Easy As Falling Off A Bike.
I awoke feeling cold, the towel had slipped off my body leaving me displaying my wares for all to see. I felt stiff and my head pounded. With a little difficulty I rose from the bed, my hair was all standing up on end, I would need to wet it again, and my eyes were still red from crying. I felt exhausted.
According to my watch it was two in the afternoon. I needed to collect my bike amongst other things. I had no idea where Simon had gone, probably to his home. I had no idea either, how I was going to tell him about my horrible secret. Part of me almost wanted to pull myself away from the superglue and cut the dangly bits off, but where would that get me, except Casualty. It still wouldn't make me female only a skillful surgeon could do that, in a physical sense. In an emotional sense, I'd been there all my life.
I wetted my hair and combed it into a simple style. Then I pulled on my fancy frock and sandals, grabbed my jacket and bag and went downstairs. My stomach was rumbling and I realised I'd had nothing to eat all morning. There was no sign of the professor or Simon, I called and went through all the downstairs rooms, but they had obviously gone out. I quickly ran back up to the bedroom and brought down the dirty towels and bed linen and shoved them in the washing machine, the professor had the same type we had at home, so after finding the necessary detergent and softener, started them on a wash cycle. My own wet knickers I put in a plastic bag I found in a kitchen cupboard.
At the front door, I found a post-it from the professor,
'Cathy, help yourself to any food and drink you can find. Had to go into the department. Please pull the door firmly closed when you leave.
That told me a lot about Simon and his whereabouts. Was this disappearing a regular trick of his? Is that his guilty secret, he keeps slipping through into a different dimension? Bit more interesting than mine, I thought, I'm only a boy masquerading as a girl, nothing really if you say it quickly enough.
I added to the profesors note, thanking him for his hospitality and saying where his linen was. Then I made sure I had my keys and everything else I'd brought, before walking to my car.
I had actually sat in it before I noticed a small note under the windscreen wiper. I got out and reached for it. It was from Simon, well that was a surprise.
'You were so fast asleep, I had to leave you there and get Stella to come and collect me. I needed to talk with the bank as soon as possible. Sorry, yes I am their lackey, but it pays well, better than dormice! Miss you already, will see you as soon as I can.
I missed him too, nearly as much as my knickers, goodness my bottom was cold. I drove home as fast as I could, the car's heater blowing warm air in all my frozen nooks and crannies. I was just getting nicely warm when I reached the house. Dashing in, I changed into some cycling clothes, grabbed my bag and the bike and left for the bike shop.
It was nearly four when I got there. The man who owned it checked over the Litespeed and nodded to me that it was okay. I had hoped so, I'd only ridden it a few times and none of those had any sort of mishap. I was pleased to get my Scott back, I checked things over as he described what he'd done to it and the rebuilt wheel, looked as good as new. He'd put on a new tyre when he'd rebuilt the wheel, but he said that the bill had been paid in full, when I asked him how much I owed him.
I was glad to get my bike back and hopped on it as soon as I got out of the shop, it felt quite different to the other one and it took me an hour to feel as relaxed on it as I had before it was damaged. I got back to my room about six.
I wasn't sure what to do, should I go home and see my dad tomorrow or stay here and hope Simon calls me? Why is my life so beset with difficult choices? Why do I keep asking myself these stupid questions?
While I was making up my mind, I went to check my post box. There were a few items, mostly junk mail, but also a typed envelope. I opened it with a knife in the kitchen. The contents were not nice.
'So you think wearing a dress constitutes becoming a woman, do you? We'll see won't we? Why don't you just come clean, you're a stinking homo who doesn't have the guts to say so, aren't you! Fucking arse bandit, you queers make me sick.
I dropped it on the table and burst into tears. Was I just a gay man who didn't have the courage of his convictions and was hiding behind a sort of medical legitimacy?
The typed envelope was addressed to, 'Miss C Watts' and my address, so it was someone who knew me enough to know my address. A fellow student? Probably, maybe one of those I'd met yesterday who found me hard to take, or the change I was demonstrating.
I had a think, and despite the row over the toilets, I didn't honestly think it was a big enough issue to cause some one to write this horrible note.
Well one thing was certain, I couldn't talk it over with Simon. That in itself made me feel lonely. I was on the verge of having my first meaningful relationship and I couldn't share this with him. It reminded me that I'd been extraordinarily lucky so far and that there would be those who found my life change unacceptable. In one sense I felt sorry for them because they were probably more screwed up than I was. On another, I was just irritated. I would discuss it with Prof Agnew when I next saw him, or with Dr Thomas. I should ring her too, because we hadn't spoken for over a week.
I started tidying up my room, as much for something to do as anything else. I'd finished and the world hadn't beaten a path to my door, nor had Simon, which was more important.
I still had to tell him, oh hell! I don't know if I can. Why couldn't he just have listened to me earlier when I had the courage or commitment to do it?
Then I sat thinking about his kisses and felt something wet happen in my knickers. I had it bad.
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