Chapter 11 - Confessions

Second Chances by Emily


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Synopsis: Christina gets unexpected revelations when she gets home.

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The rest of the school day flew by pretty quickly. Before I knew it, band practice was over. I was mostly preoccupied with my thoughts. Thoughts of Fay and Amber and Julie. I was worried that I was doing too much too quickly and I was in over my head.


When band practice was over, I quickly walked around the school taping up the powder puff flyers. It was not lost on me how only 3 days ago I had a career, a home, a wife, and today I was typing up flyers in an empty school hallway worrying about homecoming, dates and school bullies.  Ron was eager to get home and get ready for his gig, so I tried not to be slow about it.  I didn’t want to wander the empty halls alone that long anyway.


Ron dropped me off at home. I walked inside and set my backpack down. I had a few hours to kill before having to go out to the club for his gig.


Cindy was already home waiting for me. "Hey sis." she said.


"Hey." I replied. I kicked off my heels. Oh that feels good. Back when I was Tony I heard a number of women tell me that pain is fashion.. or is fashion is pain. I think I get it now. My feet were definitely hurting.


"So you should know that I heard some rumors today at cheer practice." she said timidly.


Oh no. I was afraid of this.


"Amber said that you went out on a date with a girl last night." Cindy continued.


"How'd she know about that?" I responded angrily.


"So it's true?" Cindy said with a surprised expression.


"I mean. I only went out dancing with Fay." I said trying to justify it.


"Fay? Your best friend from elementary school, Fay?" she asked.


"Yes."


"I got the impression from yesterday that you were going on a date."


"I uh." I started. I looked at her and decided to be honest with my sister. "I was hoping it was a date."


She was silent for a moment. Likely thinking of the right way to ask the very question I was avoiding.


"I know what you're about to ask." I said. "And I don't know. I'm experimenting. I've had the hugest crush on Fay since elementary school."


"Amber's spreading rumors that you're a lesbian and that you're taking straight girls on dates. Trying to turn them gay or something sinister like that."


I put my head into my hand and started rubbing my temples. That bitch. I felt ill. I'm not sure what hurt more. Hearing that Amber's been spreading rumors about me, or hearing that Fay was indeed straight.


"I kinda wish you would've told me." Cindy said. "Even if you don't want to tell Mom or Dad."


"I didn't tell you because I didn't want it to be a big deal. Coming out of the closet in the 90's is a big deal.  Has Ellen DeGeneres come out yet?"


"What?  Yeah, that was only a few months ago.  So you are gay?"


I could see I was confusing my poor sister.  I was confused, myself. "I don't know. I don't want to be labeled."


She was silent. Then she smiled and hugged me. "Gay or straight. You're my big sister and I love you."


I hugged her back. "I love you too, Cin"


After a long few months of a silent embrace between two sisters, I finally spoke up changing the subject. "I have a fashion task for us."


"Oh?" I saw her perk up.


"I'm going to Ron's band's gig tonight. I was considering dressing down to go out to the club. It's teen night."


"No No No." She said. "You've been absolutely rocking it with fashion the past two days. You need to keep a good thing going! If not for anything more than practice!"


"Well what does one wear to a ska concert?" I asked. It's been so long ago for me, that even Tony doesn't remember.


"I don't know," she said. "But I can still help!" She ran off to her bedroom. When she came back she was carrying at least 5 different magazines in her hand. "Cosmo can help!"


* * *


So both of us laid on my bed skimming back-issues of Cosmopolitan. If I’m being honest, this isn’t the first time I’ve read Cindy’s Cosmos.  Usually I’d skim to the section where girls talk about what they want from guys, naturally so I can be a better guy.  This is the first time I'm looking at outfits.  While casually skimming it, I started to get a vision of what I wanted to recreate.


Cindy let me borrow a grey pencil skirt. I chose a black v-neck shirt from my closet. Since I'm going to a concert, I wanted to keep some part casual, so we both agreed that plain black sneakers and black ankle socks would complete the look we were going for. Then came the bright red lipstick and darker mascara and eyeliner.


She looked me over and said. "Let me get mom's curling iron. After a long day of school your hair is too straight."


So Cindy helped me curl my hair to add more waves and bounce to it.


When we were done, she said. "You clean up well."


We smiled and laughed together.


* * *


I killed some time by doing my homework. When It was almost an hour until show time, I hopped into my care and headed out.


I drove out to Ortley Beach and parked my car. There are times I just can't believe it's 1997. This is one of those moments. There in front of me was the Surf Club. It was a favorite place of mine. Many musical acts have played there. Plus they had a restaurant deck ocean-side. Decent drinks and food. Great ocean breeze. Oh and a great ocean view. It was great until the ocean reclaimed it during Hurricane Sandy in 2012. Now all that's there is busted foundation and dune grass. But the nostalgia of the club still standing right in front of me was awesome.


I stand in line with other teens getting in for teen night. The bouncer asked to see my ID and I showed my new drivers licence and he put a neon orange wristband on my wrist.


Making my way through the club, I could see Ron on stage tuning his saxophone. I did what came natural to me - I went to the bar. I highly doubted they'd give 17 year old Christina a beer, so I ordered a Diet Pepsi instead.


I thought back to the last time I was at a bar. It was only 3 days ago. That trip to the bar changed my life. There I was judging a whole bunch of teens listening to their friends play a gig. Here I was 3 days later doing exactly what they were doing. I took a sip of my soda as I noticed Ron waving me over to the stage.


I walked over to the front of the stage and looked up to Ron. "What's up?"


"I wanted to introduce you to someone." he said as he grabbed the guy's arm beside him, dragging him closer to me.


It was instant recognition on my part. Holy Shit. He was the lead singer from the jazz band last night. But not only that, now that I have context, I now remember where I knew him from. It was Chase. I remember Chase from being in Ron's band. I also remember Chase being Ron's best man at his wedding.


"Hi." he said, smiling and extending his hand. "I remember you from last night. I'm Chase."


"Hi" I replied. "I'm Christina. It's nice to meet you."


"You met last night?" Ron said, confused.


"My other gig." Chase said to Ron. "The jazz band I play for. Christina here is an excellent dancer."


I blushed. Wait. Why am I blushing?


"Well Chase here is an excellent singer." I said returning his compliment. "His band makes it very easy to dance to."


"This guy over here has been talking about you so much." Chase said, nudging Ron. "I just had to meet you." He smiled. 


I felt myself go flush again. What's wrong with me? 


"You are even prettier up close." he added.


I smiled. I've been hearing this from my mom, my sister, and myself for the past 2 days. But this is the first time I've heard from a guy.


"We need to cut this short. We're on in a minute." Ron interrupted.


"Christina, lets chat at the band break" he said smiling


"Sure." I said, backing away from the stage.


I can't believe Ron is hooking me up with Chase.  Chase of all people. I hated Chase as Tony. He was such an alpha male. In fact I confess- I was extremely jealous of Chase. Once Ron started playing in this band he started to hang out with Chase more than me. I hated Chase. I felt like he stole Ron from me. That continued all through the rest of high school and into college. That's why Chase was Ron's best man at his wedding and I was just a groomsman.


I looked back at Chase. I guess I can see what Ron sees in him. He's so outgoing. He's everything Tony was not. He's good looking too. Wait. I mean he's not bad to look at. No. I mean. He's not ugly. He can get any girl he wants.


Just then, the band started and the crowd started cheering. Chase started singing. His singing ska was so different from his crooner act he was doing last night. He was playing the guitar. Ron was part of the instrumental section behind Chase. This band didn't do any covers so it was all original songs.


I had forgotten how much fun ska was. That punk sound with a brass section to accompany it. Granted it's weird to dance too. But I was getting into it. I watched what others did so I didn't look like a fool. Eventually I relaxed my body and I bobbed up and down while swinging my shoulders, hips and my arms.


There was a moment when a dude tried dancing with me. He was all smiles. Until I felt him grope my ass. I swatted that away so fast. "Dude, no" I said and moved to another part of the dance floor. I was not having any of that.


* * *


Time flew. I don't know how many songs went by. But I was sweating from all of the dancing. The band stopped for their break. I was leaning up against the bar swirling the melted ice in my soda cup.


"Hey Christina" Chase said as he approached me from the center of the club. "Do you prefer Christina or Chrissy?"


"Chrissy is fine." I said. Oh wow. I never noticed his eyes. They're a bright grayish blue. I noticed Ron still on stage watching us, clearly giving us space.


"Can I buy you another drink?" he asked motioning to my empty plastic soda cup.


"Nah." I replied. I've noticed Christina has a smaller bladder than Tony. "Any more soda and I'll piss myself while driving home" Oh God, what am I saying.


Chase laughed. "Wow. I've never heard a girl talk like that."


"Well I... sometimes I just spew out word vomit when I'm nervous." No. Why did I just tell him I was nervous?


"You're nervous too?" he smiled. "Then, that's two of us. Ron would kick my ass if I mistreated his best friend. Are you having fun?"


"Oh yeah." I said. "It's good music. You guys are great!"


"I almost was hoping to see you start swing dancing out there like last night." he said


I laughed. "Not quite the same music. But I was definitely dancing!"


"But I bet you could totally swing dance to this." he said.


"I guess I probably could. If I had the right song." I paused. "And the right partner." I looked at him and smiled as I said that last line. Was I flirting with him? Stop this now Christina. Abort. Abort.


"Sadly I cannot dance." he replied. "Do you teach losers like me?"


"I do." I said. "Wait. I don't mean that you're a loser or anything, but I have been known to teach my partners." Quick. Find a way to exit this conversation.


"Ron says you play too." he said.


"Yeah. I play the tenor sax. All through High School and College"


"You're a college girl?" he said surprised.


"Oh no no." Arg, why am I so flustered? I took a deep breath and resumed. "I meant that I plan on playing when I go to college."


"Oh I see."


"You were good out there. I forgot how much I actually liked Ska" I said. Maybe I can regain control of this conversation.


"Oh?" he said. "When's the last time you listened to it?"


"10, 15 years ago" I said before I could catch myself. Damn. I hate that I have no filter when I'm flustered.


He laughed. "Ron never said you were funny."


I grinned. I'm glad someone finds my word vomit endearing. "So, which school do you go to?" I asked. I knew the answer to that question, but I decided to continue the small talk for some reason.


"East". he said. "You go to ‘North’ with Ron?"


"Yeah."


Chase flashed a smile. It is a great smile.


I felt warm again. "So." I said. "What has Ron been saying about me?"


"He says you're awesome. Like one of the guys. You rock out with him. Talk football. Smart. A genius. He said he's known you for years."


I blushed hearing all of that stuff about me. "Yeah" I replied. "Since junior high."


"Well, Chrissy." he said. "It was a pleasure to meet you and chat with you. I need to get back up on stage. Can I get your number?"


"Yeah. Sure" I said. "Want me to just put it in your cell phone?"


"Come again?" he said confused.


"Sorry." I said. "I meant I don't have any paper...." I turned around to the bar and took a napkin and spare pen I used to sign my tab. "This is my parents number" I said aloud to him, but also as a reminder to myself to not write my future cell phone number.


"Good Night Chrissy." Chase said, smiling as he walked away.


"Good night" I echoed.


That smile again. What's wrong with me? I haven't been this flustered since seeing Fay for the first time in 20 years earlier this week. Am I attracted to him?  I was just coming to terms that I might be a lesbian and here I am swooning over a guy.  Now I’m even more confused than I was this morning.


I sighed at this weird feeling brewing inside of me. I can't be attracted to Ron's friend Chase. This is crazy. I mean I haven't seen Chase in well over 10 years. That's only because-


My jaw dropped and my face went ghost white as a long forgotten memory came to the surface.


Oh my God.


Chase died in a motorcycle accident a year after Ron's wedding. 2006 maybe?


Did I repress that memory?


The hairs on my neck were standing up. I stared off into my melted ice. Is that why I'm here? It can't be. He doesn't die for another 9 years. But here's someone that absolutely needs my help. Can I even change his fate from this far in the past?


The band started playing again. Chase and I made eye contact and he smiled. I smiled back. What am I going to do?


* * *


I left the club shortly after. Knowing of Chase's fate really sucked the mood out of me. The bouncer was still sitting at the entrance.


"I get the sense you want to talk, Tony" the bouncer said.


"Yes. Absolutely." I said walking back to him. "Is this what I'm supposed to do? Is this my mission? Chase?" I pointed back at the building.


He looked at me for a moment and then replied. "No."


"No?" I repeated, surprised.


"I said you are to fix an event that happens over the course of these two weeks. The event that you are implying is well outside the mission parameters."


"So I'm supposed to let him die?" I said getting angry.


"I never said that. It's just not your mission."


"If that's not my mission, then I'm no closer to figuring what my mission actually is!" I said exasperated.


He didn't say anything.


I had another burning question. "Why am I suddenly attracted to Chase?" I ask.


"Tony. Christina. You have a new body. A new self image. You have new emotions. Teenage hormones flooding your body."


He stopped.


"You didn't answer my question." I stated.


"You know who Tony is. You spent 37 years with him. Who is Christina? You've only spent almost 3 days with her. I cannot answer that for you." he said.


Next question. "Have I made any change to the future yet?"


"I'd say yes."


"What changed?" I asked eagerly. "Will I get new memories of these changes?"


"That's not how this works.  You won't get new memories until you return to your present. Right now it's 1997. The future is in flux and can change second to second. But you are making progress. You're already making impressions on the people you're meeting and interacting with."


I was silent. I wasn't sure what to say. I'm totally bummed out that I wasn't any closer to figuring out my mission. Plus I just met someone that was going to die before I get back to the future, and I was powerless to stop it. Plus it didn't help that I seem to be crushing on that dude as well.


"Tony. Now, I have some questions for you." the angel said.


I was surprised at this. Up until now this seemed like a one-way relationship between the angel and I. They showed up unannounced. Critique how I live my life. And maybe I get some questions answered.


"Why did you repress the memory of Chase's death?"


I stopped to think. "I don't know."


"Have you yet come to terms with your divorce?"


"What do you mean? I haven't thought about it today. I think that's a start. Of course - now that you just reminded me..."


"When I met you back in 2018 you hadn't fully processed it. You hadn't really grieved. You were projecting your feelings to others. When's the last time you cried?"


"Cried?" I said. "Guys don't cry." Yeah, Amber almost brought me to tears twice already. But no one saw that. I was bullied so much in school that I vowed to put up a wall. To never show anyone that I'm weak.


"Then that's all I have for you tonight" the angel said as the bouncer resumed looking stiff.


The bounder noticed me standing there looking at him and not saying anything. "Can I help you miss?"


"No, I'm fine." I said, turning around and walking to my car.


* * *



When I got home, I went to my PC in the den. I turned on the radio that was sitting next to my desk. I scanned for the only country music station we had. Was I really looking for that song?  Would it even come on?  When the computer was done booting up. I checked my email. Some spam from the Star Trek web forum. I checked my AIM Buddy List. Nobody was online. I pulled out my planner from my backpack and started checking to see if I had any unfinished homework to attend to.


Just then, I heard a familiar song play on the radio. The one I was waiting for. I knew it would eventually come. It was the Tim McGraw and Faith Hill duet, "It's your love". More importantly though- it was my wedding song.


I closed my eyes. The song pulled me back to a different time. I was happy. I was on top of the world.


I stood up out of my chair and put my arms up and around an invisible dance partner. I started moving around my den doing the dance I choreographed for us.  I still remembered it.


It wasn't a minute into the song when it happened. A tear rolled down my eye. Let it happen, Tony.  Then another. And a whimper stole my breath.  The dam had burst. I sat back down and cried into my hands as the song continued to play.


I had it all. I let it get away. I let my inadequacies destroy the one good thing I had. My wife is gone. The only woman who had ever loved Tony. I am alone.


I finally grieved. I grieved for my divorce. I grieved for Tony.


My thoughts turned to Chase. An important part of Ron's life died 12 or so years ago, but I've been numb to it. Did I ever tell him sorry his best friend died? Finally I grieved for Chase.


My mom passed by the den as I had my head in my hands.


"Chris, honey?" she said. 'What's wrong."


"Mom" I said, sniffing back tears. "Would you and Dad be disappointed if I got a divorce?"


"Divorce?" she said. "You're too young to get married."


"I'm just worried that you look down upon me if I fail." I said.


She came to me and knelt down next to my chair. "Christina. We are proud of you. You are our daughter and will always be our daughter. Even during difficult times."


I got out of the chair and gave my Mom a hug. "Thank you." I said.


After I turned off everything in the den I cleaned myself up and went to bed. Today didn't go as planned. I started it by thinking I was invincible. I realized I'm just as vulnerable as ever.



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Emily

Hi, I'm Emily and I'm writing Gender Transformation Fiction! This site is a place for my to keep all of my stories in one place. I'm also a software developer in the daytime, so this site will also be a proving ground of cool new features that pop into my head. Feel free to message me on Twitter or at my Discord Server! You can also find me on TGStorytime.com and FictionMania.tv.

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