I'd Like to be Left Alone
He designed a girl’s prom gown instead of a boy’s suit,
Andrew’s problem, turned into an opportunity…
Focus is now on Andrea…
I showered and decided to go around as Andrew, binding my small breasts under a tank top. Two people who saw me commented on my filling out as Andrew. I went to the Flowery Saddle Pub, and enjoyed doing some extra cleaning there.
I met Syva and Jere, two who were known to come during afternoons. They’re a fairly private lesbian couple. They were there some time before they spoke to the main owner Terri Wells about them dancing with each of us. Jere had put in several dollars to a juke box, selecting several songs. She then came over to me and politely asks me, “Would you please dance with me?”
I agreed, but was quickly surprise that Jere took the lead in dancing. It is different for me, as I generally stay in guy mode when I present myself as Andrew. I kind of like stretching myself not realizing how much I carry my own gender bias.
We sit down and talk; Syva saying, “You know there are more and more of us women who like going without a bra but I for one wouldn’t mind some support and comfort for my breasts and nipples… I’ve kind of accepted you and others don’t care or want us. But some kind of material inside that’s not as scratchy or coarse would be nice.
I had thought about that once when my nipples started to bud, but I thought I was just being wimpy. We do it for nice dresses especially with some that might be worn braless. I ask, “Syva, Jere, and Terri do you really think women would see that if we put it in more often?”
Vee had mentioned it before, and here I’m hearing it again. It’s called a shelf-bra and for me it is important to know there are two very different possibilities with this term to what it could mean. Syva is in the vast majority of those seeking function and comfort.
JC says I am established enough to begin using it more without my customers misunderstanding about how I’d be incorporating it. Syva does not want to be considered a formal contact for me into the lesbian and trans-gender community. Unofficially however, she likes the idea on occasion she can do so and make an income in doing so.
I spend the evening communicating back to Jenny in California. I used some makeup for guys; it helps a little in making Andrew more visible. The connection is more about just that staying connected. I have sent in the design alterations for Jenny’s prom dress. If everything goes well it will be to her in seven to ten days.
I am waiting until I hear she has a prom date. Then a week or so after I will ask her to be a prom date here. Mom and I plan to be there for again for her graduation; if that is okay with her.
It’s a growing problem for me but Dr. Saga Dotter and Dr. Triggs say my growing attraction to boys is quite normal with my change in hormones and seeing myself more as Andrea. Dr. Triggs says at my next appointment, “Maybe how you’re wired as Andrea is very different from Andrew’s attraction to Jenny and Terra… When you broke up with Terra, you indicated a strong desire to continue as friends. Might that show a shift in wanting to be friends more with other women, both as you meet and then with long-term friendships.”
Before my appointment ends she comes back to the subject. “What if your friend Jenny comes here to college, and she desires more to be a friend than romantically involved with you?”
It’s a good question, but not one I’m pleased to hear right now. I hold in my emotions until Leah and I are outside of the clinic. Leah asks, “What’s wrong?” I’m already crying and turning to hug her. But I don’t feel like getting into that discussion.
I tell, “Dr. Triggs says, I should stop the hormones and the blockers now, or the changes in my body will be irreversible.”
Leah consoled me and seems to accept my answer until, but once we’re on the way back to the apartment. She says, “I take it that whatever the real problem is, you don’t want to talk about it yet.”
She usually is on her way downstairs to her apartment as I head for mine. Today she follows me to my apartment. I was going to stop at Beth’s apartment for some tea. It would be good to talk to Grandma Beth.
Leah says, “Do you want to talk or do some retail therapy?”
I say, “I wouldn’t mind getting some spring clothes, especially something for Easter.”
We’re talking and my phone rings and Megan Hach is calling she’s one of the first college students at the apartments that I met. I tell Leah and ask if I should answer. “She probably heard you and Terra broke up. She had it bad for you when you first came. Go ahead and answer.”
I answer, “Hi, is this Megan?”
She says, “Hey stranger, I’m wanting to know if you might be free to go out Friday and maybe Saturday. My friend Dillon has a brother Kason whose thinking of transferring here next year.”
I say, “Tell me a little more?”
“He’s coming Thursday to look at North State. I’m looking for someone special to go out with the three of us on Friday. I’ve seen pictures and he’s good looking. Dillon says he’s a good guy, he’s come off a serious romance with someone like yourself. He’s not looking to get into another romance but he is quite social.”
“I’m not into blind dates, sorry.” I get a picture with ‘Kason’ underneath it. I show it to Leah, she smiles and says, “If he’s sensitive and good looking too, go for it, but know you don’t have too.”
Megan says, “With Dillon going and if we can drop your name too, we should be able to get in at Riley’s Watering Hole without waiting.”
Leah’s listening and says, “Tell them, only Riley and the doorman are to know you’re coming.”
Megan’s hears at the other end. “I understand, I’ll make sure of that. I’ll call or stop by tomorrow to visit and the particulars. It will be nice to get to visit again.”
Once off the phone, I turn to Leah. “I really need to get out and relax. Let’s change and then get out and go shopping. We don’t need to get much. I do owed Leah so I pay her about $200 so she can shop as she wants. And I find a coral chiffon dress with spaghetti straps. Leah encourages me to buy a pair of designer jeans that I like along with some nice panty briefs. There is a backless dress I envy but the truth is I can only wait and hope that someday I will look good in it. The truth is my skin and body shape can’t pull off all the girl looks I’d like, at least not yet.
I enjoy walking by people knowing guys are pleased with how we look. We stopped for a sandwich and short visit at my Pub.
Late the next morning Megan stops and we have a good visit. It is easy to see why I had a crush on her. “Megan, I’m a little upset that you haven’t stopped for a visit recently.”
She says, “I think we both liked each other and know that wouldn’t have been good. Once I met your girlfriend Terra. I was fairly sure liking you wouldn’t be good while you and Terra were close.”
“You thought I’d prefer you matching me up with a blind date would be better. I guess you decided to move on.” I say, “I’m sorry that’s probably not fair. I’m having problems adjusting as I’m more and more a girl inside and out. Like yesterday when I saw your picture of Kason. I’m not use to my body and heart both saying I find him attractive.”
Megan asks, “Is that why you and Terra broke up. I thought it was her who decided to move on?”
I confess, “It was, but I’ve recently had a few encounters that match up with what my doctors are saying about me changing. Truth is I’m kind of finding guys attractive. It’s silly but I like the idea I can make them excited.”
Megan says, “I know, Dillon and I are mostly friends but we can both make the other hot. But I like us being attracted to one another too.”
Megan finds herself wanting to change the subject. “We shouldn’t keep this conversation up if we’re dating guys together, tomorrow night.”
“Some one said, you’ve got that old recluse across the hall to open up. How did you do that? She always seemed a little spooky to me.”
I take Megan’s hand, “Come on, I was planning to go see her today. I might as well introduce you to Beth. She’s a pretty neat woman. She could be my grandma, except she’s easier to talk to. She was a nurse in Vietnam and no shrinking violet.”
During our visit with Beth, Megan’s friends Elle and Ruth call her. They’re surprised Meg’s back visiting with me and stunned she’s now friends with Beth. The four of us are evening talking of taking Beth out to the pub some night.”
It was good to catch a break when Megan went back to her apartment and me mine. It allows me today to get in a good four hours designing in the afternoon. I intended to take the rest of the day off and resume tomorrow, but as usual, I got wrapped up in designing and finally force myself to stop around 9 pm. Friday morning I’m up early, read some for school and put in another three hours that became five designing.
It was good as I focused on several designs for next Christmas while my notes from last Christmas are fresh in my mind.
Getting ready for my date with Kason, I begin to feel a little flirty and just wanting to be a girl to him. I decide to wear my new yellow chiffon dress, though it is cool enough I might need to stay real close with Kason to stay warm. I’m hoping to like him, yet I know I will survive if I don’t.
Dillon and Kason grew up and went to school in a town south of the state capital. About fifteen miles the other side of Plainfield from Hillside. If Bri, is the Brianna I’m thinking; Bri and I met once.
I lightly do my face, it should have enough color to show. I am tickled that I have gotten better than some other girls. My hair style is still holding, though I should get back to my salon. I double check my look, down to making sure my stockings don’t have any snags.
I spy out the window of my Andrew pad to catch a look of the guys getting out of the car. The image I had in my mind of Kason is different from the Kason who’s just coming through the door. He looks thinner in the photo I saw, with finer features. Now he looks more like his athletic brother Dillon. The eyes and nice features are there, but noticeably bolder. A short conversation indicates he is sensitive and I find him charming in a way.
Kason comments, “I thought I was going to have trouble relating with you or warming up to anyone. I want to thank you for being my date. It will be nicer than I thought.” He leans forward like he was ready to kiss me. Then pulls back, apologizing, “Sorry, I’m so tempted to hug and kiss you and here we’re not yet out on a date.”
I step forward, “Since we only have tonight I think warming up to now would be okay. You seem to be a nice guy that I won’t mind snuggling up with. Hopefully there might be a slow dance we can use to find out.” I can use a distraction, as Megan seems to be taking her time, and she and Dillon are a bit more than just friends. Megan says she called Riley’s, “We shouldn’t have trouble getting in.”
Riley’s Watering Hole is an institution in itself; a nightspot for the college crowd, those twenty and thirties something, along with those young at heart. By the time we get there, the waiting time is well over an hour. The doorman asks for my I.D. to confirm I’m Andrea. He says, “Thanks the next time proof won’t be needed. I’ll have no trouble remembering you.”
Kason and I are talking at Riley’s when he gets a text, “I’ve met Andrea, be nice to her and just let her have fun being a girl,” Bri.
Kason says, “We’re still friends. She thought it would be good for me to meet another person like her. I think she’s right in this case.”
We’re being disturbed by Dillon attracting a lot of his friends. I don’t regularly mind people being loud, but some of them are already well on their way to being drunk. “Kason, can we dance and possibly look a smaller table where we can just be together?”
“Yea, my brother’s friends can be a bit much.” We’re dancing when we see a table come free and go for it. Two college women get there at the same time. Neither they nor we want to give it up and leave. There are four chairs and room for one or two more if needed. The four of us stayed. I went and got my purse and light coat.
I guess Deidra recognized me quickly but kept it to herself. It was when Kason stepped away, Deidra commented, “You’re, Andrea Stephens the designer?” I gave a simple smile, both commented on liking to meet me. Deidra says, “I’ve seen you at a store promotion. It’s nice seeing you be just one of us girls. Can I ask, if he’s a boyfriend.”
Kason’s on his way back and hears me say, “No, he’s come here looking to transfer and my friend Megan knows his brother.”
Kason sits down, “Yea, I lucked out. An old girlfriend even knows Andrea and told me to be nice to her.” He asks, “Are you college students here?”
We’re soon dancing again and Deidra and Em were asked by others to dance. A guy and girl try exchanging partners with us. I’m not interested but Kason was taken from me for that and another dance. I danced with the guy but only to the end of that song.
Using the time to freshen up, I retreat to the women’s room. Once back to a sink, I wash my hands and check my makeup. A woman bumps me, saying, “I didn’t see a sign inviting you in here?”
I kept to myself saying, “I guess not.” Finishing my hair and makeup I left. The woman followed me out, “Aren’t you at least going to apologize?” I reply, “I didn’t think it was needed.” I knew she went to tell someone, but I guess didn’t get any satisfaction there either.
When I got back to the table, Kason mentioned leaving soon. He asks, if I’ve used Uber. I told him what had happened and said, “I’d rather not leave just yet. I want to know if Riley’s have trouble with me using a restroom.”
I find myself enjoying being with Kason and have his warm strong hands holding me during a slow dance. I’m checking out how other girls look. Deidra asks to exchange phone numbers which I do. It is not my more private line.
Later, Nick Riley called to me from the bar on our way out, “Hey Andrea, know you’re always welcome.”
Monday I’m happy to get back to my class schedule as spring break gets over. I’ve made a number of friends and it seems better coming to school consistently as Andrea. I like visiting with Ms. Hopkins my literature teacher. She says March is women’s month and gives me additional reading.
I’m back to the Flowery Saddle Pub late in the week. Prof. Jean Cozier is there and he’s trying to hit on me and doesn’t stop when I make it clear I’m not interested. He said, “You embarrassed me in class last semester and I want some satisfaction. I’ve heard that you plan to take classes with Professor Paula Riggs, this summer and next fall. Let me make it clear. If I don’t get your cooperation I can make things problematic for both her and JC Harper as well as you. Have I made myself clear? When you decide that you’ll like to reconsider your cooperation with me; you know how to reach me.”
I lift my phone and then say, “I just want to be left alone by you and to get on with being a teenager. I will be asking for a restraint order against you.”
I speak up, “Terri would you please call the police office and ask them to send some officers. I want to give Professor Cozier a chance to refute his words as I’ve recorded them.”
Terri Wells is calling as Jean Claude Cozier is saying, “You wouldn’t?”
“I don’t want you to worry about holding a club over me or harassing someone to cause me trouble. Mr. Cozier.”
He says, “That is Professor PhD Cozier to you; I’ve earned that respect.”
“I said, ‘Mister’, because I feel like you have dishonored your profession and my respect for you as a student. I am not the law so I can’t guarantee what standing this will have. But to answer your earlier question, ‘Yes, I would and I will.’”
I say to Terri, “Terri, do you know most studies say, ‘When someone’s been abusive sexually or with power, it’s likely just the tip of the iceberg. It would be nice to find out that there are other reports out there either with the law or the University.”
Officers O Reilly and Hagg are entering the Pub as Prof. Cozier had turned and was walking out. Terri Wells speaks up, “The person leaving is the one who was being abusive.” He was ask to stay and does though not without criticizing Terri and the Officers. One Officer is in uniform and the other and now another that follows them in are in plain clothes.
I ask them, “Would each of you identify yourself?” They say: “Sargent John Hagg;” “Detective Patricia O’ Reilly;” and “Lieutenant Steven Miller, how are we doing so far. What is the complaint and who’s making it?”
I say, “I’m Andrea Stephens a student and business person. Prof. Cozier and I have had trouble before, so unbeknownst to him I started my phone recording when he came up to me. My employer, X-Press International, and JC Harper suggested I do this.” With that I pushed the off button on my phone. Lieutenant Miller says, “I’d like that phone for evidence.” It was more a request than a suggestion.
I say, “If I can get someone transfer my contacts and calendar, as well as the conversation; I would appreciate that.”
Patricia holds out her hand, “You need to hand it over. Someone else will need to decide if they can do what you’re requesting?” I take my time and send a message to Leah and then hand over the phone. Patricia asks, “Did you send information to someone?”
“My sister Leah.”
Mr. Cozier says, “Isn’t that against the law for her to record like that without my permission or a court orrder?”
Officer Miller says, “We can’t do it, but I doubt it is the same for her. I’ll let the County Attorney and the courts to decide all that.”
Prof. Cozier and I are taken to a corner by Patricia and the two male officers. She asks me, “Can you tell me what happened or play the recording?” I push it to play and we all listen.
Then she asks, “Mr. Cozier would you like to tell us in your words what happened?”
“Well I was set up and then she started to record our conversation without telling me. I think she has an agenda of entrapping me to shake me down for money or something. I’ve never been so humiliated, but I’d like to talk it out and see if we can get things settled here?” The Officers are quietly waiting. He continues, “She called me and asked me to come down here.”
“That’s a lie! You can check my phone…”
Steve Miller says, “One of you is lying to the police which is against the law. We will take the two of you to the Police station and try to straighten things out there.”
My phone rings, Officer O Reilly says, “It says Leah. Would you like her to meet you at the station or pick up your car?”
“Station please.” I say good-bye to Terri and ask her to call my mother. I am to ride with Det. Patti O Reilly. Sargent John Hagg takes Cozier and Lieutenant Steven Miller rides with them. Once we’re at the station and I’m with Patricia in one room, another detective comes in with her to talk to me.
I ask, “Will my sister be directed back to us?”
“She’ll be asked to wait for now.”
Unbeknownst to either of us Sgt. Hagg called the University and requested the phone records for PhD. Cozier’s office. Cozier had to hand over his IPhone to Steven Miller though he wouldn’t give permission to check it. They told him, “We will get permission to see your call record. You better be certain that you got a phone call from Ms. Andrea. It will show up if she called you.”
“Andrea, is really Andrew Stephens. Regarding my call, I can’t remember if it was on my phone or my office phone.” It was at that point Cozier requested his lawyer. Which will actually be a University lawyer.
I gave them permission to check my phone history which included two cell numbers and my apartment phone and the pub phone. I had signed that permission before my mother’s phone call was transferred to where we are. Mom says, “I have asked them not to question you until you have us and your lawyer there.
Mom says, “Marion Tufts from Hopewell Law will probably ask another lawyer to handle any civil/criminal issues.”
Once mom hangs up, saying she and Dan are coming; Det. O’ Reilly asks, “Are you willing to make out a written statement as to what happened?”
“I thought you weren’t to continue to ask me questions?”
She says, “You know what your mother asked. And you know what we already talked about. If you are willing to write a statement I am willing to do that without questioning you.”
I agreed and wrote down what I already said along with that I had not called Cozier to entrap him. Half an hour later I am be free to go. They did ask me to call in the morning after 8:00 am. and be ready to come into the station.
Leah was upset asking what had taken so long. She was more upset that I wrote out a written statement for the police after our mother’s instructions. It was 11:00 that night before Mom and Dan arrived.
While I’m sure my Mom and Dan weren’t happy, they...
Story to be continued…
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