More killer of serials stuff and nonsense. Officially the only uplifting thing is a bra - hope you can find one or two others as well!
Easy As Falling Off A Bike.
part 37b cup.
I strolled to the restaurant arriving at exactly twelve thirty, my feet were growing more tender by the moment and my back was aching. It seemed that real shopping made different demands upon my body than what I had previously experienced, I was aching all over. Clearly the answer was I needed to get into some more training, after all, one didn't actually need to buy anything to warrant trying it on.
I used to wonder what young women got up to when they went shopping nearly every weekend, especially as they had very little money to spend. But then shopping and purchasing are not necessarily the same and just looking at what's in the shops - it changes weekly, and trying things on can be fun, especially with a friend. I hoped I would be more successful in making friends as a girl, than I'd been as a boy.
I stepped into the restaurant and looked for Prof Agnew, he saw me and waved from a table in the corner. I wove my way between seats and tables, lifting my bags to avoid knocking diners on the head.
"Welcome Cathy, glad you could make it." He ushered me into a seat and taking my purchases off me, put them in a vacant chair alongside me, "Goodness, you have been busy. Would you like a drink to start?"
After my previous encounter with alcohol, I decided to stick with a mineral water and keep flushing my system. He had a pint of lager and after taking a good draught of it, he spoke again.
"So, you have decided?"
"I suppose I have," I answered feeling the nervousness return as things began to become official.
"To you Cathy, may your new life bring you much happiness and lots of research projects." He lifted his glass to me and winking took a sip. I felt so embarrassed, I wanted to crawl under the table. In my family it was wrong to want to be the centre of attention, so it pushed ancient buttons. However, part of me loved it.
We talked and he got loads of background information on me and my gender identity problem. When I told him about my father and the beatings, I saw him start to look angry and his fist clenched on the table.
"It didn't work, like they say, 'it beat one devil out and ten in' and I'm here as living proof."
The professor relaxed his hand and his face softened, "I'm glad, violence has no place in a cultured society, sadly those things which should lift us above such abominations, seem to encourage it." He was well known as an atheist and Darwinist and despised religious bigots and fundamentalists as much as Richard Dawkins from Oxford, whom he knew quite well.
I knew what he was referring to and part of me agreed with him. However, I sometimes liked to walk out at night and just look at the stars and ponder the distances between us and them, the numbers of them, and the age of the universe. It was awesome in the literal sense and it filled me with a sense of wonder. I felt so insignificant and small and the idea of something more than the laws of physics holding it all together, was comforting.
"I suggest you go and see the Dean, young lady and bring him up to speed on your change of lifestyle."
"I've already made an appointment to see him at two."
"We'd better order then," he called over a waiter and we chose our meals. I went for a chicken salad as I was supposed to be going out that evening, the professor had a curry.
"He's expecting you, I explained that one of my researchers was coming to see him about a personal matter and he'd better sort it out quickly and quietly."
I gasped in astonishment.
"We have known each other for a long time, old friends." He gave a beaming smile and shovelled in another load of rice.
"I need another answer from you today," he said in between bites.
"Eh?" I said intelligently, unaware I'd given him any.
"I have been successful in a grant award from the government and the EU for establishing a survey of mammals in England and Wales.I mean of course wild ones. Steve Harris at Bristol is sharing in the bounty and the workload, he's doing the larger ones foxes, badgers and deer, we are doing the smaller sort - rodents and rabbits, with a particular interest in dormice. I'm assembling a team over the next few months, would you like to play?"
The bit of chicken that was destined for my mouth fell off the fork and landed in a pile of mayonnaise, splattering me liberally with it. I didn't notice, I was in shock. I felt the colour drain from my face and I couldn't move.
"Cathy, Miss Dormouse, are you all right?"
I pulled out of my little trance and realised my impression of a goldfish was not endearing, except perhaps to another goldfish. "Yes, I'm erm fine."
"You seem to have sprayed mayonnaise on your jacket."
I looked down and nearly died, I was going to wear it this evening, maybe the universe was trying to tell me something? "Oh no!" I squeaked and began trying to wipe it off, making the marks even worse.
"Use the back of a knife," offered my cultured host. I did, it was more helpful, but I still had marks. I looked at my watch, if I slipped away in a few minutes, I could nip in the dry cleaners and still catch the bus back to uni.
As if reading my mind, he said, "There is a dry cleaners across the street, I think they do a four hour service, we'll drop it off in a few minutes and I'll give you a lift back to the university. But I'd like an answer to my earlier question, are you going to join my team?"
"I'd love to but I'm not even finished with my MSc yet, so how can you offer me a job?"
"The job could be offered to anyone with relevant qualifications, so your baccalaureate is sufficient for that, however, I've seen the draft of your dissertation and I think it good enough for the masters. This job could get you a doctorate."
"Wow!" I was speechless and my eyes filled with tears, my dad would be so proud of me - on second thoughts, maybe he wouldn't.
"Well?" he asked again.
"Yes please, I don't know what else to say."
"That will do for me. Shall we adjourn?" He got the bill and went to get his car while I trotted to the dry cleaners with all my bags. he met me outside with his Landrover.
As a cyclist, we tend to feel snotty about 4x4 drivers, gas guzzling roadhogs, but I tried to see him as using his car for his fieldwork and the fact that he did actually live in the country in an old farmhouse.
It felt cooler without my jacket, as one might expect and I felt a bit apprehensive about my meeting with the dean. I'd only met him once before and that took all of ten nanoseconds, as he shook my hand and welcomed me to the university, along with dozens of other students.
"You look worried?" he said as we neared the university.
"I am terrified," I said feeling the pig squadron scrambling.
"Why, he won't eat you?"
This reminded me of my first encounter with Simon and I wanted to laugh, nearly as much as I wanted to wee. "But it makes everything so official."
"Yes, but after that you can begin to move on, can't you?"
"I don't know, I don't know if I can do this," I kept saying to myself as I got out of his car. "God, I need to wee and quickly."
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