Funny Business - Chapter 11, Revelations
Samantha Michelle Davies (SamanthaMD)
The couple flew from New York two days later to the Caribbean Island of Barbados. Charlie had rented a villa overlooking Admiral Flower Bay for a couple of weeks in the hope that the sun and fresh air might lift the air of depression caused by the virtual end of the project and Charlie’s Mother’s appearance.
Every day, they went walking along one of the nearby beaches or around the markets in Bridgetown. Charles even took Liz racing one afternoon and watched in awe as she won a five-race accumulator at odds of over 500/1.
This success finally seemed to lift her out of her depression.
The following day, they had a picnic lunch on the beach at Bathsheba. As they lazed in the sun, Liz said to Charles,
“There are some things about me that you should really know. I’ll fully understand if when I’m done, you want to get the next flight out of here”
Charlie held Liz a bit tighter.
“I’m not going anywhere my darling, can’t you understand that”
“I think so but if you do then I’ll fully understand”
“Then why don’t you start at the beginning?”
Liz took a deep breath and began.
“In the beginning, I was born in the front room of a two bed flat in a Council Estate in Bermondsey”
“Hold on, Can you translate a bit?”
“Ok, I was born in the front room of a two bedroom apartment on a Council Project in Bermondsey”
“Where is Bermondsey?”
“South of the River, downstream from Tower Bridge. Most of it was docks and the like which were flattened in the War.”
“Ok. I get the general area. Council Estate?”
“What you Yanks call ‘projects’. Grim. Very grim”
He didn’t reply so Liz carried on.
“My mother was from the Country. My father was a musician in a glam rock band”
“Yeah, a mostly British Music genre. From around 1971 to the arrival of Punk around 1975. The bands wore lots of silver & gold lame, make up etc. David Bowie was part of it really with the Ziggy Startdust album”
Charlie was really none the wiser but at least he had heard of David Bowie.
“Did you know him? Your Father that is, not David Bowie”
“No. He drank himself to death before I was five. I don’t remember him at all. In reality, child was the last thing he wanted. Mum said that when she told him that she was expecting, he said, ‘It ain’t cool for my image to be seen with a baby’”
“Anyways, he walked out on my mum when I was just a few months old. As the flat we were living in was actually his parents place, mum & I suddenly found ourselves homeless”
“Where did you go then?”
“We went back to the country where my Mum was from. We stayed with her parents. This was a great place near the New Forest, about a 100 miles south west of London”
“We lived there until I was 4 when my mum met someone and fell in love. He was the gamekeeper on the next farm, which was in reality, a large country estate. Our place was only 30 acres and just about breaking even. Anyway, Mum met David. They fell in Love and got married. So I moved onto this estate with my new Father”
“Did you like him? Sometimes step-parents are not exactly welcome with the children”
“Oh yes. He became the father I never had. He taught me so many things about animals, how to track them, look after them, to ride, to…”
“Hey, you said you didn’t ride. When we were at Bills and you got me to go with the Hunt”
“I told you a little fib. I do ride but I don’t like jumping sodding great hedges that’s all”
Charles smiled back.
“When I was nearly 6, he got the job as head gamekeeper at Bills place. Well, it was his father’s then. Bill & I were just about the same age so naturally we started playing together. That was when he was home from school”
“Where did he go to School?”
“Bill? He went to Eton and then a degree in Maths at Oxford followed by a Harvard MBA. I went to the local state schools and left at 16”
“Didn’t you resent that? Him going to those posh places?”
“Not in the slightest. I was the daughter of an employee. I never even considered it at the time. Besides, Bill nor any of the family are really down to earth. I’m sure you know that from our visit.”
“Wasn’t it a problem with him being in the big house and you not?”
“You have to understand that on an English Country Estate, the head gamekeeper is the right hand man of the Lord. In those days, Dad virtually ran the Estate. He had ready access to the Lord and his family. Actually Dad became part of the family. Ok. They were not blood related but we would spend Christmas up at the house with the family. Bills Mother made us very welcome. In regards to matters inside the house, the wife is literally God. Well, you’ve seen Kat at work so I guess that comes as no surprise.”
“So what happened then? How did you legally become part of the family? How did you get adopted?”
Liz looked sad.
“It all started when Mum died. She became pregnant. Everyone was so happy. But just after 6 months, something went wrong and she died from a massive internal bleed, or something like that.”
“It must have hit you hard?”
“Yeah. Everyone rallied round and looked after me. Dad was even more devastated though He blamed himself for wanting to start a proper family, not that he didn’t consider me his son.”
“So, he started drinking and letting things slide. Then a little more than nine months after my Mothers death, he stuck a shotgun in his mouth and pulled the trigger”
“Yeah. Wow. In hindsight, we should have seen it coming. He thought that Mum’s death was his fault and kept brooding on that one fact. But, I still miss him. The memories of the two of us going out in the woods, looking after the birds and the deer and their habitat. Setting a few snares for the rabbits and bringing them home to cook & eat.”
“Did Bills family take you in right away?”
“Yeah. Actually they did more. Bill came up with this whizzo idea of adopting me. Given the families wealth and social position and everything else, it wasn’t a problem. Besides, I told the officials it was what I wanted.”
“That does explain something of the relationship between you. Were you happy with being the adopted child?”
“Oh yes. I could have gone away to school just like Bill but I wasn’t really academically minded so I carried on at the local state school but I did get private lessons in Art & Drawing. But living at the ‘big house’ as I called it was fantastic. We had real fun in the holidays.”
Charlie wanted to say something but didn’t. Liz sensed this.
“When did you start, you know dressing as a girl?” he asked tentatively.
“Oh, I’d been doing that for sometime at home with Mum. Looking back at it, I think she really wanted a girl. But when I moved in with Bills family, suddenly, I had a fantastic range of clothes to play in. Bill too”
“What do you mean?”
“Up in the attic there are trucks & trucks all containing clothes that date back nearly two centuries. We had great fun dressing up and pretending. One Sunday, Bill & I dressed as a Lord & Lady from early Victorian times. He escorted me to dinner just like it would have happened in the house all those years ago. I felt fantastic.”
“What did his parents, sorry your adopted parents say to that?”
“They loved if. It actually started a trend of the whole family dressing formally for dinner on a Sunday Evening. I always went as Bill’s Wife. Gradually, I started dressing more and more. Even when he was away at school, I’d come home from school and change into a dress or skirt. Suddenly this sullen moody male teenager became a happy, jolly girl. I was happy. I could put all the sadness in my past behind me.”
“Didn’t your adoptive parents have concerns about this?”
“Oh yes. Lots and lots. We talked things over. Well, Bills Mum & me. In the end I was sent to see a number of shrinks. The result was always the same. I had this thing called Gender Dysphoria and no I probably wouldn’t grow out of it”
“How did you feel being labelled like that?”
“I didn’t like having this label around my neck. I was just being me and that was the be all and end all of it. But I struck this deal with my parents that I’d stay on at school as a boy until I did my exams at 16. Then if I wanted to see if I really was a girl then I could leave home and they help me out with a flat and clothes. I would give it a year. If at the end of that time I was still wanting to live as a girl, I’d have their blessing.”
“I wish I’d had parents like that”
“Your Father seems to be a nice enough person”
“He is but all the serious money comes from my Mothers side of the family so guess who calls the tune”
“That is why I was virtually bullied into marrying that awful woman. Mom thought it would be good for our families”.
“What a load of crap that turned out to be”
“Did you manage the year?” asked Charlie deftly turning the subject away from his problems.
“You bet,” said Liz grinning.
“How? It must have been difficult on the estate with everyone knowing who you really were?”
“Yeah, we thought about that. So, I came down to London and Bills Father bought a flat for me in Southwark. He said that he wanted to know what sort of place his daughter was living in”
“Are his parents still alive? I don’t recall seeing their graves in the churchyard?” asked Charlie remembering the tour of the estate he’d been given on their visit.
“Oh Yes. Bill & Mary live on a station in Australia.”
“What’s a station?”
“Sorry, It is an Aussie word for a Farm”
“How big is it?”
“500 Acres? That seems rather small, or are you talking in Hectares?”
“500 square miles. It’s way up on the near the North West Coast of ‘RooLand’ as we called it”
“Ok. That is a decent sized place then”
“It is lovely. Clean air and open space. We should visit them. They’d love to meet their prospective son in law”
“Why don’t we go soon?”
“When we get married and we are finally shot of the magazine, we shall see ok”
“I’ll hold you to that. Did you get a job in London or go to college?”
“I went to college and did Art & Design plus a few courses in Journalism. But the first thing I did was to change my name. That was sort of like closing a door behind me”
“What was your boy name?”
“Do you really want to know?”
“Is it that bad?”
“I thought so at the time”
“Only if you want to”
Liz smiled. She knew that it had to come out.
“It was Wayne. Pretty bad eh?”
“I can’t imagine you as a Wayne. Why did you call yourself Liz?”
“I’m Elizabeth actually”.
“My real Mum was named Elizabeth after Queen Elizabeth the Second. I always liked the name. It sounded nice but I hate the American short form of Beth though. If anyone called me Beth at the Magazine, I just ignored them”
“So you changed your name and lived in Southwark and went to college”
“Yep. Bill came to visit me regularly as did Mum & Dad whenever they were in town. Mum started taking me shopping like a proper mother & daughter. You cam probably guess that I was in heaven.”
“I can imagine. You like shopping. Especially the part about spending money, other people’s money”
They both laughed.
“How did you get to college?”
“Mary phoned up one day and said that she had some tickets for a few shows during London Fashion week. Would I fancy going with her”
“And naturally, you said yes”
“Not straight away”
“I didn’t have anything to wear. That’s why”
“Oh dear you poor thing”
“Yep. So Mum came down and we splashed out and got me a proper wardrobe. Then we went to the shows in the day and out to dinner in the evening”
“I bet you loved every minute of it”
“I was on cloud nine”
“What happened then?”
“At the end of the trip, Mum said to me, Darling, would you like me to buy you some boobs for your birthday. Or words to that effect”
“What did you say?”
“What do you think I said? It turned out later that the week was a test. She wanted to see if I was really serious about living the rest of my life as a woman, as her daughter. I passed with flying colours. I became the daughter she never had. Bill was jealous though”
“Why was Bill jealous of you?”
“Because of all the nice clothes I was able to wear”
“Does he, you know dress up?”
“Yes he does, but only in front of Kat and he would kill me if he found out that anyone else knows. Ok?”
Charlie mimicked a zip moving over his lips.
“As soon as college was over that summer, I went into a clinic and had the implants put in. I also had some cosmetic stuff done on my face. My jaw line was softened a bit and such like. It all hurt like hell and took ages to sort itself out”
“Is this what I see before me?”
“No. I’m coming to that”
“Ok. Carry on”
“The ‘new’ me went back to college in the Autumn. I also got a part time job in a Pub. As I was 17 I couldn’t work in the bar so I worked in the kitchen. That was good as I learned quite a bit about cooking. I was trying to become independent, to stand on my own two feet. I carried on and got my ‘A’ levels and got a place at the design college.”
“Bill went up to Oxford but often came to see me occasionally at weekends. By now, I was old enough to work in the bar pulling pints and the like.”
Then Liz paused.
“Then I met Kat”
“That does not sound too good?”
Liz smiled back
“Quite the opposite. Kat started working a few shifts in the bar. She was at London University studying Biology. We became firm friends right from the go.”
“Did she know about you?”
“Not to begin with she didn’t. One night, I had a small party at my place and she crashed out.”
Charlie looked a bit mystified.
“Sorry. She slept over as we were both working the following lunchtime and both of us had quite a bit to drink.”
“Anyways, to cut a long story short, she ended up in my bed and we were kissing and carrying on then her hand found its way to my very hard penis”
“I bet that was a surprise?”
“It was for me. But you know it didn’t faze her in the slightest. I’ll always remember what she said, I knew you were nice but that is even better, as her hand slid round it”
“Did you & Kat have a relationship after that?”
“No. It was a one off. Now, it is something we can laugh at especially if we have had a drink or two.”
Charlie was obviously relieved.
“How did she & Bill get together?”
“I’m just coming to that”
He grinned back.
“Bill came on a surprise visit one Friday lunchtime. I was in the kitchen doing some cooking when he arrived in the Pub.”
“By the time I’d done with the frying pan and cleaned up, he was already chatting her up”
“Then, by the time my shift was over, he had her phone number & address and a date arranged for the Sunday evening when the pub was closed.”
“He was a fast worker then?”
“Yes. But that wasn’t the half of it.
“What do you mean?”
“They announced their engagement the following Friday. Somehow, I knew it was coming from that first day.”
I have to ask this, did Kat know about Bill’s background?”
“No. That is the cool thing, she didn’t. I’d never told her. Well, apart from the fact that he was my adopted brother”
“So, when she found out she almost called the whole thing off. I had to spend a lot of time talking to her. Then I told her about me and my past and that I really wanted her to be my sister in law. That persuaded her to say yes and, the rest is history”
“Did you carry on with college?”
“Yeah. I was in my final year when…”
Charlie knew what was coming from his chat with Bill but he knew that Liz had to tell it in her own time.
Neither of them said anything for a while. The Sun was dropping rapidly away behind the hills to the west of the bay.
Two Wind surfers were out catching the last of the afternoon onshore breeze. It would soon die down.
Liz gripped Charlie tight.
“I was raped, assaulted and left for dead. It happened in Bear Lane. Remember that street I wouldn’t go down?”
“These three guys thought I was a woman and pulled me into a door way. I tried to fight back but it was no use. They pulled my skirt down and then my knickers.
One of them cried ‘Fuck me it’s a bleeding bloke’. This really made them angry. They all fucked me up the bum and then one of them produced a knife and started to cut my balls off. I don’t remember much after that until I woke up in hospital.”
Charlie wrapped his arms around her.
Tears ran down her cheeks.
“I was a real mess. Three broken ribs, no balls and one of my implants had burst. Plus a broken nose and jaw”
“You were lucky to be alive”
“Yeah. It didn’t feel like it at the time though. I just wanted to die”
“Tell me you did see someone about that?”
Liz looked sad.
“I thought I could handle it but one day, I didn’t”
Then Liz turned over her wrists. The thin scars told the story.
“It didn’t work then” said Charles trying to bring some brevity to this awful tale.
“Of course it didn’t silly”, said Liz smiling.
“Did the shrinks help?”
“Did they heck? Nope they only drove me into greater despair. No, it was getting out of London and back to Bill’s that did the trick. This all took place not long after their Wedding and Kat was heavily pregnant. But she was with me almost every day in the hospital”
“Where was Bill?”
“Bill was away on some fact-finding trip to Botswana or somewhere with others from the House of Lords. When he got back, he came to see me. He took one look at me and before I knew it, I was in a private ambulance heading north to a very private clinic near Manchester”
“How long were you there?”
“By the time, I’d had the various operations to fix my face, boobs and whatever, endured the post operative pain and all that, it was more than three months”
“I started to look and feel more human”
Liz fell silent once more.
“However, I was left with the final decision, to remain an Eunuch with boobs or have the operation and turn my todger into a vagina”
“Was that a big decision?”
“Not really. Once I’d decided that I wanted to live then it was inevitable”
“Did the Police catch the bastards who beat you up?”
“Yeah. Well, two of them anyways. They all claimed that I attacked them with a machete. That was never found by the way so the Police never believed them. One of them claimed they’d tossed it into the Thames near Blackfriars. More lies”
“How did that stand up? How did they prove that you didn’t go after them”
“It fell apart thanks to a CCTV Camera showing the whole thing. Beside, they’d all got form as long as your arm mostly for violent crime.”
“The jury only took 20 minutes to find them guilty. They all got sent down for attempted murder.”
Liz swalloed again as she remembered those dark days.
“I was fucking lucky. If someone else hadn’t come along and found me then I would have died. That is why they got charged with Attempted murder instead of just assault or GBH”
“Grievous Bodily Harm. A form of very serious assault.”
“What sentence did the get?
“They both got an indeterminate sentence of 15 years. This means they must server at least 15 years before they are even considered for parole.”
Liz forced a little smile.
“When the sentence was announced, they threatened to kill me in the court. So the judge upped it to 17 years.”
“Won’t they be out of Prison soon?”
“They would have if they hadn’t been killed in Prison. Apparently one of them talked about raping another woman. She happened to be the sister of another inmate so in some respects, justice was served.”
“What happened to the 3rd assailant?”
“The police have his DNA and is still wanted so perhaps one day they might get lucky”
“Ok, so the case is over? How on earth did you end up in New York?”
“Luck. Pure Luck.”
“I’m glad you had a bit of luck after all that”
Liz kissed Charlie briefly.
“I was at a lose end. I had no job, no money, and don’t say, Bill as I wanted to be independent. I know he and his family have helped me in ways that money couldn’t buy. I did one dead end job after another for a couple of years. I even sold some paintings along the South Bank on a Sunday.”
“As you know, twice a year there are the fashion shows in London, Paris, Milan and New York. That year the journalist who’d been assigned to cover London Fashion week, did rather a lot of partying before the week. Apparently, most of the partying involved some highly illegal substances and not a small amount by any means. To put it plainly she got busted and after paying a hefty fine, she was deported back to Canada”
“This left Jake with a bit of a problem. He needed someone to cover the shows so he called a few people he knew in London. Remember this was on the even of the first show”
“Luckily, one of those was my former Journalism teacher. He in turn suggested me. Then to cut a long story short, they eventually tracked me down at this shoe shop in Cadogan Place and he offered me the gig on the spot over the phone. I agreed but only on the condition that if I cover the London shows and if they like my work, I would come over and work for him in New York”
“That must have been some recommendation?”
“Not entirely. My teacher sent Jake most of my pieces of a previous Fashion Week. He liked my style. He knew that I’d be able to do the job”
“And the rest they say, is History?”
“As you can see, I’m a walking, talking, breathing disaster area”
“Not for me you aren’t”
Liz snuggled up to Charlie.
“What about your little skill? How did that come about?”
“Oh that!” replied Liz a little flippantly.
“One day I was out walking in the woods with Bill. I must have been about 10 or 11, when we came upon this horse with a really bad gash down its flanks. The poor thing was terrified. Bill dashed off to raise the alarm. I went into the field and just started talking to the horse. It calmed down. I got hold if it’s bridle and led it to the gate and to the stables”
“There must be more to it that that?”
“People asked me about the thing but I just didn’t know what to say. I just dismissed it as a one off”
“Then there was the incident with Kat”
“Yeah. Kat was bloody silly. She didn’t think. It was a windy and we were out for a walk. She got interested in an orchid of some sort so she climbs over the fence into this field.”
“That was fine but then her rather silly hat blew off and went further into the field where the Bull was in with the Cows doing what comes naturally. The one thing you don’t do it interrupt a Bull when it he is at work.”
“It all started to go pear shaped when Kat ran off towards the Bull to get her hat. The Bull didn’t take kindly and charged. She got trampled. Broke her arm and really did her legs in. The medics only had one option. They amputated her legs just above the knee. That is the Kat you see today”
“But what did you do? She won’t talk about it”
“I called 999 on my Mobile. Then I went in after her and just talked to the Bull. It soon calmed down”
“By the time the Ambulance arrived, it was as docile as a kitten. After that, I got scared. Bill & Kat convinced me to investigate my skill further. So I began talking to horses. They responded and I felt good for the first time in a long time. It was very therapeutic you know taking to the animals. It made me feel like Dr Doolittle.”
“How do you do it?”
“That is a mystery that one day, I’d like to solve. I just don’t have a clue. I wish I did. It is not something I like to brag about. You know how I am about publicity”
“And you work for a Magazine?”
“Yeah. What do they say about photographers? They don’t like to be photographed. The same sort of thing applies to me. I’d rather be reporting the events than making them”
“Well, my darling you won’t have to be on either side for much longer”
Liz sat looking at the Atlantic Breakers hitting the beach. A couple of surfers were enjoying themselves. A man was walking his dog along the beach. All seemed at east with the world.
“It will be nice to go somewhere and start a new life together when this is over”, said Liz obviously having finished her tale.
“Why not sooner?”
“What do you mean?”
“What I’m saying my darling is, lets to back and get married and then leave New York for good”
“Where will we go?”
“I have an idea but I want it to be a surprise Wedding Present”
“Oh goody. I Love surprise pressies”
The couple stayed on the beach until well after dark.
Finally, hunger pains drove them to a Bajan Fish Fry Restaurant further up the beach. The local Rum flowed well into the night.
Liz was deliriously happy.
Happy that she’d told Charlie her story and that he hadn’t left her.
She held onto him really tight all night.
Charlie started to realise how much of a load had been lifted from Liz’s shoulders that day.
In turn, he felt very lucky to have met someone like Liz. She demanded so little from him.
Now it was going to be his turn to give.
[Continued in Part 12]
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