the Brown and Peterson families, if only for a short time, you helped make right years of wrongs. And you may have given my best friend Vance Taylor a chance at love. He has had a taste of it in Lilly, his heart belongs to another and it's only a matter of time before he stops fooling himself and mans up to try to be the man she needs."

There were two more people, ones she didn't quite know. One was a tall, lanky British gentleman and the other a tall, skinny, small breasted woman. Both had looks of pride at seeing Jaimie, with the British gentleman nodding in approval.

The gentleman laughed as he told her "I guess I should have done a better job at the wedding a year ago, I am Alistair Young." Jaimie shed a tear over seeing him, knowing that his death had harrowed in a tough year for the Smiths as her cousins had to deal with duties as nobility as well as having private lives and military lives. Jaimie mumbled a soft "I didn't think it was my place to speak to you with your health so frail. I didn't want to say or do the wrong thing and the family knows I'd spot something wrong with you even if you hid it. I didn't want you hurt or feeling bad, you deserved enjoyment."

Alistair smiled at that, it was just as he expected. The lady next to him stood tall over her and hugged her tight, telling her affectionately "you reunited my daughter and my wife. You helped bring my wife out of her doom and gloom. You made her see that I was alive in the spirit of others."

Jaimie started to realize just who this woman was. Jaimie only said "Deborah's mother" getting a nod and soft "I am Jaimie Thomas, you know my wife Dorothy quite well and thanks to your dad's foundation you have reunited my daughter and wife and caused those who harmed us to face justice for their crimes. I can't believe how beautiful she has turned out and how much stronger Dorothy has become. Motherhood suits her, even if she won't have another child she has mothered hundreds of children. Thank you."

The last person she saw was the one who caused her to openly weep. Sylvia Palmer was standing there holding a baby and told Jaimie affectionately "she is going to look so much like her father. Robin was a good name but Sylvia Robin Samuels sounds better. I know you don't think this will ever happen to you but time is different here than out in the real world. I am only telling you this because I believe in you, I know you don't belong here and you will make it back to your family. I am proud of you and jealous that you have had a love that I never got. You deserve all of what you have, and I am grateful that I got to see you at the start and will see you when the time really is right for you to join us."

Just seeing her friend calmed Jaimie and filled her with love that she never knew Sylvia had for her. She felt more strength than she had ever thought possible just from talking with Sylvia but the closer she was to her supporters the more she felt like she was going to win whatever was going on. She saw her parents scowling at her but didn't feel intimidated by them, she saw her grandparents and felt like they were truly there to help her instead of punishing her like her birth parents were.

Jaimie steeled herself as she walked forward towards a large seat that held a figure of light. She couldn't tell if it was female or male but she felt like this being was whatever she imaged it to be and that the true form didn't exist, only what her mind thought it should look like. It didn't matter to her, all she saw was something great which seemed to please the entity without it having to say a word and the respect she gave went a long way towards making a verdict.

A man dressed in red and a woman in white appeared before her. They announced in unison that they were there to decide Jaimie's mortal and eternal fate. Jaimie tensed at hearing that but felt herself grow stronger as her supporters and detractors fought one another over her. She didn't want them to do that, she just wanted to be judged on what she did rather than what others felt she should do even if it meant she was going down instead of up.

The entity looked at Jaimie and announced that it had a verdict but there was justice to be done for several of the witnesses in attendance. Jaimie didn't respond, instead standing tall and accepting whatever came her way. The man in red was told to begin, with the entity gazing at Jaimie's parents as they were ready to say something against her and the trial as a whole.

Jamie(without an "i") McKinnon was asked about Jaimie up to the point of their deaths. Her father was fast to blame her for everything that had gone wrong with the family up to and including him losing multiple jobs as her actions were told to multiple people around their town after people had seen her acting girly and mentioning being a girl inside. He didn't hold back, he blamed her for every single problem even if it wasn't her fault and tried to pretend to be innocent and not at all at fault.

Jaimie had to hold back tears as her father's true face was shown as it became twisted and distorted the more he talked and ranted. He never noticed the change, in fact, he continued onward without much thought about what he was saying. At the end, he looked like some demonic being more than the man he once was, which the entity pointed out "you are as you truly are, you distort the truth to fit your views on things regardless of how wrong you are so your appearance is distorted. You are lying about your child, you were at fault for failing to show up on time to work, constantly drinking on the job, constantly berating your coworkers, slurring your managers, and finally listening to the recommendations by a man who was insanely jealous of you and who coveted your wife as his own. You know this to be true yet you blame your child for all your problems rather than face them yourself."

Loretta McKinnon was called up next and was just as virulent as her husband. She twisted facts around to accuse Jaimie of doing unthinkable things with the girls of their town and trying to get boys to sleep with her despite being only having just turned eight years old when they died. She claimed to have heard it directly from witnesses but Jaimie knew these to be lies as nobody in the town would have anything to do with Loretta once her husband started drinking heavily and was fired from his first two jobs. It was heartbreaking to hear her say that, Jaimie always loved her mother but to hear what she really felt about her was tougher than any challenge she had faced before.

As Loretta talked her legs started to turn red and glow until her pants caught fire followed by her tongue. The more she spoke, the more fire blew from her mouth. She never noticed this, in fact, she continued on until it was just a consistent "whoosh" sound as if coming from a flamethrower.

The entity put up its hand and announced "you have spread nothing but lies and misinformation about your child. You know your child never did any of those things, in fact, you know very little about your child. You know that your child wished to be a girl but had only acted on it twice with both times being in your presence. You attempt to make Jaimie out to be some beast preying on children when that could not be further from the truth. You speak lies knowing full well that they would inflame hatred towards your child. Your true reasons were simple: you hoped that Jaimie would be removed from your home or killed by others so you would not have to deal with either Jaimie or your husband. Therefore you shall inflame all around you as you speak until you learn to speak truthfully and with meaning. Given that I sense no remorse nor see any possibility of you seeing that you were wrong you are to be sent to the darkest reaches of the underworld to light the way."

The entity halted them from leaving, telling them firmly "you were ready to have your child killed unless your child believed in your beliefs and saw the world as you saw it. Well, your views were falsehoods and evil perpetrated by people who had no interest in helping you or Jaimie. Their interests lay solely in the money they would make from you paying them to help you out. You deserve nothing less than damnation but your child would never allow that. I am therefore going to be lenient on you and give you a chance to redeem yourselves. It is up to you to do so, but you won't know where or when you actually redeem so you will always be on guard and act just or risk eternal damnation rather than temporary limbo. I doubt either of you will be redeemed but your child feels the need to try."

The McKinnons were led away with Nelson Hogan being called before the entity to state his case. Nelson stood proudly with his chest swelling the more he preened, he hadn't said a word yet and he had never met Jaimie but his arrogance was oozing outward. Jaimie noticed that his chest expanded outward, as did his body. Nelson was blowing up, becoming larger to fit his inflated view of himself.

Nelson was asked about the children he taught in school. He was eager to point out how many of his children had gone on to become honors students in the various schools that they attended, both public and private. He touted his master's degree which not many of the teachers in the various school systems in the Boston region had at the time of his hiring.

He was then hit hard by the questions about Junior and Kylie, the two students who had brought his world down around him two and a half years before. The sneer on his face was evident as he blamed them for what happened to him while saying they lied to get rid of him and that they were the only students who had ever come close to failing his class. He didn't notice he was starting to float as he inflated further, making the hot air coming out of his mouth all the more apt as it was clear he was lying.

The entity then asked about the children whom he had molested at home and over the summers while away from the school. This caused his ego to deflate quickly sending Nelson downward. The entity pointed out firmly "you call two children names when you yourself are abusing children mentally and physically and most horribly of all- sexually. You dare to blame them for having you fired yet you yourself were caught abusing them. You have a high sense of yourself so you will spend the rest of your days as an overinflated balloon down below where they have a special place just for you and your kind. Those children were not responsible for you abusing them, you did so out of malice and the people who are going to enjoy hitting you with weapons trying to deflate you have a strong hatred for those who harm children."

Nelson was dragged below with the smell of sulfur looming after he left. Jaimie shuddered but felt bad for Nelson. He had a serious ego problem but she didn't want to think he deserved even that punishment, he was a monster but she didn't think it was deserving of damnation like that. It was almost too much to think about but there was nothing she could do.

Harry Smith was up next. Harry thought he would get off easily and paint Jaimie as some kind of poor deviant who deserved to be sent down below to keep her away from well mannered, well respected, and normal people. He didn't hold back, he felt he was right even if he was wrong in the eyes of the others surrounding him.

Harry didn't notice his own changes. His tailored suit and patent leather shoes changed to a dress and high heels. His hairy arms became slender and hairless while his nails became manicured and painted. He looked like a beautiful woman but still sounded and acted like a man.

The entity was almost amused. It announced "you paint this young person as being a deviant but for years you yourself enjoyed dressing as a woman without anyone around. You were a terrible brother and uncle, all because you feared your secret getting out. This was the real reason for your betraying your family, driving away your brother and niece, and trying to kill your brother, niece, and parents. Little did you know, your parents would have supported you and your wife would have been happy to help you experience your feminine side. Despite being entrenched in aristocratic thinking they loved you no matter what and would rather you indulged every once and a while rather than keep it bottled in. They loved you, but your fears caused you to become a pawn of a criminal mastermind who in the end killed you to get rid of the biggest witness against him."

Harry cringed at the truth being told to all. The entity continued "for your punishment you will dress as a woman until such time as you have paid your penance for your crimes against your family. As much as I would wish you worse for causing her death your lovely wife was going to die no matter what in the next two years so you only hastened her death and made the best possible outcome happen for your family. You aren't entirely getting off, it will be a hard punishment with horny male demons but it will end at some point in the future. You aren't truly evil, just easily misled thus you aren't damned merely punished."

As Harry was led away Ted and Marlene knew they were in for a tough time. They tried to claim they were innocent and that they had no contact with Jaimie thus didn't deserve to be there. The two were in tears begging for mercy but it fell on deaf ears.

The entity looked at both and let out what sounded to be a laugh. The two shuddered as they combined into one then split again. They were told "you, Marlene, told a vicious killer where to find your ex-wife while you, Ted, abandoned your family, was adulterous with your sister's wife, and tried to frame an innocent man for crimes that you yourself committed. The both of you were killed for your own actions. You two will get the chance to live again, but you are going to live with a family who is deserving of children. I sentence you to reincarnation as the unborn children of a transgender woman and her girlfriend and within minutes you will be conceived as identical twin brothers."

Jaimie's eyes went wide as she realized what was going on. The entity didn't react but it was clear it knew she realized the implications of the action against Ted and Marlene and just who was going to be the "mother and father" of the twin. The entity let things lay as the case against Jaimie ended with nobody else against her and no actual evidence to support sending Jaimie down for eternal damnation.

The man in red disappeared while the woman in white called Brent and Catherine forward. The two calmly told the entity that they were proud of Jaimie and what she had done for so many people including their three children. She was what they needed in life, she had made the Finn family a name to both respect and love after years of disappointment and pity.

The fourth of their children, Roland Finn, was asked about by the entity. Catherine had to think and explained "he is beyond redemption by mortals. He created two lives which he ignored for years and only tried to become involved with when it was needed to make his own life better. He tried to destroy countless other lives including an innocent young man whose only crime was being the unwanted son of his associate. He was given a last chance by all of us and blew it. He is our child but even parents can't always help. He will atone for his crimes as we all have, but I fear he may be irredeemable."

The two were sent off but didn't go down, instead, they waited. Next up was Sammi who offered her assessment of Jaimie's impact on her own son and the family as a whole as he told her in their brief time together before her death. She was happy that Ethan would have a cousin to idolize and ensure that he found his own way in life and with whom he could confer as only orphans can. She was the embodiment of the cousin that he dreamed of having but was denied by his father when he was younger.

Sammi did the same as Catherine and Brent, refusing to leave until the hearing was over. Next up was Nichole's mother Gemma. She was quick to explain that her daughter was deserving of someone who understood her as Jaimie does and who just wanted to be her family and not use her for their own means as so many people had done before. She was happy to point out that she was the big sister that Emma and Hannah couldn't be even if they were her actual sisters. Their shared bond was too strong for anyone else to understand.

Gemma was led off to where the others were with Jerry replacing her and doing the same as Gemma. He was proud to point out her bringing together his niece as well as finding his sons the loves of their lives. He didn't care that his eldest son wouldn't pass on his genes without help, he was happy that he found love with a kind woman who cares about him deeply and is his best friend as well as his lover.

Harold was just as quick to point out that Jaimie had fulfilled his desires of Karen finding love again and that she had made his children into better people than he could ever hope. His family name didn't live on, but his genetic line did. To him, that's all that mattered, as long as the two had a husband and wife it was all irrelevant in the end.

The two went off with concerned looks but the entity didn't react. Alistair got up and in his most charming voice told about Jaimie being responsible for many of changes his sister-in-law had made in her and her husband's life thanks to speaking with the elder Smiths. Their health improved and they had started to make the lives of several people in their surrounding village better through employment and volunteering. Jaimie had spoken at length with the Smiths and although he never had direct contact he had been present for many meetings and loved hearing about her life and it, in turn, had opened his own eyes to many people whom he had known who were like her, who were gay or bisexual, and who had suffered indignities of being ostracized and shunned by the community.

Alistair left only to be replaced by the elder Jaimie. Jaimie smiled at her namesake, the person who had caused her ex-wife to find a new lease on life and who had gone on to help so many others. Jaimie was ready for a battle but the entity didn't give her one.

The elder Jaimie spoke about Jaimie ensuring that dozens if not hundreds of children were protected in multiple states now that those states started to take being transgender seriously. She happily told that her own daughter had been given a real life away from her daily horror that her family inflicted on her and that she had given her ex-wife the gift of motherhood again even if it was to a teenager. The younger Jaimie saw the gleam in the elder's eyes and knew that she was going to reveal something more.

The younger listened in shock as the elder Jaimie admitted "my ex-wife has found love with a man who has himself been feeling terrible. He has battled internal demons for years but after Jaimie's family made him date he found that he missed the love of women and will seek out love but needs a spark. My ex-wife is the same, she doesn't need to pass on her genetics thanks to her large family so she wants love and attention that only a person can give. She is fighting her feelings of betraying me but I know they deserve to be together and thanks to Jaimie both will settle their internal strife and become one. They won't conceive, but they can give a loving home to someone who needs it in the future."

Jaimie sat down next to the others and gave way to Linda and Juan who both extolled the virtues of Jaimie the sister and cousin. Linda was adamant that Ella and Logan deserved a big sister who cared so deeply about them that she risked failing tests to ensure that they had a proper night's sleep after bad dreams or who took their medicines to ensure they were healthy enough to return to school after being sick.

Juan simply went for the heart of the matter and pointed out just how many children were born and lived better lives due to Jaimie. That included his own niece Mia Flynn who would have either been beaten to death or committed suicide to escape her painful life and whose own aunt Tanya would have died if not for Jaimie's family being friends with her future husband. Juan was adamant in his defense, it was from the heart and even though he only knew her directly for a short time her impact on him was life-shattering in a great way.

The second to last person to speak was the one who had been deceased the longest. Leslie split into two people, Leslie Brown and her male form of John Green. The two looked at one another with sadness but looked at Jaimie with pride and love. They didn't need to say it, they felt pride in seeing her.

The two spoke in unison as they told the entity that Jaimie was the embodiment of what Leslie Brown hoped to become. John Finn may have been Leslie's namesake but Jaimie was her legacy. She didn't deserve to be put on trial, she didn't belong there at all. She had unfinished business to attend to, she had hundreds of patients counsel and help be who they should be and others who suffered from serious mental illnesses who needed a caring and understanding doctor to monitor their medicinal intakes and help make changes as needed.

The entity asked what she meant. Leslie merged again and she pointed out firmly "she is the victim of an error, of someone doing something horrible for the simple reason that they couldn't be bothered to check for allergies and previous reactions or to stop their wild party life for the sake of their job. She is a brilliant person, she is a mentor to many and a role model for hundreds. She was destined to become a psychiatrist and help the lives of children for decades to come. She doesn't deserve to die, she needs to live so that many others will live."

Once Leslie broke apart and smiled at Jaimie again before combining again Sylvia finally stood up and told the entity "she is the greatest person I ever met and is beloved for a reason: she is a good person. She caused a lot of chaos but it was due to others trying hard to make themselves into different people to appeal to the worst in people and cover their own crimes. I know I am damned for taking my own life but Jaimie never hurt anyone and certainly doesn't deserve to die because of a mistake someone else made. She is pure of heart and pure of mind, I would gladly go down if it meant she got to live and continue on her path making the world better for others. Please don't take her away from her family and friends. Please, don't."

That was the last thing that was needed to form its opinion officially but it had already formed it right at the start based on Jaimie's actions. The entity needed to hear Sylvia's plea before it announced Jaimie was not going down or up, she would return to her body and live again. Lights were shone on all of the others as they ascended with the lady in white doing the same. Those in attendance, the people who died months and years before, ascended to where they belonged to rest in eternal peace.

Jaimie shed a tear as she saw them going up. She called out to Sylvia "I'll honor your memory. Please, you have four of us who loved you and will name our daughters after you. Please, keep grandma and grandpa and all of the others company. You are not forgotten."

The entity proudly told Jaimie "you were here for a special reason, you brought out the truth in all of those who were here. Your friend needed to confess her true feelings about you, your grandparents and great-aunt needed to show their legacy was intact, your cousins' parents needed to make their feelings known to someone even if you will never remember this. And your semi-cousin needed to express just how thankful he was for your family. Good luck young lady."

What that Jaimie felt a rush as everything dissolved around her. She became aware of her surroundings, she noticed she was back in the hospital with Rick by her side holding her hand. Her mother and father were beside Rick with her brothers and sister on the other side of the bed.

Jaimie was back in her own body. She was awake. She was alive.

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