Twin Swap Chapter 6

Chapter 6 is here! Let me know what you think in the comments!

The phone rang. I woke up suddenly. I had fallen asleep on the couch. Tyler was clutching my left shoulder, Jillian my right. I tried to get up carefully. Jillian shifted the other way while Tyler's head fell onto the seat of the couch. They were both still asleep.

I picked up the phone.


"Hi! It's me."

I smiled. "What has you calling this morning." I said in a whisper.

"Well I just thought I'd let you know that we can come. We're coming to your BBQ tomorrow."

"Oh great. Can Adam come too?"

"Yeah, me Adam, the twins, all coming!"

"Great. So excited. See you then Robert."

"See you."

I was excited that Robert and his family would be coming but I knew that it meant I had to tell him the truth about my kids sooner rather than later. I looked at them. Should I wake them up?

I decided to make breakfast, that way I could tell them as they ate and we could figure out how to handle it.

About not long after I had started making pancakes I saw Tyler sit up.

"Hey sweety!" I said as he stood up and turned around, stretching. His hair was a mess. "You want some pancakes?"

Tyler sat at the counter in the kitchen, smoothing out his pink nighty as he sat down.

Some 10 minutes later Jillian stood up, wearing one of Tylers t-shirts and pajama pants and lethargicly made her way to the table.

"I need to talk to you guys." I said as Jillian sat down. "It's kind of serious."

Jillian made a face. "Actually I have something serious too but I can go after you." she said.

"No its fine sweety!" I said. "Say what you need to say."

I was hoping it wasn't more sour grapes over last night when my bosses son took more of an interest in her brother than he did her.

"Um ok." she said looking around at us. "I'm not really sure how to say this so I'll just say it. I might be a boy, I think. I want to stay a boy. For now at least. I want to stay in Tyler's room, at least until he gets it back and dress like a boy and everything. I thought it'd make things easier. And I kinda want to. So yeah."

I dropped my fork. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. Did Jillian actually want to be a boy?

Tyler looked at his sister in amazement.

I tried to collect my thoughts. This was surprising but fine. Good even.

"I'm serious." she continued. "I kinda liked being Johnny. And last night I missed it. I wasn't as comfortable being a girl as I used to be. And its because I wanted to be a boy. I am a boy." she turned to Tyler. "It was fun being sisters with you for a few days though!"

This was shocking but fine. I just had to make sure she... he knew I supported him. This was a sharp change but probably good for him. Sure Jillian was a very girly girl but Jonathan was doing really well as a boy.

"Wow." I said. "Well that isn't what I expected but of course I support you. I support you and love you no matter what." I walked over to her and hugged her and then noticing Tyler, still in his nightgown frozen in his chair, his head titled strangely, I added "I'm sure Tiffany does as well. Don't you."

"Yeah" Tyler said looking surprised and giving Jillian a nod. "Of course."

"Thanks sis! You make a more natural girl than I do anyway!!" Tyler shrank at being told what a natural girl he was but mumbled a feeble thanks as Jillian looked at me. "Now what was your thing?" she asked as if nothing had happened.

"Well, I invited Robert to the BBQ tomorrow and he's coming with the kids and I just think its time we told him the truth about all of this. So he knows. I feel bad lying to him. I hope he still likes me after it but I feel like I need to tell him."

"Tell him what exactly?" Jillian asked.

"Well, that you used to be a girl and why Tyler is a girl. Do you think there's a way to say that to him and not have it sound crazy?"

"No!" Jillian said. "But I think he might like you anyway."

I smiled.

"I want to tell Adam anyway." she said. "I don't think he's gonna care. He sees me as one of the guy and that won't change."

"Why don't we tell Adam and Robert together?" I suggested. "Invite them over and just explain it so they get it. I know it might not be that easy but its worth a shot."

"Wait so we're telling Adam I'm a girl. Or not a girl but" his voice trailed off. "You know."

"Yes." I said. "I'm sorry if your not comfortable with that Tiffany but you are a girl right now and I don't feel comfortable lying to Robert anymore. You gotta take one for the team princess. Adam's a nice kid. He won't tell everyone if you don't want him to."

Tyler sighed. "I'm going to go get ready for Zumba." he said and he left the kitchen.

"I'm going to think about how I want to say it." I told Jillian. "And I'm going to see if they can come over. It'd have to be after 1:30 or so because your sister has Zumba. Actually it better be after 2 because she'd want to shower."

"Why don't I ask them if they can just stay for a little after they drop me off after practice." She suggested. "That'll be around 2:30 so Tyler will have plenty of time to get pretty."

"Sounds great" I said.

A few minutes later Tyler came down, dressed for Zumba. I drove him to Zumba and was happy to see a girl greet him as he walked in. I watched as they hugged and walked in together, chatting. I was still very mad at Tyler honestly for lying to me and betraying my trust. This was actually part of the reason I was forcing him to go on a date with Thomas tomorrow at the BBQ. Nothing was going to happen as long as Thomas was around his parents but the part of me that was still angry at him for sneaking around behind my back was really looking forward to watching him deal with Thomas. I had actually been making an effort to embarrass him a little recently, forcing him to hang out with Abigail, posting feminine pictures of him on my Facebook account, and setting him up with Thomas. I had even told my sister that Tyler would take Abigail trick or treating on Halloween and was rather tickled to find out that Abigail decided to buy Tyler an early birthday present in the form of a Princess Jasmine dress that was actually his size. Despite my lingering resentment toward my son I had to admit that since then Tyler had become a very convincing and natural girl and even seemed to be enjoying himself and I could feel myself softening. I even told him that he could invite Scott if he didn't mind Scott seeing him in his princess Jasmine dress and Scott didn't mind spending his Halloween trick or treating with a little girl (two if you count my son).

I spent the next hour in my car practicing how I was going to tell Robert (and Adam) why I decided to punish my kids in such a strange way. Before I knew it Tyler was tapping on the window of my car.

"Hey Mom can you give my friend Danielle a ride home?" he asked.

I smiled. "You made a friend at Zumba?"

Tyler blushed a jerked his head toward a short but pretty blonde girl standing a few feet away. "Please don't embarrass me."

"Your friend can have a ride home but I'm going to embarrass you." I said smiling.

Tyler and Danielle climbed into the back of the car.

Should I mess with Tyler a little more? Why not?

"Hi! I'm Betsy, Tiffany's Mom. You must be Danielle."

"Yeah" the girl smiled at me as she fastened her seatbelt.

"Where do you live sweetheart?" I asked her.

"284 pine street" Danielle responded before turning to my son. "I think it looks great honestly." she said, obviously continuing a conversation from before they had gotten into the car. "It's sleeker than your other sports bra's. More athletic looking. How did it feel?"

I smiled. Prior to getting into the car Tyler had been talking to a friend about his sports bra. Maybe he was a bit more girly than I thought. I looked back at Tyler as I stopped at the light. He blushed.

"Good." he said in his girly, feminine voice. "It was actually easier to move in."

"You talking about Tiffany's new sports bra?" I said butting in.

"Yeah." Danielle said.

"I can get you another if you like sweety." I told Tyler. "It comes in a few colors."

"Thanks Mom." he said.

"Honestly though" Danielle said. "I know you've only been 3 times but you already look so fit. And way more confident."

"Thanks." Tyler said. "I'm getting the hang of it I think."

So my sons best sport was Zumba, I thought. Good to know. And Tyler was showing confidence at Zumba. Interesting.

"Oh, can I ask your Mom?" Danielle asked.

"No, dont." My son responded.

"Why not?"

"Its embarrassing. It'd be awkward."

"Its not a big deal. She's your mom. Its more awkward for me."


"Betsy?" Danielle said speaking up. "Why don't you let Tiffany wear lingerie?"

I laughed and tried to think quickly.

"Because you let her wear other Victoria Secret products. And some of her nighties are just as adult as lingerie."

"How have you seen Tiffany's nighties?" I asked.

"Snapchat" she responded.

I smiled at the thought at Tyler snapchatting himself to his friends in some of Jillians more feminine nighties.

"You know what. Maybe I should rethink my stance on lingerie." I said. "If Tiffany feels she's ready to wear thongs who am I to stop her."

Tyler's face went bright red.

"See. I told you." Danielle said. "You just had to ask the right way."

"You know what." I said. "Maybe after Zumba next week I'll take you girls to Victoria Secret and buy you some lingerie if its ok with your parents."

Danielle's face lit up. "That'd be so fun right Tiff!"

"So fun!" said Tyler conjuring up enthusiasm for the idea of trying on lingerie.

"Is this your house?" I asked Danielle.

"Yup." She said opening the door. "Thanks for the ride." She turned to Tyler. "Let me know if you can sleep over next week. And let me know about how things go with that guy."

She shut the door and I couldn't help but laugh when I heard that Tyler had been telling his friend from Zumba about Thomas.

"Glad to see your fitting in with the other girls." I said as I started driving.

"Yeah." he said.

"And I want you to know you can wear any lingerie you like as long as it makes you feel pretty."

"Thanks Mom."

"She seems really nice."

"She's cool."

"Do you girls often talk about your sports bras?"

"Yeah, thats what us girls talk about." he said giving me a snarky look as he popped a pink earbud in his ear.

"I can get you more of those kind you like if you want."

"That'd be great."

"You want a bunch of colors or are you good with pink."

"Pinks fine." The other earbud made its way into my sons ear and I heard Taylor Swift softly coming from the back seat but when I looked back he turned down the volume.

We arrived home.

"Go shower and get dressed in whatever you want Robert and Adam to see when they find out about you." I said.

Driving Danielle home had used up some time. It was already 2.

Tyler came down stairs 20 minutes later, lightly made up and in his now typical black leggings and his favorite deep purple Victoria Secret sweatshirt., his hair in a messy bun.

"C'mon Tiffany, you can do better than that. You look like you're ready to watch a real housewives marathon. Make a little effort." I said.

He went back upstairs and came down a few minutes later now wearing a small black crop top and tiny Victoria secret booty shorts. His hair was still up in a messy bun.

"Thats a little revealing." I commented, then seeing the look on his face and realizing that he was wearing this as a joke because he was pissed off that I asked him to change before I said "but that's ok."

"What?" he said. "You don't want me to change?"

"No your good."

"Well, I'm going to change."

I suddenly heard the door open. "We're home" Jillian called.

"Well you don't have the time now princess." I said as Tyler walked grumpily toward the living room.

"Hi!" I said to Robert and Adam as they entered the kitchen, hugging them both.

"Is everything ok Betsy?" Robert asked. "Johnny just said you wanted to talk. We can't stay for too long but he sounded kind of serious."

Jillian, or Johnny as I should say now since Jillian says she's actually a boy, had already made their way into the living room where Tyler was.

"Whoah!" Adam reacting as most boys who found a girl dressed as skimpily as my son was currently, would react. "What, who are you?"

"Everything is fine. But thats what I want to talk to you guys about." I walked into the living room with Robert and sat on the couch with my children on either side of me, facing Robert and Adam.

"I need to be honest with you guys because I care." I started and then I told them everything.

Adam's jaw dropped when he heard and he looked at Tyler then Jonathan than back to Tyler, where it stayed for the remainder of my explanation. Robert on the other hand was inscrutable.

"So that chick is Tyler?" Adam asked in amazement after I had finished my explanation staring at my son, from his promiscuous, belly button showing, top to and his hairless, feminine, very exposed, legs.

"Yes." the three of us said at the same time.

"Wow!" Adam said an amazed grin spreading across his face. "I don't believe it. That's not Tyler. That's a girl. Your messing with us."

Robert still hadn't said anything.

"I'm not" I said, slightly nervously.

"Its me" Tyler said and the sound of Tyler's voice made Adam's jaw drop a second time.

"Say something." I said to Robert.

He was still silent, looking blankly at Tyler. I started to feel panic creeping in.

I got up and headed toward the kitchen. Why had I screwed up my only good relationship with a man since my husband died?

I poured myself a glass of water and saw Robert walking toward me.

"I dont know." I said. "I don't know why. But I did it and its happened. I hope you remember that you still like me, maybe even love me and..."

He cut me off. "I do love you."

I looked up at him.

"I'm crazy about you." He said. "You're the only woman I've liked this way since my wife. You're incredible. Your smart, funny, great company, beautiful. It was just a lot to take in. But I dont think you were wrong to do it."

"You don't?"

"I dont judge how other people parent their kids. Now would I have done it? Probably not. But you did and you helped Johnny find his true identity as a boy. That makes you a pretty good parent. And knowing Johnny I can tell you for a fact you did something right with that boy. And I didn't know Tyler as well as I know Johnny but he always seemed kind of arrogant to me honestly and now..."

We looked up at our kids, Adam peppering Tyler with questions about his new identity in a way that was half mocking half sincere.

"Dude your actually kinda hot." he told Tyler "Do you wear a bra?"

Tyler slid back his shirt to show Adam his bra strap. Adam giggled.

"Do you wear panties?"

Tyler reluctantly pulled back the waistband of his shorts to reveal his pink panties. To more giggles from Adam.

" Tyler seems like a really sweet young woman."

We looked back at our kids.

"So do you have boobs?"


"Can I touch them?"


"Don't be a prude, sis." Jonathan scoffed.

"What?" Tyler said adjusting his bra. "I don't want him to touch my boobs!"

"Wow! You really are a girl now!" Adam said laughing at Tyler feminine adjustment.

"No I'm not." Tyler protested with a smile.

"Yeah, you are." Adam said.

"No, I'm not" Tyler insisted with a giggle.

"You should see her room" Johnny told Adam. "Its so girly."

Robert put his hand on my hand as the kids went upstairs, the real boys teasing Tyler about his massive crush on Justin Bieber, and leaned in.

We kissed.

"I love you." He said smiling at me. "And I'm with you. And I'm with your kids too."

"Well" I laughed, "With me right now means we treat Tyler like a girl at least for the next 120 days or so." he laughed and we headed upstairs.

"Would you at least let him take you home?" I heard Jonathan say. "Not necessarily sleep with him but would you let Justin Bieber take you to his house for a cuddle at most after your first date?"

Tyler blushed. "I guess maybe."

The boys laughed.

"Dad!" Adam said noticing us in the doorway. "This is Tyler's room!" he said gesturing at the pink walls and feminine decor. "Can you believe that? A boy lives in this room."

Robert looked down at me and smiled.

"Don't be rude Adam." Robert said smiling broadly at me. "It's not nice to call Tiffany a boy."

It wasn't especially funny but we all laughed.

"Alright boys, lets give Tiffany some privacy, so she can but some real clothes on." I said noticing Tyler blush as Adam surveyed my sons skimpy outfit. "You guys will be back for the BBQ tomorrow. Adam, you can get to know the real Tiffany then."

"Yeah" Johnny said smirking. "If her boyfriend, Thomas lets you."

Tyler through a pillow at Johnny but missed.

"You throw like a girl." Johnny laughed and Tyler gave a little giggle,

I showed Robert and Adam out and after closing the door gave a little cheer.

That had gone so well! They were both very understanding! I still had a boyfriend! It was so nice to have a boyfriend again.

Tyler wouldn't admit but I knew he was excited for the BBQ. He was the one who came up to me asking if we could invite the Kingsley's (Scott's family), Robert, and even Aunt Mary, Uncle Jeff, Carter, Gabe and Abigail over so he could cook for them. I was still irritated with him but I was also happy that he wanted to show off his cooking skills so I ok'd it. But Carter had football practice and Abigail a gymnastics class and the Kingsley's were out of town for the weekend.

He seemed disappointed to find this out and I was fairly proud of myself for managing to get Robert and his family AND my boss, his wife, and his son to attend in such a short span of time so that Tyler would have a good group to cook for.

It was late October but it was so warm it still felt appropriate to have a BBQ and I was rather excited for it, especially now that Robert knew everything. I had even excused Tyler from jewelry making again as long as he promised to post 2 videos to his sisters youtube channel before the BBQ. When I went to wake Tyler after he hadn't emerged from his room by 11:00 I was surprised to find he was already awake and was making his videos. He turned around, startled.

"Oh hi Mom." he said blushing. "I was just finishing the video."

He was wearing a shoulderless black top and had clearly spent a good deal of time on his makeup.

I smiled. "Whats the subject?"

He looked at the ground. "Matching your makeup to your outfit. And I did the eyelash video that comment asked for."

"Well I can't wait to see them!" I said warmly. "Remember our guests get here at 1, we need to be ready to cook when they're hungry."

"I'm gonna be ready!" Tyler snapped brattily. "Get out of my room, and let me finish" and I immediately remember why I was looking forward to watching him struggle with Thomas.

An hour later he came downstairs. "I'm sorry I got mad. I'm a little nervous about today." he said.

I forgave him but then asked/told him to make me breakfast.

"Actually!" I said standing up as he took out the red dotted apron he usually used. "I got you a little gift." I said pulling out a plastic bag out of the closet. "Enjoy."

He put his hand in the bag and pulled out his gift, a white and pink, lacy, flowered apron with "Tiffany" embroidered across the chest. He smiled.

"Thanks Mom" he said in a way that made in impossible for me to tell whether he loved or found it humiliating and wanted to be polite. He probably felt a bit of both which is honestly how I wanted it.

He donned his new apron and made me scrambled eggs without speaking to me.

"Wheres Jillian?" he asked as he presented me the eggs.

"Your brother Jonathan spent the night at Adam's" I said reminding Tyler or his former sisters decision the other day. "HE will be coming over with them."

"Right." Tyler said with a nod.

I looked at the clock. "You better get dressed." I told Tyler. "They'll be here in half an hour.

I enjoyed my breakfast, thinking about what a good cook Tyler had become. I tidied up in the kitchen and living room until I saw Roberts Chevy SUV pull into my drive way.

"Tiffany! Robert is here!" I called up stairs.

"Be down in a sec!" he shouted down.

"Hi!" I said, kissing Robert on the cheek as he entered. "Hi sweety." I said giving Jonathan a hug. "Hi everyone!" I said addressing Adam and his 10 year old twin brothers Mason and Eli. They both waved at me as Adam said Hi. "Tiffany will be down in just a moment." I said as Tyler appeared in the door wearing a summery but pretty, coral sundress.

"Hey sis" Jonathan said smiling.

"Hi Tiffany" Adam said smiling as he nodded at him.

"Hi Tiffany." Robert said, giving my son a hug. "These are my other sons, Mason and Eli. Boys, this is Betsy's daughter Tiffany."

"Hi!" My son said sweetly, waving to the boys.

"I'm looking forward to eating!" Robert said to Tiffany. "I'm a bit of a grill nut. I hope you wouldn't mind a little assittantence."

"Of course not" Tyler said.

I showed Robert and the kids into the yard only to hear the sound of another car in the driveway. I rushed outside to greet my boss and his family and upon seeing them panicked as I remembered that they only new Jonathan as a girl.

"Peter!" I said greeting my boss. "Molly! Thomas!" So good to see you three again. So glad you could make it!"

"I never say not to a BBQ!" my boss said jovially. "And Molly told me your daughter is on the grill!"

"She is! She's very excited. And very excited to see you." I said looking at Thomas. "But before we go in I need to talk to you about my other daughter quickly. Its kind of a big thing." I said trying to keep them from proceeding into the house.

"What's wrong?" Molly asked.

"Nothing is wrong!" I said. "But since Friday night Jillian actually came out to me as transgender. So she's a boy now. We have been treating her like a boy. She goes by Jonathan. I hope that doesn't throw you off too much." I said praying they weren't transphobic.

Peter smiled. "Oh, of course that's ok. My brother's daughter is gender fluid. And Molly's brother is gay. We are big LGBT supporters. Just last year I donated a mill-I mean a large sum of money to support LGBT youth."

"It kind of makes sense actually." Thomas said and was immediately hit on the arm by his mother.

"That's not polite!" she said to him. "What my son means is Jillian gave off a slightly more masculine vibe than your other daughter did."

I smiled. "It's fine. I just wanted to make sure when we're in there you know that Jonathan is a boy."

"Understood" my boss said, smiling as I led them to the backyard.

"Robert, this is my boss, Peter. This is his wife, Molly, and their son, Thomas. This is my boyfriend, Robert." Robert shook hands with Peter, Molly and Thomas smiling and making pleasant talk with them. "These are his kids." I said indicating his sons. "Mason, Eli and Adam is around here somewhere." I said looking for my boyfriends oldest son to find the teenagers (Tyler, Jonathan, Adam and Thomas) had broken away from the crowd a bit

"Hello." Peter said kindly to Mason and Eli as I drifted toward the teenagers. "How old are you boys?"

"I'm Thomas" Thomas said to Adam. "I'm Tiffany's boyfriend." He said putting an arm around my smooth legged, sundress wearing son.

WOW! I thought. So Thomas is "Tiffany's boyfriend" now? If Tyler didn't speak up he'd find himself in a relationship with a boy, and a cute one at that.

Tyler didn't.

Adam's eyes widened briefly as he looked at Tyler but he recovered quickly.

"Oh cool." He said. "I'm Adam. I'm Jonathan's friend, and thats my Dad." he said pointing at Robert.

"And its good to see you again, man." Thomas said to Jonathan, who hadn't spoken. Clearly he too had realized that my bosses family hadn't seen him as a boy but seemed pleasantly surprised by Thomas' treatment of him as a boy and wasn't about to question it.

"You too dude." He responded as my boss and his wife approached him.

"Good to see you again Jonathan." Peter said shaking his hand.

"I'm really happy to see you living your best life." Molly said smiling.

"Uh thanks." Johnny said smiling.

"Ready to start cooking Tiffany?" Robert called from across the yard.

"Yeah!" my son called back. "Coming!"

He walked over the grill with Thomas and I followed at slight distance and watched as Robert tossed Tyler his new apron which he dropped and Thomas picked up and gently placed on my son, tying it in the back for him which quickly turned into a hug sweet hug from behind and a kiss on the cheek.

"I've never seen my son like that." my boss said as I joined him and his wife at the table we kept on the patio. "Him and your daughter are really clicking."

"He was talking about her on the way over here." Molly said smiling. "He was talking about how she knew about football and how she didn't know how to use a steak knife. He even said she ate popcorn in a cute way. And he never talks about girls to us!"

I smiled. "Tiffany is also a little quiet about boys but she certainly seems to be enjoying herself." I said even though I noticed Tyler squirming away from Thomas constantly trying to stand on the other side of Robert, hoping that my boyfriend would act as a buffer between him and his boyfriend.

I sat Peter and Molly, enjoying the unseasonably warm October day, watching Adam, Jonathan, Mason and Eli play football in the yard with pride and looking away only to look at Tyler manning (or should I say womanning) the grill, his pink apron clashing with his coral sundress, his boyfriend at his side.

After a little Robert came over to tell us that the food was ready. I noticed the moment he left that Thomas had managed to coerse my son onto his lap where he was sitting, looking adoringly at Tyler.

We gathered around the two picnic tables the kids at one table, Thomas and Tyler sat next to each other naturally, while the four adults sat at the other. Tyler and Robert proudly presented the burgers which were met with much praise.

"This is delicious!" my boss exclaimed on his first bite.

"Yum!" Eli said happily.

"It's actually really good sis." Jonathan told Tyler.

"I'm so impressed." Molly commented.

"Your really talented babe." Thomas told Tyler hugging my sons side. A few minutes later I looked up and smiled to see Thomas feeding my son his burger while my son sat daintily on his lap. If Tyler wasn't going to say that he wasn't interested, that's what was going to happen.

I enjoyed the meal, telling Peter and Molly about how me and Robert had met, what it was like dealing with Jonathan coming out, and exchanging funny stories from when my kids were little, repurposing stories from when Jillian was little, as "Tiffany stories" and vice versa.

"And after all that" I said. "Tiffany said she didn't even like piano and wanted to take ballet!" I said finishing a story about Jillian's indecisiveness about after school activities, to laughter, but replacing Jillian's name with Tiffany's.

"Boys are so much simpler!" Molly agreed. "From the time he was young Thomas only wanted to play sports. My daughter wanted to do something new every month!" Molly and Peter had a college age daughter who was at Penn.

"Johnny was always into sports, even as Jillian." I said. "Tiffany, not as much. She doesn't mind watching them but she's not an athlete. I always tried to do joint birthday parties when they were growing up but one year, when they were 6 or so, Johnny insisted on a sports party and Tiffany wanted a dress up party so we did both, this was back when my husband was alive. Jillian was miserable for Tiffany's entire dress up party" I said thinking of how in actuality Tyler had been coaxed into a dress as a little kid by her and her friends at Jillian's princess themed 6th birthday party "and the next day at Jillian's party, Tiffany came up to me saying she was too sweaty to keep playing!" I said remembering how my husband had laughed when Jillian told us she was too sweaty to keep playing at Tyler's party. If only my husband could see them now.

"I think that's something Tommy likes." Molly said. "He likes being the manly man. A foot taller than her. Telling her about sports. Being the sweaty one in a sense. Doting on her."

I looked over at my children. Johnny was talking to Adam about something I couldn't hear and Tyler was trying to shrug off Thomas' persistent hand.

I went inside to get the ice cream and called the kids over to our table to serve it. Peter and Robert got up to play some two on two basketball with Adam and Jonathan at the hoop my husband had put up for Tyer so many years ago, the hoop he spent so many ours at during the summer, so I scooped 6 bowls of ice cream and me, Molly, Eli, Thomas and Tyler enjoyed our ice cream as the day faded.

Tyler looked uncomfortable, trying to shift away from his boyfriends advances until he finally ran out of bench. When Tyler left to go to the bathroom I followed and found him on the verge of tears.

"What's wrong sweety?" I asked. "I know boys can be difficult sometimes but..."

"It's not boys!" he yelled. "I just don't want to be with that boy!"

I stood, stunned for a moment, before my brain started whirring again.

"Is there another boy you'd rather be with?" I asked.

"No, I didnt... I'm not..." Tyler looked annoyed with himself for having said such a thing but couldn't bring himself to tell me he didn't have a crush on any boy.

"Look. You don't have to tell me who you have a crush on." I said. "But if you do have a crush, on someone, a boy or otherwise, you can use this date or sorts with a boy you don't care about as practice. The stakes are low. I'm not saying lead him on but practice being the girl. Just be nice, polite, enjoy yourself. You can just practice being with a boy." I paused "or someone else if your not into boys. And then when your done, tell Thomas you had a good time but your not interested."

Tyler looked at me confused then took a deep breath and said "Ok." He reapplied his makeup in the mirror, smoothed out his dress and went back outside.

Did that mean I was right? Was there a boy Tyler liked? Who could that possibly be? I remembered what Danielle had said. "Let me know how things go with that guy." Did Tyler like Thomas more than he was leading on and the stress of falling for a boy was getting to him.

When I got back outside Tyler was certainly much warmer to Thomas. They were chatting, my son apparently happy on his boyfriends lap, giggling, snapping selfies and accepting semi frequent cheek smooches. I couldn't help but snap a picture of my own.

"Well we better go." Molly said some 30 minutes later. "My husband has a call at 5. Thank you for all this. It was lovely. We should do this again." she turned to Tyler. "And thanks again for cooking. You are quite the chef!"

Tyler got off Thomas' lap and we all headed out front to meet up with the guys, who were playing in the driveway, Thomas, leading the way holding Tyler's manicured hand, followed Mason and Eli, both giggling at the hand holding in front like little kids do, followed by me and Molly.

When we reached the driveway Robert put up a shot that hit the side of the rim and shot straight for Tyler. Thomas grabbed it with ease and hoisted the ball back towards the rim. It hit the front of the rim and bounced toward Tyler who caught it.

"Take a shot sis!" Jonathan called.

"C'mon, shoot" Thomas encouraged. "Do you know how?" he asked. "Lemme show you." He said, stepping behind my son and repositioning his elbows before Tyler could answer.

"The power comes from your knees." he told Tyler. "So you should keep your elbow in, and only keep your right hand on the ball. Bend your knees." he bent his knees behind Tyler, still holding my sons right elbow in place from behind. "And follow through! Give it a try."

Adam and Jonathan were barely holding in their laughter at the very hands on shooting instruction Tyler was recieveing.

Tyler bent his knees and put up an awkward shot, a shot much less fluid than his usual shot, but the ball hit the back of the rim, bounced high and fell through the net.

"HEY!!!" we all cheered as Tyler grinned broadly, hugging Thomas and accepting the half moching praise of Jonathan and Adam and the sincere praise of the adults.

We said our goodbyes to my bosses family and I smiled as I noticed Tyler plant a kiss on Thomas' cheek.

"This was fun." He said. "Your such a good friend."

I couldn't believe what I heard. Tyler, did have more girl in him than I thought. Was he friendzoning Thomas?

The word friend immediately had an impact on Thomas who recovered quickly and returned my sons cheek peck saying. "You're a good friend too." Without much enthusiasm.

I approached Tyler as they drove away. "'Your a good friend?'" I said smiling. "Clever. But why didn't you just say you didn't want to see him again."

"It didn't seem like the right thing to say." he said blushing. "And I just thought of that. So I said it." he smiled.

We had a nice rest of the night with Robert, Adam and the twins. Tyler, emboldened by his success had challenged Jonathan to one on one. He got all dressed up, donning his favorite pink sports bra, to the giggles of Mason and Eli who, I realized, thought Tyler was a real girl, and a pair of short light blue athletic shorts only to be humiliated, 11-2 by Jonathan, who used his height to his advantage, blocking almost all of Tyler's shots and grabbing almost every rebound. Tyler sulked for a little but recovered slightly when Adam told him he was "actually pretty good, for a girl" and the kids played board games upstairs while me and Robert cuddled and watched TV. Around 8:30 Mason came running into the living room, a big smile on his face.

"We were playing Twister" he said excitedly "and Eli lost first. So as punishment he had to get a makeover from Tiffany, so presenting, my twin sister!"

Tiffany, Jonathan and Adam came out, pushing a reluctant but laughing Eli who had been heavily made up. His lips were pink, he's cheeks rosy, and he had a perfect smokey eye shadow. He was even wearing one of Jillian old skirts over his sweat pants. He did a goofy curtsey and me and Robert applauded jokingly.

The more I looked at Tyler the more I began to believe he was enjoying himself. He made a very pretty girl and certainly seemed to be into Thomas toward the end of the afternoon. But if he was, why did he tell him they were friends?

"We better get home soon." Robert said standing up. "Boys, ELIza, why don't you guys grab your stuff." he smiled at Eli. "And wipe that stuff off your face."

We saw them out and then the three of us all plopped down on the couch.

"Its tiring, hosting." I said.

My kids nodded.

I looked at Tyler, who had just played the role of girl so well for hours.

"Tyler, be honest with me." I said looking at my son using his real name in an attempt to coax honesty out of him. "I know you have a crush on a guy. You told your friend from Zumba about him. Heck, you almost told me about him. If you like Thomas, why'd you say you say that thing about being friends?" I said asking the question that had been on my mind.

Tyler smiled a little "I don't like Thomas." He said.


"I dont!"

"She's telling the truth Mom." Jonathan said. Then turning to Tyler he said. "Just tell her, she's gonna figure out soon anyway."

I looked at Jonathan. "You know?"

"Its pretty obvious." he said.

Tyler took a deep breath. "I... I kind of have a... a crush on Scott."

I felt my eyes bulge and my jaw drop.

"Scott? Your friend Scott? Scott Kingsley?" I asked.

Tyler nodded.

Jonathan laughed. "It's been kind of obvious honestly Mom. She turns into a total ditz around him. She wears perfume to school when she knows she's gonna be around him. She's even been waiting up for him after school so she can walk home with him after football practice."

Tyler blushed but didn't deny anything.

"Have you said anything?" I asked.

"No" he said looking at the ground. "I can't. He's not just someone I have a crush on. He's my best friend. I don't want things to get weird." He paused. "Without him, without him I wouldn't have been able to get through this shit. He's my favorite person. He's certainly better than both of you."

I laughed.

"That's why I can't risk losing him." he said.

I moved toward him on the couch. "If you love and trust him so much, tell him how you feel. You're just as much a girl as any other girl in school, but if he's not interested, trust that your friendship is strong enough to deal with that."

Tyler looked at me, smiling slightly.

"Ok I'll do that." he said standing up and heading toward the stairs. "Thank Mom."

I looked at Jonathan. "She told you?" I asked.

"I figured it out" he said smiling "shortly after I heard her talk to him about which dress she should wear to that dinner."

Tyler returned to the room a minute later. "Alright!" he said smiling. "I told him."

"You did?" I said confused. "Where is he?"

"Well I texted him." Tyler specified.

"You texted him?!?!" I said. "What... what did you say?"

"Hey, I just need to tell you I kind of have a major crush on you. I hope you like me too but its fine if you don't. I know we can still be friends either way."

How could my son who had become such a convincing teenage girl yet do such a bone headed teenage boy thing.

"You can't say serious stuff like that over text!" I said raising my voice. I controlled it when I saw Tyler's face fall. "Stuff like that is better said in person." I said in a forced calm.

"Oh." Tyler said looking sad.

His eyes got big all of a sudden.

"Um, guys, he's texting back."

"What'd he say?" Jonathan asked.

"I don't know! He hasn't sent it yet." Tyler said, his voice rising in excitement.

The phone binged.

His face fell.

"Damn dude, thats a lot." he read.

The phone binged again.

"Flattered but I'm not sure I see you like that" he read.

I could see tears welling up in Tyler's eyes as he put his phone down. I rushed toward him as they started streaming down his cheeks. I rushed toward him and wrapped my arms around him.

"I'm sorry" I whispered to my son and he cried into my shoulder. "I'm so sorry."

I always thought about how I would act when a boy broke my kids heart. I always pictured hugging and comforting my daughter as she cried over the boy who had dumped her or turned her down but as I held and comforted Tyler, his makeup smeared, his hairless body smelling of lavender, I realized that's exactly what I was doing.

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