The Wildcats - Chapter 30

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Chapter Thirty

This series is written by Leslie Moore and edited by Eric and Dee Sylvan. Graphics and formatting by Dawn Natelle.

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Chapter Thirty

Terry watched the morning traffic out of his side of the car as he rode into work with his mom. This morning, he was going to sit down with Dr. Frankel and the endocrinologist to discuss his situation. He was glad that two doctors were going to help him out with his hormone situation. It was a problem that Terry was beginning to find exasperating. He hadn’t taken any estrogen products in over a week, but once again, his new, larger enhancements were getting tighter and starting to itch. That meant he was still swelling.

He could see the changes that his enhancements didn’t cover. His waist was still shrinking and his legs were softening and filling out. Staring at himself in the mirror, he took an inventory of himself from head to toe. His long, skinny legs were starting to show development in his calves. But it wasn’t muscle, it was a subtle shaping giving them definition. That was great when he wore heels; they looked better and less bird-like. His thighs were also filling out. He could see it as the increase in mass appeared in through his hips and buttocks.

He went online and read about fat distribution. In men, fat is retained around the organs, so excess fat forms in the belly. In women, fat doesn’t form around the organs but in the breasts, hips, and upper thighs. His body was heading in the female direction and it worried him.

When Terry studied his body in the mirror, he couldn't help but notice that whatever muscle he previously had in his arms and shoulders was now gone. His upper body looked more like an adolescent girl’s torso. What’s more, his enhancements looked way too natural on his body.

Who was he kidding? This situation was weird. If nothing changed and things continued, he’d be getting softer and more swollen every week. This progression was not what he wanted. Sure, he’d signed up to live as Tasha for six months, but had never thought this was a one-way street to femininity. He’d been so sure that at the end of the six months, he’d drop Tasha, leave the Wildcats, and start doing whatever it took to become a man. He had envisioned taking testosterone and before long, being some sort of muscular, beard shaving, he-man. Well, none of that was going to be in the cards unless there was an intervention really soon, and perhaps never.

He knew something had to be done and done quickly. If this appointment went properly, maybe these two doctors would be able to stop this crazy journey and get him back on the right track. It really had to be that way. He tried to stop daydreaming and focus on riding in the car.

He’d prepared for his doctor’s appointment and the meetings this morning by dressing in basic Tasha-wear. She had on low-heeled black leather boots, pale yellow tights, and a striped yellow and black mini dress. She’d put her hair up in a soft Mohawk. She wore basic daytime makeup and understated jewelry. Tasha accessorized with gold bracelets and necklaces and carried an oversized yellow and black striped pocketbook.

Terry had asked ahead of time if he should have his enhancements removed again for this visit. Neither doctor felt it was necessary. The endocrinologist said all she wanted to do was talk about the test results. And Dr. Frankel said he had just seen Tasha without any enhancements before she left for Hollywood.

On the way to work, Terry and his mom chatted about the Wildcats. Life was going very well for the band. They’d had a very successful trip to Hollywood and the calendar for the rest of April looked busy.

“You know, mom, I’m looking forward to playing live music again. As much as I like rehearsing with the band and composing new music, I really have learned that I love standing in front of an audience with the band.”

Terry continued to talk. He was nervous. He wondered what he’d hear the doctors say. The talking took his mind off the visit. “And now the band’s making money. The downloads from the website are continuing at a record pace. And people are starting to donate more than a dollar a visit.”

Tiffany jokingly called it The Ellen Show Effect, saying that the TV host had pulled at people’s heartstrings. Ellen talked on and on about the emerging new band giving their music away to their fans and people should ‘man-up’ and donate to support them. The band laughingly said that ‘Ellen Shame’ was making them money.

He nodded as he prattled on. ”At this rate, the band will break even before the end of April. Richard and Phil will get their whole investment back and we'll start earning paychecks."

"It's pretty amazing, honey. To think this has all happened in less than two months. When the Wildcats came home at the beginning of March, none of this was in the cards. You and your sister have become the dynamite duo. The band has really become a real phenomenon. I’m sure Gina, Zoe, and Tiffany are just as excited about the changes. Even the other nurses in the office ask me about you and Lisa."

Terry thought for a minute. "Does anyone suspect I'm your son?"

Amy glanced at him shaking her head. "No, they don't. They take the story at face value that you're my niece from the West Coast. And I should add, my niece looks very pretty this morning. You look very Spring-like.”

Terry pulled down the vanity mirror. He studied his makeup carefully. "Thanks. Jersey Girl makes it easy to pick out my clothes. They’re so good at sending me stuff that’s easy to group together to fashion up. Barbara said that sales are on the increase since she invested in the Wildcats. We’re good for everyone’s business.”

Amy glanced at Tasha busying herself in the mirror. She looked her over and saw a stunning and very well put together young lady. ”Do you ever think about telling anyone who you really are?"

Terry turned away from the mirror and looked at his mom and then straight ahead. He frowned. “No. I’m really not ready for all of that. I mean, I want to make things easy, you know, simple. I thought I’d be able to flip a switch and just become Tasha for six months and just turn it off. But, it’s getting more complicated. It's weird enough accepting myself. I mean, inside, I'm just Terry. I’ve got a Terry brain and a Terry body. But outside, I’m rolling with this great disguise of being Tasha.

It’s so different. I was never conscious of what I did. Terry just grabbed some clothes and that was that. But, being Tasha takes a lot more thought. I have to think about a lot more details. It’s much more complicated just getting a shower and getting dressed. There’s so many more steps in getting ready in the morning. Tasha takes better care of herself and how she looks. It's weird. I feel more grown-up as Tasha. It takes a lot more thought to be Tasha, and a lot more work. I always feel like Tasha's on display. I think Terry’s nearly invisible.”

"That sounds like something you'd tell Grace Goldman."

"Yeah, I think you're right. I’m a real, true to life, science fiction story. Alien Tasha takes over Terry’s mind and body. I’m just like the cocoon in The Body Snatcher. One day, I’m Terry. The next day, I’m Tasha and nobody seems to notice. My whole world has changed.”

Terry hesitated and then blurted out. “So, who do you like better, Tasha or Terry?"

Amy looked startled. ”You're funny. Can’t I just love you both?"

"But, seriously. If you had to choose between Terry and Tasha, who would you want me to be?"

Amy parked the car in the lot by her office. She shook her head and smiled. She decided to play along. "I'm thinking. But, in the meantime, you have an appointment. We need to get a move on."

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Tasha sat down in the conference room. There was another doctor sitting next to Dr. Frankel. She was an attractive, very fit woman who was wearing a beautiful dark blue wool business suit. Tasha guessed that it was from an expensive New York clothing line like Tom Ford or Vera Wang. She’d seen something like it in a magazine recently.

“Tasha, this is Dr. Patel. She’s the endocrinologist who’s going to be working with us. We’ve been looking over your records and your test results. We’re trying to figure out just what’s happening with your body.”

Dr. Patel reached over and shook Tasha’s hand. “Tasha, it’s a pleasure to meet you. Dr. Frankel has brought me up to date with your gender confusion issue and how you’re currently living full time as a woman. He mentioned that when he performed corrective surgery, shaving your Adam’s apple and banding your vocal cords, he also gave you two shots.

He mentioned that after some preliminary blood work, he discontinued your anti-androgen pills because your body wasn’t creating any testosterone. He elected to continue with a daily low dose estrogen pill.

I had a copy of all your blood test information in hand when I asked for several more tests to be performed. We’ve got most of that information back now. We’re still waiting on the DNA results but generally that takes several weeks to return.”

Dr. Patel smiled. “Are you following me here?”

Tasha nodded.

“Okay. Let’s set the blood work aside and look at your CT, your MRI, and your X-Rays.

We need to talk about those results. Those tests of your skeleton and organs revealed a very healthy profile of an eighteen-year-old body. We didn’t see any indicators of deformity or disease. But, we did find some curiosities. For example, your bone structure does not fall into the typically typical male or female parameters. You fall somewhere in the middle range of bone development.

So, we should ask ourselves, why? There is a part of the population that doesn’t have a defined male or female pattern of bone growth, but when we look further we find an explanation. That’s what we did in your case. It’s always nice to be able to tie up packages with neat bows and labels.

When we looked at your MRI and CAT scans, we were looking for sexual organs that might help us better explain your pelvic bone anomalies. But, your MRI and CAT scans didn’t reveal any hidden sex organs. None. No underdeveloped uterus that would give us an indication that you had a second sex inside you.”

“Huh? A second sex? What does that mean?”

“Well, that leads us to the second part of the discussion. Here’s where is gets interesting.”

“According to Dr. Frankel, you are starting to show outward secondary female characteristics. Your breasts are growing and you’re starting to show a widening of the hips and bottom. And this is continuing even though you’ve discontinued taking any estrogen.”

Terry nodded.

“So, now it’s time to talk about your blood work. Let me show you some graphs. These graphs are taken from a mass spectrometer that analyzes the chemicals in a compound. In this case, I want to show you some different estrogen compounds.

The first chart shows the composition of the shot you received at your surgery. The second is a graph of the composition of estrogen pills you were taking. As you can see, they are both very similar in composition, but there are some tags or indicators that separate them from each other. See how they resemble each other but there are some different spikes on the charts. We have two similar but different compounds your body has in your bloodstream.

Terry looked at the two graphs. They showed peaks and valleys of the two different compounds. They were both labeled and they were both different. “Okay. I’m following you.”

Dr. Patel slid a third graph in front of him. “Now, this is a graph of your blood work from last week. It shows that you have two distinct estrogen compounds in your blood. The initial shot had dissipated from your blood and is gone from your body. It doesn’t appear. But, you still show traces of the estrogen pills you stopped taking. Its half-life shows that it was lessening at the time of the blood test. My guess is if you took another test today, it would be gone from your bloodstream completely.”

Dr. Patel took a deep breath and smiled. “But, now there’s another estrogen in your blood, too. This estrogen compound differs slightly from the first two I just showed you. To begin with, the first two are human-made compounds and the third one is organic. We know that it’s organic because it has more peaks and valleys of trace elements. It wasn't made in a laboratory.”

Terry was puzzled. A third estrogen? An organic compound? “I’m not following you here. How’d this get into my body? I only got one shot and stopped taking the pills days before the tests.”

Dr. Frankel nodded. “That’s the million-dollar question. This estrogen is natural and was produced inside your body. You didn’t take this one; it was generated from your own body.”

“Here’s a fourth graph. We’ve isolated the organic compound and that’s what you see here. This is what’s inside you now and being produced from within your system. Okay?”

Terry was feeling his legs get sweaty and his stomach was churning. He was getting anxious. Something else was now being generated by his own body. Was this going to be some sort of future cancer or something? How bad was this going to be? Was he going to die? “Yeah, I’m following you.”

Dr. Patel showed him a fifth graph. “Well, here’s the picture of another organic estrogen. This is from your mom’s blood.”

Terry held up the charts side by side. He turned back towards the doctors. “They’re both the same.”

Dr. Patel nodded. “That’s right.”

Tasha was feeling anxious. “So, what you’re saying is that my body is producing the same estrogen as my mother’s body produces?”

“Yes.”

“And is this why I’m swelling up and getting curvy?”

“Most likely, yes.”

“How much of this is my body producing? Is it a small amount like the pills I was taking?

“No. You’re producing a lot more estrogen in comparison to the pills.”

“What can we do? What should I do?”

“Well, that all depends just what you want. If you want to transition, then I would say do nothing. Your body is headed in that direction on its own. But, watching your face, I have to ask you, is that what you want?”

“Geez. I don’t know. I thought this was only a six-month test where I’d dress up and live full time as Tasha. I thought at the end of the six months, I’d assess what I’ve learned and make my decision then. Is there any way to slow this down?”

“I don’t really know. We’re walking on new ground here. We’ve just isolated the estrogen in your blood and that’s pretty much all we know. If we can get you into a hospital for more tests, we can try to understand its production. With more information, we may be able to create a way to counteract this production. Or maybe we can develop an artificial way to reduce the production. We’re dealing with a lot of unknowns. This is a very unusual situation.”

Terry was feeling overwhelmed and very small. He was feeling helpless. What was happening to him? “So, what do you know? I mean, other than my whole body is sort of scrambled up.”

“Tasha, your body’s in great shape. While you don’t have the sexually defining organs of a woman, you are producing estrogen. This makes you rather unique. But you’re not alone. When you show the characteristics of both sexes, you are referred to as intersex. It’s just a simple label to cover a large group of individuals. Other people are intersex, too. It’s a higher percentage of the population than you would think. But, intersex is a word we use to describe a wide spectrum of different existing situations. We gather up a lot of unique situations and call them all intersex. You aren’t a typical male or female. But, you’re 100% healthy and alive.”

“So, what do I do?”

“Well, you have lots of choices. As doctors, we now have a baseline of body scans. We will continue to keep tabs on all of your changes.

I think we’ve been able to eliminate some of the problem areas that might concern you. You don’t suffer from anemia nor do you appear to have any diseases.”

“When will all of this stop and where will I end up?”

Dr. Patel shook her head. “I don’t know. We suspected we knew what started this change. But, now your brain is producing its own estrogen now at the normal rate for a female entering into puberty.”

“My brain? My brain is producing the estrogen? I’m turning into a woman? How is that possible?”

“That’s a great question and that’s why I wanted to see a battery of your physical makeup with CAT scans, MRI’s, and X-Rays. We also took DNA swabs but those results won’t be back for several weeks.

“You are straddling the developmental line. You have an immature, underdeveloped skeletal body that still seems to be developing. With your intersex condition, your body has never chosen what sex it wanted to be aligned with. Recently, since your estrogen production has started, you are going to grow rapidly now and catch up to your peers.

“But, I have a penis and a scrotum with testicles.”

“Yes. Well, you do and you don’t. Your penis is small and underdeveloped. And your testicles are also underdeveloped. I’m wondering out loud if they might be underdeveloped ovaries which explains why they lie so close to your body and don’t hang. We could do further testing to find out.

There are lots of possibilities. As you change, we could give you external female sexual characteristics to match what’s happening inside. We could surgically give you a vaginal opening by stretching your penile tissue and putting your ovaries where they belong.”

Terry sat there trying to take this all in. It was overwhelming. “What if I were to take testosterone? Would I turn into a man?”

Dr. Patel shook her head. “I’m sorry. I really don’t know what could happen. Until we understand what’s happening inside your system right now, I wouldn't try to start any outside intervention. There’s another consideration that might explain your puberty stopping midstream. There’s a possibility that you are testosterone or androgen resistant which is a condition also found on the intersex spectrum. It could explain your lack of development. If and when we try testosterone, you should be carefully monitored. Even if you start to develop some masculine features like body hair and balding, I don’t know if your genitals would develop, and it could be a very risky process.

And really, looking at you now, you are going to make a beautiful woman when you grow up and finish developing. You’re very lucky.”

“I’m lucky?”

“You are. For someone who is trying out living full time as a woman, you obviously want something more out of life. We believe the estrogen being produced by your brain is quite natural. It was only recently that science discovered that it’s not only your ovaries that can produce estrogen. We believe that the shot activated your hypothalamus enough for it to start generating the estrogen we’re seeing in your body.

The estrogen flowing through your bloodstream will start affecting your thinking too. As your body continues to produce estrogen, you will certainly change and grow. It’s all rather exciting to think that we’ll be able to watch you transform together. We’ll be here for you.

And while that happens, your mind and body will obviously merge into a female within just a few short years. Then, you’ll have to decide whether you want a little surgery to finish it all up.”

“How fast is this all going to happen?”

“We don’t have an exact timeline. You don’t have an overabundance of estrogen in your system now, but that can change. We’re going to monitor you carefully. You may progress at the same rate of any young lady going through puberty.”

All Terry heard was ‘young lady’ when his brain shut down.

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Terry sat there alone in the conference room trying to take this all in after the doctors left the room. He was spinning mentally. This was a total derailment of any plans he’d made. It was like someone coming along and saying all the game rules have changed and trashing the game board, essentially throwing all the pieces up in the air. He had a lot to think about, a lot to digest.

This was not what he expected to hear from the doctors. He thought they were going to tell him what was causing the swelling. And then after some mumbo-jumbo, they’d give him a pill and a shot and presto, it would be resolved. This was totally the opposite. He was now a new test subject to be carefully monitored and watched. He pictured himself on a gurney with wires coming out from all over his body as ten doctors looked down upon his naked form. He was the new lab rat. His life was over. He was the news at eleven, pictures to follow.

He felt this was all his fault. If he had just told his doctor the truth. That the whole reason he was dressing as a girl was to play in his sister’s band for six months without getting caught as a freak, the boy in a dress. Then things would be different. He had to take all the responsibility. He’d lied to his doctor. He chose to have his Adam’s apple shaved and his vocal cords banded. He was responsible for all of this.

He had set the stage for this whole Tasha transformation. Now, here he was, his insides growing into his Tasha shell just like his science fiction nightmare envisioned. He was being possessed by an alien creature that was turning him slowly into an Earth female. After that, who knew? Maybe he would grow gills or webbed feet.

In his mind, he started to list the things he had to do. First, he had to find out if all this craziness could be slowed down until he figured it all out. Second, maybe go to another doctor for a second opinion, and third, maybe he needed a whole new medical team. He erased the mental list and rested his forehead on the cool table top. He sighed. Who was he kidding?

As he lay there, he listened to his heart pounding. He could feel his pulse racing. He wondered if he was going to have a panic attack right here in the doctor’s conference room. He tried to still his mind and move his thoughts away from this current dilemma.

He closed his eyes and imagined he was on that grassy hill, alone, with the sound of the breeze and the birds around him. He could smell the fresh flowers and open honeysuckle on the vine. He started to relax. He looked down saw he was dressed as Tasha. It was Tasha standing there on the hill top. She smiled.

At that moment, the phone rang. She picked it up. It was Lisa.

Lisa was excited. “I just heard from Richard and we need to have a group meeting this afternoon at one pm. Richard wants to buy us lunch and have a talk. I think it’s about Warner and a new contract offer. It must be big time because he’s taking us to The Dime.”

Terry couldn’t help but smile. “Swanky. I think I went there for my birthday once.”

“Funny, I was going to say the same thing. Well, happy birthday. You want to meet me at home so we can ride together?”

“Hmm. I don’t know, but could you come over to Dr. Frankel’s office now? I’m stuck here and currently bouncing off the walls. Things didn’t go as I expected at the doctors’ meeting this morning. I want to call Grace Goldman and see if she has a few minutes to meet with me.”

“Is everything all right? Is there something I can do?”

“Well, thanks for the offer. But, not right now. I just want to talk to her for a few minutes to see if she can help calm my head.”

“Okay. Keep me posted.”

Terry called Grace’s answering service and expressed a desire to talk or to see her. After he hung up, he looked through his phone and decided to dial Jessica Jade.

Terry was surprised when Jessica picked up the phone.

“Hi Terry. What’s up with you today?”

“Hmm. Well, I just got some news that freaked me out and I’m really trying to get a handle on it. Did I catch you at a bad time?”

“No. I’m driving in the car and I’m alone. I have you on speakerphone. What’s troubling you?”

“I just found out that my body is producing estrogen and not testosterone. And the estrogen is coming from my brain and I wasn’t really born male and that I’m intersex. It’s all been laid on me this morning and well, I’m feeling a bit blindsided by the news.”

“Wow. I can hear it in your voice. And this was all a surprise?”

“It was. I knew something was wrong when I continued to swell up. The doctor and I thought it was from the small dosage of estrogen I was taking to keep me calm and help me adjust to being Tasha full-time. But, I wasn’t expecting this all to be a full-time in-your-face change in lifestyle choice. I’m really overwhelmed.”

“What are you doing?”

“Sitting in the doctor’s office. I just got the news and was trying to get myself together and calm-the-fuck-down.”

“What did you think they were going to tell you?”

“That modern science had a pill that would suspend all this rush towards womanhood and just give me a break for six months while I thought about it.”

“I guess in your case, this all sucks.”

“It does. It’s just unexpected and happening really fast.”

“I didn’t realize you were so against the Tasha part. I thought you looked comfortable in your new role. Looking at you, I would have never guessed you weren’t a genetic girl.”

“Really? I guess that’s a compliment, but I was just filling in the part of Tasha until the Wildcats got their contract and their record from the big company.”

“The Wildcats have a contract?”

“Yeah. They have a new offer from Warner.”

“Is that good?”

“Oh yeah, it’s just everything they were hoping for.”

“How about you? Are you cool with that?”

“I guess I am. I really like playing with a live band. But the thought of being Tasha for life has got me spinning.”

“That’s ironic. I would have killed to be in your shoes at eighteen. That was all I could think about.”

“Well, it wasn’t something I was thinking about just three short months ago. I was just another high school senior guy waiting to graduate and go to college. And then, two months ago, I found myself signing up to live as Tasha for six months. Now I’m being told that my brain is finishing up the job of puberty but it’s headed towards the ladies’ room. I really thought I’d be a big man on campus in college when I finished all of this.”

“That certainly is a lot to digest all in one morning.”

“Yeah.”

“Okay. So, I have a crazy question. You said you’re going to be Tasha for the next six months or more, right?”

Terry thought about it. “Uh huh. If we sign the contract, we’ll record and then tour and then maybe record another album and tour again.”

“Would you like to do all that?”

“There are parts that I’d really like to do. I mean, you know, like recording an album. Touring all around the country with the band would be awesome. But I still want to go to college. I still want to study music theory.”

“Okay. But, you’re touring as Tasha, right? And you're in the band as Tasha. And you're recording as Tasha?”

“Yep. It’s all Tasha while I’m a Wildcat. But, I thought all of my life I was supposed to grow up to be a guy not a girl and …”

“Well, from what I know about intersex? It’s not a guy or girl thing but a middle ground, right? You really don’t have to choose to become a man or a woman, just be yourself.”

“Well, I was hoping to be normal. You know, just a guy.”

“I hear ya. But, seriously, there are some bright sides to this coin flip. You’re not there yet and well, it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom for you. I think when you have a chance to think about this all the way through, you’ll see some positive light here.”

“Jessica, I’ve always felt like an outsider and a freak. I’m not the same shape and size as everyone else. I’ve always been skinny and looking underfed. I was hoping for a reprieve where I could just fit in and not be different. I just wanted to be a normal guy. And now, I’m being told that I was never going to be normal and now I have to get used to being a freak of nature, too.”

“Terry. Normal is overrated. I was born in the wrong body and it took twenty-some years to get that all straightened out. It wasn’t like I wanted to be normal, I just wanted my mind and body to look like I felt. I battled long and hard and well, I’m a freak and I can tell you that it’s okay. I’d rather be where I am today than where I was.”

“I hear you. But, I need to work through all this new information. I guess I’ll just have to sit down and collect all my thoughts.”

“Terry, it’s going to be good. You're a great person who cares about others. You don’t have a mean bone in your body and well, you’ve got a good soul. You’re going to be all right. You really are, Terry. You're a lot closer to happiness than you realize.”

Terry’s phone was beeping. It was Grace calling. “Hey Jessica. I have to take this call, it’s Grace.”

“Sure. Tell her hi for me and let’s talk again soon. Okay?”

Terry disconnected and took Grace Goldman’s call. “Hey.”

“Hi Terry. Are you all right?”

“Hmm. Not really. I just sat down with the endocrinologist and Dr. Frankel. I just found out that I’m intersex and my brain is making estrogen. I’m starting the second half of puberty as a female.”

“Not the news you wanted to start the day with. How’s that make you feel?”

“Confused. It’s not the news I wanted to hear. I mean, I’m eighteen years old and I’m just hearing this for the first time.”

“Well, if it’s any consolation, a lot of people go through their whole lives never knowing they’re intersex. There’s a higher percentage of intersex people out there than you’d imagine.”

“That’s what I’ve been told. But, I really wasn’t expecting to find myself turning into a woman.”

“Got ya. I’m looking at my calendar. How about if we meet out at the band house around five o’clock and just talk?”

“Oh, that would be great.”

“Hang in there, Terry. I’ll see you after work this evening.”

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Lisa met Terry at Dr. Frankel’s office. She went up to the desk and the receptionist said they were waiting for her in the conference room. When Lisa was shown into the room, it was just Terry and Amy sitting there waiting for her. It looked like Amy had been crying.

“What’s the matter? Mom, are you all right?”

Amy nodded. “It’s your sister.” She winced visibly and looked at Terry. “Uh, I mean, it’s Terry.”

Terry pushed a roller chair out for Lisa with his foot. “Here. Sit down. We wanted to talk to you before anyone else knew. You and mom deserved to know first.”

Lisa was upset. She knew something was wrong. Who was sick?

“You know how a while back, you and mom dressed me up as Tasha and I was in disguise for that whole weekend?”

Lisa nodded.

“Remember how it was yours and mom’s idea for me to do this?”

Lisa nodded. Oh shit, she thought.

“Well, pushing my balls up inside me and tucking my dick back for that whole weekend did something to me and now I’m permanently brain damaged.”

Amy looked sternly at Terry. “Stop that, right now. That’s not true and you’re teasing your sister.”

“Okay, okay. Well, all that dressing up has messed up my brain and I am turning into a giant vagina. In about three months that’s all that’s going to be left of me.”

Lisa laughed out loud.

Amy looked horrified. “Terry! Knock off this shit!”

Both looked at Amy. Whenever she cursed, it was nearing the end of her patience. They both pulled it back a notch.

“Okay, okay. When I got my surgery, the doctor gave me an estrogen shot and I’ve been taking these pills since then.”

“I know. You told me. And didn’t I tell you they weren’t good for you?”

“You did. But, since then, my brain started producing estrogen all on its own. The doctors have discovered that I’m intersex, and that my body is finishing up puberty as female. And it’s all your fault. It was the tattoo that caused it.”

Amy spun her head. “What tattoo?”

Terry looked at his sister. Oh damn, they both thought together.

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When they arrived at the restaurant, the rest of the band was there. Richard and Phil had just arrived. Richard was carrying a large binder.

Everyone was well rested from their Hollywood weekend and looking forward to the rest of the week. Their videos would continue being shown on the Ellen Show and they expected their downloads to continue, as well. Then they had the Tonight Show to schedule soon.

Richard and Phil encouraged everyone to order, After that, they all quieted down to listen.

“Warner did a real unusual thing today. They called me in to discuss the contract on the table. They want us to sign the contract and they offered a carrot. They will double their signing bonus if we commit in the next twenty-four hours.”

Zoe was the first to speak. “Whoa! Seriously? That’s some major cash and the record guarantee, too. I mean, it’s a no brainer, but why?”

Richard smiled. “They see the Wildcats are ready to bust out. After the Ellen Show, the single grew legs and a mind of its own. They know it was only a matter of time before you kids are well known nationally. They heard the Tonight Show wants to book us and they want to have us on their label. Warner wants us right now, while we’re a hot property.”

Tiffany was the first to ask. “Why are we waiting? Didn’t we already have this conversation?”

Richard nodded. “Yep. But when Tasha was kidnapped everything stopped. The Ellen Show came up and off we went. Now, you're a different band. You have more leverage than just another bar band from Allentown. Now, I recommend we take the new deal and sign immediately. The Warner label is a good, solid place to be. Gina’s dad already approved the contract and the only difference is that the numbers are bigger. We still put as much, if not more, into tax shelters and delayed payments.”

“They’ve also offered us a pretty awesome tentative schedule for May. They’ve got several acts they’d like to tie us to as the second band on their bills. We’ll be playing indoor arenas and large theaters. You’ll earn some serious money each night you play. But, it would mean that you’re really on the road and all tied up.”

Terry snickered. “Let’s avoid the words ‘tied up’ please.”

Everyone laughed.

“They’ve shown us a list of bands you could be opening for at sold out shows. And yes, they’ll pay for a big tour bus!”

Everyone started talking at once. They were all ready to sign and it was a pretty exciting moment. They were looking around and saw Tasha with her hand up.

Terry sat there raising his hand. He waited until he had everyone’s attention and their eyes were all on him. Here goes, he thought. “I have a couple of conflicts. I need three days off at the end of May, right before Memorial Day weekend. I need to take Jenn to the prom. And oh yeah, while I’m talking about conflicts, I just found out I’m intersex.”

Terry looked at everyone staring back at him. He smiled as he saw their curious looks and slack-jawed smiles. Yeah, it was turning out to be the strangest day ever. But at least he wouldn’t be hiding anything in the future or have to handle it on his own. Somewhere along the line, Tasha and Terry were going to meet once and for all.

He looked around at the faces surrounding him. He saw Richard and Phil, their managers. He watched as one at a time they looked at him. Terry looked towards his sister, Tiffany, Zoe, and Gina. They were his band mates and his sisters. He knew he was among the best friends he could want. He thought of his mom and of Jenn. He smiled at his new-formed friendships with Grace and Jessica Jade.

Regardless of what Mother Nature decided, he knew he was pretty lucky. He had love and support from his family, his girlfriend, and his band. What more did he need?

His future started today.

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Thank you very much for reading about the Wildcats. Now the team is busy rewriting the first thirty chapters, expanding the text and dialog, tightening up the story flow, and editing for spelling and grammar for the soon to be published version. When that’s done, there are volumes coming featuring Jessica Jade in her own novel and more about the Wildcats, too.

The story has just begun. LM



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