Night Shift

Night Shift

Believe it or not, I managed to come up with another story for the New Year's contest

My life changed in a single night.

My name is . . . was Kevin Conroy. No, not the voice actor from the Batman cartoon. As far as I know, we’re not even related. I was an unremarkable person, average height, average weight, nothing that really stood out at all.

I had passed high school, but just barely, and I couldn’t afford to go to college, so I had gotten a job as a security guard, and was sent to patrol of all things a car dealership.

The place was not far from downtown, and was tiny compared to most other dealerships I had heard of, probably because of only having access to a small area.

Not that I spent a lot of time looking for a car dealership, buying a car was only a dream for me. Buses were my means of transportation, and I never imagined it would change.

The place didn’t have a lot, just a couple of models on display inside the main building, which is where my patrol area was. I got the impression they did the more specialised orders from this site, as well as a lot of the paperwork for all the dealerships in the city, and left the main sales for the larger sites at the edge of the city where people could actually look at the available cars.

Besides the display models, most of the building was dedicated to the sales staff, the receptionists,some people from a local bank to help set up car loans, the accountants who handled the paperwork related to the sale of the cars, and the group who took phone calls from customers with questions and complaints. There was also a small break room for the staff, with a couple of vending machines, some tables and chairs, and a couple of microwaves for heating food.

There was also an office for the manager of the place, which I found fascinating. He was obviously a hockey nut, as he had in his office a display with pins for every team that had ever played in the National Hockey League, including the ones that eventually moved or folded. He also had a couple of hockey jerseys from famous players who had played for the local NHL team, and a board with magnets where he apparently kept track of the current standings, with a little star besides the name of the local team.

As security, I also had a small office with a desk, chair, paper for my reports, a phone, and best of all a radio. In between my patrols, the radio allowed me to feel less alone, as I could listen to one of the local stations, which liked to put on radio programs from the 40’s and 50’s after midnight. I was surprised to learn that some of the performers from the radio shows had gone on to have careers in television and movies, but I recognized many of the names from some of the shows. The radio station seemed to pick shows at random, everything from comedies to adventure dramas to just about everything else imaginable. For example, they ran a comedy called “My Favourite Husband” which starred Lucille Ball, and clearly was the basis for the tv show that had followed, and then ran a show starring Orsen Wells called “the Black Tower” which followed a case from the files of Scotland Yard, which stored evidence from their cases in the Tower of London.

On my first patrol, I noticed that outside of the manager, it seemed like almost all the employees were women. I could tell this, because each cubicle had a name on it, and I didn’t see any male names and only a couple that might be used by both men and women.

There were also a number of decorations up for a New Year’s party, which they must have had that day, as it was almost midnight on New Years eve. They had left some streamers in the break room, and even a cake with a note telling me to help myself signed by the manager.

The cubicles had little personalised touches, like cute pictures on the walls or a stuffed animal beside the computer, but what surprised me was the fact that a lot of the cubicles had shoes under the desk.
And not just any type of shoe, but high heeled shoes, in bright colors.

I remembered my mother saying she hated wearing heels at work but it was the dress code, so I assumed that the ladies decided to leave the heels behind at the end of the working day and wear something more comfortable to go home.

One pair really caught my eye, as they were rainbow coloured, and had at least a good couple of inches worth of heel.

I couldn’t stop looking at them, and realising they were larger than most of the pairs I had seen, the crazy idea of trying them on started nagging at me.

I finished my patrol, wrote down my report, and listened to the radio waiting for my next patrol, and I still couldn’t shake the idea of trying on the heels.

So when I started my second patrol, I went straight to the desk, slipped off my work shoes, and put on the heels.

They fit, and I immediately noticed the difference they made. In the heels I was taller, and my centre of balance was different.

But instead of feeling awkward, I felt powerful, and I understood why women both bless and curse their high heeled shoes.

Not wanting to fall too far behind on my patrol, I decided to finish my round wearing them, and then went and did my paperwork in my office, while trying to not be distracted by the shoes.

When it came time for my next patrol, I planned to go back to the woman’s desk and return her shoes, but I just couldn’t bring myself to take them off.

So I left them on, justifying it by saying to myself I could return them before my shift ended.

Eventually, it was my lunch break, and I went into the break room to heat up the sandwich I had brought from home. I could have bought something from the vending machines, but I was trying to live within a very tight budget.

While there, I noticed there was a row of lockers, where the staff could store coats or other items while they were working, and one of them had the same name as was on the cubicle I had borrowed the shoes from.

I hadn’t noticed before, but she had the same last name I did, as the locker said “Karma Conroy”, and it wasn’t locked.

I opened it to discover a dress that seemed a little too casual for wear around the office, and tried to picture why it was there.

I guessed that it had been for the New Years party, and it was obvious that she had chosen the dress and the heels to go together, as the dress was also multicoloured.

I could just picture the scene - her in this rainbow of colours, walking around the party talking with the other girls, maybe giggling at the latest gossip involving their boss, who more than one of the ladies would describe as a hunk.

The swish of the dress, the click-clack of the heels, the smell of perfume, even the taste of lipstick would be hers, and I felt jealous.

Up until that point, my life had been dull, grey, and empty. I had been going through the motions, and holding that dress, I knew I wanted more. I needed more.

So I put on the dress.

To my surprise, it fit me well, and I felt as if a massive weight had been lifted off me.

For the first time, I was alive.

I finished my lunch quickly, and decided I would change back an hour before I was to finish my shift. This decision came after I realised I couldn't bear to go back any sooner that I absolutely had to.

It all went well until a half-hour before I planned to change back, when the door of the building opened, revealing the manager.

We stared at each other for a moment, and then I stammered out, “I’m sorry, I’ll change, and I won’t come back.”

“Just a moment. Let’s not be hasty.” He said, “why don’t you tell me what happened.”

So while trying my best to look small, I told him about finding the shoes and the dress, and the feeling of joy I had felt since I had put them on, and how dead I had felt inside beforehand.

He said, “I won't be the one to sentence you to go back to being dead. If it's what you want, I will help you stay as you are, and make a life for yourself.”

“What would you get out of helping me?” I asked.

“Maybe just the good feeling of knowing I made someone’s life a little better? Besides, I made a New Year’s resolution this year to be more charitable”

“But I don’t have a woman’s body. I must look ridiculous!”

“Women come in all shapes and sizes, dear. Don’t let the media tell you you have to look a certain way to be beautiful.”

“You really want to help me?

“If you want me to. If you want to go back to your male life, I’ll keep this moment between us.”

I thought for a moment, and realised that going back was impossible, and said so.

He steered me to his office, and left a note for his secretary that he was going to be taking care of something, and then guided me to his car so he could drive me home.

Once there, he left me to reluctantly take off the dress and the shoes, and crawl into my bed. My head was swimming, so much had happened in one night I couldn’t begin to understand it all.

Then, about noon, when I woke up, even more changes had occurred.

The colourful dress and shoes had company in my closet, as I found several more office appropriate skirts and blouses in there. In my dresser, I found panties, hose, and bras, as well as a makeup kit. On the calendar beside my dresser, I had a notice that I was to start a new job at the car dealership today.

I quickly had a breakfast drink, got dressed and did my best with the makeup before heading back to the dealership.

I was met by a woman named Molly, who identified herself as the assistant manager.

As soon as she began showing me around, I recognized differences from last night and this morning.

The cars on display were different models, items were in slightly different places, and when she showed me the lockers the one I had gotten the dress from had no name on it, which was also true of the cubicle where I had gotten the shoes.

Molly had me sit at the desk in the cubicle, and watch some training videos on the computer, and then fill out some employment forms.

She reassured me that the fact I hadn’t legally changed my name wouldn’t be a problem, and everyone in the building would treat me as just one of the girls, and once I had watched all the videos and filled out the forms, she told me to come in at 9 AM tomorrow morning.

So that’s what I did.

At first, I tried to keep my head down and just do my job, but Molly had been right about the other women, as they made a point of introducing themselves and including me in their discussions during our breaks.

By the end of my first week, my anxieties about doing this, being Karma full time, were all gone.

Well, except for all the times I wasn’t at work.

I was still far too nervous to go anywhere and socialise, so I only left my apartment when I had to get groceries or the like, and I tried to be as invisible as I could during these outings.

Then one of the girls asked me to come to an event at a “queer friendly” bar, involving watching a hockey game featuring a local minor league team against a nearby rival.

It sounded better than just hiding at home, so I said yes, and we went.

I half-expected the manager to be there, based on his obvious interest in hockey, but I was told that he was a happily married man, and was only interested in the NHL, not minor league hockey.

During the first intermission of the game, we got assigned partners at random for a trivia contest, and I found myself partnered with a young man named Alex.

When we weren’t trying to answer the trivia questions, we talked and learned a few things about each other, including that Alex was like me, but going the other way, as he was now living as a trans man.

To our mutual amazement, we actually won the trivia contest, and it is hard to win something with someone and not feel a little bonded to them, so I guess he felt brave enough to ask me if I wanted to go out on a date sometime.

And I felt brave enough to say yes.

We’ve now been seeing each other for a while, and despite how some people see trans as all about sex, we haven’t done anything besides kiss and cuddle.

And that’s good enough for both of us for the moment.

I try to think about my life now, and I honestly don’t know what has happened to me. I think I took “transitioning” to a different level, somehow slipping into a different reality where I had already done at least some of the work on myself.

Of course I’m not done yet, but living and working as Karma, not to mention having Alex as a boyfriend, is a pretty good place to be.

And whatever force sent me here, I wish I could say thank you.

Elsewhere . . .

The Intelligence sat back, and would have smiled had its physical form allowed it to smile. But when you look like two yellow bands, one inside the other and at different angles, and each band covered in eyes, smiles are not on the menu.

It could have smiled earlier, when it had posed as the manager of the dealership, and indeed had smiled, but it was satisfied with the result of its work. The mortal had been successfully shifted to the proper reality, making up for the cosmic error that had occurred some time before, when Karma had been placed in the wrong reality and forced to delay her transition. The intelligence didn’t really understand mortals, much less how gender works for them, so it didn’t really understand how the shift would make such a difference, but it did the job, and could now report the success, which was what mattered to it.

End



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