Monday had me back at school trying to pretend nothing was different. I imagined kids were looking at me and whispering. I was sure they were saying, “Hey, did you hear, he’s really a girl!”
I was standing at my locker, catching my breath, when Lisa showed up. She made a fist and lightly hit me on the arm. “What’s up, dude?” She
smiled, “or whatever!”
“Lisa … hush!”
“Oh, Aar…Amie. Nobody heard me. Are you paranoid?”
“I just feel like everybody’s staring at me!”
“Hey! That hurts my feelings!”
“If they’re staring, they know somethings different. If that’s the case, it means I told somebody. I hope you trust me more than that!”
“I don’t think you would tell anybody.”
“Well, don’t worry. Nobody is going to know anything … unless you pull those 2 ‘X’ chromosomes out of your pants. She looked down toward my pants and smiled.”
“Sorry, Lisa. I’m just being silly. I’ll be so glad when June gets here.”
“I talked to my mom about the summer. She was surprised! Can you imagine that? She’s going to talk to your mom. So you’ll be glad when June gets here? You’re really looking forward to this!”
“Yes, I am. Now that I know what I am, I feel like a lot of things will fall into place for me.”
“I think you’re right. Welcome to the other side.”
My paranoia dissipated somewhat. I realized that no one knew anything about my news, and I made a conscious effort to ignore them when they seemed to be watching me or whispering about me. I had to ignore them if I was going to make it to June. But if and when I did make it to June, I had another problem...dating. Maybe I knew too much about the way guys were, but I couldn’t see having a relationship with a guy. The idea of kissing a guy made me shudder. I would date Lisa, but society wouldn’t be happy with that. I had never seen her date anyone, but it never occurred to me to wonder why. I decided to put the dating issue from my mind indefinitely.
My hair was longer than it had ever been. In June, I would get it styled. No one said anything, but I usually got stares about my long hair. That was the least of my concerns.
The months of April and May were the longest I had ever endured. My dad actually began his new job in the second week of May. He had leased a house (with an option to buy) and my mom and I were just waiting for the end of school to make the move. The movers moved everything except some essentials we had set aside. May 31 was the last day of school. We were dismissed at noon, and Mom, Lisa and I headed out for Houston.
The sun was at our backs as we headed east that evening. On the radio, The Eagles’ “Take it to the Limit” played. The words “all alone at the end of the evening” always made me sad. I thought of Glenn Frey, who had died not too long before. It seemed to always be that way: when I’m sad, my mind wanders to things that make me sadder. I was leaving everything familiar behind. A new, bigger house brought me no relief. A new school brought only anxiety. I sat with my face to the car window. My only comfort at the moment was being with Mom and Lisa. Neither of them knew I was on the verge of tears. I hoped I would be ready when it came time for Lisa to leave me in September. I doubted it.
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