Elliot: Working for Lioness Investments – 4 Out in Public

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Elliot: Working for Lioness Investments – 4
Out in Public


By Jessica C


Elliot is breaking the Rose colored glass ceiling…
He’s been an ordinary research and finance person…
He’s to be the first male Associate…
The men of this company are required to wear unisex clothing.



=^_^=


Previously: “You know Elliot, I think a lot of your ability. I thought you would actually choose to strike out on your own because of that. Since I’m not one to change the nature of my company, I thought that was likely. You are impressing me Elliot, and please don’t think I’m pushing you to be a woman. I just want you to have a sensitivity for your clients’ view of the world.”

Before reacting now, I think out my approach to customers and decide it is different from previously. I’m not sure of what Aunt Jennifer was referring to concerning Marjorie Lourdes. I chuckled concerning Ms. Lourdes visit to her spa club. ‘Knowing it’s a women’s only club? What would I be willing to do as Elliot? Could I chance not staying there or waiting while she was? It could short change my chance to get to know her informally, or would I chance that the cost might be bigger than I dare to think about.’


=^_^=


Having sat around the tables with the various associates; I understand better the initial time of listening needs to be separate before presenting my recommendations or rationalizing reasons for her investments. I’ve already penciled out Wednesday as well as Tuesday. “Jennifer, in fact I decided to set aside the whole week if need be. I’m planning to be with them into Thursday as I’m hopeful to visit with Sophie, no Sophia Lourdes.”

I chuckle as I confused her with Cousin Sophie Connors. I should be contacting her down the road as she’s doing very well for herself.’


=^_^=


Our visit over a simple lunch goes well. Aunt Jennifer has taken a liking to Bonnie and asks for a chance to visit with her alone, before she leaves.

I boot up my computer and research a possible idea of Sophia Lourdes investments. The information we have says she’s into different things than her mother. One of the other Associates, Shelby has mentioned a women’s cooperative in Brazil that she likes for an unusual investment. How does one tell if it is a sound investment? I called internationally and talked to a Rafaela yesterday and will visit again via an internet connection. She remembered Shelby Anderson and was glad to hear the idea was being taken seriously. Rafaela and Louisa two of the partners will be part of this conversation,

Bonnie calls to me, “We’re done talking. Do you want to come say good-bye to your Aunt?” I was tired of waiting and a little surprised my aunt seems to be ending the visit. I put my shoes back on and walk out to them. “Aunt Jenn would you like me to pick you up in the morning, so we can drive you to church?”

Immediately as I stepped out I knew Bonnie’s planning to go too. Aunt Jenn’s response didn’t surprise me, except I’m surprise how out front she is. Aunt Jenn says, “I don’t know what kind of a car Bonnie has, but until you trade up and keep it cleaner that won’t be an option. I think Therese and I should be driving you two to church. Can you both be ready by 9:10 in the morning?” We agree and after a hug and air kiss my Aunt leaves.

I hug Bonnie and thank her. I’m trying to pull Bonnie to my bedroom. She says, “Not yet, but soon. We need to do a little shopping.”

I’m afraid to ask, but I do. “What are we needing to shop for now?”

Bonnie says, “There are some girl things ‘we’ need. Plus I’ve put off showing you how to shop far too long. We won’t do too much but I’m asking that you be the one who will be doing it.”

My outfit is casual enough as I change down to a pair of flats. We use Bonnie’s car. We’re at the mall but we’re going to a jeweler to look at earrings. We agree on a beautiful looking pair of diamond and silver stud earrings. There is another set Bonnie likes for me, gold with jade from Thailand. Once we’re set on them Bonnie’s set to buy them despite the fact they don’t pierce ears. Bonnie giggles as she looks at me. “They’re jewelers, not Claire’s they don’t pierce ears. Most good jewelers don’t do it.”

Bonnie takes my two cases over and asks the jeweler to show me the two pairs. Sticker shock hits me as the diamond studs are $1,795 dollars. Jonathan shows me a pair of jade earrings saying, “These are marked down to $1,215 from $1,650. But I’d rather sell to you for $1,998 and the better Thai jade earrings. I’ll even have a person come here to pierce your ears.”

I try to bargain more, “Make it $3,000 for both and we have a sale.” Bonnie lays down my credit card from Jennifer with the LIFe logo on it. Jonathan’s face lights up, “I heard LIFe is supposed to get a new associate over there. Rumor has it they might be getting their first male associate now or soon.”

I say, “If you’re a regular company LIFe uses. You know that we’re not into rumors or sharing our business dealings. It could result in the end of business here.”

Bonnie called me aside, “Elle, I’m not use to these prices, but I’d say if the diamond studs and the Thai jade earrings are something you like. And I think if you’re staying with Lioness, they would be very nice. I don’t think you can honestly say you wouldn’t like to have them.”

Bonnie says to the Jeweler, “I haven’t seen too many people who are better off who don’t want more.”

Her statement reminded me, “Bonnie, your eyes were fixed on one of the necklaces. Let’s look at that or something else if you prefer.”

Bonnie says, “We can’t do that with this card.”

“I have my personal card, and I can afford it.” I tell Jonathan, “She a teacher a mighty fine teacher. It’s about time I treat her special.”

Jon says, “Miss, if you’re a teacher, might you ever wear it to school? Even if you wear it under a blouse a good necklace should have a safety chain. I would suggest preferably a two strand necklace.”

I look nearby where he took the necklace from. I had to look a bit and over to find three such necklaces. The two strands are delicate, but the price leaped. Bonnie protests a little, but her heart wasn’t interested in protesting too much. She did change to a stylized heart. It will be the largest price gift I’ve given to someone when it’s not a holiday. But we’re in agreement and she’s delighted.

A woman from the department store next door comes to pierce my ears. She says, “It’s usually a teen or college girl being treated special by someone. I am honored to help you.” She is very nice. The piercing comes with a fifty dollar starter set of earrings. She is very happy to insert my new pair of diamond earrings. She compliments my selection and offers to help us next door in the department store.

Needless to say, Bonnie insists we go there and get some makeup as well as the other set of earrings. We both purchased another blouse and long skirts for tomorrow.


=^..^=


Bonnie drives us to an enclosed botanical garden for tea and to relax walking around and sitting in the garden café. “You know Elle you look as though you belong here.”

I take offense, “You know very well I am not averse to being here. We’ve been here before; I’ve even been the one who brought you here a time or two.”

“It wasn’t meant to be derogatory, it’s just as Elle there seems to be a glow in being here.”

Bonnie looked down at her hands before the botanical gardens and does so again. I say to her, “You want your nails done don’t you? I think we need to do that and the other shopping can wait”

She asked me, “Do we have time or weren’t you planning to do something?” She pauses and then says, “You know you could have your nails shaped and polished for church tomorrow as well.”

We go to the nail salon that Bonnie usually goes to, all three nail stations are with customers at them. Only the last customer is not having both manicures and pedicures.

Tiffany the owner operator greets Bonnie. “Hello Bonnie, I was thinking it was time for you to show up. I’m glad to see you. Could I give you and your guest a facial why you wait? The first of you should be done in time for the first opening.”

Bonnie says, “This is my good friend Elle that I’ve told you about. Elle this is Tiffany she owns the salon.” We greet one another as Tiffany leads me to a chair to sit and rest in. I guess I’m slow in thinking about what she’s doing. She brushes back my hair pinning it, when I realize she’s wanting to do a facial.

“Bonnie tell her no.”

Tiffany says, “I’ve only taken you first because your makeup is lighter. I’ll let Bonnie clean off her own makeup if she wants.” Tiffany is massaging my face. It feels so good that I can’t bring myself to ask her to stop. I am lying back a little, when she tells me the mask solution she’s using. It is the best solution for you young women. I say thanks, not knowing what else to say.

Before too long, I know she has started with removing my makeup and cleansing my face. She shows me a wipe, saying, “I’m glad you’re here as a facial will be good for cleaning your pores. I suspect you’re here because you are beginning something new. This will help you in giving a good first impression.” I’m now wondering if Bonnie brought us here more for me.

I say, “Bonnie, we did come here just for you, didn’t we?”

She giggles, “Yes, but it is also true this is a new beginning for you. If it helps your new job to begin better that’s a bonus.”

Tiffany asks, “And what to you do?”

“I am an investment advisor. Previously I’ve been doing work and research for others. I am finally getting my own clients. I am going to be working mainly with women. I guess they’ll notice my complexion and how I take care of myself better than a male customer would.”

“Hopefully your male bosses will take notice of you and give credit to your good work for them. The only thing I suggest in working with men is look attractive but make sure they see a professional woman helping them. They can get easily distracted.”

Bonnie says “Working for LIF, her clients should be mostly if not all women.”

My expression changes as I’m wondering what she knows. “I am sorry if I understood wrong and you’re her friend. Please know Elle if you come here I’ll be the one to work with you and things will all be confidential. We’re like a woman’s therapist and I’m wanting you to relax in my hands.”


=^_^=


The truth is I relax so well that our conversation is like a foggy cloud. I am more into the experience of being here than just our conversation. It is another few minutes, I’m lying completely back and I’m talking with Bonnie next to me. We’re both waiting on our facials to set.

Tiffany soon peels my mask away and has me up. “Let us have your complexion breath a while. I’ll begin on your nails. Bonnie will want to wait for Carly to do her nails.”

Tiffany looks to me, “I see you’ve taken care of your hands fairly well. Yet I think you’ll enjoy having your nails done. There’s nice difference. Would you mind going into the women’s room and taking off your stockings so I can give you a pedicure?”

“Um, um. A manicure will be enough, thank you.”

“I am including the pedicure free as I’d like you to comeback. Please let me pamper you a little.”

It was something that Elliot had dreamed about; now Elle was excited and scared as it happens. “Bonnie, I’m not sure about this.”

Bonnie said, “I can appreciate that. I ask that you allow Tiffany do a pedicure, along with the manicure. Then you’ll have the experience and we can talk later.”

I went and changed out of my pantyhose and came back. I would enjoy both the manicure and pedicure. I chose a deep red. I felt myself getting excited as I watched. Tiffany had worked on my coarse feet. The dry cracked areas had softened and as some skin fell away. She saw my feet become pretty and the skin became pink as I hoped them to be. Areas around each toenail were properly manicured. Nails were cut, filed, painted and buffed until they were all glowing.

I thought the cotton balls between my toes looked funny. But I allowed them to remain while my fingernails were being done. Tiffany had started by massaging a lotion into the fingers and hands. It helped to make the cuticles around her fingernails become easier to work with.

It had been a week since much attention to my fingernails was given. Bonnie had done earlier in the week with a clear pink polish. Now my nails were long enough to shape. Elle looked and softly said, “How is it possible that they grew and I didn’t realize it?”

Bonnie quietly responded, “I don’t think you were ready to recognize what you really wanted. You have grown a lot this week. I think you’re at the place in your life to accept yourself.”

I heard what she said and I wasn’t going to argue, but neither was it the place I wanted to talk about my fears.

The time was great as I did relax and enjoy the moment. Bonnie was content. We both knew to relax and share the time there. Our conversation revolved around whether my coming work trip was going to be all business and if I was taking a nice dress for an evening out.


=^_^=


Following our time there Bonnie and I headed to my office. I’d pick up some papers so I could work at home. The security system was up and as I appeared I wasn’t passing the check. Rich Johnson the head of security asked me questions to confirm I was Elliot. They required a new photo of me, which they took, would be placed in my file pending my Aunt or Katherine’s approval.

My Aunt, Jennifer Attwood, did respond and she was delighted to approve a second security image for me. She even recognized that I had my nails done. “Elle, I am glad you got your nails done for tomorrow.”

It was then that I realized I had secured my fate in how I’d look for church in the morning.

I spent the better part of an hour in my office. Among other things I checked messages, including one from Sophia Lourdes. “This is Sophia Lourdes and I am hoping you’ll include a day of your visit to meet with me regarding my personal investments. Whenever you receive this message and can confirm my request I’d appreciate hearing from you.”

It was ironic when I called to leave a message, Sophia answered and her voice fit the image of her voice. She also realized that my speech had a more feminine tone. She was up front and asked. “Does this mean you are working to present a more pleasing side of yourself to my mother? …That will bode well for our meeting with you this time.”

My conversation with the second Ms Lourdes, required I download some other material in to my laptop.

I was looking to get home and out of the heels I was wearing. They’re only 2 1/2'’ but more than I’m use too. Unfortunately Bonnie insisted I take her out for dinner before we went back to the apartment.

We went to a cozy pub we knew where we hopefully could visit without being overheard or interrupted by others. I liked the idea of dinner and being able to talk. I’d rather have been out of the heels and back as Elliot.


=^_^=


Come Sunday morning, I’m awake early. My sleep was restless as Aunt Jennifer and I go to the same church. I go to the late service when I do go which is not that often. The Pastor and I had talked once about my issues but that was some time ago. She nor any of the members knew me as Elle. I’d expect Pastor Doreen Briggs would have forgotten the conversation we had almost two years ago.

I had the coffee made and a cup gone by the time Bonnie came out to the kitchen. She said, “You know Elle, you should be more excited than anxious.”

Sarcastically I ask, “How do you come to that conclusion? This could be the beginning of the end for my relations with most of my family and friends.”

Bonnie, “You’ve become comfortable being Elle. I think once people see how comfortable you are as Elle; they’ll see this is a real part of you. I think even those who react negatively will come around. Most of your friends and family are already comfortable with you working with LIF, Lioness Investments & Finances enterprises. They should be more than happy for your promotion and all that you’ve accomplished.”

Bonnie stops talking. She’s gotten a cup of coffee and refilled mine. We relaxing in our large cushiony chair. She’s smiling as she looks at me and runs fingers through my hair. I am feeling good about just being with her.

“But Bonnie, this is a big step and there’s no way you can know how apprehensive I really am?”

“You’re right, I can’t fully appreciate that. But I walked away once and I’ll never do that again. You are wonderfully made and such a special person. I believe your real friends will see that.”

I didn’t say anything, I just cuddled in her arms. It was twenty of eight when I stirred, so both of us could get ready for Jennifer, Therese and church. Bonnie helped me choose the long skirt and attractive blouse that I changed into. It is warm enough that I’m wearing a dressy sandal with nylons. The jade and gold jewelry goes well with it. Bonnie takes the time to help with a light dusting of green eyeshadow that helps compliment the jewelry and how I’m looking.

A toasted bagel and cream cheese will need to hold me over until after the service.

Both Therese and Jennifer come to the door. I’m sure they expected one of us would be late in getting ready. Since I was a young teenager I had learned not to be late for my Aunt Jenn. There is a story that goes with that but I won’t get into it here.

Therese actually recognize Bonnie more quickly than she did me. “Elliot, you’re very becoming as a woman. I am greatly impressed. Jennifer spoke well of you yesterday, but I didn’t expect you to be this good.”

We’re soon on our way to church. Aunt Jenn looks back saying, “Relax, it’s not likely anyone if anyone from the late service comes to this one or that they’d recognize you.”

“But Pastor Doreen Briggs will be there and we’ll likely see her on our way out of church. I kind of want her to know about me, but I’m apprehensive about it happening today.”

The service was good and moved along. I was glad as Bonnie usually did not like going to church. True to what I said before the service, Pastor Briggs was at the door we went out of.

Jennifer and Therese were in front of us as we went out. I saw the pastor’s eyes glance back at me as she spoke with Jenn and Therese. I wasn’t surprised when Rev. Briggs asked me, “So is it Elle. I thought you said another name when we first talked. The important thing is are you comfortable with yourself?”

I smiled, “Yes, though I’m a little anxious being out.”

“Well I’m happy for you. Please stop by sometime, I’d be glad to have an opportunity to visit with you.”


=^_^=


We went out to the Lakeside Country Club for brunch. It used to be a women’s only club and still favors serving professional women. It is no big deal there that Jenn and Therese are a couple, nor that I am there as Elle with Bonnie.

While I was wondering if there might be someone there who would know or recognize me. I wasn’t expecting my mother, my oldest sister Lindsey and my niece Lexi.

Lexi hurriedly walked over to be, “I’m so happy to meet you Aunt Elli…” she paused not yet knowing my name.

“And I you Lexi. I’m going by Elle for now. I can’t believe I’m doing this,” I say as I look to the three of them.

Lexi matter of factly says, “It’s the 21st Century Aunt Elle. Mom said for a moment there you were the first male Associate in Aunt Jennifer’s Investment firm. Was changing over part of her plan when you got the promotion? My mother and Grandma Sanders said Aunt Jennifer wouldn’t do that.”

“I’m still biologically a man, but I am finally seeing myself also as a transgender woman. I haven’t decided a whole lot about my long-term future yet.”

With that we sit down. Our table had six chairs, but it easily seats the eight of us. Lexi is excited about meeting Bonnie as well and sits next to her.

Lexi turns to her Aunt Jennifer, “We played a nine hole round of golf. It is the most beautiful golf course I’ve ever played on. Thanks for letting us play an early round. Aunt Elle do you and Bonnie golf here?”

I say, “Elliot has played here and probably someday I will as well.”

I appreciate that the focus is now shifting over to my niece. My sister Lindsey invited Bonnie and me to accompany them to the restroom.

She was very supportive and gave me a hug. She also gave me a spray of her perfume, Blue Ice.

It was after our brunch that Jennifer told the others that I indeed was now a full Associate and meeting with my first clients out in Long Island, New York. “Lexi, while I wouldn’t force your uncle to change genders. He has started with a strong test in identifying with his first clients. I did insist on Elliot to embrace being a metro male. It had been a while since I Elliot had embraced his feminine identity. I wasn’t expecting him to go this far.”

“The truth is I wasn’t sure if he would forego the promotion and leave our firm. I am very proud Elle has decided to come out of her shell. She is not obligated to be Elle. I know she knows her professional stuff and embracing our business philosophy makes her that much better. I expect Elliot to be very successful.”

“Now Lexi, tell us all about yourself?”

To be continued…



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