continue him on his path of discovering who he, or she, really is.
Copyright© 2017 Rebecca Jane
All Rights Reserved.
Author's Note: First off I want to offer an apology for the delay in getting this chapter finished. My life the last few months have been so busy, with work and family court issues. Luckily things finally are finished on a great note, and my life is finally starting to slow down. Hope you all enjoy this as we are approaching the end of this part of the story. ~Rebecca
It was a simple statement, we need to talk, but I was having trouble processing it being in the full blown panic i was in. I glanced back at Dave and Jen, noting the concern on their faces, and ended up staring up at Perk’s stern visage. Softly I whispered, ”What are you going to do to me?”
His face contorted in confusion, “Huh? What do you mean, what am I going to do to you?”
Jen reached out across the table and grabbed my hand, which startled me and I jumped, “Rebecca.. Calm down its okay… They’re not here to hurt you.”
Dave reached over and slapped the big guys arm and chastised, “Dude! Tone down the Neanderthal a bit, she's freaking out! Look at her!”
It was like the big guy finally looked at me, seeing my panicked expression he quickly raised his huge hands up in surrender. “Shit… No I’m not going to do anything to you, promise…” Seeing me start to calm down and Dave slapping him on the arm again nodding towards me, the big guy added, “Sorry… I wasn’t trying to scare you. Really we’re just here to talk.”
Looking over and seeing Jen and Dave smiling and nodding at me, I just muttered, “Oooookay… What the hell is going on?”
They looked back and forth at each other for a quick second before Jen spoke, “Look I got a call from Dave on Monday and he was asking what was going on, he had heard the rumors flying around… So I told him… Everything… He said he had always thought you were a nice person, albeit a little weird, but he wanted to know the truth. I hope you’re not mad at me, but I figured the truth was better than the rumor…”
“Jen don’t apologize its okay, I trust you…” I said to her, then cast my eyes at Dave. That sneaky ass had figured out a way to be in on the secret without giving away his own, I couldn’t help but smile at him. I told him softly with a knowing smile, “I’m glad you know the truth and are okay with it. So who did you hear it from?”
At that point the big guy next to me hung his head. With a big sigh he said, “That would be me… I heard it from someone that heard it from Holly. It seems that she's been telling anyone that would listen some pretty horrible stuff. I’m sorry…”
Confused at his apology I asked him, “You weren’t the one that told the rumor, why are you apologizing?”
“I guess because I believed it, and I did spread it… To that squirt.” He said as he motioned to Dave and then looked back at me. “So for that, I'm sorry… He said the whole thing sounded pretty far fetched, since we both knew you… Well Robbie… Which I guess is you… Ugh” He muttered as he ran his hands over his face and through his hair before returning his gaze at me.. “I'm sorry but this is just a little bit freaky… I can’t picture you as him… I know they both say you are, but…” He looked frustrated.
“Trust me I understand that… Hell its freaky from my point of view too. My entire life I thought I was supposed to be a boy, and then this started happening.” I said trying to put him at ease.
“I can’t even imagine… Hell I don’t want to try to imagine.” He said with a shudder. “I take it that this was the reason you were… um… having problems the last few years?” I just nodded then he continued, “Anyway Dave told me to give him a chance to figure out what was going on. I figure that’s when he talked to Jen and then got back to me… He didn’t give me much info, other than what Holly was spreading were lies and that you really didn’t have a choice in… well this…” He said sheepishly. I could tell he was uncomfortable, but he was trying.
“Do you want to hear everything?” I asked him, and he just nodded. I then proceeded to tell him my story, starting with how my body started developing, all the testing, the testosterone injections, finding out about my androgen insensitivity, to the eventual ‘corrective’ surgery. I ended my story on the day that everything happened and my run in with them in the school parking lot. While Jen of had course heard everything before, Dave hadn’t heard it all, and then of course Perk just sat there looking at his hands on the table.
We sat there, everyone weighing in on what they heard. Jen reached across the table and gave my hand a small squeeze. Finally Perk, was the first to speak,”Whoa…” was all he said. Slowly he turned and looked at me, his big brown eyes just stared at me silently for a few moments before he softly said, “That… That’s horrible… That explains a lot though… I don’t think I could have dealt with all that…”
Still clutching Jen’s hand, “Well having some incredible friends made the difference.” I looked and smiled at both Jen and Dave and softly whispered, “I wouldn't be here had it not been for my friends.” The big guy next to me just nodded softly.
It was at that moment that our waitress interrupted our discussion to take our orders, it was the break we needed from the seriousness of the situation. While we waited for our food to arrive Dave suggested that we change the subject to something a bit lighter while we ate, which we all did thankfully. While talking about what had happened to me was getting easier, it was still emotionally draining and I was thankful for the more upbeat conversation. Throughout the meal though I could tell Perk was in deep thought, he didn’t talk too much and kept looking over at me. During the beginning of the meal the stares he gave me were still of shock and disbelief. As the meal progressed though I noticed that he was starting to loosen up some and those stares finally stopped. It was like he was becoming comfortable with me as Rebecca, well at least until our waitress brought the checks.
As she sat down two receipts, one in front of Dave and the other in front of Perk she said, “Can I get anything else for the two lovely couples?” Immediately three of us started to chuckle, it took the big guy a few seconds longer to realize what she had said.
“Huh? What?” He stammered as he realize she thought I was his date, to which the three of us started to unsuccessfully hide our laughter. “Wait no, we’re not together.” He glanced at the three of us laughing and his face started to redden, at first I thought he was getting angry until I realized he was just blushing.
Jen came to his rescue, and said while trying to hide her giggle, “Umm we’re not couples just friends, but her and I are on one ticket and those two goofs can fend for themselves.”
Our waitress apologized and as she left to correct our bills Dave and Jen started joking with Perk. His face was still a slight shade of red, so I told them to give it a rest.
“You alright?” I asked him.
He sighed, “Yeah… Sorry that just caught me off guard... In my head I am still thinking of you as Robbie and I'm not… well… umm you know…”, he sighed and looked around and barely whispered the last word, “umm gay…”
I couldn’t help but emit a small giggle, softly I told him, “It’s okay ya big goof, I understand. If it makes you feel any better I haven’t really been remotely a guy in a few years, if I ever was one. It’s taken me a long time to get used to it and I understand.” I then noticed he looked down, and without realizing it I had put my hand on his forearm and had given it a small squeeze. Quickly I pulled my hand back, “Sorry about that…” I blushed, here I am trying to keep from freaking the guy out and then I go and do something so feminine without even realizing it.
He looked at me for a split second before he smiled, “It’s cool…” He then stares me right in the eyes for a moment and continues, “You really are a girl… I mean inside and out…”
Slightly confused at his comment I tell him, “Well yeah… That’s what we’ve been telling you, with the way my body formed and the surgery…”
“No that’s not what I meant, I meant up here too.” He remarked as he softly touched the side of my head with his finger. “I mean I’m watching you this whole time and everything, and I mean everything, is telling me you are a girl. Not just the way you look, but how you act.”
“Oh”, was all I could say. While I had known that I was becoming more feminine actually hearing someone else comment made me start wondering was I trying to act more feminine or was it just me?
Breaking the moment of awkward silence Perk asked, “So you’re coming to school next semester as Rebecca right?” I just nodded, which made him pause and think. “Aren’t you worried about what people are going to do, or say?”
“Well yeah of course I am, who wouldn't be?” I asked him.
“Then why do it at all? Couldn’t you transfer to the academy or even home school?” He asked worriedly.
I shrugged, “I guess I could, but Starkville High is my school. It’s where my friends are.”, I say confidently while smiling at Jen and Dave. “Look of course I’m worried, actually I’m terrified of what could happen.” Thinking of my fears made me pause and mouth dry out so I took a few sips of my tea.
“Like I said then why do it?” He asked again.
“Because…”I started, then had to take a deep breath. “Because I am terrified… Look dude, I’ve been afraid as long as I can remember… I’ve been hiding for as long as I can remember… I can’t hide, I can’t run away… This is who I am, and who I was meant to be… I’m not going to run from this and hide… Not anymore!” My voice started to break as I finished that statement and as usual my eyes started to tear up so I grabbed my napkin to dry them. I noticed that Perk shoulders had slumped and he was looking down in deep thought. “Look I know its crazy, but..” He then interrupted me.
“No Rebecca, its not. Not at all… It’s brave, really fucking brave…”, He said solemnly… “I don’t think I could handle that… Actually I know I couldn’t. You’re pretty fucking incredible…” Then the big guy really caught me off guard by wrapping his huge arm around my shoulders and pulling me into a hug. I wish he’d learn just how strong he was, I thought for a second he was going to dislocate something when he squeezed me. As he rested his cheek on the top of my head he said softly, “ I’ve got your back okay.”
At that proclamation I started to get choked up again and stuttered, “B-b-but why? I mean why would you do that for me Perk?”
He had let go of the hug and now had his hands clasped tightly on the table as he took a few deep breaths. “Because I owe it to you, all that and more…”
“No you don’t!” I exclaimed, “You don’t owe me anything, let alone if you stand up for me what would people say about you? Are you willing to deal with that?” I started getting mad at him, he doesn't realize what it would cost him, or at least what I thought it would cost him.
“God will you just shut up and listen! Damn you really are a girl!” He exclaimed, then he noticed the look Jen was giving him so he decided to tread lightly. He gave Jen a smirk then turned to me more seriously, “Yes I do owe you, because of you I’ve gotten everything I have right now.” At my confused look he started to chuckle, then continued, “You know I got a full blown football scholarship to State don’t you?” I nodded, still confused. “I got that from my ability on the field.”
“Well duh that’s pretty obvious, what does that have to do with me?” I asked him.
“Who do you think helped me stay on that field the last 3 semesters, when my grades were sucking like they were.” He told me, which immediately made my eyes widen in realization what the big lug was saying. “So I do owe you, for everything. Besides people can think whatever the fuck they want, I’ve only got one more semester here anyway. If someone wants to try, they can try to kick my ass nobody’s gotten the best of me yet…” He said confidently, while Jen and Dave had both been silently watching the conversation they both let out a loud laugh. Perk looked at them like what the hell is wrong with you two.
After a good laugh Dave finally said, with his mouth turned up in his signature shit eating grin, “Well I know one person who sat you on your ass pretty quick.” Perk glared at him for a second and his ears started to turn red before he let out a loud chuckle.
“Well yeah, but I was caught off guard, and the sun was in my eyes… So it doesn’t really count…” He then turned to me and with his big toothy grin, “As I said, I’ve got your back Rebecca. I’m not going to let anyone fuck with you, not when I’m around. You got that?” I just nodded in amazement, afraid of saying anything at the moment. Then he continued, “I’ll also make sure the team has your back too.”
That surprised me, “Umm just how do you expect to do that?” I asked.
“Think about it, just how many of the first string have you helped keep their grades high enough to play? I’d assume over half, if not its close. I’ll just have to remind them of that. If that doesn’t work, you know people get hurt all the time in practice… They’ll back you up, or else” He told me with a certainty that frightened me.
There was a bit of silence as the weight of his words sunk in, what he was promising me. I was totally at a loss for words, leave it up to Dave to break up the seriousness. “When he tells them, I’ll explain your situation thought. I don’t really want to help him with the bigger words.” We all looked at the shit eating grin on his face for a few moments before we all laughed.
Well all were laughing but Perk, he was glaring at Dave before he smirked, “Ok you little shit, you know I’m going to make you pay for that…” Then chuckled.
Smiling Dave just responded, “Yeah probably, but it will still be worth it.” Which got us all to chuckle.
While we were laughing our waitress brought our respective checks, and while we were settling up we continued to joke around some leaving the serious conversation behind us. When the two guys walked us to our car I gave Dave a huge hug and then as I turned to Perk I paused. I was worried about freaking him out anymore than I already had, especially after all that he had promised me. The next thing I knew he stepped up and wrapped his giant arms around in me a huge bear hug and lifted me off the ground. I couldn't help but squeal in the helplessness of the situation but he just sat me down grinning.
I softly put my hand up on the center of his chest and said sincerely, “Thank you Perk, thank you so much.”
He gently, which was was still pretty hard, patted my hand, “It’s the least I can do for you okay. You were always a pretty good dude, and I can tell you’re a pretty cool chick, maybe even cooler now. One thing I hate is to see good people mistreated. You’re good people, all three of you.”
We said our goodbyes and they waited for Jen and I to get the car started before they turned to walk away. The 45 minute ride home was mostly in silence, both of us were weighing in on what had happened during supper. Moments like now, when I felt the support of my friends and family, completely overwhelmed me. Jen must have felt, or understood what I needed at the moment. She gently reached over and took my hand and held it for almost the entire ride home. When she dropped me at home we both just hugged for everything we were worth.
“Jen I can’t thank you enough, for… for… everything.” I whispered in her ear as I hugged her. I mean this was the girl that had stood by me, no matter how bad things had ever gotten. She was the one that pulled me out of my depression, days before I was going to end it. She was who was with me as I took each tentative step towards being me. Through her actions I was able to reconcile with my parents, who had helped me to find friends who were going to stand by me. Friends who were going to stand up for me. I never in a million years would ever figure out what I had done to deserve a friend like her. I finally gave her a soft squeeze and through my tears I whispered, “I love you Jennifer Anne Cook, with all my heart. I can never thank you enough for being in my life.”
I could feel her tears on my cheek as she held on to me, “I know. I love you too. I should be thanking you though. You’ve been my best friend for as long as I can remember, and to be a witness to your journey… I’m thankful that you’re letting me be here for you.” She gently let go of our hug and started to pull back, only to rest her forehead on mine, before saying, “PNC’s forever right?”
I couldn't help but smile at our old, partners n crime reference, I just replied, “Damn right, you better believe it’s forever.” We let go of each other and she waited in her car until I got inside.
No sooner did I walk into the house, Mom was right there like she had been waiting by the door for me. She immediately saw my streaked makeup and knew I had been crying. “Baby what’s wrong?!? Did it not go like she had said?!?”
That surprised me and I asked, “You knew what she had planned?” I was torn between being upset and thankful.
“Yes I knew, we’d been talking for a few days sweetie. We were worried that you were going to start hiding in your room again. She told us about your two friends and how they had wanted to help too. Did it not go well? Why are you crying? Baby please talk to me.”
The feeling of being betrayed by my parents and friends quickly dissipated, they were only looking out protecting me. Ironically protecting me from myself, go figure. I quickly grabbed my mom in a hug and barely got the words through my sniffles, “I’m crying because… Because it went so good… What have I done to deserve you and my friends… I had been so hard on all of you, for so long… I pushed everyone away… Why have you all stuck by me like you have?”
She pulled back from the hug so she could lay her hands on my cheeks gently making me look at her, “Baby you were hurting… More than any of us could imagine… YOU though, have always been worth it, and so much more. Don’t ever doubt that, ever!” I tried to nod but she held my head firmly, “Look at the people around you, the ones sticking by you… Have you ever stopped and thought about the difference that you’ve been in their life? I think you would be hard pressed to find anyone of them that you haven't helped, or influenced their life for the better. You have that effect on those around you.”
I started to think about all the people in my life, well the important ones at least. How had I influenced their lives, it took me a second to start wrapping my head around it. I started thinking how more open, fun loving, and vibrant Alicia had become, what Perk had told me about his scholarship, Robin on how being there was finally helping her move beyond her past, then I thought about Jen. Our friendship almost predates my memories and back when she was a tomboy she intimidated most of the kids, a lot of it was due to her lack of confidence and so she overcompensated by being an even bigger tomboy. She had never intimidated me for some reason, and even at a young age I thought she was special and could do anything she wanted. From the moment we had met we had just somehow clicked, and over the years I had always encouraged her. The more she started believing in herself the less she overcompensated and started to become the Jen that I know and love now. In a funny way by helping her believe in herself I had helped her become more feminine, guess she just finally repaid the favor.
I assume as all that info started to sink in my facial expression changed because mom softly said, “You get it now don't you?” She had eased up her grip enough that I could nod slowly.
“Yeah I am, or at least I’m starting to.” I softly admit to her.
We sat down at the kitchen table and talked for almost an hour, mostly about how my evening had gone. We also covered my fears that I was still struggling with, but also noting how each day those fears were starting to dwindle. As we headed to bed we shared a long hug as we told each other how much we loved each other.
As I was lying in bed thinking about what Mom had said, and what my friends had promised me, I was still holding on to my stuffed ewok. Wicket was my old stuffed ‘bear’ that I had dragged out of retirement, meaning my closet, several months ago to resume his job of consoling me when my world turned upside down. I turned to lie on my back and set him on my stomach, staring at the silly old bear, and realized I no longer felt the need to cuddle with him. I no longer needed the reassurance that an old stuffed animal could provide. Softly I whispered as I straightened out his fur, “Old friend you’ve always been there, but you know I have some friends now that are going to let you take a break from watching over me.” I started to get up and put him back in the closet, but looking at him that no longer felt right. Giving him a quick hug I sat back down on my bed and cleared a spot on my headboard for him. There he can stay in case I need him again, always within reach. To this day he has always had a place on my headboard.
I woke up early the next morning from a restful and dreamless sleep, at first I thought I had overslept for my Saturday run with Paul but then remembered he still wasn't due back till right at the New Years. I really didn’t want to run alone this morning so decided to just relax for a bit until I heard my parents stirring. Once they had finished their morning rounds in the bathroom I finally got out of bed and got in the shower.
Once I had gotten my morning routine finished I met my parents in the kitchen and saw Mom had put all the stuff out for one of my breakfast omelets, but hadn’t started cooking anything. When she saw me staring at all the stuff she just looked at me and raised her eyebrows. Taking her hint I ask with a smirk, “Did you set all this stuff out just for me?”
Returning my grin Mom just replied, “Well I was going to cook, but since you offered.”
Trying to act upset I said in a non-convincing huff, “You two better be glad I love you…” I tried my hardest not to laugh, I think I lasted 3 maybe 4 seconds before Mom and busted out laughing.
“Seriously though, your omelets are far better than any I can make. Do you want some help?” She asked me.
“No I’m good, I don’t mind. You two just read the paper. I’ve got this.” I told her confidently.
“Oh by the way, I put the big pan there. I’ve got a few friends that will here soon, so could you please make some extra okay.” She said smiling.
“Sure Mom, anyone I know?” I asked.
“I’m sure you’ve met them a few times.” Was all she said. The look on her face told me that she wasn’t going to tell me who, so I dropped it. I was just finishing up when the surprise guests arrived. I had my back towards the door trying to deal with flipping the huge omelette when I got tackled by my three friends.
“HEY STOPPIT!!” I shouted trying to escape the death hug they had put me in. “Let me go, I’m trying to cook!”
Laughing hard, Mom stepped up to the stove and started tending to finishing what I had started. “I’ll finish up, you three set the table and fix drinks up.”
Breaking away from the laughing girls I gave them all, including Mom, a stern look and asked, “Y’all planned this didn't you?” All four of them gave me this innocent look that a blind man could tell was bull, like they were saying who us? I couldn’t help but laugh at the four fakers, and just said, “Thanks, all of you.”
Jen just smiled and said, “Hey that’s what family are for.” They each then came up and gave me a hug and a kiss on the cheek. Well all but Alicia, even with my parents right there she gave me a hug and a small kiss right on the lips. I saw mom’s eyebrows raise up, I just shrugged my shoulders at her.
Once we had set 7 places at our breakfast table, which normally only sat 4, we all had a good visit. After we ate my mom and dad gave all the girls a hug and thanked them profusely for being there for me. They then told me to get ready for the day, we were all going last minute Christmas shopping. I tried to complain that I had already finished mine, but no one was going to let me sit at the house. So after half an hour of them helping me get ready, I didn’t even get a pick of what I wanted to wear. While we had a warm snap the last few days it was a cool day in the low 50’s I was wanting to wear jeans and a sweater, but since the girls were all a bit more dressy, they all quickly veto’d that idea. It was one of my sweater dresses and leggings paired with a pair of my low heeled ankle boots.
While I had loved this outfit when I got it, the dress hugged my body and showed off my curves quite well. The problem I had with it was over the last month or so I had gotten another growth spurt, and no I hadn’t gotten taller. My ‘girls’ had grown another cup size, looks like all the women in my life were well endowed and it looked like I was going to be no different. I started to complain how I felt like I was looking like a stripper the way the dress hugged my D’s, but everyone including Mom told me I looked incredible.
With me finally giving in we shortly left and headed into town, while I still felt uncomfortable with what could happen if we ran into the wrong person, I quickly felt how being around my friends overshadowed any fears. We ended up having a really great day, while we did run into a few people from school they never once gave me a second look. I finally realized that even if they had heard the rumors that they would think like my old ‘friends’ and the Robbie they remembered could never look like I do. We got in a bit before supper, mostly due to except for Wal-Mart most of the stores closed at 5PM no matter what. Once we had all eaten, my friends all headed home and left me and my parents to have a quiet night watching some VHS movies until bedtime.
My sisters and their families arrived early in the afternoon the next day, and while I was nervous it went really well. Of course they were surprised at how the new ‘me’ looked, but quickly things returned to normal, or well at least a new normal. Before the day was over they were all treating me like I had always been Rebecca, even my nieces and nephew. After the third game of trivial pursuit, me and Pop were on the same team and were undefeated to which the other team groaned that it was unfair.
While I still woke up early on Christmas morning at 7AM, when I walked into the living room it looked like my nieces and nephew had been up for hours with all the strewn paper on the floor. Knowing that with the noise the kids were making that the adults would be up soon I went and started a pot of coffee and started breakfast. This time I went with a bit more standard meal, was just too many mouths to make enough omelettes for.
The rest of the day was actually pretty much a normal Christmas Day, well normal for my family at least. I did get to help with Christmas dinner, other than deep frying the turkey. Pop and my brothers-in-law took over that mess. I did receive mostly clothes and make-up for presents, including several new 38D bra’s which I was definitely thankful for. Later that evening my friends came over and since their families ate a big lunch for the day they all came and gorged with us. With the way my Mom cooks for the family there was still plenty for everyone to eat leftovers for a few days.
My friends and I exchanged gifts later that night in my room, they had said some might be questionable to open in front of the kids and adults. I was actually afraid of what they had bought for me, the first gift I had opened they told me to promise to wear it the 1st day back in school. It was a bra and panty set, and were the most beautiful and lacy set I had ever seen. They wouldn’t tell me why, but that it would be important for me to wear it that day. I just shrugged and moved on to the other presents, finally when I went to open the last one they were grinning ear to ear which made me nervous. When I opened it, it actually took me several moments to realized what it was. When I realized that my whole body blushed something fierce. My friends had given me my first vibrator… I thought I was going to die from embarrassment… I almost hit Jen when she told me just wait till they leave to try it out.
After my friends had left and we all had turned in I was reminiscing about the day and the last few months. While tempted I couldn't bring myself to reopen let alone try my new ‘gift’, I was going to definitely get them back. This had been one of the best Christmases that I could remember, and I even loved all of my gifts, well almost all of them. As it turned out, my best Christmas gift was yet to come, it arrived the next morning.
To Be Continued...
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