Masks 50

*Before…

It was all kinda over my head and it was really strange but it was still something that was just the four of us.
A sort of Sisterhood thing over Moms and Aunts and Cousins.
And I was part of it.
I kind of really feel that the most.
And I swear walking back up the yard in my bare feet and the really cold dew sort of making things extra wide awake it just sort of felt super real.
We saw Aunt Els and M.J. off and Mom and I hugged and I dried my feet off before setting my clock and getting ready for bed.
My dreams were amazing.

*And Now…

I mean I’m not all convinced this wiccan stuff is real but in my dreams it was like I was here in my neighborhood but it was if it was all transformed without houses and was just these old dirt and grass covered roads and all these misty and dew areas of tall grasses, fall gardens left wild and huge and feral and deer and rabbits here and there.

Best of all I was me during the whole thing.

The whole me, the real me.

A real girl, Stephanie.

Waking up even didn’t suck.

Another day done.

Another day that I won’t have to be in the closet again.

Three more days counting today.

I use that to center myself as I get ready for school and dress in my boy’s stuff again.

I head downstairs getting my books and homework sort of filed in my book bag to fit my schedule and then I settle in with making coffee for everyone.

“Ohhh…..”

Someone went out somewhere at some point and bought some groceries and there’s Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee.

I swear I get a lift from just smelling the can of beans and I grind some up and I make this pot of coffee that smells so intense.

I’ve like read about this and all but I’ve never smelled it brewing or had any.

Mark is the next one up and down the stairs and I can hear the twins up too but making a disaster area of the bathroom and I’m really, really glad that I’m not up there as I hear Rob yell something like. “What crawled up you and died!”

Yeah even Mark shuddered with that one.

He is making french toast and he’s mixing up stuff for cream cheese icing to go with it?

“Are you making breakfast for the girlfriend?”

“Well I wasn’t until now.”

“What were you making?”

“Peach sandwiches.”

“The what now?”

“She likes peaches so...here watch.”

Mark takes a basket of peaches from the porch that weren’t there last night when I went to bed so he likely went to the store for these things.

He takes out a loaf of that eggy and buttery brioche bread and he slices some thick slices of it and the he coats each slice with lots of the cream cheese icing and then he slices wedges of the fresh peaches and he sinks them into the cream cheese really carefully and then puts the sandwiches together and then slices them crosswise.

They look good, and they look really pretty.

“Guys will make fun of you if you bring her that.”

Mark smiles and draws himself up. “I’m going to college next year Stephanie. I’m all sorts of done the immature who thinks what of me stuff. It’s not like any of them are in my relationship.”

“Well I think it’s awesome and I think that I’m actually jealous because I’d love a boy to do something like that for me.”

“Well I got the idea from Dad actually.”

I nod. “Dad might not have known about me and stuff but he’s kinda awesome in both the dad and husbandy stuff departments.”

I hear Dad inhaling the coffee smell. “Thank you, thank you I try to please the women in my life.”

He kisses my on the forehead even if I’m in boy mode. “Morning princess.”

I pass him a coffee.

He kisses my forehead again. “Double thank you.”

I help Mark by making regular toast and we’ll go through a lot of it so the oven is on to warm it and I don’t butter any of it.

Dad jumps in with doing the bacon and we’re all sort of a unit until the twins thunder down the steps.

Then it’s the usual morning chaos and mom is not here as she’s still in bed sleeping because she was up painting late last night which is a thing that she does sometimes.

Mom’s an artist.

She does a lot of things with art and she’s pretty crafty too but her main thing is doing paintings.

Dad’s a boat repair guy. And not the common stuff either though he does do those but he mostly does those high end sailboats that you see the rich folks have out on the lakes. And he’s good and in demand, and has a bunch of people working for him.

Which is cool because we’re really well off.

And yes I know I’m like really lucky.

But it lets Dad do stuff like let Mom have the means and the time to be an artist.

And while I’m kinda a girly girl and everything I think that she’s definitely influenced Mark who’d like the oldest.

Seriously he’s has the sandwich made and in a wrapped container. He has what looks like this careful ice cream scoop of cucumber and tuna salad and there’s a salado of like veggie peeler ribbons of like all this colorful salad stuff like yellow zucchini and orange beets and carrots.

It’s pretty.

And I am NOT into my brother but I like this, I want something like this.

Dad gives him a thumbs up.

The twins ignore the whole things opting for eating.

And yeah I eat too but I have a slice of toast and a slice of french toast and a couple of slices of bacon and finally my mug of coffee.

Dad’s getting a tray together likely for Mom with a big mug of the coffee and then he took like the rest of the peeler sliced veggies that Mark had and he sautees them in butter really fast and then he turns it all into this omelette.

Actually I think that’s pretty awesome.

He tells me. “Don’t take off for school yet princess I’ll be right back.”

I nod rather than talk with my mouth full and while he’s gone I make another pot of coffee and get my thermos and some of the disposable coffee cups from the cupboard and put them in my bag.

Then he’s back and passes me two envelopes?

“Dad?”

“One is for your teacher and the other one is for the office. Your mom and I will be picking you up at lunch. We have an appointment for you to finally start talking with someone in Toronto.”

“Oh...wow, that far?”

“A client knows someone that knows someone.”

“So they’re good?”

“Apparently she’s very good.”

I sigh with relief. “Are you guys okay with this?”

He gives me a hug. “Absolutely. Don’t pack a lunch we’ll grab something while we’re out.”

I grin and I snang some cookies and I make sure that there’s a separate bag and some of this maple fudge that mom has in the house that I know is non allergenic for Lucy and I get one of the mason jars for some coffee creamer and some sugar packs and Dad looks like he’s going to stop me or say something but I give him the daughter eyes.

“Fine, fine, blast you and all of your friends off into space.”

Will says. “That stuff will stunt your growth.”

I say back. “I don’t want to be big I want to be short and I want a cute bum and I want like a c-cup at least.”

Will pales and just stares.

Rob groans. “A c-cup can you wait until like college at least do you know how many guys I’ll have to beat up because they’ll be talking about my sister’s boobs.”

I giggle.

Mark gives me a hug as he grabs his stuff. “Have a good day, don’t stress about the therapist.”

I hug him back. “Thanks Mark, but yeah I’m probably going to stress.”

He smiles. “At least it’s forward momentum Stephanie, that’s a good thing.”

He leaves and I leave grabbing my things and heading over to Mary Jane’s to meet up with her and I bring her a coffee fresh from the pot as she likes it and I’m a little later than I usually land there so I’m not waking her up and she’s already awake but still doing her make-up.

Aunt Els is in the shower by the sounds of everything.

“Coffee?”

“Of course….mmmm...that smells great.”

“Jamaican, Mark bought the good stuff for the house.”

She takes it and she drinks a few fast sips and she makes the same face that I had of oh...strong and then the ping face of it starting to kick in.

I watch her do her make-up learning and fascinated as I always am at how she does stuff and how good she is at doing it and well of course just being like low key jelly over her body.

I don’t like being like that and I get that she has had some serious grief over her body and people being assholes and other stuff.

But yeah.

I think I’m just like most girls when confronted by Mary Jane’s looks.

And she’s not holding back today either, she’s totally showing it.

Not in like this whole bad way but a red lacy bra, a scoop necked top that shows the bra cups a little and way more cleavage that like most girls our age and she pairs it off with really nice and really tight jeans and a pair of killer boots.

She even had this really cool vintage fall jacket from somewhere that’s like that red flannel looking pattern but kind cut like a pea coat with this white fleece collar and lapels.

She looks really hot like she’s older than she is in some ways, Like if you know here you’ll get that we are the same age and all but still she looks.

She could pass for a senior.

Mary Jane notices me watching her and the look of sigh on my face.

“Hey, it’s not all that it’s cracked up to be y’know.”

(Sigh.) “Yeah I know it’s just that, I’m really kind of feeling the lack of like even the basics.”

“You’ll get there Stephanie, seriously you’ll get there and you’re lucky too y’anno?”

“Lucky?”

“Yeah I’ve been reading some trans stuff and everything and you’re already ahead of things. There’s a lot of older trans folks that came to all of this way too late.”

I sigh again and she hugs me. “I know, seriously I know.”

We get ready and we leave with her eating a pop-tart and a couple of granola bars as she drinks her coffee that I got for her and as much as I’m feeling that sort of displaced kind of ow from this I am starting and my family gets it and they are so far beyond cool it’s amazing.

And the fact that it’s like a seriously nice morning out is lifting my spirits a lot.

That and talking about coming out and my party and our costumes for going out and everything too.

Even the bus stop was pretty cool with no Yick there either.

I get cheered up too by the girls as they get on the bus and my little knot of friends starts to form up as we’re each getting picked up and the conversation turns to the party and actual Halloween which is all just a few more days away.

Toni gets on the bus and she is dressed in this japanese style lolita dress with the poofy skirt and everything but it’s like all black and the entire print is brightly colored fall leaves that are drawn to look like they’re on fire and she has her hair done with this whole homemade crown of leaves too and she has her hair all loose and styled and she’s so got this like willowy look going on with her hair and she has a mini-sunflower in her hand which she gives to mary Jane in a whole curtsey thing.

Mary Jane looks surprised and a little embarrassed and self conscious but she smiles taking it and says. “Wow, you look amazing and thank you I love sunflowers.”

She even kisses Toni on the cheek and like a serious cheek kiss and not just the peck type and toni looks like she could fly.

I get out of my seat and move so they can sit together and I’m grinning and so are they even if their blushing.

This is pretty cool since M.J. definitely had zero idea that Toni was going to be doing this.

An she doesn’t look that unhappy about it either.

Surprised but definitely in a good way.

And it’s really cool and really sweet.

I was so into that with the other girls too that I didn’t notice Grayson getting on the bus until he was on the bus and he came over to our little group and sat in the seat next to the back of my seat and he offered me fresh french fries in a big paper coffee cup. “Fries?”

“In the morning? That’s...okay that’s a yes.”

“Air cooker, so their not really all that fried.”

I eat some and pass them back. He waves them off holding up another one. “Those are yours, I have mine.”

“You made me morning fries.”

“I make us morning fries but yeah, besides girls like fries.”

I blush but I’m smiling too. “That’s...that’s really cool.”

“Pre-date strategy.” he says smiling.

He’s really cute too. Like god he’s really cute. Like with that not messy but messy skater hair and he has this hoodie on that looks like something definitely skater type and this really cool t-shirt that looks like it’s all old books, like the print is like old books.

He also called me a girl again.

And I really, really do want to go out with him.

I think, I think that I even might want to kiss him.

And I blushed harder at that.

I look at him.

“We’re having a party at my place on Halloween after everyone’s gone and done all the Trick or Treating stuff do you want to come?”

“To the party or Trick or Treating/”

“Uhm...both?”

“Can it be a second date if the movies goes well?”

I blush again.

“Y...yes…”

He smiles this really great smile.

Boys don’t have really great smiles do they? None of the boys have really great smiles that I know right?

Right?

I’m still sort of I don’t know stunned, kinda freaked out which is letting Toni steal and eat most of my fries and we pull into school and grayson gets out first and I watch him go still kind of freaked out.

Becky says. “That’s quality boy butt right there.”

And I’m blushing again and I’m staring.

I didn’t want to stare but she said it and now I’m staring.

We pile off the bus and we meet up with Lucy at one of the picnic tables before bells start and I take out the cookies and the coffee and I pass her the fudge.

“Maple fudge, no gluten, no nuts.”

She beams at me. “Oh wow seriously?”

“Seriously.”

She grabs a chunk and she shoves it into her mouth and starts happy dancing holding out the paper coffee cup I gave her and I’m filling cups and Rachel is smelling it and she’s eating a cookie and she does this big inhale and smiles at me.

“Mmmmm...wife.”

I blush and Toni cackles. “Another convert where’s my toaster!”



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