Alexa Chapter 6: Revelations
I have never felt so helpless in my whole life. Here I am, a guy, asking my best friend to help me as I sit on the bathroom floor tears running down my face. Those tears causing the mascara I had put on a few minutes prior to run like the Mississippi. I sit on the floor wearing a dress and women’s underwear asking a girl to help me, but with what?
“Oh my god! Alex!” Katie screams as she moves quickly to my side. I bury my head in Katie’s chest, not out of lust or anything, but out of general shame.
“What is wrong with me?” I ask Katie several times through the sobs. Katie tries to console me but does not address my question. She pushes me back for a second and asks me if I had done anything stupid. I shake my head no. I might be hurting but there is no way I would do anything to harm myself, I think. God this is a messed up situation. Katie helps me up from the floor and leads me to the living room where she deposits me on a couch.
Seeing my student handbook sitting on a shelf by the TV, she grabs it and looks for something in it. Reaching for my cell, she dials a number and waits. After a few seconds I hear her begin talking, but I have no idea what she is saying. She looks at me like she is going to ask me a question, but all she says is “if that’s the earliest, we will be there.” And “we will see you tomorrow morning” and hangs up the phone. She sits down next to me and pulls me to her again. She doesn’t say a word to me but just holds me. I have not stopped crying since we left the bathroom and feel like the whole world is crashing down on me. The emotions that are running through my head are paralyzing me. I can’t stop this urge to dress and I feel like it is destroying me. I cling tighter to Katie as I try and calm myself. Having Katie here is a godsend. She is truly the sister I have never had and I can’t imagine where I might be if she hadn’t come through my door.
It is just about this time the I hear Jenny come through the door saying hello in a much cheerier voice than the current situation would warrant. Before I know it, I hear things crashing to the floor and feel another set of arms around me. I can hear Jenny talking, but like the phone conversation Katie just had, I don’t understand anything that is being said. All I can understand is Katie saying,” We are going tomorrow.” Who is we? Where are ‘we’ going? Am I part of this ‘we’? I really don’t want to dwell on this, but my brain keeps repeating where are ‘we’ going tomorrow. I feel Jenny loosen her grip on me and can feel her presence depart. Katie pushes me up a bit and the next thing I realize is Jenny is standing in front of me looking like a very concerned, but beautiful angel holding a glass of water in her hand and commanding me to drink it. I can’t stop staring at the beautiful blonde who seems so concerned at the moment. I take the offered glass and drink about half of it. I thank her for it and collapse back down into Katie’s arms.
For her part Katie doesn’t say a thing to me but I can her saying to Jenny, “This is not your fault. You had no idea this was going to happen. I had no idea that this would happen. I think our little fun must have triggered something. Alexa and I had a long talk the other night.” Being able to hear only the Katie side of this discussion was difficult. From the direction it was going it sounded like Jenny was blaming herself. She can’t do that she did nothing wrong! All this is me! There is no way Jenny could have hurt me! I can almost feel anger boiling over inside of me over what Jenny is thinking. I push myself up and look at the girl of my dreams. She is lumped over on the chair, head hands. Very similar to the way she was just last week after she asked me. I reach over to her.
“Jenny, there is no way that this is your fault.” I say, speaking for the first time in I don’t know how long. Katie is still trying to pull me back to her because I think she realizes I am about to say something that I will never be able to take back. Jenny lifts her head and forces a smile to her face. I can see that she has been crying too. Was she crying for me? There is no way that that is happening. I’m that dweeby little guy across the hall. Jenny Thompson is a beautiful, intelligent, wealthy girl that I can only dream about. And she is feeling sorry for me? I try and begin speaking again but no words will come out. Katie finally wins an easy struggle and pulls me back into her arms. Not like I put up a real struggle.
The girls help me to my feet and start leading me towards my room. I plead with Katie not to leave and thankfully she doesn’t. Before the two them can get me situated under the blankets, Jenny asks if I would like to take the dress off. I just nod my head. Once again Katie proves to know me all too well and asks me where they are. The ‘they’ being my new Mickey Mouse pajamas. I just point at the dresser and Katie instructs Jenny to go into it get out a pair of black silk pajamas with Mickey on them. Jenny follows the orders but with a confused look on her face. She opens the drawer and pulls out the one item I have not given up since this weekend. “These are gorgeous! Where did you get these?’ Jenny says as she hands them to Katie to help me with.
Katie informs Jenny of our little side trip on Saturday. “After you left, Alexa asked if we could go to the Disney Store. I knew how much Alex loved all things Disney and I guess that love carried over. She found these and fell in love with them. I’m just mad she found them before I did. They were the last ones.”
Jenny looks at us with a sad face. ‘You went to the Disney Store without me?” I could her the pouting in her voice. I hear Katie tell her that next time we will all go.
Katie helps me get changed and tucks me in in while he tries to get herself situated. After she is situated, I move my head to her lap where she begins to gently rub my head and shoulders. I ask her if I’m a freak. In a soothing almost motherly tone she assures I am not a freak. I ask why I am losing my mind through all this and why does it hurt so bad. Katie says she isn’t sure why to either issue but that we are going to find out. She tells me the phone call she made earlier was with Transgender Health Services in the University of Minnesota’s Program in Human Sexuality. She explains to me that I was lucky enough to be a student at one of the foremost centers for the study of Gender Dysphoria. I asked her how she knew all this. I could tell she did not want to answer me but I urged her too. Finally, she admitted that she had done some reading up on Gender Dysphoria the last few days and was surprised to learn about the U of M’s programs. I knew there was more, so I kept harassing her until she came out with it. “Fine, here is the deal. Saturday night when you and I were alone proved something to me. You are a happier person as Alexa. I wanted to see if were just living in the moment or if you truly have some deeper issues that you need help with. I no longer wonder if you are having an issue dealing with your gender, but I am no expert and you won’t listen to me. You never have before.” I giggle at her comment. This is the first I have even cracked a smile in a long time.
I woke up the next morning feeling like I had been through a war. I realized that I was being held closely by my best friend, my sister. I can’t believe she had spent the whole night with me. I must have been in pretty bad shape to have gotten this much attention. Feeling the urge to take care of some personal business, I try and pull myself out of Katie’s grasp but she fights back. “Where are you going?” When I inform that I am going to bathroom, and she can hang on in there if she wants. This results in me being hit with a pillow. I smile as I move off to the bathroom and taunt my best friend. I return to my bed and Katie promptly pulls me back into her arms. Katie asks me how I am doing.
“I feel like shit. Thank you for taking care of me, but you didn’t have to do that. I’m sorry I’m being such a pain in the ass.” I say in a meek voice. Reflecting how low I truly feel.
Katie hugs me tighter. “Alex, if you were hurting and needed help all you had to do was ask. You are my family and I would do anything for you. I just want you to be safe and happy.”
“Where’s Jenny?” I ask. I am hoping deep down that she didn’t stay here all night and had to deal with me being a complete basket case.
“She left around midnight. I wanted to get rid of her but she was almost as messed up as you. She sat there and blamed herself for how you were acting. I tried to tell her it wasn’t her fault, but her stubbornness wouldn’t let her believe the truth.” Katie says. “She feels that if she hadn’t opened her big mouth about the paper none of this would have happened.”
“She’s wrong.” I say. “I feel like that it would have happened at some point. I just don’t know when.”
Katie then begins to explain to me what she has lined up for today. “As I told you last night, I did some studying over the weekend about transgender people and I really learned a lot. One thing I learned about was the Program in Human Sexuality here at the ‘U’. I called them yesterday and talked to one of the counselors at the program about your situation.” I begin to shake as Katie reveals this part. She must have picked up on it, because she started to try and calm me. ‘Don’t worry. I did not tell them your full name or anything like that. Hey, I am concerned about you. Last night you scarred the shit out of me. I was really scarred if something wasn’t done you might hurt yourself. So, I called and we have an appointment at 10:00 AM with a Dr. Burke. She is both a medical doctor and a psychiatrist who deals with these issues. You need some help Alex. You can’t do this all on your own. I can only help but you need to see a pro.”
Sheepishly I thank Katie for what she has done. “I feel bad I am putting you through this.” I tell her and she reassures me for the hundredth time that I am family and there is no way she let me do this alone. “Does that mean you are coming with me?’ I ask. She nods her head.
“I am going and we are not going to have an argument about it.” Katie tells me firmly. I hug her again and thank her. Continuing on in her protector mode. “OK, now that that issue is settled, you need to get cleaned up and some food in you and I am going to do the same. I want you to take a shower and get dressed. You don’t have to do anything special. Just dress how you normally would. When you are done, come over to our place and we will have some breakfast. Deal”
“Deal” I reply as I let go of Katie and begin to work my way back towards my bathroom. Katie reminds me not to take too long as she leaves me alone in my apartment. I look into the mirror and try and take stock of myself as I let the shower warm up. I see a very sad young man with swollen, bloodshot eyes staring back at me. This is not who I want to be. I don’t know that I want to go through life being this person. I can’t stand to look at this person anymore and jump in the shower. I decide not to shave as the mere thought of looking at my face is not appealing so I quickly brush my hair and teeth before heading into my room to get changed. I open my drawer and see my ugly boxers sitting there. I really don’t want to put these on. I want to feel a little more relaxed so I search for the panties I had purchased yesterday and I find them thrown on the floor in the bathroom. I slide them on and feel a sense of calmness coming over me. Have I gone that far? I try not to think about it and quickly throw on a pair of jeans and pull on a t-shirt before slipping my feet into a pair running shoes and make my way across the hall.
Once I am through door I am greeted by the smell of bacon, a smell that reminds my stomach that I haven’t eaten since lunch yesterday. I can barely make it through the door when I am almost knocked over by a blonde tornado running up to me and almost crushing me with her hug. “Are you OK?” Jenny asks. I tell her I am fine and she begins to apologize for pushing me so far. As much as I don’t want to, I wiggle free of Jenny’s clutches and tell her not to worry about, but I can see she is. Katie yells at us to eat up or it will get cold. “Yes, MOM!”, Jenny yells at her roommate and leads me by the hand to the dining table. I almost faint from just the fact Jenny is holding my hand. And as much as I love it, it only serves as a reminder to the war that is going on inside my head. As I sit down, I can feel the tears start to form again. However, this time they are tears of happiness and not sadness. Why am I crying so much? I can honestly say that my emotions have never been this raw in my life. I look at the two girls sitting at the table smiling at me and thank them for everything they have done. When I look at Jenny, the sadness is there still, but it is a different kind of sadness. Empathy? Is Jenny feeling bad for me? There is no way that is possible but it sure seems that way.
I thank the two them for being there for me and for making me breakfast. Katie shrugs it off, as usual, but when I look at Jenny I see a warmth in her smile that I hadn’t really noticed before and it puts me an instantly better frame of mind. I am still unclear on what her intentions are and figure I should know before I go into my doctor’s appointment, but I can’t bring myself to ask her if this was really for a paper or if there was something else going on. “How’s the paper coming”” I ask her, waiting for her response with apprehension.
“Great, but now I do have to change somethings. I am so sorry Alex. I didn’t know that something like this would happen.” Jenny states. “I feel like I have ruined your life.” She says and instantly breaks into tears. I quickly drop my fork and move to her side and try and comfort her. I think Katie is in shock over what is going on and just sits there mouth agape. I assure that she had nothing to do with anything that has happened to me. That what had happened was something that could have happened at any time. She just happened to be there when the ball dropped. I don’t really know if my words helped or not but Jenny did crack a slight smile and thanked me. I in turn thanked her for helping take care of me last night. She assured me that it was not a problem. “That’s what friends do for friends. You are such a special person Alex I wouldn’t want anything to happen to you.” I start to feel a little better about myself, that I was lucky to have friends like these two.
We finished breakfast and Katie left to get ready for my appointment and Jenny took off for class. I was relieved that she wasn’t coming with us today. I don’t know if I want her to completely know what is going on with me, especially since part of my problem is my feelings for her. I see Katie’s laptop sitting on the coffee table in the living room and grab it. I flip it open and open up her internet browser and check out her history. Normally I would feel odd doing this, but the curiosity of what she had been looking at regarding Gender Dysphoria is winning out. I search her browsing history and find a link to an article by a Dr. Alan Donohue on Transvestism versus Transgenderism. I begin reading the article and am surprised how many of the scenarios I read seem to relate to my situation, and how many of them describe what I am as being transgender. Is that what I am? Am I really a woman trapped in a man’s body? I start to shake as the contents of the article start to set in. I hastily close the laptop to try and somehow distance myself from the article, as if somehow that would change what I am feeling. Katie happens to come out of her room and sees the look on my face. With a concerned look on her face she asks what I was looking at. I tell her I had read the article by Dr. Donohue.
“Yeah, I read that one. That was the one that kind of got to me too.” Katie says as she sits down next to me on the couch. “What are you thinking?”
“I really don’t know. I thought I was just having some fun, but as I read this it seems like something else is happening. I feel more lost than I did before.” The tears start to flow as I tell Katie this. She sits down next to me and puts her arm around me.
“Alex,” Katie starts, “you will not go through all of this alone. Maybe after you see Dr. Burke, it will be you were just having fun. You just enjoy dressing up, but if it is something more, you need some help. So let’s get going. The office is over off of Washington on the other side of 35, we’ll have to take your car.” Katie and I get our act together and downstairs to my car.as we reach my 2002 Ford Taurus; Katie demands the keys.
“Thanks for helping, but I’m not crazy enough to get in a car with you driving.” I say. Feeling good that a little of my smart Alek ways are coming back.
“Oh, give it up Alex. You are in no condition to drive and I am not that bad a driver.” Katie says although I do remind her about her car, which is currently sitting at a body shop back home following its sudden meeting with a tree at her mother’s house. She sticks her tongue out a me as I toss her the keys and we get in and head over to the building that houses The Program in Human Sexuality.
We pull up to and enter the modern looking building that sits across from the main campus a few minutes later. Heading towards the elevator we proceed to the 4th floor and the main office area for the staff of the Program. We check in with a receptionist and are instructed that it will be just a few minutes and that we should take a seat. I was shaking as I sat down in the comfortable waiting area. My mind spinning a million miles an hour as I nervously look around the waiting area. Thankfully there was no one else waiting to see another counselor so I could relax a bit. Katie saw the state I was and tried to calm me. “Relax Alex. There is no reason to be scared. Remember the doctor will hold no judgement over you, they just want to help you”. I nod but am unable to speak. I just try and stare straight down at my shoes as Katie grabs my hand attempting to show support.
We didn’t have to wait long, as a slightly older woman enters into the waiting area, “Alex Quinn?” I look up at her with and nod sheepishly. “Follow me” she instructs and leads us into the inner sanctum of offices through the reception area doors. We proceed down a hall of offices and stop at one that is closed and marked with a plaque outside the says, “Deborah V. Burke, MD, PhD.’ Our guide knocks on the door and from the other side I hear what sounds like a British accent instructing us to come in. Our guide opens the door to a fairly good sized office what looks like a very nice seating are with 3 chairs and a coach arranged in a conversation area and off to the right is a nice sized desk with two chairs situated in front of it. Behind the desk sat an attractive blonde harried woman who appeared to be in her mid-thirties. I noticed she was dressed in a very fashionable suit as she stood and came out from behind the desk. She extended her hand a said.
“Hello I am Doctor Debbie Burke. You must be Alex and Katie, please have a seat.”
After exchanging delicate but firm handshakes with the female doctor, Katie and I took a seat on the couch as Dr. Burke took the large the chair that sat directly across the coffee table from the couch. Dr. Burke began “Alex I want you to feel completely relaxed when you are here. I understand what you are going through is difficult. But I want you to know I am here to help. You can tell me anything. But I also want you to know that I will be asking things that you might not always feel comfortable talking about, but if we are to make any progress, I will need you to answer them. Katie has told me little about you and what has happened the last few days, but I would like to hear it from you.”
Instinctively I reach for Katie’s hand and take a deep breath and try and collect my thoughts. Dr. Burke simply asks me to tell her a little bit about myself and very guardedly begin to tell her about my family and life growing up. Dr. Burke takes a few notes and asks a few questions about my parents but lets me describe my life up to this point. She asks me to talk about my dressing. I think at that point I might have crushed Katie’s hand because I feel her punch me on the arm. After apologizing to Katie, I reluctantly begin describing some of the times I had dressed. How I had started by trying on some of my mother’s things and I how good they felt. Dr. Burke asked if anyone had ever caught me when I was dressed. Before I could answer, Katie pipes up and says that she had. I glare at Katie and she slumps her head a little apologizing before I apologize for my actions. I hear Dr. Burke chuckle at this a little and ask of us we are sure we are not related. This comment seems to relax both us a little but I am still feeling nervous giving up my life’s story to this woman, no matter what her credentials. I press on though, telling her about my dressing and the guilt I feel each time I do. How each time I want to do it again but go through the same cycle and that I get mad at myself and throw everything away.
Dr. Burke explains that this is a fairly common situation with crossdressers, purging themselves of their acquired clothing only to get start the cycle again. “But Alex, I don’t think that is what has caused everything that happened yesterday. What happened last Thursday?” she asks.
I am at a loss for what to say. My hand starts tremble as I try and come up with what exactly to say. As much as I want to tell the doctor everything, I am scared to let go of the secrets and shame I have carried the last few days. I am afraid to tell her that I enjoyed being Alexa. Katie puts her arm around me trying to comfort me but also to prod me along. “Please tell her about Alexa. If she is going to help you, she needs to know about Alexa.”
Dr. Burke interest seems piqued as she interjects herself. “Who is Alexa, Alex. Is that a name you use when dressed?”
I nod my head but do not look up. I can feel the tears beginning to form in my eyes as I think about Alexa. I look back on the fun I had with both Katie and Jenny over the weekend, the shopping and the night out. I think about the closeness I felt with Katie and to a little lesser extent with Jenny when I was Alexa. Mostly I think about how natural I felt when I was dressed as Alexa and how alive I felt when I was out as Alexa. The doctor’ question continues to ring through my head ‘Who is Alexa?’ Is she really just a persona I adopt when I am dressed up? Is she simply an ideal that I am looking for? Or is Alexa who I am, when I look up at the doctor.
“I think I’m Alexa.” I say with little conviction. I suddenly start to feel nauseous, but fight through it. As much as I feel I am Alexa, part of me can’t let go of Alex.
Doctor Burke simply nods her head and scribbles some more in her notebook. After a minute she looks up and directly at me. The tears in my eyes are begin to distort the things around me, but I can clearly see a face on the doctor that appears to be non-judgmental. That in and of its self is comforting. I feel like I have found a friend but I also remember that this is her job and she has to act this way. After a moment of contemplation Dr. Burke asks me why I had said that I am Alexa. I explain to her that I felt like a different person when I was dressed as Alexa. How I felt I opened up more and wasn’t the shy kid that I had always been as Alex. She probed a little further on my experiences as Alexa and the feelings about not only Alexa but how she was perceived. I laid my soul on the line to her as I told her how I felt alive through this. That I felt like a completely different person and that I liked this person. Again she took it all in with her nod and note taking.
As I sat there I felt completely exposed but rejuvenated. I could relate my experiences and someone accepted them. I started to think back to the article I had read on Katie’s laptop. Maybe I am transgendered. I had never thought of that prior to all this. Maybe I was stunting who I was supposed to be by trying to keep my feelings suppressed. I really felt at a crossroads. The feelings of almost relief were almost instantly dashed when the doctor asked her next question.
“Do you think your parents would approve of Alexa?”
That one simple question summed up most of the angst I have been going through. I knew the answer to that almost immediately. “Not a chance in hell.” I reply. I can sense Katie next to me agreeing with what I am saying. Dr. Burke asks Katie why she was nodding her head as well. Katie explains about how close she and I are and how we have basically grown up together. She had known my parents for years and stated that my father would probably kill me if he thought I was becoming a woman. I can see the concern on the doctor’s face as Katie relays the facts. The doctor asks about my mother. This time it is my turn to respond. “I think she would accept me if I was a female if it wasn’t for King Dick-head” I catch myself instantly as these words slip out of my mouth. I have always joked with friends about my father and his attitude, but I had never shared my thoughts with anyone but Katie. I instantly felt like I betrayed him. Then again I have felt like I have betrayed him for years by not liking what he wants me to like. The frown deepens somewhat on the doctors face as she continues to ask me about my family and their attitudes. At times I just breakdown as I think of the answers. Katie tries her best to answer the doctor’s questions but spends more time trying to console me.
At this point the doctor moves onto my love life, asking if I have had girlfriends or boyfriends. Do I currently have one? “That’s the problem doctor, I am in love Jenny!” I can see a look of acknowledgment on her face as Katie explains who Jenny is to the doctor while I drop my head to Katie’s shoulder as I bawl like a baby. This has gone really well! My best friend takes me to a doctor to try and get me some help and I can’t do anything but cry like a baby. I’ve made a great impression. At this rate the doctor will be committing me to psycho ward. I try hard to pull myself together as I feel embarrassed by my actions. Fortunately, Doctor Burke has quit the questioning and begins talking with Katie about keeping an eye on me.
I finally get myself pulled together enough to get myself upright and only pass the occasional tear. I look at Doctor Burke and apologize for how I behaved. I am shocked that she gives me an almost a motherly look and tells me that there is no need to apologize. She assures me she understands how difficult and emotional these first meetings can be. She than asks me something that just floors me. She asks if she can meet Alexa. What? I am at a loss as to what to say. “You want to meet Alexa?” I ask.
“Yes I would like to meet Alexa. This is completely out of the ordinary, but I don’t think I have ever had a patient that has come to such a dramatic revelation. Would it be possible to meet her?” the doctor asks.
This is not something I had even remotely expected. I thought I was just going to come in and sit down with a counselor and talk about my dressing. I did not think that I was going to need to come in as Alexa. “I can’t come here as Alexa!” I almost scream out at the doctor. When she asks why I try and fumble for a reason to not meet her as Alexa. Over the last few days I don’t know if I want ANYONE to meet Alexa. I think I was able to get the doctor to understand that I would like to keep Alexa away from campus for now and we agree to meet at a coffee house downtown that we both know. Reluctantly I agree to meet the doctor at 5 PM the following day. I ask if I can bring Katie with. Before the doctor can answer, Katie informs us that she has to work tomorrow and can’t make it. With that response I am relieved that I will have not have to go, but then Katie opens her mouth.
“I will see if Jenny can come with Alexa”
Doctor Burke ponders Katie’s response and then agrees with a reluctant look on her face. “If Jenny can do it, let me know by then end of the day.” The doctor says.
Thwarted again! It looks as if there no chance I am going to get out of this. Even though I want to object to these women planning my life, I am unable to speak my mind. I’m really just a bystander in all of this. I feel like I am just a prop.
The doctor announces that our time with her is up. Katie and I rise from the couch and both thank Dr. Burke for her time. “Please call me Debbie. Doctor is too formal for all of this. I look forward to meeting Alexa tomorrow. Please let me know if Jenny agrees to come Katie.” And with that my first visit to a counselor is over. I feel like I just made a complete ass of myself in there, bawling like a baby. The drive back to apartment building was silent. I could see Katie out of the corner of my eye as she drove. Every few blocks she would turn and look at me but I continued to stare straight ahead. Thankfully it was a short drive because I really didn’t want to talk, I wanted to think. Soon we were stopped in front of the apartment building and Katie tried to speak. I stopped her and told her to wait until we got inside. Soon we were out of the car and back in the apartment.
Unlike the last few days, we went to my apartment. Walking in, the lost feeling that had hit me when I had come in on Sunday hit me again. This didn’t feel right. This apartment to me began to represent a part of me I didn’t care for. Even my trusty PlayStation seemed foreign to me as I stared at it. I turned to Katie, “Can we got your place? I can’t be here right now.” Katie just nodded and grabbed my hand and led me to over to her apartment. As I we moved across the hall, I heard a snickering of two people. I turn and see our neighbors Brandon and Steve heading down the hall on their way to class. Just what I needed at this point, a homophobe and his lackey as I am having a mental breakdown. I hear Brandon make some comment about me playing Barbie’s with the girl or something. Before I can react to Brandon’s comment, Katie pulls me through the door of her apartment and slams the door just as I could hear Brandon about to say something else.
Katie pulls my over to the coach and pushes me down. Katie starts in on me, “Don’t listen to them assholes Alex. Brandon is a bully. He is going to make his comments to try and hurt you but you have to ignore it.” I just nod, knowing that a confrontation with the two idiots down the hall could have serious consequences if they were to find out about Alexa. Just another one of the obstacles I would face if I was transgender. Would I be able to stand up to it? Before I can begin to ponder this and other questions even further, Katie kneels in front of me and asks what I thought of today. I respond to Katie’s inquiry, “I don’t know. It was just answering questions and I couldn’t even do that. Am I that fucked up?”
“No, you are not fucked up. I think that there has been something brewing in you that you had no idea that was going on. I think it was as we said yesterday and this morning. Jenny and I somehow broke that out last week and your true self came out. I think that’s why Dr. Burke asked to meet Alexa.” Katie states.
“I miss her” I whisper.
A look of sympathy comes over Katie’s face. When she asks Alexa, I simply nod my head. I do miss Alexa. I think it’s starting to dawn on me that I am meant to be Alexa. My mood begins to change a little, that is until my phone starts ringing. I look at the caller ID on the phone “MOM” is displayed on the screen. UGH! I really do not want to talk to her but know I have to answer, I have avoided her since last Thursday, I’m sure she is wondering what is happening. I pick it up “Hi, Mom”
“Alex, honey. Where have you been? I ‘ve been trying to get ahold you since Sunday.” My mother says to me in a worried tone that only a mother can give.
Trying to control the emotions I have, I try and put on the ‘happy’ face and explain to her that I have been busy with school and work. “I saw you called when I was at work the other day and just forgot to call back. Sorry about that.” I tell my mom, lying through my teeth the whole time.
“That’s OK, I was just a little worried. I just wanted to make sure everything was OK.” Mom says.
Now I am really getting ready to lie to her. I can’t tell her that I have just come from a counselor because I may have Gender Dysphoria. I can’t tell her I was out all weekend as a girl. I can’t tell her these things. And even If I could tell her, I don’t think I am prepared for my father and brothers’ reactions. My mother and I continue on in our conversation, me lying to her, her telling me all about the latest gossip of our hometown and the adventures the great outdoorsmen in my family have been experiencing. Things I really don’t care about but tools every mother uses to check up on their children. Thankfully my mother says she has to get back to her class and reminds me to check in more often. As usual I tell her I will and as usual she tells me she loves me. I let out a huge sigh of relief as I hang up. Katie asks how my mom is doing and I try to relay to her what is going through my head. I can’t believe that Katie has been so willing to stand by me through all this. As I try and thank her again, she holds up her hand to stop me. “Alex, I love you,” I smile a little bit at her comment, mostly just to get her wound up. “Not like that you perv. You are my family. I will always be there whether you are my sister or brother. And just so you know, there won’t be any ‘incest’”
Katie’s comment causes me to laugh. If felt good to do that. The last few days have put me in a tail spin, but Katie’s simple joke has put me in a better mood. Since I had to work later this afternoon and I am in such a messed up state, I decide to skip the rest of my classes. I ask Katie if I can hang out in her apartment before I leave for work. She has no problem with that. Ever since this adventure began I feel more comfortable in the girls’ apartment than I do my own. I wonder why that is? Even now I feel more in control than I do across the hall. After Katie left for class I ran across the hall and grabbed my books and my uniform for work and returned to the girls’ place. I spent the next few hours attempting to study before I headed to work. I am a student after all, I should keep up appearance. I buried myself in my studies as this seemed to help me take my mind of things and I do the same at work after apologizing to my boss about yesterday. Work goes well and I finally was able to leave at 9:30.
I made my way back home where once again I run into Brandon and Steve exiting our building as I am entering. “So which one you banging Quinn?” Brandon asks with his typical bravado. “Or are you doing both of them?” Brandon says as Steve just laughs at his friend’s comments. I realize in the year or so I have lived by these two I don’t think I have heard Steve say more than 3 words at a time and it usually something real insightful like “Good one” or “Damn straight”. A real deep thinker.
I am so sick of these two. I need to screw with them. I look at the two of them with all the confidence in the world and a huge smile across myself and state firmly “Both.” I practically strut into the building. As I wait for the elevator, I turn and see of the two meatheads starring at each other with open mouths. I can’t wipe the smile off of my face as I stand and watch them as I wait for the elevator door too close. When I reach our floor, I almost skip out of the elevator and down the hall. I realize that I haven’t been this happy in a long time. I don’t bother going to my apartment and go right to Katie and Jenny’s. I knock and can hear Jenny from the other side of the door telling me she is coming. When she answered the door she asked why I didn’t just walk in I told her it was locked. I entered into the space that had become a little slice of heaven to me for some reason. I felt much more comfortable here, I wonder why that is? Ever since the Great Experiment began last Thursday this place has been Alexa’s home. As I make my way to what has become ‘my’ spot on the couch, I ask Jenny if Katie was around.
“She got called in to work. One of the other waitresses called in sick. How did it go today?” Jenny asked.
“Mostly a disaster” I respond. “I spent most of it crying my eyes out. It was hard having to admit some of the things that have happened in my life. I have a follow up visit with her tomorrow and I need to ask you to come with.”
A look of surprise comes across Jenny’s face and replies that she had no problem if it didn’t interfere with her classes I assured her it would, because it wasn’t until 5:00. But I also told her about one other caveat. “Dr. Burke wants to meet Alexa. I need your help not only when I am there, but I need your help beforehand.”
Jenny gives me a very warm, comforting smile “Of course I will. I would do anything for you and Alexa.” The smile continues, but it appears more accepting, more loving. It is smile that makes my heart race. I instantly thank her, telling her that she is an angel for helping me through all this. She tried to brush it away, saying it was what friends do, but I still get up and give her a big hug. Jenny of course returns the hug, but she seems to hold on a little longer and a little tighter than she normal does. As I pull away I look into her eyes. That is not the look of a friend. Something is going on here but what? We stare at each of for just a moment before she turns her head and I notice a slight blush to her cheeks. We move back to our typical positions and I proceed to tell Jenny even more in depth about my meeting with Dr. Burke. I try not to feel embarrassed about my actions, but Jenny was completely understanding. I proceed to tell her about my little encounter with Dumb and Dumber as I walked in. I could feel a slightly evil grin on my face as I relay the story.
“Oh my god!” Jenny says as her hand covers her mouth in shock. “You better watch it. They find out about Alexa they will kick your ass.” As I watch her further as she digests my story, I see a little grin comes across her face. “We so have to mess with them some more.” Jenny comments. I agree with her and we continue on just shooting the breeze. I notice that Jenny seems much more comfortable than she had been when we were alone over the weekend. I wonder what changed? Do I really care? All I know is that I am sitting here having a great conversation with a beautiful girl. As we start to slow down, Jenny announces that she is tired and is going to bed. Just as she is ready to go I ask her one question.
“Can I sleep over here tonight? I don’t want to be alone.”
Without even thinking, Jenny responds. “Of course. I don’t think Katie will care if you sleep in her bed. Go get your stuff. I will see you tomorrow. I run across the hall, brush my teeth and grab my luxurious PJ’s and head back across the hall. I change and hop into bed with a smile on my face for the first time in a couple days.
When my alarm goes off at 6:30 the next morning, I hear Katie groan and tell me shut off my alarm. I hop of bed with more vigor than I have recently. Katie rolls over and looks at me.
“You are a bed hog. I now know another reason we could never date.” Katie says to me with a smile on her face. I ask her what are some of the other reasons, mostly centered around some personal habit, but the last one actually makes me feel good even though many would take it as an insult. “Besides, it would be incest.” I lean over and give my ‘sister’ a big hug. I tell her I will see her later and head out to attempt to begin my scholarly day, which will hopefully go better than the last couple of days. On my way out I noticed the bags from our shopping trip as well as the bags from Jenny’s shopping spree last week. I stop and dig through one of those bags and find exactly what I was looking for, a black thong. Grabbing it I head back to my apartment to shower before class. While getting dressed to face Post Modern American Lit, I slip on the thong underneath my typical jeans and t-shirt. The feeling is great and puts a smile on my face. My classes go fine, nothing spectacular except the boredom I felt as we discussed Jay McInerney and Tama Janowitz and their representation of 1980’s New York.
I practically raced to my apartment when classes were over where I found both girls waiting for me in my apartment. Both had big smiles on their faces as I entered my apartment. Jenny had a look on her face like she was keeping a secret, Katie just sat there and looked at me. Jenny was the first to speak, “Is Alexa ready to go meet her therapist?”
I broke out into a huge grin and answered, “She is ready. It’s time for her to meet more of the world.”
Jenny was cheering as I said this, but I could see a pouty look come across Katie’s face. “I wish I didn’t have to go to work.” Jenny stated. “I really want to be there. Where are you meeting again?”
“Mill City Coffee at 5. That’s close to AJ’s. What time do you work?” I say
“4:30. Oh well. Let’s get you ready to meet Debbie.” Katie says as a little bit of a smile come back to her face. I follow her and Jenny back to their apartment after depositing my backpack in my one living room chair. I am ushered towards Jenny’s room where the transformation into Alexa begins. Katie leaves and returns with a purple dress with small flowers on it and grey sweater. She begins to brush out the brown wig that is sitting on the vanity while Jenny works on my makeup.
Jenny starts in on me a little playfully, “Alexa as much fun as it is making you up, tomorrow we begin lessons.” All three of us continue to laugh and joke as we continue on with the return of Alexa. Soon the girls have my makeup and hair complete and order me to strip off my clothes. The teasing begins as they see that I am wearing the thong. Katie hands me a pair of dark opaque tights and Jenny digs out a black bra that will match the thong. Soon my undergarments are completely on and the breast forms are inserted. Katie holds open the dress for me to step into while Jenny goes into her closet and returns with a pair of knee high black boots. I put on the boots along with the grey sweater. Once again the girls have performed magic and turned me into an attractive woman ready for a day at the coffee shop.
Jenny and I head to living room and wait for Katie to change for work. We decided that Jenny and I would give Katie a ride to work and then head over to the coffee shop. The whole time we are sitting there I notice that Jenny is constantly looking at me, almost checking me out. If somebody else would have been doing this, I would have felt self-conscious. Jenny checking me out got me all excited. I tried to ask her what was up, and she just blushed and turned away. That was odd. I didn’t have time to dwell on it any longer as Katie came out of her room dressed in her waitress uniform consisting of a White tuxedo shirt and black pants. She asked us if we ready and the three of us moved down to Jenny’s car.
Jenny had parked her car out front rather than in the underground garage so we went out the front door. This would be a first for Alexa, to exit the building in broad daylight. As luck would have it as we were headed out the door, Brandon and Steve were returning from class. I shielded my face from the two idiots and moved quickly out the door that Brandon held open. He couldn’t hold his tongue as I quickly got into the car. “Hey ladies, who’s your good looking friend.” I kept my face turned away from Brandon as the girls got in and we drove off. As soon as we were away from the building the three of us burst out laughing, “What do you think Brandon would have done if he realized it was you Alexa?” Katie asked.
“He would have probably shit his pants” I say. At first I laugh at that thought but soon I am a little nervous about it. I turn to Jenny and ask her, “What do you really think he would have done if he knew it was me?”
Jenny turns and looks at me with an almost angry look, “If he ever does anything to you he will regret it for as long as he lives.” Jenny states coldly but then grabs my had hand and smiles. The look in her eyes draws me in and it is at that point I realize something. I realize that every time I had looked at Jenny today, the sadness is gone from her eyes. It seems to have been replaced by happiness. I think that is what I am sensing. All I know is that she seems happy.
Soon we find ourselves in front of AJ Dunham’s. Katie hops out and reminds Jenny that she will be home late. Tonight is the last night for one of the waitresses and they are going out to celebrate afterwards. Katie tells us she will catch a cab home and not to wait up for her. Soon she is gone leaving Jenny and I to make our way to the coffee house. We find a parking spot and hop out. Jenny comes up next to me and hooks her arm through mine. Leaning into me she tells me not to be nervous, that I look great. While I am still nervous, I get a little boost of confidence from being with Jenny. We enter the coffee shop a little before 5 and immediately go to the counter and place our order, a Chai Tea Latte for Jenny and a Mocha latte for me. As we wait I try and scan the shop for Dr. Burke, I mean Debbie but cannot see her as the shop is sort of busy as it is a popular spot for the downtown business crowd. After a short period of time we collect our beverages and head into the main seating location. I finally spot Dr. Burke sitting at a table in the corner near the door to the outside seating area. I made eye contact with the doctor, but she simply nodded and continued to look around the coffee shop. I turned back towards Jenny and whispered in her ear, “She doesn’t know it is me. Follow me through the door. I want to throw her off a little.” So Jenny I proceeded past the doctor and out into the small outdoor seating area looking like two friends stopping buy after work. After a minute or two of giggling we returned inside. I walked a few steps past the doctor and then turned and looked at her.
“Hi Debbie, I’m Alexa.” I say to Dr. Burke. Even though she knew I was showing up and that she was a professional used to seeing transgender people she looked completely in shock. I extended my hand and introduced Jenny to the doctor. Gaining her composure, she invited us to join her.
After we are seated, the doctor takes a second to gain her wits and begins asking some questions about Alexa and how I feel about this situation. I seem to go on about how comfortable I feel dressed as I am and how natural it feels. I tell about the perceived change in my personality when I am like this. The doctor then turns to Jenny and asks her what she has noticed in the difference between Alex and Alexa. Jenny goes into her clinical speak explaining how show noticed little differences in how I moved and how I spoke that I just fell into a more feminine way of doing things. Little things that most guys wouldn’t do just seemed to come natural to Alexa. Jenny then looked at me and said that the personality differences were like night and day.
“Jenny can you give some examples of this difference in personality you have observed between Alex and Alexa?” Debbie asks my friend.
Jenny looks over at me for a second and grin comes across her face as she looks at me. Once again I look into her eyes and see the happiness. The smile grows a little bigger and then she drops her head almost as if she is embarrassed. Jenny turns turn to the doctor and says, “Well, don’t get upset Alexa, but Alex was kind of a loser where Alexa is much more fun to be around.”
“Can you go deeper into that Jenny?” Debbie asks her.
“The first example of this was last Thursday, right after Alexa had dressed. We were hungry but didn’t have much food. After surveying our cupboards, Alexa remembered she had some chicken breasts at her place. She just took off for her apartment.” Jenny says as she is telling the tale.
“Dressed as Alexa?” Dr. Burke asks almost shocked.
“Yes, dressed. Katie and I couldn’t believe it. There was no hesitation. Alexa did realize her mistake but as soon as she was back, she took complete control of the kitchen and whipped up a great Chicken salad. I didn’t even know she could cook, but she knew what she was doing and was definitely in charge.”
“And Alex was never like that?” the doctor asks.
Jenny begins laughing as responds. “Alex was a wimp.” I feel a little down as Jenny says this. She notices this and reaches across the table and grabs my hand. ‘I’m sorry Alexa, but you know it is true. Alex was a complete introvert who was afraid of his own shadow. You are not like that Alexa. You are a fun person to be around.” I knew Jenny was right, but it did hurt sometimes to hear these things said.
I can see a smile on Debbie’s face a she observes the interaction. She looks at me and asks me what I think of what Jenny has jut said.
I take a deep breath and answer her questions. “To be honest, it does hurt a little to hear that Alex was a loser. Yes, Alex was an introvert who would rather sit at home playing video games than going out. But I also know that I do feel different as Alexa.”
Debbie continues her questioning of Jenny on Alexa. “Do you have any other examples of Alexa’s personality differences?”
At this point the grin on Jenny’s face turns almost evil and a brace for her reply “Well, there was last Friday night.” Instantly my head drops. I don’t know if I want to hear all of this. “Alexa did have some guy try and pick her up.” The doctor chokes on her coffee a little as my head drops further in shame.
“What!? Alexa was out socializing?” Dr. Burke asks as she wipes some spilt coffee from the table.
Now it is Jenny’s turn to be a little embarrassed as she realizes what she has to explain. “Alexa, Katie and I went shopping on Friday afternoon before Katie had to work. As part of my paper I wanted to see how Alexa would act in public and thought shopping would be a good test. It went great, she even bought a dress.” At this comment Debbie eyes, me a little knowingly but let Jenny continue on. “We dropped Katie off at work, she is a waitress at AJ Dunham’s and we went back to the apartment after telling her we would be back later for dinner. That was our mistake. We went back and had a little wine then went to the restaurant and drank some more. After Katie was off we went over to Brady’s Pub and continued. Alexa wound up talking to some guy who proceeded to give Alexa his number.”
Debbie just shook her head and smiled as the story came out. She looked at me and asked, “What did you think when the guy gave you his number?”
“I honestly didn’t remember it until the next morning when I opened up my purse. The only number I remember getting was the bartender’s at AJ’s.” As soon as these words left my mouth, I knew I was in trouble.
“You got two guys numbers”” Debbie asked.
Before I could answer, Jenny jumped in. “I forgot all about that! The bartender at AJ’s gave Katie his number to give to Alexa. She was a popular girl that night.”
Debbie looked at me with a smirk and Jenny grabbed my hand and tried to ease my embarrassment. ‘Sorry Lex, I didn’t mean to embarrass you.”
‘Can we just change the subject.” I ask and soon it did, I had enough of memory lane for one day.
The three of us continued to chat more as friends than a doctor-patient type situation. Jenny explained a little more on how all this began and Debbie said she knew Dr. Burg pretty well and jokingly told Jenny if she didn’t get an “A” on this paper Dr. Burg might need to see a counselor. One thing that was interesting was how subtly Dr. Burke was able to quiz Jenny about the idea for the paper and what her intentions were. At no point was I able to pick up that Jenny had any ulterior motives and as much as I have enjoyed all this it was good to hear that none of this was planned. I couldn’t stop looking at Jenny and there were several times that we just seemed to be staring at each other. I was ecstatic. Just looking into Jenny’s eyes made my heart beat faster and the look in Jenny’s eyes seemed to be one of caring and love. I had a feeling that this was going to turn out to be an interesting evening.
It wasn’t long before Debbie noticed the time. She indicated that it was getting late and she must be off. Before she left she looked at me and said “It was great meeting you today Alexa. You are a very unique person. You definitely do not seem to be the same person I met yesterday. I would like to meet with you again next week. Can you do it on Monday afternoon around 4:00?”
“I will clear my schedule to make sure I can. Um, how do you, ah I mean who do you want to come?” I ask.
“I want you to come in how ever you feel the most comfortable. This is not some sort of test, but I will be interested in who comes. Jenny, it was a pleasure meeting you,” the doctor states. “Please take care of Alexa. This is a very special person.”
‘I will doctor” Jenny assures Debbie as the three of us stand and Debbie takes her leave of us. Once it is just Jenny and I, Jenny asks me what I wanted to do. I told her that we were going to get something to eat and that it was my treat. Jenny chuckled at me “Oooh, the take charge lady.” I chuckled at my comment too, not as much for what I said, but how I said it. It was definitely all Alexa. Alex was too much of a wimp to answer like that with authority.
We head out and go down the street to a soup and salad restaurant, where we continue to enjoy each other’s company. Jenny cannot stop talking about how nice Dr. Burke is and how helpful she seemed to be. I agree and tell her I don’t think I could have gotten any luckier than I did when Katie made the call on Tuesday. As the events of that day come flooding back I begin to tear up a little.
“What’s wrong?” Jenny asks.
“Nothing really. It’s just that I have been so happy when I am Alexa, but I am scared that when I have to be Alex, I will have a repeat of Tuesday. I can’t go through that again and I can’t put you and Katie through that again.”
Jenny reaches across the table and takes my hand, ‘Alexa, I know I can speak for Katie on this subject. We care a lot about you whether you are Alexa or Alex. We will be there to support you in any way that we can. Whatever you need we will be there. You just need to do what makes you happy.”
“No matter what?” I ask.
“No matter what. We will be there” Jenny reassures me. With another boost of confidence Jenny and I finish our meal and head back out into the night and to Jenny’s car. We chat away as we walk, not really paying attention to anything around us until we have to stop at a light and wait to cross. I notice to our right is a store called “Sex World”. Feeling a little adventurous I ask Jenny if we should go in. Jenny begins to blush and then slaps me on the arm, making some comment about me bring naughty. I jokingly try to drag her in until Jenny is saved by the light changing and she then drags me across Washington Avenue.
Soon we are nearing the spot we had left the car and we look up and we are standing in front of Brady’s. Since I do not have class tomorrow I am feeling a little anxious. “Let’s go in and have a drink.” I say to Jenny.
Jenny looks at me and shakes her head, “What are we going to do with you? Ok we can go in and have one. You are a bad influence Lex.”
With a big grin on my face we head in to a relatively quiet bar, at least compared to last Friday and sit down. I am feeling on top of the world right now. I have spent most of the day alone with the girl I have a huge crush on and she seems to be reciprocating the feelings I have for her. Heck, she is even given me a nickname already. What could be better! Before the waitress comes up to take our order, Jenny makes me promise that I will not drink any Cosmos tonight and eyes me down mockingly. I agree and order a Vodka and Soda with a twist of lemon.
Unfortunately, that was not the only one I order. We stay a little longer than we had planned because we were having so much fun. Several times Jenny reached over and and grabbed my hand and just looked at me while we were hanging out talking with various people. One situation that we avoided that made my night was when I recognized a couple of the guys we had partied with last week, they were friends of Derek’s and were telling me that he hadn’t stopped talking about me. I got a little nervous from that and I was getting no help from Jenny. She was too busy laughing at my predicament. The guys tell me Derek is at work, but will be coming down when he’s through. I think quick and tell the guys that that’s too bad, because both Jenny and I have 8 AM classes and we needed to leave. I hand the waitress my credit card and anxiously wait for her return while Jenny continues to flirt with the guys and laugh at me. Thankfully the waitress was quick about settling our tab and soon Jenny and I out of the bar. Realizing we are in no condition to drive we hail a cab. As we are waiting Jenny turns around and waves at the guys, continuing the taunting of me. The cab pulls up before Jenny can do anything else and we head back to the apartment, Jenny finally getting me to laugh at the situation.
We finally pull up to the apartment and Jenny pays the driver and drags me out of the car. One interesting thing is she doesn’t let go of my hand. I am little confused but extremely happy by this event and we walk in to apartment. We are waiting for the elevator and I hear the unmistakable sound of Brandon and Steve coming down the stairs. I don’t think I ever prayed for an elevator to show before, but I definitely was now. And luckily it showed up just in time as I could see the two idiots through the crack of the door as it closed. Knowing we were in the clear we walked normally down the hall. Well as normally as two slightly inebriated girls can and we tumble through the door into the girls’ apartment. As I came through the door I stumble and kind of pin Jenny up against the wall, face to face. Our eyes seem to lock onto one another and I can feel a little embarrassment creep into me. I try and straighten up but Jenny leans into me and says one thing before our lips meet.
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