Kisses from Romeo

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When Jade gets the part of Juliet she discovers that her roommate Darren just might be her Romeo. Can she risk their friendship to tell him?
Kisses from Romeo

I’ve always had a bit of talent for acting. I guess this isn’t terribly surprising given the life I’ve led. Growing up I had not been a happy child, a girl trapped in the body of a boy, and forced to act the part biology had cast me in. My parents should have realized there was something different about me, that I wasn’t like other boys. Perhaps they did realize and just didn’t care, so badly did my father want a son.

My favorite toy when I was small was a doll. I don’t quite recall how it came to be in my possession but that doll was my baby and I adored it as any mother would her child. I was never interested in playing with much else but that doll and the stuffed animals I would sit and have tea with occasionally. That lasted until my doll disappeared one morning, never to be seen again, and a set of tonka trucks was found in its place. My child, and ironically my childhood as well, had been cruelly taken from me.

I asked my mother why my doll had been taken away, why I couldn’t have dolls like the other girls. My parents sat me down and explained, with the assistance of an encyclopaedia, that I was not a girl but a boy. The message was made very clear; you’re a boy so you’d better behave like one. This message was reinforced as my parents encouraged me to play with other boys my age rather than the girls I got along better with. The boys picked on me a lot, called me names, and generally made me feel uncomfortable but even though I knew that I was really a girl I did my best to play the part.

My next big role was in senior high and it was a role that I had chosen for myself. I was short for a boy, and on the feminine side of androgynous and privately wondered after some research if I might be intersexed. It didn’t matter to me though as I was quite happy to look more like a girl than a boy, as it would all fit in with my master plan. I had planned to transition from male to female as soon as I was eighteen and so I had cultivated the role of an androgynous Goth who didn’t care about anyone or anything.

It’s tough going through high school with no friends but I just kept myself focused on the role. Prince George was a northern town with more than its share of rednecks and I was the only Goth kid I knew of. Being a social pariah meant I was left alone though, and that was far better than people finding out I was trans and preferred guys, either of which would have ended up with me getting beaten to death in that town. Instead I was mostly ignored except for the verbal abuse anyone different seems to get in high school.

I was lucky in that my birthday fell just late enough in August that I managed to graduate at seventeen. At this point I was still very feminine and it seemed like I was only just now beginning to go through puberty. I had to put a stop to that before it went too far and decided as soon as graduation was over that I would move down to Vancouver to transition. My parents didn’t take that decision well at all. There were harsh words and I was told if I was going to be living as a girl then I had better not ever come back. I was dead to them.

I packed my bags the day after graduation. There wasn’t much I really wanted to take; some girls Goth clothes I had managed to buy and wear on occasion, my laptop, and a few small personal items. I was glad to be leaving the town and my parents, as I knew I could never be accepted by either. I had over six thousand dollars in my savings account and a purple Dodge Neon I had bought earlier in the year and that would get me by.

When I got to Vancouver I stopped acting, as there was no longer any need for it and I really wanted to be myself. I found a small place, found work doing freelance graphic and web design when I wasn’t working sales, and started going to one of the gender clinics. I presented as female all the time, not that it was terribly hard with my feminine looks. I was settling in nicely and it seemed I was finally happy with my life.

My eighteenth birthday was a big day for me. I had convinced my therapist early on that I was trans and that day she started me on an androgen blocker and estrogen. I was on cloud nine after that first dose of estrogen and the feeling increased when I went to the Vital Statistics office and changed my name. My parents had been right about one thing, Jason Andrew Summers was dead, long live Jade Alison Winters. Dr. Kwan had given me the documentation to help with the name change, a carry letter, and a letter that would allow me to legally change the gender marker on my driver’s license.

I spent the next year living as Jade and gradually becoming more feminine thanks to the hormones and electrolysis on what little facial and body hair I did have. I built up a bigger wardrobe of more daring Goth wear as I started to get a more feminine figure. I had already been soft, feminine, and slim before but now I was developing more rounded hips and breasts. My mom had been an E cup and I was growing fast, so by the time my nineteenth birthday rolled around I was a B cup, almost a small C cup and they looked nice on my small frame. I was very happy with myself and thought I could probably go stealth when I started University the next week.


I stood in front of the door to a small light blue house just off the UBC Campus with my friend Karen. It was a nice place and overlooked the ocean and I wondered how in hell I was going to be able to afford to rent a room here since nearly everything I had in my savings was going toward tuition. Karen knocked and a few moments later the door was opened by a very good looking guy. Karen had told me her friend Darren was cute but I had thought she’d been exaggerating. Darren was 20 years old with shoulder length brown hair, blue eyes and his six foot two frame was fit without being overly muscled like some bodybuilder. In short it looked like he took care of himself but not to the point of obsession or vanity.

He gave us both a friendly smile as he opened the door to let us in. “Hey Karen, is this your friend who was looking for a place close to campus?”

Karen nodded as she pulled me inside saying, “Darren, this is Jade. Jade this is Darren.” I shook his hand lightly as he looked me over and I wondered if I should have dressed more normally. His eyes roved over my long black hair with dark green streaks, my eyebrow ring and double pierced ears, the ankh pendant nestled in my cleavage, my exposed midriff with my navel ring, and my ring laden fingers with long nails painted black. As for my clothes I was wearing a tight fitting midriff baring black shirt with a pentacle on it, short red plaid pleated skirt, torn fishnet stockings and combat boots. I must have looked quite a sight but I wasn’t about to pretend to be someone I wasn’t just to get a room.

Darren just shook my hand, smiled and said, “Nice to meet you Jade. Why don’t you both sit down and we can talk about the room. Can I get either of you a Coke or something?”

I nodded and returned his smile, “Sure that would be great, thanks.”

“Nothing for me thanks,” said Karen as she pulled me onto the couch where we both got comfortable.

Darren was back quickly with two Cokes. He handed one to me and kept the other for himself as he sat on the chair across from the couch. “So, Karen tells me you’re putting yourself through University. Why aren’t you living in the dorms? It would be closer and less money.”

I popped open my Coke and took a swallow to steady myself. Despite what Karen had said about him I was almost certain that Darren would kick me out of the house when I told him. But I couldn’t risk lying and then having him find out later. “Ummm…” I began, “I can’t live in the girls’ dorm because my birth certificate says I’m male and I can’t live in the guys’ dorm because I look female and it would probably be dangerous for me.”

Darren just laughed, “I had an uncle who became my aunt a few years ago. No worries. You look like a girl, act like a girl and I’m pretty sure dressed like you are that you’re pretty certain you are a girl. I don’t give a shit if you were born male, you’re a girl to me. Like my aunt said, it’s a just a birth defect and it can be corrected.”

I nodded and breathed a sigh of relief. “You don’t mind then?”

He shook his head. “It’s not a big deal to me. You are who you are and if you’re a good roommate too then that would be great. Are you planning on having the surgery?”

I nodded once again, starting to feel a little more comfortable. “I’m hoping to get it during the summer after my second year here and hoping I can heal up in time for the fall semester.”

He seemed to consider that, “That’s cool, and probably a good idea to get it done over the summer so it doesn’t interfere with your classes.” He looked over at Karen, “So what did you tell her about the place here?”

Karen shrugged, “I thought I’d let you talk out the arrangements with her. Jade’s a little uncertain she can afford much and still put money aside for tuition, books, and her eventual trip to Montreal for surgery.”

“Don’t worry about it Jade,” Darren said with a shrug. “Karen and I go way back and a friend of hers is a friend of mine. Besides I own this place outright so I don’t really need much for rent.”

Karen jabbed me in the ribs, “See Jade, I told you. Darren’s family is pretty well off so he doesn’t really care much for money.”

“Okay,” I replied, “How much would you want a month then?”

Darren took a long pull at his Coke as he thought. “How about this? If we get along alright, I’ll pay the bills, groceries and such and instead of rent you take care of the household chores?” He laughed and gave me a grin, “I hate cleaning. I’ll warn you I’m a bit of a slob though.”

I just stared at him for a long time before swallowing that persistent lump in my throat. “Are you sure about that?”

“Sure,” he answered, “I was thinking of getting a maid anyway and if I just have to put what I’d be paying for a maid toward your room and board then it’s actually saving me money. Let’s give it a month and see how it works out okay?”

“That sounds fair; I guess we should get to know each other a bit then,” I answered.

Karen took that as her cue to leave. “Okay, I have to get to work you two. I’ll help you move your stuff in tomorrow Jade.”

We both said our goodbyes to Karen and then got to know each other a bit better. While I was looking to major in Psychology, Darren was majoring in Performing Arts. He was in his second year and was a regular actor in the Theater Clubs performances. Where I had acted out of necessity, Darren seemed to truly enjoy it and was hoping to get into movies or television at some point. I could see him doing well at it. He had the good looks, charm and a good presence.

We also talked about our lives growing up and our families. I told him how mine had disowned me due to my choice to be who I was and I was a bit jealous of him in his family. He had grown up in a well off family that was very supportive and seemed to love unconditionally. The pair of us were very much opposites but we seemed to hit it off well enough that I thought we could become very good friends.


It was just before Christmas of my second year at UBC when things began to change. I had been living with Darren for over a year now and we had become very close friends. The living situation seemed to work well for both of us and we could talk to each other about almost anything. If he needed advice on a girl he was dating he’d ask me and if I needed a kick in the butt to do something I was too nervous to do on my own, he’d be there to give me that kick. I had also settled in to doing all the cooking, cleaning and other household chores, though Darren wasn’t as big a slob as he had claimed.

Exams for the first semester had just finished and we were spending a quiet night at home, just hanging out and watching movies. We were both in a bit of a dry spell romance-wise; he just couldn’t find any girls he found interesting enough to date while I had never been one to date much the first place. First, I wanted romance and none of my dates seemed to be the romantic type. Secondly, I always felt like I was lying to my dates, giving them hope for something that could never happen. I constantly worried about getting close to one and having him freak out when he eventually found out the truth. It was far better not to date in the first place.

“So Jade,” Darren asked, “Have you thought about what you want to minor in?”

I shrugged, “I still haven’t given it much thought. None of the electives I’ve taken have really sparked an interest.”

He inclined his head toward the TV, “Have you thought about Performing Arts? You told me when we first met that you’re been acting all your life, and you only ever have to look at the script once when you help me run my lines. I think you’d be good at it, and it goes well with Psychology too.”

I stared at him for a moment, wondering what he was getting at. “Yeah, but that acting wasn’t by choice and the only reason I remember the lines so well is because I have an eidetic memory. It helps in classes too.”

He nodded, “But that memory would be great for Performing Arts and you’re usually pretty good at the acting part when helping with my lines too. All I’m suggesting is that you try a Film Studies and Performing Arts class next semester instead of the boring electives you have been taking. Who knows, you may enjoy yourself.”

I actually took a moment to think it over, “I guess it could be fun without the whole survival bit tied to acting well. I’ll think about it when I register for next semester tomorrow. Why the sudden interest in getting me into acting?”

Darren leaned back in the chair, kicking his feet up. “I just think you’d like it, and we could hang out more too.” He paused briefly before adding, “And we’re doing a play next semester I think you could be a big help with. It’s gonna have a Goth theme and I don’t know anyone more Goth than you.”

“Okay,” I replied while wondering if I may come to regret it, “You’ve got me. I’ll take Film Studies and a Performing Arts class next semester and I’ll help you with whatever Goth stuff needed for this play. Maybe it will be fun.”

“Awesome!” Darren said with a big grin as we returned to companionably watching Resident Evil.


The next morning Darren and I woke early to get to class registration before it began. As early as we were we still had to wait over two hours. I got all the classes I wanted for that semester though, including the ones I had told Darren I would try out. I figured if I didn’t like them I still had two weeks to drop them and take something else. Darren came out to join me once he had his classes and we started to walk across campus toward home. “So,” he asked as we walked, “Did you get all the classes you wanted?”

I slipped him my registration sheet as I answered, “Yup. See, I even got those two courses you suggested. How about you?”

He nodded, sporting a big grin, “Yeah I got them all. I even took a psychology course. I thought it might be useful to be able to get inside my character’s head a bit.”

“It couldn’t hurt,” I replied. “So what are you going to do now? Just hang out around the house while I clean up?”

Darren shook his head, “Nah. I’ve got Christmas shopping to do. Why don’t you save the cleaning for later and come with me? I have no idea what to get for you.”

I arched my eyebrow at him before giving him a serious look. “Darren, I live at your house rent-free, you don’t need to give me anything for Christmas.

“Pshaw,” he said, waving off my protest. “You earn your rent by cleaning up after me all the time. Besides, you’re one of my best friends and I want to get you something. We both know you already got something for me.”

I let out a long sigh. Once Darren had an idea in his mind it became very difficult to dislodge it. “Fine I’ll go shopping with you. You probably need help shopping for your mom and sister anyway.”

“Yeah, I’m clueless when it comes to what girls want,” he admitted with a shrug. “Speaking of family Jade, I know you don’t really have much and last year you spent the holidays alone. Do you want to come with me to visit my parents for the holidays?”

I considered the offer briefly before shaking my head. “Bringing me to meet your family for Christmas would probably give them the wrong idea.”

He waved off my objection, “My family know you’re just my friend and roomie, and I’ve told them a lot about you. Could you at least think about it? They live here in Vancouver so it’s not like you couldn’t just come home if you’re uncomfortable.”

“I’ll think about it Darren, but no promises.” I said as we came within sight of our house. “Is there anything else you want to try to convince me of today? You might as well get it all out of the way.”

Darren gave me that grin of his that always meant he had something planned and wasn’t giving me the whole story. I sighed as he replied, “Well that play I was telling you about, we’re having a meeting for ideas and auditions tonight. We’re hoping to get all the parts and jobs assigned before the holidays so we can all have time to get some practice in and the set builders have time to plan before we all come back to school. I was hoping after we’re finished with the shopping you’d come with me and give your input and maybe… “

I narrowed my eyes at him as he took advantage of the moment to unlock the doors to his Prius and get in the driver’s seat. I climbed into the passenger’s seat and fastened my belt as he started the car. Damn him and his love of the dramatic, “And maybe what Darren?”

He backed out of the driveway and onto the street heading toward downtown as he finally answered, “Maybe audition for the female lead.”

I think I felt my jaw hit my lap as I stared at him. “Darren, I haven’t even taken any of the courses yet, there are probably lots of normal girls who have and have actual acting experience.”

“There are other girls,” Darren said with a shrug. “And other than your fashion sense you’re as normal as any one of them where it counts. You do a great job when you help me run my lines and our regular leading lady graduated last year. We’ve been having a hard time finding a replacement for her. Most the other girls have taken the classes but have trouble remembering as many lines as are needed for a leading lady or just aren’t interested in a big part. Our last production in the fall was a disaster.”

It was a disaster; I had seen it and read the reviews in the school paper. Darren was great but the actress playing opposite of him kept fumbling her lines. “I don’t know Darren, there must be someone else.”

He grinned at me, “If there’s someone who auditions for the part that is better than you we’ll gladly take her but the producer wants this to be big. There will be some big names from the Vancouver film industry to see this one. Could you just audition and see how it goes?” Then he gave me the puppy dog eyes that had won him many dates.

Damn him for being so cute
, I thought as I turned my head to look firmly at the road ahead of us. “Fine I’ll try for the part, but you owe me big time for this if I get it.”

Darren seemed to think for a moment before nodding, “Okay how about this Jade? If you get the role and the play goes well on opening night I’ll treat you to a night on the town to celebrate?”

I wasn’t certain about that, it sounded an awful lot like a date and even though Darren was really good looking and we got along great I didn’t want to complicate our relationship. Then again, we had been out to celebrate things before and it had just been comfortable with no pressure to be anything more than friends. I mentally debated it for a time before nodding. “Okay, I guess it would be nice to be able to go out and do something fun.” It would be nice, neither of us really got out much these days, we were too busy with school and I was still working sales part time to raise tuition.


Shopping didn’t take very long. We found some nice gifts for his family fairly quick and it seemed that Darren had been fibbing when he said he had no idea what to get me. He took me to Millennium, one of the best stores for Goth fashion in Vancouver and almost immediately dragged me over to a black lace dress with a dark green bodice, matching lace gloves and a slip. The dress cost a lot more than I could afford but it was gorgeous. Darren gestured to it, “See if they have this in your size.” I was about to protest but he shushed me. “This will look great on you, it’s your style, and if might even work for the play. Besides you’d never spend the money on it yourself so it will make a good gift for you.”

I really had to stop letting him do things like this but he did make a few good points. I found one in a size four and slipped into a changing room to try it on. It looked great on me once I had everything on and really showed off my figure, though it showed a lot more cleavage than I was used to. My breasts had gone through another growth spurt and I was now a large C cup. Combined with my slim waist and hips that were rounding out nicely nobody would ever be able to tell I’d been born male unless they saw me naked. I wondered what Darren would see when he saw me in the dress. He obviously saw me as a girl, but did he see me as an attractive one? I shoved that thought aside. It didn’t matter. We were just friends and I didn’t want to complicate things.

I stepped out of the change room and I think I may have blushed a bit as I modeled the dress for Darren. “What do you think?” I asked a bit nervously.

He stared a minute and I was worried that he didn’t like it, that it didn’t look good on me. I felt so stupid. He was my friend, why did I care whether he thought I was pretty? He finally swallowed and smiled at me, “You look great in that.”

My heart took flight at that and I had to firmly squash the feeling. Cool it Jade, he’s just a friend stop acting like a lovesick schoolgirl. “I don’t think my combat boots go with it though,” I finally replied. “I may have a pair of shoes at home that would work.”

Darren nodded as he looked over the boots in question. “You could always see if you can find something here that will go with it, and you could wear the outfit at the auditions.”

We eventually found a pair of black leather boots with a two inch heel that came up to the knees and fastened in front with silver clips. Darren liked the look of them with the dress and I couldn’t disagree with him as they did look nice. Had he been researching Goth fashion in his spare time or something? Regardless we decided to get them and he wouldn’t let me pay for them either, he just said ,”Merry Christmas,” with a big smile as he paid for the boots and dress and told the salesgirl I would wear them out.

As the salesgirl helped me put the clothes I had been wearing before coming in into a bag she gave me a knowing smile. “That’s some boyfriend you got there. I think you found yourself a keeper.”

I blushed and was about to protest, but Darren was waiting for me outside so I just replied, “Umm… yeah he’s a great guy.” Then I dashed outside to join him.


We arrived at the campus theater just as other Theater Club members began to arrive. We both took seats in the front and Darren excused himself to go talk to the producer/director and put my name into the auditions for the leading lady. He came back with a book and handed it to me. “Read act one, scene five. That’s the scene we’ll be acting out for the role you’re reading for.”

I took the book and just stared at the cover. I blinked and shook my head but the title hadn’t changed, it still said clear as day, Romeo and Juliet. I managed to get over my shock and started reading the scene as other people kept filing in. When I looked up after reading the scene there were over fifty people in the theater. The producer/director took to the stage and cleared his throat. “Okay you lot, as most of you know we have decided to do Romeo and Juliet for our first show of the new year. We are also going to be doing a slight twist on the classic and all costumes and sets will be in a Gothic style to give the classic the dark romantic feel it so richly deserves.”

There was some murmuring at that so he paused a moment to let things quiet down before he continued. “Some roles have already been assigned. We will audition for the remaining roles first and then start taking volunteers for set construction, backstage duties and other jobs. We will begin with the role of Juliet. We have four girls reading for the role, let’s get our Romeo up here and see if we can find his Juliet.” He motioned to Darren who climbed up onto the stage and then read the first name on the list. “Lisa West, you’re up first.”

Lisa was terrible. Even with the book right in front of her she was stumbling over her lines. Finally when the end of the scene ended with a kiss there was a small amount of applause, but it was mostly just people being polite I think. The kiss had bothered me though, seeing her kissing Darren was annoying me, especially since she looked like she was enjoying it. That made me think that during my turn I would have to kiss Darren. He’s just a friend, I told myself firmly, and it’s only acting. It won’t mean anything.

The other two girls were marginally better with the lines though I felt their acting was a bit wooden. Finally the director called out, “Jade Winters.” I stood up and walked up to the stage. I was a bit nervous and people seemed to be watching me and whispering but I shoved it all out of my mind and focused on the task at hand. The director offered me a script but I shook my head and took my position on the stage. He didn’t seem surprised that I had refused the book but it had caused an increase in talking in the audience. Once the director had motioned for silence and got it we started the scene.

Darren approached me reaching out his hand as if nervous and uncertain, wanting a kiss he was afraid would be refused as he took my hand in his. “If I profane with my unworthiest hand. This holy shrine, the gentle fine is this: My lips, two blushing pilgrims, ready stand. To smooth that rough touch with a tender kiss.”

I turned his hand in mine and examined it, caressing it with my own as I spoke. “Good pilgrim, you do wrong your hand too much, which mannerly devotion shows in this; For saints have hands that pilgrims’ hands do touch, and palm to palm is holy palmers’ kiss.”

“Have not saints lips, and holy palmers too?” he asked as his lips threatened to kiss my hand held in his.

I let my hand get just close enough that it almost met his lips before pulling it away. “Ay, pilgrim, lips that they must use in prayer.”

Darren extended his hand as if to once again catch my own retreating one as he got on one knee. “O, then, dear saint, let lips do what hands do; They pray, grant thou, lest faith turn to despair.”

I raised my hand to brush it softly along my own lips as if nervous about the prospect of a kiss. “Saints do not move, though grant for prayers’ sake.”

“Then move not, while my prayer’s effect I take.” He stood up once more and moved forward. I moved not and let his lips meet mine as he kissed me. His lips were softer than I had imagined and I found myself returning the kiss. It wasn’t like any of the guys I had went out with. Their kisses were rough as if they had meant to claim me as their own but this kiss, it was like we were both equal participants in it, kissing and being kissed. I enjoyed it, this electric kiss, and my nipples hardened and my heart fluttered as I found I wanted more. It was over much too soon and the parting of our lips was met with applause.

Once the applause had died down the director addressed the group again. “I think Romeo has found his Juliet! Next we will read for the role of Tybalt.” It went on like that for two hours before all the roles were assigned and we started talking about all the other work needed. I was asked if I could help consult the costuming department on what Gothic styles would be appropriate for which scenes. Lisa was going to be doing some small parts and working with the make-up and asked me on tips for a good Goth look without overdoing it. She didn’t seem to resent me for getting the role instead of her. She preferred smaller roles and had only auditioned for Juliet because she heard that they hadn’t had any promising actresses audition yet and someone needed to do it.

Overall the club was a good group of people who seemed to get along well and shared a love of theater. I thought I could really get to like them all and I had to admit that being on stage had been fun. My mind kept drifting back to the kiss though. I kept trying to tell myself that it was just acting and I shouldn’t read anything into it but I had felt something during that kiss that I had never felt before. I wondered if Darren had felt something too but I quickly dismissed the thought. We were just friends and the kissing was only acting. Reacting like I was in love or something was probably just due to the romantic nature of the role. I’ve always been a sucker for romance.

Even if Darren did enjoy it as much as I did he couldn’t possibly be interested in me. We are just friends and roommates and I’ve seen the girls he goes out with, they’re all gorgeous. I’m not even a real girl biologically speaking. He needs a nice normal girl, someone who can give him more than I can. I kept pushing the thoughts aside but they kept coming back. Darren came to take me home and my heart fluttered. I firmly stomped down on the feeling and tried to act normal.


Despite my protests Darren had convinced me to come spend Christmas Eve and the next morning at his parents’ house. They lived in a large home in the upscale Kitsilano area of Vancouver on a plot of land with a large portion of beach on English Bay. They really were wealthy but Darren said his dad came by it honestly, having built an advertising company from the ground up. Except for the large house they didn’t really flaunt their wealth and tried to do their share to help the less fortunate. Still I felt nervous as we drove up that long driveway. “Relax Jade,” Darren said as he opened the car door, “You look like you’re about to walk to your execution.”

I was nervous, I had been planning on dressing up nice for this but Darren had told me just to dress as I normally did. It was probably a good idea since dressing up to meet them would have likely given his family the wrong idea about us. Would it be so bad if they got the wrong idea? I thought. I got out of the car and smoothed my skirt as Darren grabbed our duffel bags. “Sorry Darren, you know how I am about family.”

He put a hand on my shoulder, “Jade my family isn’t like yours, trust me you’ll like them and they’ll like you. Hell, my sister might ask to borrow your clothes.”

I gave a nervous laugh at that, but I was distracted by his hand on my shoulder. “If she likes them that much then I’ll have someone to go shopping with,” I tried to answer lightly. His touch felt so nice and it brought my mind back to the kiss. No matter what I did, I couldn’t stop thinking about that kiss. It had felt so good, so right and I desperately wanted to kiss him again to know if it was just my mind playing tricks on me. He wouldn’t want to kiss me though, the only reason he did was because of the play. Thinking about that I asked, “So do your parents know you’re playing Romeo for this play?”

He nodded as we walked to the door, “Yeah and I told them you were playing Juliet so don’t be surprised if they ask us to run through our parts for them. My mom is a big fan of Shakespeare, I caught it from her and it’s one of the big reasons I decided I wanted to be an actor.”

My heart took a leap as I thought of running through our lines and getting to kiss him again. If we went through the whole play I’d get to kiss him four times. I doubted he’d want to do that though so I just tried to play it cool, “I don’t mind going through it for them, we need to start practicing soon anyway if we want to get our parts down before classes start taking up a lot of our time.”

He didn’t seem to catch on to my eagerness but nodded in agreement. “I think we’ll need all the practice we can get. Thomas wants to have the play premiere on Valentine’s Day so once we get back in school we’ll only have a month or so to prepare.” He opened the door at that point and called out, “Mom! Dad! We’re here!”

An older woman came out of what I assumed was the living room, given the noise of a television. She was slim and had light blonde hair just beginning to show signs of grey and bright blue eyes that carried her smile just as much as her lips did. “Darren, it’s good to have you home, you need to visit more often.” She turned her smiling face toward me and, despite my fears, didn’t bat an eye at the way I was dressed. “And you must be Jade, Darren has told us so much about you.” She surprised me by wrapping us both in a hug before stepping back and taking a good look at me. “He was right, you are a pretty little thing, Darren why don’t you take the bags up to your rooms?”

Darren nodded and headed up the stairs while I blushed fiercely at her comment. Darren thought I was pretty? “Umm… thank you Mrs. Pearson, I really hope I’m not intruding but Darren wouldn’t take no for an answer.”

She just led me into the living room and sat me down on the couch by the Christmas tree. “Nonsense Jade, I’m glad he convinced you to come. People should be around family at Christmas and I want you to think of us as family. Darren has had nothing but good things to say about you so you’re welcome here any time.” Then she added as an afterthought, “And please, call me Dottie.”

At that point Darren had come back downstairs and sat down beside me. “Where are Dad and Jennifer?”

Dottie offered us a plate of cookies, fudge and other assorted Christmas sweets. “Oh they’re still dropping off food and gifts at the Salvation Army shelter, they should be back soon.” I took a cookie and nibbled on it as I took in the room. It was tastefully decorated in creams and browns and all the furniture looked comfortable. There were lots pictures hanging from the walls and above the fireplace, mostly of Darren and a blonde girl I assumed was his sister Jennifer.

I thought that this was a place where family was important because of who they were not what they were. It was a stark contrast to the home I had grown up in where Christmas was just a time where I was given gifts to remind me I was male and encouraged to do better at sports and become a man my parents could be proud of. Other than that they had no time to spare for me. I had to hold back tears so my make-up didn’t run. Thankfully nobody noticed, as that was when Darren’s father and sister came in.

Darren’s father was like an older version of Darren himself: Tall with brown hair and blue eyes, he looked like he kept himself fit, and his love for his wife was evident as he kissed her tenderly as soon as he saw her. Dottie had kissed her husband back lovingly and then gestured to me, “This is Jade, Darren’s roommate.”

George reached out and shook my hand, “It’s nice to finally meet you Jade, I’m George, Darren has told us so much about you.”

I wondered just what Darren was telling his family about me. We were roommates and close friends but surely he didn’t talk about me that much. I returned the handshake and smiled at him, “It’s nice to meet you sir. Darren talks about you all a lot. The way he talks about you all makes me wish I had as good a relationship with my parents.”

He just gave me a big smile and said, “Well their loss is our gain. As much as Darren talks about you it’s like you’re a member of the family. Darren’s always picked good friends and if he thought enough of you that he felt you should be here for Christmas then you’re family to us.”

I was about ready to cry again at the ready acceptance from this family when Jennifer took my hand, “Nice to finally meet you Jade, call me Jen. I love your hair and outfit by the way. I’d love to try a similar look but I’m not sure if I could pull it off.” She seemed fascinated by the green streaks in my black hair. Jennifer was only a year younger than me though she was a few inches taller, was as slim as her mother, she wore her blonde hair long and back in a ponytail and was dressed in a skater style. She, like me, had double pierced ears and a ring in her eyebrow and I thought I could get to like this girl.

I smiled at her, “I think you could pull it off. Being Goth isn’t all about doom and gloom, it’s more of a state of mind and the clothes reflect that. There are different kinds of Goths, I’m kind of a cross between a romantic Goth and a perky Goth. I love all things romantic and sensual and I love the Goth styles and culture, but I don’t really go for the morbid, depressing attitude. I’m more of a happy, live life to the fullest kind of girl. No matter what style you choose it really doesn’t matter so long as you feel that it expresses yourself and you don’t care what anyone else thinks of it.”

Jen grinned at me, “Cool. I never really thought of it that way. I love the clothes and hair and such but I just wasn’t sure I could handle the whole depressing attitude. I have some blue and black hair dye I had been thinking of trying before I start school in January but I was a bit nervous to do it.”

“I could help you dye it if you want,” I offered. “I brought like three changes of clothes with me so we could see if you like the look too.”

“That would be awesome!” Jen replied, half pulling me from the couch. “Mind if I borrow your roomie for a bit Darren?”

Darren just laughed and shrugged, “Sure Jen, I wanted to talk to mom and dad about something anyway.”

“Sweet!” Without further ado, she pulled me along, both of us laughing as she led me to the guestroom.


I had just finished putting the dye in Jen’s hair to set when she asked, “So Darren managed to get you into the whole acting thing with him did he? He told us you were a natural and got the role of Juliet in their next play. I might join you both, but I’m not sure if acting is for me, I might help with make-up and behind the scenes stuff.”

I nodded as I removed the dye gloves. “Yeah he managed to con me into it. I have an eidetic memory and I kinda grew up being forced into acting as someone I wasn’t so I guess it came to me easily.” I shrugged off bad memories of my parents and forced a smile, “Does that mean you’re coming to UBC too?”

“Yeah,” she replied with a smile of her own. “I was supposed to start in the fall but I broke my wrist doing stunts on my board and decided to wait until January.”

“That’s great, maybe we can hang out,” I offered. “If you decide you like the Goth style I can show you all the good places to buy clothes and stuff. Since Karen moved to Toronto I mostly hang out with your brother, so another girl to hang and shop with would be great.”

“That sounds good; most of my high school friends are going to different schools or already have jobs. It would be nice to know someone there besides my brother,” she said, seeming genuinely pleased. While we waited for the dye to finish setting I showed her some of the clothes I had brought and we put together an outfit that we thought might look good on her. Even though she was a bit taller, we were roughly the same size. We decided on a short black skirt with a metal studded leather belt, torn fishnet leggings, one of my midriff baring black shirts with a silver skull on the right breast, a black lace choker and matching arm warmers.

Once the dye was set we carefully washed it out, making sure the water ran clear before she dried her hair. It turned out pretty nice, mostly black but with electric blue highlights. Once it was dry she took the clothes we had decided on to her room and got changed. She looked pretty good when she came out, though I might be a bit biased. I quickly gave her a grin and a thumbs up and we headed back downstairs.

I had had visions of her parents freaking out and accusing me of corrupting their daughter before throwing me out but that didn’t happen. While they didn’t think it was a look they would try themselves, George and Dottie were obviously pretty easy going about how Jen chose to present herself. Given the piercings and the skater look she had before, this shouldn’t have surprised me. She was their daughter no matter how she looked and as long as she was happy they were happy for her. This only proved to me how screwed up my own family had been, as when I had started dressing in Goth style they had kept me grounded for months before they realized I wasn’t going to stop.

We had finished Jen’s new look just in time for dinner. Dottie was a magnificent cook and everything tasted great. We talked over dinner about school and eventually things got around to the play and how great it was that we both got leading roles. So it came as no surprise that they asked for a performance after dinner was over. Darren pulled out our copies of the script to read from and we all settled down in the living room to relax while Darren and I went through our parts.

We only read the scenes that we had parts in and Jen read the parts of anyone else in the scenes. I found myself looking forward to the scenes where we would kiss, wondering if it would feel as good as the first time or if it had just been my imagination. I gave my best possible performance throughout though, and as we kissed in that first act I felt it again. I grew warm as our lips met and it didn’t feel the same as the first time, it felt better. Each kiss with Darren felt so good and so right and my mind kept straying with back to those kisses as I tried to sleep that night.

The kisses felt so nice, we got along great and never tired of one another’s company, and he had accepted me for who I was from the moment we met. Was I in love with him? Could he ever possibly love me? It was one thing to accept a trans girl as female, but loving and wanting to be in a relationship with one took much more than acceptance. We wouldn’t even be able to have much of a physical relationship until I got my surgery. I had passed my psych evaluation and gotten approved for SRS covered by my medical but my surgery wasn’t until early June and it would take three months to heal properly. Even if he was willing to risk our friendship to date me would he be willing to wait until then for anything serious? No, it was all far too unlikely, better that I bury my feelings and keep it at being friends.

I didn’t sleep much that night and I was tired the next morning when we all gathered to open gifts. Darren’s parents and sister had both gotten me something, even though they didn’t know me and I was touched by their thoughtfulness. The stainless steel earrings and bracelet both suited me and I wondered if Darren had helped them to pick them out. After opening gifts Jen and I helped Dottie to prepare the turkey and later the rest of dinner as well. It felt like I was part of a family for the first time in forever.


The next month and a half seemed to fly by. I was still spending a lot of my time with Darren but Jen had started hanging out with me and spent a lot of time at our place too. I had settled into the new semester and I found myself really enjoying the classes Darren had suggested. I was also enjoying being in the Theater Club and getting to know Lisa, Thomas and the other members. My advice on the set design, make-up and costumes was well received and everything looked to be shaping up well as we began dress rehearsals on the 10th of February.

There were some problems though. I still felt like a girl in love each time Darren and I kissed during those rehearsals, my heart fluttering and my mind wandering as I thought about whether he could possibly feel the same. Each time I buried those thoughts and focussed even more on my acting as I resolved to keep it as just friends and told myself that he was just a good actor. It was becoming more and more difficult to do. Neither of us was seeing anyone, but I didn’t dare broach the subject and risk ruining things between us. I was beginning to think it was better to be his friend and love him secretly than to risk losing him altogether, but oh those kisses made me wish it were otherwise.

After that first dress rehearsal we were sitting at home, taking a break from all things acting and ironically watching a movie. Jen was over to hang out with us and Darren had just stepped out to go pick up some Chinese take-out when Jen crossed her arms and gave me a stern look. “Jade, are you ever going to tell my brother how you feel about him?”

I blinked in surprise and tried to brush it off. “We’re just friends Jen.”

“Oh come on,” she said, rolling her eyes, “I’ve seen how you act when he kisses you during rehearsals.”

I groaned at that. Was I really that obvious? “The key word there is ‘act’ Jen. We’re acting out parts it’s nothing more than that.”

She narrowed her eyes at me, “Yeah, you’re a good actress Jade, I don’t think he’s caught on to how you feel yet. Plus he’s a guy and that makes him automatically dense about girls. But I’m not fooled; I’ve seen the way you look at him when you think nobody is looking.”

“Look Jen, we’re just good friends, and I don’t want to risk our friendship by pushing anything more on him. I really don’t think he’s interested in me that way anyway,” I replied. “I think he’s better off with a normal girl.”

She sighed at my answer. “You’re as normal as I am, though I guess that’s not saying much.” She tried to give me a grin at that before her expression and tone turned serious. “So you’ve got a birth defect, you’re getting it fixed this summer. You have got to stop thinking you’re less of a girl because of that. You’ve got a better body than I do and you’re female where it counts most.” She tapped her head as she said the last.

“You’re right, I know that,” I responded with a sigh. “I know you’re trying to help but I think it’s best I just keep being his friend. If I try to be more and he doesn’t want that it could ruin the relationship we do have. I don’t want to risk that.”

She looked like she was about to say more but Darren chose that moment to come back through the front door. She didn’t get another chance to bring it up as we all turned our attention to eating and watching The Princess Bride. She had given me a lot to think about but my thoughts just kept returning to how much I didn’t want to lose him in an attempt to win him.


It was opening night, Valentine’s Day. We were all back stage preparing for the raising of the curtain. Most of us were in various stages of getting dressed, and I myself had only just finished getting into my dress for the third scene of act one where I would make my debut. Lisa and Jen were running around checking costumes and putting on final touches. Jen grabbed my arm and pulled me into one of the make-up chairs so she could get to work on me. Most everyone else had already had theirs done by this point.

Thomas, our producer and director came back stage to give everyone a last minute pep talk as Jen worked on me. “Okay everyone; the dress rehearsals went well so let’s just do our best to make this a night the audience will remember, hopefully in a good way.” He gave a wink at the last and it was met with laughter. “And not to make anyone nervous, but we’ve got some big names from the Vancouver film industry in the audience tonight, so let’s show them what we’re made of. Break a leg folks.”

After that Thomas left us to narrate the prologue and raise the curtain and it all began. “Jen finished touching me up and asked, “Nervous yet?”

I nodded ever so slightly and took a deep breath, “A little bit, but I’m sure I’ll be fine once I get on stage.”

“Don’t worry, you and Darren got your parts down, you’ll both do great.” She gave me an encouraging smile and squeezed my shoulder.

“Thanks Jen,” I replied, taking her hand in mine and giving it a squeeze. “We’re glad you could be here tonight. Are your mom and dad in the audience?”

Jen nodded, “Nothing could keep them away tonight, they’ve been waiting for this all month.”

I gave her my best confident smile. “Well we’d better not disappoint them then.”

Time flew by after that and I hardly noticed as I was doing my absolute best to stay in character and keep my thoughts on the play rather than the kisses. Before I know it the final scene was upon us and I as Juliet was kneeling beside my Romeo and taking the cup from his still hand. “What's here? A cup, closed in my true love's hand? Poison, I see, hath been his timeless end: O churl! drunk all, and left no friendly drop to help me after? I will kiss thy lips; Haply some poison yet doth hang on them, to make die with a restorative.” I leaned forward and lovingly pressed my lips to his own, putting the feelings I couldn’t admit to Darren into kissing Romeo.“ Thy lips are warm.”

A voice sounded from off stage, “Lead, boy: which way?”

I turned my head to the sound, portraying in my movements grief and fear that I may be separated from my true love. “Yea, noise? Then I'll be brief. O happy dagger!” I said as I took Romeo’s dagger from its sheath, “This is thy sheath!” I thrust the dagger between my left arm and breast. “There rust, and let me die.” Then I fell atop Romeo in death as I waited for the scene to end. It ended soon to thunderous applause as the curtain fell.

Darren and I both stood as the curtain fell and all the cast came out on stage to join us. Then the curtain rose once again to be met with a standing ovation as we took our bow. When we got back stage there were dozens of roses waiting for me. I just stared for a long moment as I wondered who they were from. Darren put his hand on my shoulder, “I hope you like roses. I think you deserve them. You did a great job.”

“These are all from you?” I asked uncertainly.

He chuckled, “Well my parents are responsible for the dozen white ones, but the red ones are from me. Come on, it’s eight thirty and I promised you a celebration. If we don’t hurry we’ll miss our reservation. Don’t worry about the roses, Jen promised me she’d drop them off at our place.”

“Reservation?” I asked, still somewhat in shock. His answer was to grin and pull me along out the back door of the theater to his car. Both of us were still in costume, me in my black and green dress and him all in black. He actually looked nice as a Goth, though I really didn’t care what he looked like. Soon we were pulling up in front of Donella’s, one of the classiest and most expensive restaurants in Vancouver. I was a bit worried that dressed as we were we would stick out like sore thumbs but once he gave the Maitre D’ his name we were led to a private table in a secluded part of the restaurant lit only by candlelight.

I was still in shock from being in this restaurant and trying to find something to say. I managed a “Thank you” as the Maitre D’ held out my seat for me and gently pushed it toward the table once I was sat down. I took in the candlelight and the bottle of champagne sitting in an ice bucket on a small table and wondered if this was a date. I finally spoke to order the Chicken Tortellini and then once the waiter had left to take our orders to the kitchen I asked, “This is a bit much to celebrate opening night Darren, we don’t even know if the play was well received yet.”

He took a long slow breath, “This isn’t just to celebrate the play. Did you know it was my idea to do a Goth take on Romeo and Juliet? And I worked so hard to convince you to take Performing Arts and take the role of Juliet, not just because I thought you’d enjoy it, but because I wanted you there with me. I thought that even if you didn’t get the part I would get to kiss you at least once.”

“You did all that just to kiss me?” I asked, completely stunned.

“Yeah I did, though I was hoping you would get the part too,” he replied, wringing his hands nervously. “I convinced Thomas to have opening night on Valentine’s Day because I wanted to plan this.”

I just stared at him a moment, my mouth agape. “You’ve been planning all this for months just to get me to kiss you and be here with you tonight? This is a date isn’t it?! I know you haven’t been dating for months, but surely there’s girls you’re interested in, I’m just your friend and roommate.”

He shook his head and took my hands in his. “I haven’t gone out with any girls in four months. I’ve had girls asking but I’m not interested in them. There are no other girls for me. The only girl I want is you. We get along great, we like a lot of the same things, and living with you the past year and a half and spending so much time with you I’ve come to realize that you’re the one I want. I want this to be a date and I hope that you do too. Jade, I love you. If you don’t feel the same we can still be friends and roommates, we’ll just have a nice dinner and call it a night.”

I could feel tears beginning to sting my eyes and worried that my make-up might run and give me raccoon eyes. I just looked at him teary eyed, “Damn you Darren. I’ve been trying to keep things as just friends since that first kiss, trying to ignore the feelings I have for you, how wonderful that kiss and every one since has felt. I wanted to tell you how much I love you but I didn’t want to risk losing you by saying it, and all along you were doing this? I kept telling myself that it was only acting, that I was Juliet kissing Romeo.”

He squeezed my hands in his as he leaned across the table smiling. "Sin from thy lips? O trespass sweetly urged! Give me my sin again."

I removed my hands from his, placing a finger to his lips. “No. I don’t want to kiss Romeo again tonight. I’ve kissed him enough. I want to kiss you Darren.” And so I did. I leaned across the table, savoring the warmth and pleasure as our lips met, and I kissed him more passionately than I had ever dared kiss Romeo.

 © 2013 Amethyst Gibbs
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What a combo...

Andrea Lena's picture

The Bard, the love, the tats, the Goth, the romance, the love (did I just repeat that?) What a lovely story. Terrific! Thank you!


To be alive is to be vulnerable. Madeleine L'Engle
Love, Andrea Lena


Well done, I say! Well done, indeed! :)


Thank you :)

Amethyst's picture

Thank you both. I wasn't sure if I wanted to write a Valentines story but this idea came to me and I just fell in love with it. I had only expected it to be 5000 words or so but it ended up double that because I didn't want to push the story forward too quickly. I'm really glad people are enjoying it.


Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3


What a wonderful story, Well done and thank You


Bravo, bravo

Bravo, bravo. What a wonderful tale. Jade is such a cool character. Its nice that she found both a loving accepting family, and the love of a significant other. Such a lovely valentines story. Cheers, Kiwi.

Wow Kiddo!

Loved this! Jade & Darren are more than good friends. Living so well together for over a year sure seemed to prove that, so it's no surprise that he wanted more. Lucky for him Jade felt the same way! Sniffle sniffle, nice tale Amethyst, really sweet! (Hugs) Taarpa


Amethyst's picture

I'm really happy people are enjoying this as I don't often get the chance to write a pure love story. Love can sometimes be just in front of our noses, we just need to open our eyes and look. I loved writing this one and I teared up a bit myself as I wrote the final scene.


Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

Nice story

Good story

Cartman: A fine day of plundering we had boys. What about yourselves? Here you are lads, plenty of booty to go around. A round of grog for me boys. A round of grog for everyone!


Wonderful story. But you have me worried. I have been through Pierre Brossard's beneficial program and live only about 30 minutes away from there. I am scheduled to attend a conference in Prince George next May. Is it really as bad as your story indicates? Do I have to be extra careful there? Are the majority of residents similar to Jade's parents?

Just curious and cautious. Thanks for a truly romantic tale from the bard.


May the sun always shine on your parade

From my point of view

Amethyst's picture

that was what it was like. Most of Jade's childhood and high school background was taken from my own experiences and may be biased due to that. It may have changed in the last five years since I left for Vancouver but it really probably depends on how well you pass and which areas of town you go to. I left because there was zero help for trans people there and even the few people who I talked to who did care enough to try to understand just had no familiarity with the issue.

If you are going to spending most of your time with other people you probably don't need to worry too much, just be cautious and don't go to the seedy areas of town alone. I had my surgery with Pierre Brassard over a year ago now and liked Montreal so much I moved here to be with my lover.

Glad you enjoyed the story and best of luck on your conference.


Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

That Darren

knew exactly what to do to win her Heart.

May Your Light Forever Shine

Juliet is the sun

What a wonderful Valentine's story! I'm glad you took the time to develop the play and romance properly.

A big fan

Amethyst's picture

I'm a big fan of the Bard and of Romeo and Juliet in particular and once this idea came to me I did my homework. If you're not going to do something right, don't do it at all was my feeling. Also Jade reflects a lot of my own background and personality, my middle name is even Jade and I felt adding so much of myself would make hr more real to my readers. I'm really glad you enjoyed it.


Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

A bit late

But I finally got around to reading this. I loved it! Soooo romantic... I hope I find someone like this some day.

Melanie E.

I'm happy

Amethyst's picture

that you enjoyed it so much. I wanted to make the story romantic. Like Jade I'm a sucker for romance and I know there are wonderful romantic guys out there that can accept trans girls as girls regardless of biology and love us for who we are and not what we are.

There's always hope of finding someone like that. I know because I have found my own romeo, though not in the wonderful way Jade did. :)


Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

Thanks Dorothy

Amethyst's picture

I'm glad you liked it. I'm a romantic at heart and I don't often get to show that side of me so writing a love story was a nice change of pace for me.




Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

I love this story

Very well written, and well paced.

Everytime I read this story it brings tears to my eyes. My only regret, is I want to see more of this couple.

Thank you Kiste

Amethyst's picture

This is one of my favorite solo stories I've written. I start crying too in some parts when I re-read it. They're a cute couple and I don't often do real-life sweet and sentimental stories.

*big hugs*



Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

I love this story

Very well written, and well paced.

Everytime I read this story it brings tears to my eyes. My only regret, is I want to see more of this couple.

I love this story

Very well written, and well paced.

Everytime I read this story it brings tears to my eyes. My only regret, is I want to see more of this couple.

very nice story

which I only just discovered .

thank you dear

Anne Margarete


Amethyst's picture

Thank you, I really love romantic stories and this was really my first crack at one. I'm glad that you both discovered and enjoyed it.

*big hugs*



Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3

the tale

Good work!

I just read this again, and it's still just as heartwarming.

For real, I love this story SO much. I think I've read it 4 or 5 times over the last few years, and every time I find myself completely absorbed and on the verge of tears -- if not over -- at the romantic nature of Jade and Darren's feelings for one another.


Melanie E.

Aww thanks Ras

Amethyst's picture

I don't often write solos or real life stories, and this is one that holds a place in my heart. I put a lot of myself into Jade and I've always had a soft spot for romance. I get brought to tears too whenever I read it. Hell, I remember crying while writing that last scene.

*big hugs*



Don't take me too seriously. I'm just kitten around. :3