A Summer’s Odyssey Part 14

A Summer's Odyssey
Part 14

By Jennifer Sue
My daughter, Krista, will be in seventh grade," Mom said with a lioness-like smile.
"Your daughter?" the smaller guy said. "You never had a daughter."
"I have three daughters now," Mom answered. "Twins who will be in the fifth grade and Krista.



Once we’d settled down Mom asked how my driving lessons had gone.

“Driving lessons?” the girls asked in surprise.

“She started slow but by the time we finished she was doing very well,” Kylie answered.

“Yeah, we waved at her one time,” LJ added.

“I was here when she came back the last time,” Dad said. “She drove up and parked like a pro. We were both so excited she ran over and gave me a hug. Neither of us thought about the grease.”

“So I see …” Mom chuckled.

“I over-reacted a bit,” Gram admitted. “I’ve become so accustomed to Krista being so good about everything I forgot she’s not an adult.”

“It’s okay, Gram,” I nodded my head. “I sure won’t forget again!”

After supper, Gram showed me how to get grease out of clothes.

The next day we were up early. The weather was clear and sunny but thundershowers were predicted for early that evening. I put on the girly dress I’d worn when I first met Mom and my brothers, and my necklace and earrings. I wanted the judge to know I was all girl inside. Lyndi and Teri wore pretty dresses too. After a light but nourishing breakfast we all climbed into mom’s Expedition. The girls and LJ took the rear seat. Mom, Pete and I took the center seat and Gram took shotgun as Dad drove. We stopped at the church where we met the others to form a caravan to the county court. Pappy was driving Nana’s Escape. Kylie, her mom, and Larry were in the rear seat. David and Laura with their kids followed in their Explorer Sport Track. Rev Giles and Dr. Sykes driving together were last in line.

We parked at the courthouse and were 15 minutes early for the hearing. The social worker greeted us warmly and smiled at Lyndi, Teri, and me, telling us how pretty we looked. At 9 we were ushered in before Judge Catherine Watkins. I feared the butterflies in my tummy might lift me off the ground.

Judge Watkins smiled and motioned us forward. “Deputy Scott, it’s a pleasure to have you in my court room for a happy occasion,” she said looking at dad. “Would you please do the introductions?”

Dad began with his parents and Gram, then went through the rest of the family, Kylie and her mom, and Rev. Giles and Dr. Sykes. “These pretty young ladies are the parties in question,” Dad smiled as he had us come forward. “Lyndi and Teri are twins, and Krista is their big sister and my natural daughter.”

My nervousness flowed away as I basked in Dad’s declaration that I was his natural daughter.

At that point Rev. Giles raised his hand.

“Do you have something to add, Reverend?” the judge asked.

“Yes, your honor,” he said. “I have one more piece of evidence to add to those you already have. I know it’s late, but once you see it you’ll understand why I couldn’t present this ahead of time.”

“Very well, bring it here,” the Judge ordered. She took a few moments to review the document, then looked up and smiled. “I’ll accept this into evidence, Reverend. Thank you.” Then she banged her gavel to call the proceedings to order.

“I’ve read the applications for adoption as well as all the statements of support,” Judge Watkins smiled. “Since there were no objections filed, I need to ask if you girls understand Leroy and Patricia Scott have applied to legally adopt you and become your parents.”

“Yes your honor, we understand,” I stated as I stood between my sisters and put a hand on their trembling shoulders. The girls nodded their agreement.

“Very good,” Judge Watkins nodded. “One more question, and I need each of you to speak clearly, no head nodding to this one. Girls, do want to have Leroy and Patricia Scott become your parents?”

“YES,” we nearly shouted.

“Are than any objections to granting this petition for adoption?” the judge asked as she surveyed the court room filled with smiling faces.

“Hearing none, I hereby grant the petition,” she smiled as she pounded her gavel.

Even though it was highly unusual and definitely against procedures, Judge Watkins smiled as everyone cheered and swarmed us with hugs. After allowing us several minutes of celebration she pounded the gavel to restore order.

“We still have the petitions for name changes,” she smiled. “Lyndi and Teri, do you understand that this will change your surname from O’Brien to Scott?”

“Is a surname the same thing as last names?” Teri innocently asked.

“Yes it is,” the judge smiled. “I apologize for not being clear. Girls, do you understand this proposed change?”

“Yes, your honor,” they chorused.

“Do you object to this change,” the judge asked.

“No ma’am,” they smiled.

“Very well, are there any objections to changing the surnames of these girls,” Judge Watkins asked. “Hearing none, the petition for surname change for Lyndi and Teri is granted.” Again the gavel pounded.

After allowing us a few moments of celebration the judge again pounded the gavel. “Krista. Will you please step forward.”

Taking a deep breath I nervously stepped forward.

“Krista, do you fully understand this petition to change your name and gender?” Judge Watkins asked.

“Yes, your honor,” I replied in a strong clear voice.

“Does anyone have any objections to this petition for a change of name and gender,” the judge asked the court room.

No one said anything.

“Krista, do you have any objections to this petition,” she asked me.

“No, your honor,” I replied with a hint of a quaver in my voice expecting the gavel to pound approving the petition.

“Your petition for name and gender change is highly unusual for someone your age,” Judge Watkins stated solemnly. “Your family’s unanimous support is vital, but not adequate for me to grant such a petition for a juvenile. Dr. Sykes support for your petition is necessary but is also not adequate for me to grant such a petition for a juvenile. The fact you openly confessed your transgendered condition in church is quite impressive. That you did it to assist another transgendered person to come out is even more impressive. Still, these are not adequate reason for me to grant this petition although I was going to approve the name change.”

I felt tears filling my eyes. She wasn’t going to let me become a girl!

“Krista, please wait before giving up hope,” Judge Watkins comforted. “As I was saying, I was going to approve your name change but could not in good faith approve your change of gender. This last document supplied by Rev. Giles has enabled me to do that. Let the record show that Rev Giles has presented a petition signed by 87 members of his congregation supporting this petition. Krista Scott, I am hereby granting your name and gender change.” With that she banged the gavel.

I just stood there and stared at her, the tears that had been threatening burst forth, only they were now tears of joy, not sorrow. I was swamped in hugs and kisses. Judge Watkins even stepped from her desk and came out to hug and congratulate me

I was officially a girl! My odyssey began on Friday, June 15, today was Friday, August 17. I’d left Cape Cod a thinking I was a boy, now 10 weeks later I was in Talbot County being legally declared to be a girl. I no longer had any doubts I was a girl, but I longed to someday have a child of my own blood. The only way that could happen is if I could be the father. I cast away those confusing thoughts as we prepared for Kylie’s court appearance.

We made it to Judge Wallace’s courtroom with only ten minutes to spare. Thirty minutes later, Larry was spinning Kylie in a circle just like dad had done with me the day before. Kylie was officially a girl!

We had a celebratory lunch in a nice restaurant. Nana and Mrs. Masters had made reservations and we filled one corner of the dining room. As we finished the meal, but before dessert, Larry stood and cleared his throat. Everyone fell silent and looked at him.

“I think everyone knows how Kylie and I feel about each other,” he began. “We’ve been best friends for as long as I can remember. I took a lot of teasing over the years for our friendship, not nearly as much as Kylie, but more than I liked. I will admit I often questioned why we were such great friends, but I never considered abandoning our friendship. Three and half weeks ago I discovered that Kylie was a girl, and suddenly, our lifelong friendship made sense.” Then Larry reached in his pocket and pulled out a small jewelry box and went down on one knee beside Kylie.

Kylie’s eyes grew wide and she began to tremble.

“Kylie, will you marry me?” Larry opened the tiny box to reveal a diamond solitaire engagement ring.

Kylie’s mouth opened and closed like a fish as she stared at the sparking gem.

Everyone waited with bated breath.

“L … Larry … ar … are you sure …?” Kylie finally stuttered as she looked into his eyes.

“I’ve never been surer of anything in my life,” Larry firmly declared as he removed the ring and slipped it onto the fourth finger of Kylie’s left hand.

Even though it was being firmly held by Larry, Kylie’s hand trembled as she returned her gaze to the glittering ring on her finger. Tears began to flow from her eyes as she began to slowly nod her head.

“Go for it, Kylie,” I exclaimed, thrilled for my friend and teacher. As many heads turned to look at me, I immediately turned red at my faux pas.

The awkward silence only lasted a few seconds as everyone else turned back to Kylie and Larry and verbally added their support and approval. By that time, everyone in the restaurant knew what was happening and began to applaud. Kylie threw her arms around Larry and kissed him so hard they fell over. Everyone laughed and cheered.

The restaurant owner led his staff out with a cake and several bottles of Sparkling Cider. We all toasted the happy couple.

Three hours after we arrived at the restaurant, we left. Once the engagement celebrating settled, Larry confessed arranging for the cake and Sparkling Cider after he learned of the luncheon reservation. Kylie and Larry agreed to marry three months after her SRS. Despite Kylie’s and Larry’s pleadings, Dr. Sykes insisted she was required to have Kylie wait until her one year real life test was completed before she could send her for SRS. Dr. Sykes waited until their faces fell before smiling and telling them she might know a reputable surgeon in Thailand who could do the surgery with about four months notice.

We all left the restaurant with smiles on our faces. Pappy and Nana headed home since he and his crew would be heading to New Jersey early in the morning to help the Nelsons move down to us. Kylie and Larry were going to simply enjoy spending the evening together. Gram, mom, dad and we children had planned to go home and have a quiet picnic.

We stopped for sandwiches on the way home so we didn’t have to pack a picnic. Once home we changed into casual clothes and headed outside. Instead of going to the tables, Dad led us over to the Econoline.

“Miss Krista Scott, would you be kind enough to drive your family down to the point?” dad smiled.

“Yeah,” Lyndi and Teri exclaimed.

“Cool,” LJ smiled. “How soon can I learn to drive?”

“Krista is 13, you’re 7,” Mom said. “If you can show us you’re as responsible as she is, we’ll talk about teaching you to drive when you’re 13.”

LJ was took the hint and said no more.

Once we were all buckled in, I started the van. I was a bit nervous, but knew I could do it. After looking both ways, I cautiously backed onto the lane. I stayed on the right side of the lane and drove no faster than 30 mph. The trip didn’t take long, and after rounding the loop at the end of the road I parked the van. The smiles on everyone’s face told me I’d done a good job.

By that time we reached the point, the southern sky was dark and we could see rain squalls and far away lightening. The sky above us was still a clear blue. The first thing we did was to go over to my mother’s grave. I led the way into the small cemetery. Once everyone was gathered around Mother’s plot, I knelt and began to speak.

"Mom, Teri, Lyndi, and I will always remember you and all you did for us. I'm sure you know we've found our new home. Gram has been fantastic and has opened her life and home to us. From now on, we'll refer to you as our mother. Your best friend, Patricia is our new mother, and we've already started calling her mom. I know you approve, because she's a terrific mom and she married dad. They adopted us today, so they are legally our parents. I'd like to introduce you to our younger brothers, Leroy Junior is dad's oldest son and Peter is dad's youngest son. We're one big happy family now since Gram has opened her home to all of us. Something else happened today, the judge approved my gender change so now I'm legally a girl!"

"Kylie is now legally a girl too!" I explained. "She and Larry are engaged! Your appearance helped save her life, and helped Larry understand she really is a girl, and that he loves her as much as she loves him. I think she's going to have her corrective surgery as soon as she can, probably by January or February. She and Larry plan to get married three months after her surgery.”

“I wanted to let you know that everything here is great,” I continued. “You can rest now, you've earned eternal peace. We'll see you when our time in this life is over. We’ll always love you and we'll keep your space here looking neat and pretty."

When I looked at my family, everyone but the boys had tears in their eyes.

“You must miss your mommy a lot,” LJ said to Lyndi and Teri. “You’re my sisters now. My mom is a good mommy and Pete and I will share her with you.” Pete nodded his head in agreement.

The girls blinked back their tears, smiled and each hugged a little brother. After a few seconds both boys pushed away from their sisters.

“Young boys only do short hugs,” I chuckled. “You’ll have to learn to give shorter hugs, and never in public.”

Everyone giggled.

As we turned to leave the cemetery we all stopped short. The storms had receded further south and the sun broke through the clouds. The biggest, most colorful rainbow I’d ever seen arched across the sky! Mom had heard what I’d said and was wishing us well! I swear I saw her smiling face in the clouds above the top of the rainbow and the bow itself seemed to be her outstretched arms. We must have stood watching for five minutes. The vibrant colors shimmered and danced before suddenly vanishing. No one could say a word, but we’d all felt we’d been the recipient of the worlds biggest hug.

We walked to the water’s edge and sat watching the boats on Broad Creek while eating our sandwiches. After we finished, I joined in a spirited game of tag with siblings. We ran and giggled. Life felt wonderful.

That night I lay awake in bed thinking about becoming a girl. I’d read some of the things Dr. Sykes had given me, one was an explanation of SRS surgery. I shuddered thinking about having my boy bits sliced open and turned inside out. I remembered Larry saying he couldn’t understand why a boy would want to give up his boyhood. I had to admit I wasn’t looking forward to losing mine. Yet I knew I had to do so. But if I did, I could never have children of my own. I could always adopt, but it wouldn’t quite be the same, yet Mom and Dad didn’t have any problems adopting us. I was just too confused. I decided I’d have to talk to mom and see what she thought.

Saturday we all headed down to the house on the point to give it a thorough cleaning. Gram said despite how good Pappy’s crew was about cleaning up after their construction, it still wasn’t good enough for a home. We scrubbed all the windows, wiped off the chair rail caps and window and door frame trim, mopped the solid floors, and vacuumed the new rugs. It was getting dark by the time we finished. I had no trouble falling asleep that night.

Sunday morning we dressed and headed to church. Nana, Mrs. Masters, Larry and Kylie were waiting for us and we all went inside together. Rev Giles announced we’d been officially adopted, which brought approving smiles and nods from most of the congregation. Then he announced that the judges also accepted the evidence presented supporting a gender correction for Kylie and I so that we were now legally girls. This surprised some people, but most seemed to approve. A few die-hards harrumphed loudly, but they were quietly browbeaten into silence. As the service ended, a few people hastily left.

I felt terrible about creating dissension in the church, but Rev Giles saw my downtrodden expression. “Krista, you have no reason to feel bad about the short-sightedness of a few people,” Rev. Giles comforted me. “They’ve lost sight of God’s love and acceptance. They’re letting the devil’s best friend, bigotry, into their lives. No one will never convince them their prejudice is separating them from the Lord’s love and forgiveness. We can only lead them back into the fold by being the best Christians we can be, and be ready to welcome them back.”

While that made feel a little better, I was still upset by their unjustified rejection.

After lunch I sat down with Mom and told her of my confusion about giving up my boyhood. “I know it sounds stupid, but I can’t get past it. I know I’m a girl and I want to be a girl, but if I give up my boy bits, I can never become a natural parent,” I summarized.

“It’s not stupid,” Mom sympathized with me. “It’s a very legitimate concern. There may be a way to let your body mature as a boy just long enough for you to develop viable sperm. We certainly don’t want you maturing too far as a male. Sperm samples can be frozen for use at a later time. It may be tricky timing things correctly. It will also mean taking you off the testosterone blockers and will push back the time we can start you on female hormones. We’ll have to discuss this with Dr. Sykes. For now, just keep taking the blockers, and try not to let this eat away at you. Together we’ll find a way.”

It was about 4pm when the caravan from New Jersey arrived. I drove the Econoline with Mom and Dad as passengers, along with assorted beverages to join them. It’s true that many hands make short work. By 6pm everything was inside in the right rooms. Although a lot still needed to be unpacked, the furniture was in place and the bed was set up and ready for use. Dad told everyone a picnic was waiting for them back at the farm.

The work had made everyone hungry and we all gorged ourselves.

Monday morning Mom loaded us into her SUV to take us to the school. She had to complete the registrations Gram had made when we arrived. Our surnames had to be changed from O'Brien to Scott, and arrangements had to be made for my special needs. I wanted to look all girl, so I wore a sensible knee length pink denim skirt and a short sleeved pink cotton pullover.

We went to St Michaels Elementary School first. There were no issues as Mom showed the adoption and name change documents. After we'd completed the paperwork we received permission to tour the school to familiarize the girls with the layout. LJ lead us around, proudly showing his knowledge of the building. As in many small schools, the cafeteria doubled as a gym. We stopped at the office to let them know we were leaving.

Aunt Laura was at the playground with her little ones, waiting for us. We left my siblings to play while mom and I headed next door to the junior/senior high school. The secretary greeted mom warmly, since they were co-workers. Mom said she had an appointment to see Dr. Harris, the principal, and Dr. Mays, the district school superintendent. Since we were 15 minutes early we took seats and waited. A few minutes later Dr. Sykes and Rev Giles arrived.

At the appointed time we were ushered into the conference room. The two men hardly took their eyes off me as we exchanged greetings and sat about the table. Papers from my enrollment were on the table as well as a few books.

"We need to record this meeting," the superintendent said as he showed us a small tape recorder. "Does anyone have any objections?"

"Only if you don't object to us recording it," mom said as she pulled a small recorder from her tote.

"None at all," he replied with a smile. "I would expect nothing less, Mrs. Scott. If we're ready, let's begin."

He and mom turned on their recorders. "This is an informal meeting to discuss the enrollment of Krista O'Brien as a seventh grade student in St Michaels Middle-High School. Present are Principal Harris, Dr. Wanda Sykes, Rev Giles, Mrs. Scott, Krista O'Brien, the student in question, and myself, Superintendent Mays. Mrs. Scott asked for this meeting to discuss Krista's enrollment. Does anyone have anything to share before we proceed?"

"Yes," Mom said as she pulled out my adoption and name change documents, sliding them across the table to the men. "My husband and I were in court last Friday and legally adopted Krista and her sisters. I've just given you notarized copies of the adoption as well as a name change for Krista. If you look at the name change, you'll see Krista was never legally Krista O'Brien, she was a boy named Kristopher O'Brien."

That got the attention of the men as they once more eyed me. "That explains the school transcripts we received from Massachusetts," Principal Harris said.

"I'd like you to listen as Krista relates all she has gone through this summer," Mom said as she turned to look at me.

I related the story of our odyssey, and my self discovery of my gender dysphoria. "In my mind I am a girl, and always have been. I just didn't know it. It took my experiences this summer to make me understand that I wasn't a boy. I can never go back to the way I was. I promise to be a good student."

"Here is the legal document legally changing Krista's gender to female," mom said as she gave the superintendent a notarized copy. "Here is a copy of Krista's baptism that Rev. Giles performed 4 weeks ago with the full knowledge of Krista's gender dysphoria. Here is a statement from Dr. Sykes detailing that Krista is under her care for treatment of her gender dysphoria. The last item is a copy of the petition of support for Krista signed by members from Rev. Giles’ church."

"Now I understand why you asked for this meeting,” Superintendent Mays sighed. "Krista, you are a very remarkable person and we'd love to have you attend. But since you are still physically male, we have a problem. We cannot allow you to use the girl's facilities. Also there is the possibility of harassment from students that don't or won't understand your situation. There is no way we can assure your safety 100% of the time."

"Our awareness of the situation is why we asked to meet," Mom replied. "Biologically, Krista is still male. Thankfully puberty has not started and we've put Krista on testosterone blockers to keep it that way. In about a year we may be able to have her begin hormone replacement therapy so she can begin puberty as a female. The details are contained in Dr. Sykes report. As far as using the girls facilities is concerned, we agree that it would not be appropriate at this time, but the boys facilities are just as inappropriate. We'd like to propose that the school board approve acceptance of transgendered students by establishing a policy. Dr. Sykes has copies of how other schools have responded to this issue."

"The copies I'm giving you are very similar. A brief synopsis of transgendered students policies are made with the understanding that as long as there is chance of sexual function in the birth gender, the student not be allowed to use either the male or female facilities," Dr. Sykes explained. "The best solution to this dilemma is for transgendered students to use the facilities in the nurse's suite. There they can use the bathroom, change for gym, and shower there afterwards. The only downside would be the possibility of the student being a bit late for their next class. Once the student is certified sterile and unable to sexually function in their birth gender, they have the option of using the facilities of their mental gender. I'm more than willing to assist the school board or whoever it designates in drawing up an anti-discrimination policy regarding transgendered students."

"Since Krista has openly confessed her transgendered condition, I'd like to have your conditional approval for her to use the facilities in the nurse's suite until such time as the school board establishes a transgendered policy," Mom added. "Since I am the school nurse, I can promise you'll have no issues with me accepting this procedure."

"We'll have to touch base with the board officers before we can grant such conditional approval," Superintendent Mays said. "I doubt they'll object once I tell them it'd be a case of sexual discrimination to do otherwise. I'll contact them as soon as possible. Once we get conditional approval, we'll meet with the staff. Patricia, would you like to speak to them about this?"

"I'd be delighted," Mom replied. "As far as Krista's safety is concerned, I don't think we'll have many issues of physical abuse. The student body will know I'm Krista's mom, and that her dad is a Talbot County Deputy Sheriff. Then there's her uncle Larry who just graduated. They know how protective he was of Kyle Masters. He's already let it be known that no one better mess with his niece."

"I can take pretty good care of myself," I said. "I don't like fighting, but if I'm forced into one, I'm a mean scrapper. I didn't win every fight, but the ones who jumped me knew they were in a fight."

"It might also prove helpful if you know that Kyle Masters is also transgendered," Dr. Sykes said. "She had her name and gender changed on Friday just after Krista. Kylie and Larry Scott became engaged that afternoon. They're planning to marry three months after her sexual reassignment surgery. Their wedding may be sometime next spring."

"Wow, that explains a lot," Principal Harris said. "We knew Kyle was different from the other boys and were grateful that Larry stood up for him."

"Larry knew nothing about Kylie's transgenderism until he saved her life a few weeks ago when she tried to kill herself," Mom explained. "Kylie confessed to Larry that she was transgendered and loved him. Larry was stunned and reacted poorly and Kylie ran off and tried to hang herself. That was the same night Krista met the Scott family and confessed her transgendered state. Krista's confession opened Larry's eyes and he took off, just reaching Kylie in time. Up to that point they'd just been best friends. That changed rapidly as Kylie blossomed into a beautiful girl."

"There may be more transgendered students," Dr Sykes said. "I'm not treating any others, but I've been treating Kylie since she turned 16. She was afraid to come out while still in school and it took her weeks after school let out to tell her best friend. Like Kylie, many transgendered children try to commit suicide because they're afraid to come out to their family, not to mention school. Krista is brave, intelligent, and for her age, quite a mature young lady. She came out to her family and in church, now she's ready to come out in school. If there are any other transgendered students, you need to be able to help them. That Krista and Kylie are transgendered is already public knowledge. Krista will be in school for the next six years. We need to be ready if and when others come out."

"I'll do all I can to help," I said. "I intend to be a role model as a person and student. If it will help I'll tell the entire student body about my transition."

"Only if I'm present," Dr. Sykes added.

"Thank you for your offer, Krista," Superintendent Mays replied. "I personally think it might be a good thing. But I'll have to have school board approval."

"If you think it will help, I'll come to a school board meeting," I said. "I'm sure Kylie would come too. We could explain what we've gone through."

"That I can recommend," Dr. Mays replied. "I want to thank you for being open and honest with us. Krista, I'll be looking forward to your attending St. Michaels Middle-High School."

"Thank you, Dr. Mays. Thank you Dr. Harris," I replied with a smile.

By the time we finished it was lunch so after bidding Rev. Giles and Dr. Sykes thanks and goodbye, we headed out to the playground to get the rest of our family. A couple of guys who looked to be about my age were cruising around the playground on bikes. They both looked cute, and when they saw me, they rode over and got off their bikes.

"Hey Mrs. Scott," the smaller boy greeted mom. Then he looked at me. "You must be starting junior high. What grade are you in"?

I froze. The bigger guy looked like the guys that always hassled me in my previous school.

"My daughter, Krista, will be in seventh grade," Mom said with a lioness-like smile.

"Your daughter?" the smaller guy said. "You never had a daughter."

"I have three daughters now," Mom answered. "Twins who will be in the fifth grade, and Krista."

"Are you the one who tried to walk here from New England," the larger boy asked.

"Yes," I replied having found my voice.

"I heard you're really a guy pretending to be a girl," he almost sneered.

"You've got it backwards," I defiantly said. "I'm a girl who was pretending to be a boy."

"Like you'd get away with that," scoffed the smaller boy. "You're too cute to be a boy."

"Back off, Jimmy," the bigger guy warned. "I heard HE admitted to being a boy in church!"

"Tony, you're a goof. There's no way this babe could ever be a boy," Jimmy said.

"Krista, are you a boy?" Tony asked as if daring me to deny it.

"I'm a girl," I answered. "But I was born with a boys body."

"See? I told you he's a fruit," Tony crowed.

"Tony Masters, Krista is not a fruit," Mom scowled. "She is transgendered. That means she has the mind of a girl but has a birth defect in that she has a boy’s body. Eventually that will be corrected."

"No way you have a boy’s body," Jimmy declared with a hint of embarrassment.

"I'm telling you he does, Jimmy," Tony laughed vindictively. "He gave you a boner so that means you're gay!"

"I am not gay," Jimmy hotly replied.

"Yeah, right," Tony snorted. "So are they gonna let you in school dressed like that, fag boy?"

"Tony, I think you'd better leave," Mom seethed. "The school knows all about Krista and she will be attending classes here. If you don't behave, you may find out you won't be taking classes here."

"I'd like that," Tony smiled defiantly. "I hate school anyway, and my dad wouldn't get upset with me if I got kicked out over a fag."

I’d had enough and stepped towards him. "Tony, I just met you and I can already tell you're nothing but a bag full of crap," I glared at him. "I bet you're too dumb to realize that every time you open your mouth shit is all that comes out."

Before anyone could reply Tony lunged at me with a vicious snarl. Instead of feeling fear, I felt a cold fury. I calmly waited to the last possible moment and stepped out of the line of his charge, sticking my foot out to trip him. Down he went, sprawling face first on the ground.

"Oh I'm so sorry," I mock apologized. "I didn't mean to trip you. Do you need help getting up?"

Jimmy began laughing, and Mom quickly joined in. I couldn't help but giggle.

Tony rolled to his feet, roared his anger, and lunged at me again. This time I feigned side-stepping but spun to face him holding my hand out with my palm lined up towards his face. He'd already adjusted his charge in the direction I'd faked so he again missed me, but his face was raised up and he slapped himself against my hand. Down he went again. This time I stepped over and placed my foot on the back of his neck and pushed him face first into the grass.

"I've never seen a guy so eager to beat himself up," I sighed. "I think I'll hold you down for a bit so you can't hurt yourself worse"

Tony began cursing. Every time I heard a swear word I pushed his face firmly into the grass. He flailed his arms out to try to get me but I managed to avoid his every move as he telescoped his thoughts. The laughter around us grew louder as other people joined to see a cute girl in a denim skirt have total control over the bully.

It took almost five minutes before he stopped swearing and trying to grab me. By then he was exhausted and humiliated. I was surprised no one even attempted to stop me, especially mom.

“If you promise to be a good boy, I’ll let you up,” I said to him in my sweetest girly voice.

“Go fu...ummmpphh,” he began to swear but I quickly forced his open mouth into the grass.

“My, you’re either a slow learner,” I said. “Or part mule. Does the grass taste good?” I eased back so he could raise his head. It took a few spits until he’d cleared his mouth. “Well, do you think you can promise to be a good boy?”

“All right, all right,” he muttered. “I promise to be a good boy.”

“Please speak clearer, you sound as if your mouth is full of grass,” I chided him. “I couldn’t understand you.”

The crowd laughed at the defeated bully.

“I promise to be a good boy,” he almost shouted.

“Now remember, you’re being a good boy,” I said as I removed my foot from his neck and quickly took a few steps back.

He quickly rolled over obviously getting ready to spring at me. Then he stopped as his eyes looked about in desperation and his mouth began to open and close like a fish out of water.

I’d been keeping my eye on him and hadn’t looked around. Seeing he wasn’t going to attack, I relaxed and looked about. There were about 50 people gathered in a circle around us! All were chuckling to see the bully get his comeuppance from a pretty girl in a skirt who hadn’t even mussed her hair.

Slowly he rose to his feet as his face turned red from humiliation. “I’ll get you for this!” he hissed at me.”

“I think not, Master Masters,” said Principal Harris. “I saw the entire thing. You attempted to attack Krista. Everyone here saw you were the aggressor and that she put you in your place. If you’re a smart young man, you’ll learn from this experience. Since you were ignorant enough to attempt this attack on school grounds, I’ll have to report this incident to the police. I’m sure the police and your father will want to hear your excuses for what happened.”

“I don’t want to see anyone get in trouble, even Tony” I said as I stepped forward. “Tony and I were just play-fighting, right Tony?” I extended my hand to him.

Everyone looked surprised at my compassion. Tony narrowed his eyes warily but quickly realized I was not trying to set him up. He took a deep breath then slowly extended his hand. When we shook hands everyone cheered. Tony didn’t know how to react.

“I’m sorry you got grass in your mouth,” I said in genuine apology. “How about we go over to the fountain so you can rinse out your mouth and we can get a drink?”

“Okay,’ he tentatively agreed as he surveyed the faces of all the witnesses.

The crowd parted as we walked over to the fountain, but all eyes were glued on us.

“I’d like to be friends,” I whispered once we were out of earshot. “Or at least not be enemies.”

Tony didn’t reply until after he rinsed his mouth and took a drink. Then he stepped to the side and turned on the water so I could get a drink. “I was mean and nasty to you. Why did you bail me out?”

“Because you needed help,” I answered softly. “I assume your dad would be really pissed if he thought I’d whooped your butt. This way you’ll only get hassled for hanging around with me.”

“You can say that again,” Tony sighed. “My dad hates faggots. He’d have whipped my ass with his belt until I couldn’t sit down. Now he’ll probably just slap me for even going near you.”

“I’m not a faggot,” I replied. “I meant what I said earlier. I’m a girl with a birth defect. I just have boy bits instead of girls.”

“You want to get them cut off?” he asked as he tried to come to terms with what was happening.

“Eventually, when I’m older,” I answered. “Look, I spent 12 years trying to be a boy and I was miserable. I discovered why during our trip here. I was a girl stuck in a boy’s body. It has nothing to do with being a fag or straight. It’s simply being true to what’s inside, in your heart.”

“I guess I can see that,” he conceded. “But I still don’t understand how you beat me without me being able to touch you!”

“I used to be teased and hassled when I went to school as a boy,” I told him. “I learned how to fight to survive, and how to use a person’s angry aggression against them. Look, if there’s any way I can help you keep from getting hit by your dad for this, I’ll try to do it.”

“Why?” he asked confused.

“It’s simple,” I replied. “I have no choice but to do what’s right. Look, no one here knew I was anything other than what I look like. If I’d have kept quiet, I’d have been accepted as a girl. But that would be living a lie. I have to honest with myself and others. I had no choice but to reveal I’m transgendered.”

“I still think it’s weird,” he sighed.

“It is,” I agreed. “But everyone is weird in their own way. This is mine.”

“Are you serious about wanting to be my friend?” he asked a bit timidly.

“Yes,” I answered. “I don’t know if we’ll ever become best friends, but we can still be friends. I bet if you tried, you could have a lot of friends.”

“Yeah, right,” he huffed. “No one wants to be my friend.”

“You’re wrong,” I declared. “They’re afraid of you, and don’t want to give you a chance to hurt them. If you stop being so aggressive and just be yourself, you’ll have lots of friends.”

“That sounds good, but it’ll never work,” he said as he bit his lip. “My dad will beat my ass if I’m not the toughest kid in my class. He’s Mr. Macho.”

“What about your Mom,” I asked. “Does she want you to be a tough guy?

“No, but she’s afraid of Dad, too,” he confessed. “He beats her whenever he gets drunk, which is every night.”

“I think maybe I can help you,” I said. “Let’s go talk to my mom and Principal Harris.”

“No way,” he said aggressively. “I don’t need anyone’s help! I can handle whatever my dad dishes out!”

“Fair enough,” I said. “But what about your Mom? How much longer do you think she can handle being beaten?”

Tony lowered his head and was silent. When I saw a tear come from his eye I knew he was about to lose it.

"Let's walk a bit and talk," I suggested.

"Okay," he sadly agreed.

"Are you related to Kyle Masters?" I asked.

"Yeah, he's my cousin," Tony sighed. "My dad is his dad's younger brother."

"I take it your dad doesn't like Kylie," I asked

"Hell no," Tony shook his head. "He always though Kyle was a sissy. My dad worked for his brother. It really pissed him off that Kyle hung around his dad's garage and helped. Then, when uncle Jim died and my aunt sold the business, he blamed her and Kyle for not letting him take over."

"Did they offer to sell it to him," I asked.

"Yeah, but dad said as family, they should just become co-owners," Tony answered. "Aunt Evelyn said no. She offered him first chance to buy the garage at a discounted price but dad couldn't get a loan. The banks said he was too high risk with too many arrests for DUI, disorderly conduct, and fighting. Aunt Evelyn refused to hold the mortgage for him for the same reasons. We haven't talked to Aunt Evelyn and Kyle since."

"I take it your dad didn't react too kindly when Kylie and I came out last week in church," I said.

"You better believe it," Tony shook his head.

"I want to ask you a difficult question," I began. "I'm sure you love your dad, but would you miss him if he left your life?"

"Not really," Tony conceded after a few minutes of silent contemplation. "Mom works as a waitress, and we get by on what she earns, because Dad drinks everything he earns."

"We can set a trap for your dad," I said. "We'll need to talk to your mom. If she agrees, we get everything ready. What time does your dad get home?"

"About 7," Tony said. "He gets done at 4 but stops at the bar and gets drunk. Then when he get's home he goes after Mom and me for whatever has him hot."

"That's great," I said earning a weird look from Tony. "Give me a description of your dad's vehicle. My dad can set things up so your dad gets pulled over after leaving the bar. If all goes well he'd get busted for DUI. By the time he gets home he'll be totally pissed."

"I'll say," Tony agreed. “But then Mom and I will really catch it.”

"We can hide an officer in your house,” I suggested. “I'm sure Kylie would be willing to come over with me. When he gets home you can introduce us to your dad and I'll tell him I beat you up."

"He'll kill all of us," Tony gasped

"Not with my dad and the police waiting," I said. "At worst we might take a few hits, but it won't last too long. They'll be able to arrest your dad for assaulting me and Kylie, and since we're transgendered, it'll be a hate crime and he'll be locked up for a long time."

"Why would you want to put yourself in danger for someone you just met who tried to hurt you?" Tony asked.

"It's part of who I am," I answered. "If I don't help someone I know needs help, I feel terrible. Look Tony, I don't think you're a bad guy. You put on a tough guy front to keep your pain hidden, and after a while you don't know how to behave any other way. That's what happened to me in Massachusetts. It took leading my sisters here to break me out of that macho mold. And before you ask, changing doesn't mean you turn into a girl. It's what happened to me, but I'm an unusual case."

"I'll say," Tony sighed. "But you're right, I hate being a tough guy, but I don't know what else to do."

"You'll figure it out," I assured him. "And like I said, I'll be your friend. I think Jimmy will like you better, too."

"I'm still not sure it’s right to set up my dad," Tony said. "I mean, he is my dad, it doesn't seem right to put him in jail."

"What if he beats your mom to death?" I asked. "How would feel then? He'd still go to jail, and you wouldn't have your mom. Believe me, I KNOW what it's like to lose your mom."

Tony thought a bit. "Let's ask my mom," he finally agreed.

"Great," I exclaimed. "Let's talk to my mom."

Seeing Tony and I walking and talking, most of the people had dispersed. Principal Harris and my mom were the only ones who had continued watching us. We headed over to them and I told them what Tony and I had discussed.

"Krista, you are one remarkable girl," Principal Harris declared. "It is a dangerous game you want to play. Are you sure you want to risk yourself?"

"She wouldn't have come to us if she wasn't sure," Mom said, smiling at me. "That's how Krista is. I don't like the risk involved, but I think we can limit any injuries if we're ready. Let me call your dad and see what he thinks."

Dad knew Jack Masters, having had several run ins with him, and thought the plan might be feasible. He said he'd contact the St Michaels chief of police.

Mom then called Tony's mom, Kylie, her mom Evelyn, and Larry to explain what was going on and asked them to come to the school.

Kylie, her mom Evelyn, and Larry arrived at the school first.

Evelyn went right up to Tony and gave him a brief hug. "Tony, it's been much too long. I guess under the circumstances I don't need to ask how you're doing."

Tony forced a smile and nodded his head. Then he looked up to see Larry and Kylie holding hands walking towards him. Needless to say he was stunned to see Kylie.

"Hi Tony," Kylie greeted him with a smile.

"You … you're a girl," Tony gasped. "Dad said you'd look like a flaming faggot, but you look like a girl … a pretty girl."

"That's because she is a girl," Larry smiled, then narrowed his eyes, "I heard you were messing with my niece."

"I was dumb enough to try," Tony shrank back. "But she taught me a lesson."

"Good," Larry said. "You'll survive her lesson. You might no be so lucky if I have to teach you."

"Larry, be nice!" I scolded. "Tony's really a nice guy. We just have to stop his dad."

Tony's mom, Rachel Masters arrived just in time to hear that exchange. Rachel and Evelyn hugged each other, then Rachel looked at Kylie. "You are a beautiful young lady." Rachel smiled as she hugged Kylie. "Jack is, and always has been an ass."

"Thanks, Aunt Rachel," Kylie answered.

Then Rachel looked sternly at Tony. "Just what did you think you were doing?" she scolded. "You know better than to get into fights."

"It wasn't really a fight," I said stepping forward. "I was just trying to teach him to dance, and he fell down a couple of times."

Rachel looked me up and down, then smiled. "You must be Krista," she said. "I'm sure you taught my son a lesson, and it wasn't dancing. But it looks as if you did a wonderful job." With that she hugged Tony.

Tony returned the hug and buried his face into her to hide his tears.

When dad arrived along with St Michaels police chief, Nate Peters, Principal Harris led us into the school conference room. Mom had me explain my idea, and with a bit of tweaking, we set it in motion. Kylie was as willing as I was to teach her bigoted uncle a lesson he'd never forget.

To Be Continued...

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