Jem...Chapter 165

Jem…Chapter 165


Feeling safe.

Safe, really that’s still such a thing that I’m still getting used to. It’s like I can feel that bullied me on edge deep down inside still not quite believing the miracle that’s happening and it’s almost like I’m huddled deep down there until Rayne and all of this sort of seeps in enough to me.

I love and hate it, love it because I hit that point and I can unwind and hate it because unwinding sometimes comes with tears.

She’s holding me as it wells up this PTSD sort of aftershock and I’m shaking and she dips her head to my collarbone and nuzzles me, kisses my shoulder and hugs me tighter.

“I have’s okay Angele, I have you.”

*And Now…

It’s one of those times when crying yourself to sleep when you had a good day even a great day happens.

It’s just one of the things that’s so messed up but happens to all of us.

It’s like just pretending, like that just keep going and I’ll be fine is like...well it’s like stored tears and when you finally stop. And like I mean emotionally stop those unshed tears still like have momentum going enough that stuff you had contained spills out over your edges.

And Rayne’s holding me as I cry over things that happened and over things I’m not sure I even get.

“I want to be me…..” (Sobby-crying.)
“Why couldn’t I just be me….” (Sobby-crying.)
“I...I...why can’t I have just been effing normal…” (Lots of sobs.)

I go from crying to the sobby crying and asking why...we really never get a satisfying answer as to why really. I know lots of trans people of faith that have decent answers for them but I’m not really religious or wasn’t really raised to be. Dad and Mom weren’t like anti religion except for like the poop faith killing stuff in the Middle-East and other places but they weren’t fond of bigotry or racism or anything like that we just were like I don’t know...heathens but like friendly ones.

But elsewhere I’ve looked, other times I’ve thought about it it’s just...everyone goes through horrible stuff.

And at some point we just...we just get frustrated and want a reason why.

I’m not expecting one.

I’m just venting.

Howling along with my own black dogs.

Fisting my fingers into our sheets to hold on and not in that good way.

Curling up until my knees are touching Rayne’s hands around me.

It’s the the first time I can ever remember being held through it.

I cried before.

Cried home when the assholes just wouldn’t stop.

Cried when people that didn’t even know me hated and ignored me.

Cried when I literally hurt from the in crowd sniper punches, dead legs, locker shoves or just even outright punches from like Adam or Justin or someone who was just scoring points.

This time’s so different.

Like when inside you’ve been hurling yourself bloody at this wall in your life and you just can’t get through, can’t get ahead...feel like a wounded animal...and still you go to throw yourself at this wall that’s hurting you and then someone catches you.

I’m dreaming of just that...this huge wall covered in my bloodstains and all the things I’ve felt, thought, said about myself...things others have said and it’s cold, it’s just so cold and darker than dark and I run over and over at that wall...trying to break through, trying to climb it, trying to hurt myself doing so.

Then Rayne’s there as I’m running and she catches me around the waist.

I scream, cry, fight, used to being hurt, wanting it maybe, even maybe needing it at this point.
I’m so used to being alone too.

And like I said when it sinks in I’m not alone I bawl.

Crying in my sleep.

It’s never been this bad, this vivid, hurt this much coming out.

I’ve never been this safe either though.

And somewhere bubbling up through the blackness is the thought that hey you’re on hormones Angel, it’s not going to be all sunshine thoughts.

Which wakes me up and it’s eyes are heavy with the crusties and the eye salts that come from dried up tears and there’s sunshine coming in through the window and Rayne’s not there.

Which almost gets me going.

But when I look over at the alarm clock there’s a heart shaped pink post-it saying “Good morning I love you.”

I sniffle and sit up and rub my face and she wrote on me...wrote on me while I was asleep and I’m covered in these little notes all in red pen.

“I love you.”
“You are the most beautiful girl in the world.”
“You are the best thing I have ever thought as mine.”
“You make me smile at flowers coming through pavement.”
(Heart shape) “Je T’aime.”
“You make me buy Love Heart candies.”
“You are my battle hymn.”

Over my belly button is… “I reach out in the middle of the night and you’re there. It makes me so happy.”

And there’s a bunch of love notes...literal musical notes with the ball mark of the note being a heart.

I cry.

I literally can’t stop the swelling happy cry and grab her pillow and hug the heck out of it and just cry and rock myself in this about to happy explode feeling while rocking back and forth in the sunshine.

Being cared for like this, loved like this feels like a miracle right now.

I get a hold of myself more even though I’m bubbly happy and I get dressed into some of my easy wear stuff and head to the bathroom and brush my hair out and do the deeds then brush my teeth and hormones and my vitamins then head downstairs and I’m just wearing one of the softer more washed band tees and yoga pants and big legwarmer socks.

It smells amazing down here and I see Carmen with headphones on and the extended cord stuff and she’s dancing. She looks great, into it and happy in that post sex way. But comfortable too. Her hair’s actually pulled back into puffs and I can see the black girl there her mom didn’t want to exist. She’s also got that so relaxed girl in a big shirt thing with just a small pair of shorts on and a Toronto Blue-Jays baseball jersey on.

Molly’s got three laptops going taking up all the coffee table and she’s got a sort of couch nest all set up as her workspace. She’s speed clicking as her fingers are dancing from mouse to keys and from laptop to laptop and one looks like site stuff there’s one with all this stuff that’s filling the screen with stuff and the third is going between our pages as she wants by going through tabs.

She looks great still drying and she’s got these blue tinted glasses on and she’s wearing a old looking black/pink/purple plaid flannel shirt and sweatpants on and it’s her doing her thing and she looks happy until she sees me and she looks concerned at me.


I smile. “It’s a pretty good morning.”

Molly tilts her head. “Oh?...It’s...It’s just last night sounded not so great.”

I lean on the doorway still hugging myself some. “Yeah, It was one of those things where stuff was going so okay that it hit that whole contrast of when things weren’t in my life and I had a freak out.”

She nods and gets up and comes over with her coffee mug and hugs me. “Sooooo get that. Heck I’ve done that since coming here.”

She lets go but turns to look at Carmen who’s still dancing but she has her eyes open and she smiles at us and waves before going back to raising her hands up to grip the headphones and dancing more which does great shape things for her.

Molly sighs. “Seriously. I really am still in life shock from all of this too Angel and I don’t get why half of it’s even happening to me.”

“Good karma? Honestly Carmen’s into you because you are seriously you Molly, and you made you’re own way the hard way to be yourself.”

She blushes. “Okay yeah given her mom...yeah but good karma?”

“You sent us those flash drives.”

“Yeah but Summer’s a bitch.”

I snort laugh. “I’d have to agree as much as I want to be a better person than that.”

“You are a better person than that Angel, though i’m kinda really a bitch too for being glad that you had a freak out last night.”


“Yeah you always seem so...just with it and together all the time.”

“Well that’s more me just being super lucky with everyone I know plus being pretty control OCD.”

“You don’t control people though.”

“I try not to but I tend to super manage and organize stuff so I feel like I’m in control.”

Molly nods. “I’m that way with my piercings and life would spiral and things would suck so I’d get a grip by taking control of at least something in my life on like my terms.”

Okay, no one’s ever explained why kids my generation are getting mods and tats like that and given the stuff I see and the shape of the world and stuff in our futures it totes makes sense.

We head to the kitchen and it really smells awesome in here and there’s coffee made and I get a mug as Molly’s refilling I look around and find a covered baking pan in the oven and there’s waffles inside and some bacon and a little dish of syrup in there so it’s been heating and I smile.

Molly smiles and takes a sip. “Rayne cooked and the girls did too even the dishes and stuff’s done. They seriously care about you.”

I get a bit of butter and then a dishcloth to pour the syrup and Molly fills my mug and she tilts her head to read the stuff Rayne wrote. “That’s sweet as hell.”

I’m grinning around my first mouthful of waffley real maple syrup goodness then chew and swallow it. “I know, goddess I’m so utterly smitten today. You want to see the rest?”

Molly nods. “Definitely,” And I’m showing them all to her and she’s grinning. “Corny but utterly cool.”

“I know right!?” yeah I’m bouncy and beaming all over again.

Molly grins and she makes a new pot after topping off our coffees and she kisses my cheek and heads back to the living room. “Rayne’s happier than I’ve ever seen her Angel, so’s the band too seriously they weren’t the same band, weren’t the people they are now...hell none of us are after meeting you Angel. Enjoy the happy you deserve it.”

I am.

I nod a couple of times my mouth full as she goes back to work and I just eat, eat and take my time enjoying it all.

A breakfast made just for me, the caring of all the girls, feeling loved and more.

All the housework’s done.

Looking around someone even cleaned the floors, which makes me actually really happy even though I come from a house that didn’t freak out over tracking in dirt. Even mom was hospitality first.

But still since taking over stuff like that at home I kind of like a clean floor.

I eat it all and even went and got my laptop to read through things and just really do this who eat slow and lounge thing. I mean I’d be reading the paper if we got the paper delivered.

Actually… I go online to The Harper Point Post our local paper and buy a three year subscription in hardcopy and sign up for their online membership too which comes free with it all and I pay online and it’s not bad at just under a hundred bucks.

Yeah I know The Marshal family owns it but they have lumber and pulp and paper. Besides it’s one more thing that’s local and I’m kind of able to set aside the crud and think about the writers and the people that work for the paper.

And thinking of that reminds me of us all having a talk about Halloween for the gig there and the whole K&T thing with the Brewsters at The Wildcat.

I leave the girls a message on their phones and I wash up my dishes and then head back over to the living room where Molly and Carmen are still at their things and I watch Carmen dancing for a minute or two before I go over and tap at my ears so she can see me and take off the earphones.

She looks at me and she nods and pulls them off and i can hear a techno-beat going on and then us as in Starlight Butterfly shouting out Magical Power Panties.

She grins at me. “You look better.”

I nod and shrug. “I hit one of those too good to be true walls.”

She nods. “Shock from the non-suck.”

I laugh a little. “Totally, I wasn’t always the shining example of together that you see before you.”

She laughs. “Yeah what’s that like a duck?”

I nod. “Smooth cruising on the top and paddling like crazy underneath.”

We both share a laugh and I can get her getting it because with her mom it was that little picture of like perfection or nothing.

I look at the headphones. “Where’d you get the remix?”

“Mike made a couple it’s actually pretty good.”

Molly’s still typing but she says. “Mike’s got a lot of good Audio/Video skills seriously with like the stuff he learned through his like side projects and stuff he knows what he’s doing. All he needed was to like use one of my mixing board simulator programs and we were great though it was Mike’s idea to patch in the big keyboard for like special effects like things and like tuning.”

Molly’s had some serious guy issues with her crappy brothers and men in general so it’s kinda more than cool she gets along with our guys but her and Mike they have the deep bonds of tech-geek.

It makes me smile.

Carmen passes me the headphones and she turns the tunes back on and I like it. The beat is a fast upper range pulse and I’m not sure what you’d call all the chime like sounds and other effects but it does this weird techno bridge to the bits of sped up guitar and then there’s Kimmie’s voice and ours in the background and it’s all pretty cool.

It’s really hyper which Kimmie will love too.

Then it’s *Don’t Wanna* By Starlight Butterfly remixed and *I wanna be a Sailor Scout* By Starlight Butterfly too and i’m dancing with it or trying to which actually has Carmen giving me that pouting no-no-no that’s not good look and she takes off the headphones and she let’s it play on speaker and she’s like.

“Angel you’re like awesome but girl you really don’t got a clue like as to how to dance.”

I blush and hide my face in my hands. “Never really been taught a whole lot, a tiny bit with my mom way back before she died but other than that it’s been trying to copy TV and videos and like winging it.”

Carmen nods. “Well I was in ballet ever since I was able to be in Ballet because it’s a thing thing and a grace thing and all of that stuff so dancing...well here, let me show you.”

And if this was a movie this is where we’d had the music and the whole movie montage with like all of the dancing and stuff.

Okay it’s kinda like that as Carmen shows me and Molly stops to help because she can really move too with her going out lots and in like being cool with the clubs and places and all of that.

It’s also one of those things that regular girls get to do sometimes and that’s dance with her friends and learn to dance with and from her friends.

It’s really fun and we screw up and I really screw up and fall on my but when my socks slip out from under me on the hardwood flooring and I look especially geekettely doing that.

Carmen really knows the actual how’s of getting a body to do what in dancing.

Molly knows just about all the dance stuff from the clubs to go with what music and we kinda let Molly DJ and there’s videos too and I’m seeing what goes with what and how that might work with what we play when I take breaks from playing and dance on stage or when the other’s are playing plus it’d just be cool for actually going out.

We even watch some “You think you can dance.” while having some water and orange juice for ideas and some like examples.

It’s around lunch when Carmen actually shows us some contemporary dance and she does this sort of ballet sort of like living sculpture dance all like slow and graceful set to Sinead O’Connor’s *Nothing Compared to you.”

It was way cool and Molly’s filming it too but there’s this look on her face that is like totally heavy duty into her while she watches Carmen dance.

Feeling both lazy and cheap and generous I order pizza for lunch since I’m hungry and we’d been dancing on and off for a couple of hours and I’m actually like craving melty cheese.

Pizza Hut is a go to for me when it comes to deals and cheap pizza. I like pan-pizza i like how the crust is still sort of soft but it’s all fried sort of crispy at the same time. The got the five buck deal so I get 4 and the leftovers will be gone right fast anyways and I go for a cheese pizza, then a pepperoni, then a works and the last being a veggie pizza.

I’m waiting for them to come and I get messages from the girls as it’s their lunches saying that they forgot all about the gig being a thing and that they just assumed that we’d be playing it.

Though Brooklyn texts. “Honestly I’m as much looking forward to it as not because well Skummer and Adam but at the same time there will be other cool bands and people there so yeah.”

Kimmie’s all for it and says that she actually wouldn’t mind meeting K&T’s violinist girl.

Rayne says it would be good exposure and another chance for us to face up to things but it’d also show that we as a band could professionally put stuff aside and actually just do our jobs and be professionals.

We all agree and then Rayne is the only one left and she’s Skyping me from one of her computers at work.

It’s weird seeing her like this in the Wal-Mart get up.

“Hey Beautiful.” She says smiling for me in the camera.

“Hey you...That was amazing.”

She smiles a sort of shy smile as she looks around like for co-workers in this really cute self-conscious way. “You’re amazing Angel, I’ve never met anyone like you, any woman like you.”

Goddess...I’m happy blushing and Carmen and Molly do a double “Aaaawww” before they head outside to sit on the stoop together to smoke and have coffee.

I wave them off and lean towards the screen and say to her. “I love you.”

She’s smiling and she’s blushing. “I love you too.”

“I can’t wait for you to get done work and to come home.”

She blush smiles. “I wish I was there to be kissing you right now.”

I smile at that really happy. “I really wish that you were here too.”

She looks around at her area and she looks at me. “Ange?”


“I Skyped not to just like talk to you face to face and all but i wanted to do something for you too.”

I blink. “ more?”

She nods. “Yeah, I love you and I want to...i want to do things for you, I want to hold you when you cry and to pick you up when you’re down I want to reach out and brush away your tears.”

I’m almost in tears as she’s telling me that and they’re like happy tears too.

Then she moves back and she has a guitar I think from the store and it’s acoustic and she starts to play a song and she starts singing to me right there in Wal-Mart in public and that’s like just a huge like gesture and then the song...oh the song….

*Girl crush* By Little Big Town.

I gotta girl crush…
hate to admit it but...
I gotta heart rush!
ain’t slowin’ down...
I got it real bad...
want everything she has...
That smile and the midnight laugh she’s givin’ you now

I wanna taste her lips…
yeah, ‘cause they taste like you...
I wanna drown myself…
In a bottle of her perfume.
I want her long blonde hair...
I want her magic touch...
Yeah, ‘cause maybe then…
You’d want me just as much.
I gotta girl crush…
I gotta girl crush...

I don’t get no sleep…
I don’t get no peace!
Thinkin’ about her under your bed sheets
The way that she’s whisperin’...
The way that she’s pullin’ you in
Lord knows I’ve tried…
I can’t get her off my mind…

I gotta girl crush…

I’m swaying and I’m smiling and hugging myself in this really likely hormonally boosted so in love way.

I mean it’s simply past amazing.

And today might just be right up there with the best of all the days of my life.

Rayne get’s done and I know it’ll be a mess on the screen but I lean over to her and I kiss the screen and her.

I hear clapping on her end and there’s people in the background that are cheering her on and she’s blushing and she’s smiling too and even through the screens I can see the gleam in her eyes.

I laugh-cry-happy-bubble into the camera and shout so they all can hear me.


There’s a hand reaching for the power button that's not hers but another woman's (long nails with funky polish.) and she yells to me. “I LOVE YOU TOO!”

Then the screen goes black and I fall backwards on the couch happily hugging myself.

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