Here Comes the Sun
a series of Vignettes celebrating transgender romance
through the songs of George Harrison
by Andrea Lena DiMaggio
Love you all the time and never leave you
Please come on back to me
I’m as lonely as can be
I need you
“No…go away….please?” The young woman sighed and tried to turn, but the girl to her left sat there, practically pleading. Minutes passed as the two sat in silence. The two exchanged glances until the girl stared almost longingly before gasping out a brief sob as she stood up and walked away…..
“Are you okay, honey?” Laura asked. The young man looked up from his reading and nodded weakly with a half-smile.
“Yeah…I’m…..okay,” he said quietly and returned his attention to the Bible that lay open on his lap. Searching for reasons to live in a life filled with doubt and disappointment and confusion. It wasn’t like there was nothing to find in the book laid open before him, but like so many just like him, he was looking without any direction in places with answers meant for other questions. He sighed in frustration and closed the book.
“She doesn’t understand, honey. You know that, right?” Laura said more than questioned. She walked over and sat down next to him on the couch. He raised his head and looked at her, displaying the face of a child without hope, even if the child was twenty-three and still living at home with his mother. She put her hand on his shoulder and patted softly.
“Why do I have to choose, Mom?” He pleaded. She shrugged her shoulders slightly; the gesture that says I don’t know everything, but I do know a bit.
“She loves you but she doesn’t love all of you….” She said slowly but shook her head
“She loves you but she doesn’t know that she loves all of you The part of you that she doesn’t quite know but has known since you met?” Laura sighed, feeling almost useless in consoling her child.
“Me? She doesn’t know me at all….just everything she chooses to see. I give up.” He shook his head and put his head down and wept. Laura put her hand on his back and rubbed it softly in a circling motion. What else to do. No amount of comfort, however well-intended, could provide the solace her son sought. No words could undo the hurt that still impaled his heart. Only time and maybe understanding would heal the wounds left by the words the boy had heard.
“I don’t want to be with you anymore….I can’t…. “ Just as many tears shed by her as by him; it meant that she loved and hated at the same time. Some might call it ignorance, and in so many ways, it was indeed true. But so many choose to be ignorant; that willful decision to remain in the dark; unknowing. But this was the insular ignorance that is borne of fear, and not fear from something so much as fear to submit to feelings rather than remain unfeeling. And that unfeeling was merely the failure to express what dwelt inside and not any numbness or lack of emotion.
“She hates me, Mom.”
“No, honey. She just loves you up to the point where her fear takes over. You know she loves you; it wouldn’t hurt as much if she really hated you, right?” Laura had experienced so much of what her son was going through, if for different if somewhat similar reasons. She sighed even as another voice spoke up.
“It’s her way of protecting herself.”
“What am I doing to hurt her, Mama?” He turned to face his other parent; the mother who held him when he was born after Laura had given him life. She walked over and sat on the couch on his other side; reaching across his back to grab Laura’s hand.
“It’s more what you’re not doing to protect her from her fears just by being you. She wants to….” Laura began but looked at her partner. Keiko nodded and smiled.
“She’s a woman….just like you are. And by you being you, she feels like she’s less of a woman. She cannot see who you are as long as her vision of herself is cloudy. When she discovers more of whom she is, who can say she won’t realize who you are? We can hope and pray and believe, and those are good things, no matter what happens, yes?”
“Yes.” The boy said softly and nodded. She looked at him and smiled. She brushed a tear from his cheek and turned to Laura.
“Where there is time, there is also hope.” Keiko squeezed Laura’s hand and then stood up.
“I believe some tea and prayer are in order, yes?” She waved her hand toward the kitchen. Laura got up, helping her son to his feet…. Son in birth only, of course. Anna stood up and smoothed her long skirt down and walked into the kitchen with her mothers, ready for some herbal tea and prayer that might bring change and understanding but would most certainly bring peace and accord.
Said you had a thing or two to tell me
How was I to know you would upset me?
I didn't realize as I looked in your eyes
You told me, oh yes, you told me, you don't want my lovin' anymore
That's when it hurt me and feeling like this I just can't go on anymore
“Why did this have to happen to me, Dad?” The young woman sat at the table; resting her head on her elbows.
“Nothing ‘happens’ really, Nona. Right?” He placed a mug of coffee in front of her and patted her on the back; squeezing her shoulder gently as she raised her head.
“Why do I make such stupid choices?” She argued; shifting the blame from circumstance to herself.
“What stupid choice would that be? Falling in love with someone without knowing everything about them?” He smiled.
“Do you think your mother knew everything important there was to know about me before she fell in love?”
“No, but this is different.”
“It is, honey, but you know now, and how do you feel?”
“I’m….I’m not sure. I mean….oh, I don’t know, Daddy.” She looked away, sipping her coffee.
“What hurts the most about what you were told? What is the biggest disappointment.”
“You make it sound so easy, like everybody got an invitation to Susie’s birthday party in fourth grade…well almost everybody,” she said with a sigh.
“Not easy, but still something inside feels wrong…. That somehow you didn’t find what you were expecting. What part of what you were told feels the worst…the biggest part of what you aren’t going to get, I suppose?” He sat down and took a long sip of coffee.
“I….” She paused, as if by telling her father she was committed to the disappointment she might express.
“Listen, Nona. You can’t get this answer wrong; it’s how you feel.”
“That’s the doctor in you talking, Daddy. Not really the same.”
“I tell my patients the truth as they tell me they see it. Can I do less with you? You’re hurting because something doesn’t feel right, no matter what it is or how things go, right? I just want you to know I’m here for you, okay?” She nodded weakly and spoke.
“I wanted to be a mom so bad, Daddy. And not just a mom, but a mom just like Mommy.” She completely missed his grin and continued.
“If….we can’t if….Oh, damn it, Dad…. Why did he turn out….”
“I don’t know, but I’m sure she wants more than anything to be honest with you. There are a lot of folks who would have walked away without a word….. or she could have….”
“It feels like I was tricked, Dad. Like I fell in love with someone who doesn’t exist.”
“Is she the same person you love? Has anything shown you she’s not the caring person you came to love, honey?”
“No….I guess she’s….it feels strange, but since she told me, I can’t even use the word him or his or he anymore, and it makes me angry.”
“Because you fell in love with a man, right?”
“Did you? Or did you fall in love with a heart? What was it you said about him when you first thought he was the one? Something about….”
“I…felt he cared more about me than himself….like he wanted to see me happy.”
“He backed out of the engagement the first time because?”
“I said I wasn’t sure….that I needed more time.” She blew out a breath.
“And who called whom after a few months?”
“He did….just to tell me he loved me and that he prayed that whatever I decided that I’d be happy. And then he moved. He didn’t leave any address or phone number…. I felt so ….”
“I missed him when I realized he might not come back. But I never realized that he’d come back like that…”
“Two years away can certainly change things for a lot of people.”
“But….” She bit her lip in frustration; feeling almost guilty for wanting what she wanted.
“Something inside changed in you, and way before you met her, right?”
“Daddy, you don’t understand. It’s not like I don’t….I do….love her…but I’m so confused. I don’t know who she is or even who I am.”
“You’re the same lovely young woman you’ve always been. Right? Have you grown less in love with her or more?”
“It’s not that easy, Dad,’ she repeated herself.
“No, not easy at all. I suppose this is where your mother would say something like, ‘Nona? Only you can decide what you want ….’” He smiled and let out a soft laugh.
“Or who you want. What about her has changed so much that you can’t love her like you used to.”
“I wanted children. But things have changed.”
“Very much so, but you know that I understand completely, right?” He didn’t wink, but he might as well have. Her eyes widened just a bit and her face grew a bit red.
“I don’t want you to feel bad about wanting to have children. But you more than anyone, honey…. When the doctor told your mother…. And me…. We thought about so many choices and things. So many ways to face the truth. But that’s the wonder and delight of life. What we would have chosen, as much less painful as it could have been? We were given exactly the answer we sought even if we would never have planned it that way.” He sighed and tears came to his eyes.
“Your mom was at work…. She worked in pedes at the time. And I had just finished a session with a teen….” He would have added that the teen was very much like her erstwhile fiancé, but she had heard the story so many times anyway. He swallowed hard. Getting to the painful part; the emotional childbirth before Nona’s arrival, so to speak. She shook her head slightly; not wanting to hear the story, but not refusing either.
“My sister and my brother-in-law had been driving back from visiting his family in Connecticut, and ….”
“I know, Daddy. Please…It’s okay.” The story, of course, was okay, but he needed to be reminded that it was okay for him to cry. He paused and lowered his head and wept softly at the recollection of the accident that took their lives and left their two year old daughter an orphan. How things work together for good, not as planned so much as allowances made for. She choked back a sob. What she knew of her mother and father she learned from her Mommy and Daddy; the uncle and aunt who brought her into their home to treasure and love.
“The plans they had we saw to fruition in the beautiful woman you’ve become. We had been disappointed and felt hopeless and even ashamed that things were not what they should have been.” He blinked back tears, but these were hopeful and grateful and peaceful tear.
“I am so proud of you, Nona. You know that whatever you decide I will believe that it Is exactly what you need and wish and hope for yourself, because I have every bit of trust that you know what’s best for both of you now. Okay?” She nodded but the half-smile on his face seemed to belie his encouragement until he added,
‘But only you can know what’s best for you, right? I can only ask questions that provoke you to consider what you yourself want and need. And I believe you will know when the time comes.
But when you told me, you don't want my lovin' anymore
That's when it hurt me and feeling like this I just can't go on anymore
“I’m going away. I’m sorry,” the young woman tried to speak without halting, but she stammered anyway.
“No.” Nothing dramatic or elegant or involved or complicated. The word was simple and to the point.
“If I stay, I can’t stay as him, and that would hurt you, and I don’t think I could bear that,” she said and repeated herself.
“I’m going away.”
“No, you’re not. I don’t know how this will work out, but it has to work out because I need you. I love you more than I can say, and I’m sorry if I don’t know how my love will work things out, but you mean more to me than I can say."
“I can’t put you in this place, Nona. I don’t want to hurt you.”
“We’ll both hurt each other some ways before this is all through, but the most hurt I’ve felt through all this is the hurt I turned in on myself when I denied how much I loved you. That somehow you being who you are was wrong for me when you being who you are is what makes me love you; guy or girl. And I’m not going to listen to those voices that tell me you’re wrong, when I know you’re right, even if I don’t even understand what right means anymore, okay?”
“Y….yes,” Anna spoke in a near whisper, wanting to run away and hide herself and her hopes and dreams, as if somehow being someone other than who she was would make Nona happy.
“This ought to be very interesting, but I’m going to try to show you outside how I feel inside. I don’t think I’ve ever loved a girl before but I know I’ll never love anyone like I love you.” Nona leaned close and pulled Anna into the first of increasingly less awkward hugs and kissed her for the first time of many, many times to come.
Please remember how I feel about you
I could never really live without you
So, come on back and see just what you mean to me
I need you
I need you
I need you
Next: Don't Bother Me
I Need You
Words and music by the performer George Harrison
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