continue him on his path of discovering who he, or she, really is.
Copyright© 2017 Rebecca Jane
All Rights Reserved.
Author's Note:I managed to have plenty of time still to keep writing so was able to finish this one sooner than normal. I might have to take a break, I'm riding my muse pretty hard this last week. I do wish to express my thanks for those reading, and I hope I am continuing to write something thats worth taking the time to read. Hope you all enjoy. ~Rebecca
Needless to say I didn’t sleep well that night, my mind kept playing over and over the horrors that had happened to Robin. I was trying to get ready this morning and I couldn't stop yawning. Thankfully, my parents didn’t notice or if they did they didn't ask anything.
I did perk up a bit once I got to school, the last thing I wanted was a repeat of the altercation with the two idiots so I kept alert on the way to class. I was still kicking myself for letting my guard down like I had this last month, now that those two would be after revenge I needed to be on high alert.
Alicia was right though, the conversations and stares I received had nothing to do with my earrings or my hair, it was either about the fight or that kiss she gave me. Jen gave me a hard enough time about it before Biology, but I wouldn’t expect anything less from her. Other than a few people questioning, or congratulating me, for the fight, kiss, or both, my morning was pretty calm. I wasn’t used to this kind of attention and it did put me on edge just a bit, but considering my very near future I figured I better get used to it and be thankful that for the moment the attention was positive.
When I arrived in the cafeteria I was greeted with a hug and kiss on the cheek from both Alicia and Robin this time, all the while Jen was rolling her eyes and smirking at me. I just chuckled and gave her a hug and kiss on the cheek against her wishes as I sat down next to her.
Wiping her cheek, she exclaimed, “YUCK!!! Now why did you have to go and get Alicia germs all over me!!” That quickly got her arm slapped by Alicia as the whole table burst out laughing. Alicia glared at her, then stuck her tongue out at her as she said down. I glanced over at Robin who was carefully wiping tears out of her eyes from laughing so hard. I couldn’t help but admire how strong she had been, when she saw me looking at her, she smiled softly at me and I readily returned one of my own.
Holly had been watching our exchange and asked, “So what the hell is going on with you four?” For a few brief seconds the four of us probably had the proverbial kid caught with their hands in the cookie jar expression. It was Alicia that recovered the quickest.
“Oh nothing, you guys missed it yesterday. Robbie was awesome.” She said smirking.
Robin said, “Yeah he was…” Then she must have realized she said it out loud, because she gave me an oops expression and smiled. Jen and Alicia looked at her confused after all she didn’t witness the fight or the kiss, and they were unaware of the conversation her and I had that night.
Holly looked directly at Alicia smirking, “So I heard… Were you talking about the fight or that kiss you shared?” Alicia blushed slightly and giggled.
“Both” Alicia said. Now I started blushing and Jen was just practicing her eye rolls again. If they ever made eye rolling an Olympic sport I could see Jen getting the gold.
The table burst into laughter, and lunch was much more lighthearted than I had ever witnessed. I did spend a bit of time looking at my friends sitting at the table. Three of the six girls knew about me, and while things were beyond bumpy at first with Alicia, they supported me no matter what. So far I figured I was batting .500 which was better than I could have ever imagined, now I just had to wait and see how the other three were going to handle it.
We were getting up to leave and Robin came up and gave me a hug, she softly thanked me again and squeezed me tight. Jen was watching us as if she was trying to figure out what was going on with us. I didn’t blame her for wondering, this behavior was not the Robin they had known or seen before. I thought maybe I should talk to Robin, and hopefully let her know she could trust Jen and Alicia, after all they are protective of me and I was sure they would do the same for her.
Suddenly I was drawn out of my thoughts when Alicia blindsided Jen with a huge hug and a sloppy kiss on the cheek. Jen's reaction was an immediate, “YUCK, what the hell are you doing?!?! What's wrong with you!!!”
Alicia backed up laughing her ass off, in between breaths she barely got out, “Figured you didn’t want my germs second hand!” Jen looked pissed as she was rubbing the remnants of the kiss off her cheek, she tried to keep from starting to laugh. Only those close enough to her heard her utter, “bitch” before we all died laughing, even Jen. It was one of the best lunch periods I had ever had up to this point, we were still chuckling as we headed to class.
I'd love to say the rest of the week was as exciting as the first two days, but it was pretty mundane. With finals coming up I did get to spend time with Paul, just not near as much as I wanted. I only saw him on our runs, and walking during our cool down periods. He understood as he was preparing for finals as well, I did get several really good kisses from him though and that inner voice was keeping it’s mouth shut.
I did start seeing a huge change in Alicia, she was becoming more, vibrant for a lack of a better word. She was laughing more, and while she had been fun to be around she had always had this seriousness about her. Now she had this smile and this energy about her, at times it surprised me that she didn’t actually glow. She was becoming more and more fun to be around, even if she kept being flirty with me in front of everyone. I kept telling her to stop and think about what is going to happen when everyone finds out. She simply told me that if they tease her for being friends with the most amazing person she knew then they could all go to Hell, she didn't care. I was so worried about it, but at the same time overwhelmed that she’d do that for me.
Robin had also started to change, while it wasn’t as much as Alicia, she had become a bit less reserved. Jen had noticed it a bit, and even commented to me about it. I had told her that we had a really long talk after that night at Jen's house and she had opened up some. Jen knew I was holding something back, and maybe slightly miffed at me that I wouldn’t give her details, at least she said she was glad she had opened up with me. Jen also told me that she thought that I really did bring the best out in people. She also threatened to deny everything if I told anyone what she said in typical Jen fashion.
Most of my free time, when not with Paul, was spent mostly with Jen, Alicia, and Robin studying. I was becoming so comfortable being Rebecca around them, I should have seen that I was also changing. Especially when I was trying to be Robbie in school. I was actually surprised when my health teacher Coach Mason, who had been giving me strange looks since I came back to school with my hair dyed and ears pierced, obviously noticed and called me on it on Friday.
Just a few minutes before the bell was going to ring, signaling the start of the weekend, was when I knew she knew… I was already loading up my backpack when she yelled out, “Robbie I need to see you after class.”
At that moment, even though I had tried to ignore the stares and act normal, I knew. What else could I do though, “Yes Coach.” I told her. Jen looked at me trying to figure out what's going on so I tell her, “I’m pretty sure she knows something is up with me. It can’t be my grades, and I don’t misbehave in class so what else could It be?” I shrugged.
When the bell sounded I went up to her desk and waited, she just told me to wait for everyone to leave and we’d talk. I looked at Jen and saw her stop Alicia at the door and whisper in her ear. They sat there whispering back and forth as everyone was leaving. Finally it was just us four in the classroom.
“Ladies you need to go, this is between Robbie and myself.” Coach told them. They looked at each other and nodded, then Alicia turned and closed the door.
Jen then looked at Coach and told her, “Sorry but we’re not going to leave his side.”
Coach started to look upset but before she could say anything I stopped her and said, “Coach if you were going to talk to me about what I think you are, about something personal with me… They know everything already, I trust them. They’re my best friends, It's okay. It’s like they’ve decided to become my personal bodyguards.” I laughed at the last comment I made but, I softly heard Alicia mutter ‘damn right’.
Coach watched them as they both walked up and stood on either side of me. “Robbie this is quite unusual, I was only wanting to make sure you were okay. You’re a great student, and a great kid. I wish had more with your drive and demeanor, but I’ve noticed that you’ve umm… changed some in the last few months.. Particularly in the last week… I try to keep a lookout for students who are… facing unique circumstances... It’s just… I’m worried about you, that due to… certain misconceptions people might have, that you might become a target for some people.”
While Coach was trying to tiptoe around the conversation, I had a feeling that she would have been more direct if the girls weren't guarding me. I ask her, “You think I’m gay right? That’s what you were going to ask me, right?”
“No that’s not what I’m saying… exactly..” She started to say before Jen broke in.
“Robbie's not gay, if that’s what you’re thinking. Coach, look… I know you know the rumors about you being a lesbian, well most of the class doesn't give a shit. None of us here do at least, just say what you mean, we’re not going to turn you in or anything. That actually makes you one of the more interesting teachers we have.” She stated with her arms crossed in front of her.
Shocked at her directness Coach just looked at her really hard for a moment before her face softened some. She then looked at me and said, “Look Robbie yes I’m asking if you are gay, lately your mannerisms have been growing more and more.. Umm... out there. I noticed, and I’m sure others are noticing, and I’m worried about you.” Then she looked at Jen and stated, “You know you’re pretty bold Miss Cook… For that I ought to work you pretty hard in Gym on Monday.. I won’t though… I’m glad to see that Robbie has a strong support system in place.”
"Coach… I don’t know how to tell you this, but I’m not gay… Or at least what you are worried about, that’s not it…” I tell her.
"Robbie I'm just worried because this is Mississippi, its a dangerous place for people who are Gay...I’m sorry I asked that… I thought you were though and I was worried because someone might target you.”Coach told me more softly. “I just don’t want to see any of students get hurt, especially if they are facing challenges like that already.”
“Trust me Coach between Jen and myself, nobody's going to lay a finger on her!” Alicia exclaimed. Hearing the pronoun she used my head immediately bowed down to avert my gaze from Coach’s.
“Her?” Was all Coach uttered.
“I meant HIM, crap I meant Him!!!” Alicia exclaimed. She looked at me apologetically, and I could tell she was angry at herself. I just smiled at her and sighed…
“Okay Coach… Look, I’m not gay… Or I don’t think I am… Actually I have no clue what I am in that aspect. Do you mind if we lock the door?” I say. She was obviously confused but nods her head. “Thanks I just don’t someone coming in and seeing this just yet, Jen can you lock it.”
Alicia looks like she's about to burst in tears, “I’m so sorry I didn’t mean…” I just grabbed her in a hug and said it was okay and reassured her I wasn’t upset.
Once Jen was back over to me I looked at Coach and just asked, “Ready?” To which she nodded, I then bent over, stripped my cap off, shook my hair out, and then I took my glasses off as I stood. I immediately relaxed my throat to talk in my normal range and exclaimed, “Tada!!! This is me!!”
"What the?!?! You look just like a girl!”, Coach exclaimed.
“I know I do Coach. That’s why the glasses and the cap I’m wearing… I’m trying to hide my changes until…” I try to say but she interrupts me.
“Are you transitioning? Here?? And you parents are okay with it?” She exclaimed, at first I thought she was mad but clearly she was now very concerned about me.
“NO!!! Let me explain! Geez…” I said to get her attention, once I saw I had it I continued, “Coach I’m not transgender, at least in the normal aspect I guess… Ugh… Remember that talk you got drug into a few months ago when we were coving the women's reproductive system? You mentioned people who were intersexed…”
“Yeah I remember that… Wait… That was right about the same time I noticed you starting to change…” She said. I just nodded, remembering what happened directly after that conversation. “What you’re telling me you’re intersexed?”
“Yes ma’am. I was born externally a boy… Then when I was around 12 I started growing breasts and developing as a girl. We found out then that internally I was fully female, since then my external defect has been corrected. I don’t just look like a girl… I am one, and if it hadn’t been for what happened after that conversation I might not have had the help to accept this in time…” My voice trailed off thinking about what might have very easily been my outcome, I gave Jen’s hand a firm squeeze and she just squeezed it right back.
Coach’s face let us know she was astounded by what she heard, “Robbie… Oh my God… I would have never imagined… I…” She was at a loss of words, which I hadn’t seen before. It surprised me, but not near as much as what she did next, she immediately just stepped up to me and grabbed me in a hug. Not sure what to do I just hugged her back while Jen and Alicia just stared at us.
When she let me go she of course had a lot of questions, but we had to keep it short to not draw suspicion. I told her what I had gone through and that I intended to come back to school next semester as Rebecca. She had a lot of concerns but fished an attorneys card out of her bag and told me to give to my parents, the way the school has treated openly gay kids in the past that we might need it. I thanked her and right before we left she told me that she “sponsored” a study group for kids, with unique problems and invited me to join. Secrecy was mandatory but if I was interested to talk to her after class on Monday… I told her I was interested, and before I walked out she just said softly, “Rebecca it was very nice to finally meet you.” I thanked her and walked out, just that little statement of acceptance threatened to get me all choked up again.
That weekend drug by at a snails pace, the girls all had a study sleepover at Holly's on Friday night and I couldn’t figure a way to go as Rebecca since ‘she’ wasn’t a student yet and I didn’t want to go as Robbie. Holly, Michelle, and Karen had really been aggravating me about showing them my hair and I knew if I did they’d know and I was still hesitant about telling them. Something just didn’t feel right and I didn’t feel comfortable with the thought of them knowing. I’d have loved to spend the weekend with Paul, but one of his cousins were getting married so I wouldn't see him again until Monday. I kept my word to Mom and added our day to my weekend routine. While I had been really close to my Mom before my troubles started, I was quickly finding out that bonding with her as a daughter was bringing us closer than I could have possibly hoped.
Sunday was mostly fun as Jen and I drug Alicia along to church with us, and we spent the day together with Robin. I was able to convince Robin that Jen and Alicia could be trusted, she eventually gave in. It wasn’t me that convinced her, but she saw how protective they were of me and my secret. I wont go into details, but it was very emotional and there were a lot of hugs and tears shared all around. Overall I could tell with Robin, that like it did with me, that talking about it and sharing helped. While painful the experience drew us even closer together as friends. Before I took Robin and Alicia home I remember sitting there in Jen’s room and just knowing that these girls were going to be my friends for the rest of my life. I knew whatever challenges I haven't faced yet, I was going to be okay with these ladies by my side.
School was a different issue, I was trying to be more careful about letting my mannerisms give me away. While I knew I was going to face everyone soon, Coach Mason’s concern had made me feel nervous. I did get the info from her about the ‘study’ group, which was scheduled to meet up on Thursday evening at her house. She reiterated to me how much secrecy was important, there were kids there who were terrified of being found out. I just told her I understood and promised to be there.
The looming exams coming up for everyone had us all, including Paul, on edge. Almost all my free time was spent studying, finishing last minute projects, and then my runs with Paul. I do have to admit we cut our run short on Monday evening and just sat out by the pond that was on the university campus. We did behave… mostly, while we did talk some, we mostly just sat there together. I definitely was getting a lot more comfortable kissing him, I was no longer even feeling that inner part of me that originally rebelled against my relationship with Paul. I was actually starting to look forward to his kisses, really looking forward to them.
By Thursday I was a bundle of nerves, I was worried about how I would be accepted at the ‘group’. I almost chickened out three or four times, but I had promised Coach I would be there. If there was one thing I learned from Pop, was that you were only as good as your word because at the end of the day that’s all one really has. I was damn sure that my word was going to count for something. I didn’t tell anyone where I was going, other than a group needed my help to study. Since I’ve been tutoring people off and on for a couple of years it didn’t raise any red flags. It was supposed to be a study group anyway, right?
I was at the address Coach gave me about 15 minutes early, and I was standing at the door trying to get the nerve to ring the bell. After about a minute of me just standing there, the door was opened by a lady I’d never seen before. It surprised me and rattled me enough I couldn't do anything but stare at her, oh my God what if I’m at the wrong house was all I could think. After a moment of me just standing there looking like an idiot she spoke.
“This is you’re first time isn't it? I’m Jess and you are?” She said with a smile.
“Umm I’m Rebecca, Coach Mason gave me this address…” I said.
“Don’t worry dear, you’re at the right place. Sharon told me to expect you, come on in.” She said holding the door open wide. Since it was too late to back out now I stepped inside. She directed me to the living room where some other people were already there. There were two girls and a boy there, while I recognized all three of them I only knew one fairly well. From the look on her face she recognized me as well.
"Hi Karen how are you?” I say to her with a smile.
“Hi, its Rebecca right? You’re Jen's friend from the Halloween party? You were Supergirl.”, she asked me. Great she knew me as Rebecca but didn’t see Robbie, so I’m going to have to come out to her here. My anxiety had started up again in full force with that realization.
“Yeah its me… Sorry I’m really nervous this is my first time here.”, I tell her softly as I sat down on the couch next to her. I was careful to smooth out my denim skirt as I sat down, at this point I was questioning why didn’t I wear jeans and sneakers to this and not a skirt and heels. As I sat down I noticed the appreciative look that Karen on the other girl gave my legs, at least someone was enjoying it.
“Hey don’t worry we were all nervous when we started here. Trust me though, this place has been incredible. At least one night every few weeks we don’t have to hide who we really are.” She said trying to reassure me. This was actually the nicest I had seen her, while yes we’ve been friends we haven’t really talked much. Mostly I was friends with her through Holly, because just about every time I saw Holly, Karen was right there with her.
We talked for a few moments before Coach came in to the living room, I figured I might as well give her the full show I stood up to greet her. Looking down at her since I was a lot taller than her, even not wearing 4in heels, and said, “Well I made it, thanks for inviting me Coach.”
She obviously was stunned, even though she had seen me without my glasses it didn’t really prepared her for all of me. I honestly didn’t think she realized it was me for a moment when she finally said, “Wow Rebecca, you clean up great. Oh and drop the Coach crap while you’re here, here I’m just Sharon okay?”
“Okay, thanks again for inviting me.” I tell her and sit back down.
Karen looked at me and asked, “So how do you know Sharon? I thought you didn’t go to our school..”
“Well I…” I started to say but Coach, I’m sorry Sharon, stopped me.
“We’ll talk about that once everyone gets here okay, that way she won’t have to explain it again.” Sharon said. I looked at her thankfully, while I was feeling a bit better I was still nervous. From my understanding I would be the only one here with a gender issue, and I wondered just how serious our secrecy pact was going to be with Karen and Holly.
There was some small talk between Karen and myself for the next few minutes while some more people arrived. I recognized them but I didn’t interact with them at all so I barely knew their names. When Karen noticed me looking at peoples sodas she told me they were in the fridge and it was help yourself around here. With my nerves pretty high my throat was dry so I thanked her and got up to get me a drink, it was also an excuse to get away from her for a moment. While she was being nice to me, it was awkward for me sitting so close to someone I already knew while still feeling like I’m hiding.. I was in the kitchen opening my Diet Coke and leaning on the counter trying to steady my nerves when the last person came in. It was a very familiar voice I heard.
“Hey everybody, is Robbie here? I saw his car outside.” The voice said, as it carried into the kitchen. My breath immediately caught in my throat and my first reaction was to sneak outside and leave, then I realized my keys were in my bag sitting on the couch next to Karen. I silently cursed myself and took a few deep breaths to go face the crowd.
Then I heard Karen say, “No he’s not here, we do have a new… Oh shit you’ve got to be kidding me?!?” About that time I walked into the living room and several faces immediately glared at me, but the newcomer’s back was facing me.
Clearing my throat I then spoke as clear as I possibly could, “No he’s not really around anymore… Hi Dave…” Dave immediately turned around to look at me, confusion all over his face. Even with my nerves strung out like they were I couldn’t help but giggle slightly. Karen was actually the first to say anything, while the whole room just stared at me.
“Robbie?!? There’s no way… You’ve got to be kidding me!!” She exclaimed…
“Yeah.. Robbie… But not for much longer, my name change should be finished in another week. Except for at school ‘Robbie’ doesn't really exist anymore.” I said softly. Dave steps up to me and stares at me in disbelief, it’s on odd feeling standing here in front of him. Dave, the running back, is usually an inch taller than me at school but standing here in my heels he has to look up to me. But yeah Dave, the same Dave that I knocked down when him, Perk, and Scott tried to defend Jen’s honor on that fateful day. I smiled at him and patted him on the shoulder and softly asked, “You mind sliding over so I can get back to my seat.” He just nodded and stepped aside and I continued to my seat, with 9 pairs of eyes following my every move.
Sitting back down next to Karen she still appeared to be in shock, it was weird how I was at such ease now the ‘cat was out of the bag’ so to speak. I smiled and grabbed her hand and said softly, “Karen its nice to finally meet you.” She slightly shook her head and smiled at me returning the sentiment.
Coach, I mean Sharon dammit, then spoke, “Well now that everyone is here and you’ve met our newest member, Rebecca do you want to go first?”
I started to feel a bit nervous looking around the room, but I nodded and then proceeded to tell everyone about my condition, and what I had been through hiding it from everyone. I told them everything, condensed of course, right up till that fateful day in Sharon's health class when Jen heard what I blurted out which got the ball rolling. I saw Dave’s eyes suddenly widen.
“Oh God that was the day you ran through me and Perk!! I felt bad enough to be bowled over by a skinny nerdy guy, but to know I was really taken out by a girl!!” He blurted out and hung his head in his hands. I immediately felt really guilty..
“Dave I said I was sorry, I was just really messed up at that time…” I started to say, then seeing him look up with his shit eating grin it made me pause… “Oh you ass!!” Which made the group start to laugh…
“Ro... Rebecca… Sorry I was just joking, the mood had gotten way to serious…”, He said still slightly grinning, but then he recomposed himself and more seriously said, “Now everything makes sense though… I’m sorry… Really sorry for what we were going to do, not that it makes it any better, but we really were worried about Jen… I’m sorry…” He had stood up and walked over to me offering his hand. Which I took and used to stand up to look directly at him.
“Dave, you don’t have to apologize… If I thought it had been you that hurt Jen, I’d have done the exact same thing… Maybe even take you back down to the ground again.” I said giggling, which made him shake his head… Then I asked, “Are we still good?”
Still shaking his head a bit, he did smile at me before sticking his hand out for a handshake and said, “Yeah we’re good.” I stared at his hand for a brief second before I shook my head no, he looked confused for a moment before I then quickly grabbed him in a hug. After a few brief seconds he returned it in the same intensity.
We sat back down and resumed going around the room with people talking about things they were going through and dealing with. Not surprisingly since I was the new face in the group it kept coming around back to me. Since this group was all about support I did end up talking about how close I had come to… well... doing the unthinkable. Dave immediately felt guilty, and apologized for the entire jock squad for being part of that pool that I had been mentioned in. Before it ended Sharon reminded everyone that secrecy was paramount, that each one of us held each other's life in our hands. When we meandered on outside both Dave and Karen walked me to my car. They both told me how brave they thought I was about my plans, I tried to tell them it wasn’t being brave that it just couldn’t pretend anymore. The pretending was what was killing me. Dave didn’t make me promise, it was kind of obvious what went on here stayed here, but Karen made me promise not to tell Holly. She was adamant about that, I agreed because I understood now that she had fallen head over heels for Holly, someone she knew she couldn’t have. I promised her sadly, I really felt for her and her situation. Dave did give me a hug right before I got in the Ghia and promised that when everything happened, he would have my back. While I was still unsure about the group, thinking about what Karen was dealing with, and Dave’s promise I did get a bit weepy on the drive home. Luckily I kept it together enough Mom couldn’t see any makeup runs when I got home.
Lying in bed that night my mind was running a marathon, which was not conducive to falling asleep… At all... Tonight's group reminded me, that while I was accepted in the group, most of the people were where I was at before that fateful day in health class. While yes they shared with the group, but they were still hiding in plain sight WHO they were from everyone else. I started to think that maybe they were the lucky ones, because of my body I couldn’t hide in the shadows anymore. I quickly pushed those thoughts down, because I’ve learned who I really am… Well mostly… No matter how much crap I’m going to have to deal with very soon, I know that I couldn’t go back and truly didn’t want to. Then I thought of Karen, who was following around the girl she loved like a little puppy dog looking for any handouts of attention from her. Then I thought of Dave, while he didn’t express any attraction to anyone specific, I couldn’t imagine how hard it had to be for him to be a jock, football player and be around all those hyper masculine semi violent guys while keeping a core part of who he was hidden. Hidden because anyone of those guys could turn on him… Just thinking about the people I had met tonight, and what each one was dealing with brought me to tears.
I realized that I had thought that when I do come out, that it was originally going to be just for myself. While everyone in the group was dealing with a different orientation and not anything like what I was dealing with, they were still afraid to do anything but hide. My body has forced my hand to do this, but I started thinking that if I can stand tall and proud in my truth that hopefully I can change peoples perceptions. I started thinking that when I come out in the open that maybe, just maybe, that I won’t be doing it just for myself.. That I can stand there proudly for all of those still hiding..
Maybe I was just being really hopeful or just idealistic.. What could you expect though, after all I was only sixteen… and a half.
To Be Continued...
Want to comment but don't want to open an account?
Anyone can log in as Guest Reader -- password topshelf to leave a comment.
If you liked this post, you can leave a comment and/or a kudos!
Click the Thumbs Up! button below to leave the author a kudos:
And please, remember to comment, too! Thanks.