Chapter 14 - The Morning After

Second Chances by Emily


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Synopsis: Day 5. It's damage control time for Christina.

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Saturday, September 27, 1997



My head is throbbing.


I can feel sunlight on my eyelids.


Where am I? Try to open my eyes, but my eyes are dry and it's hard to open them. I must still have my contacts in.


What happened? I try to remember. The memories are coming back. 


The party. 


I was making out with a cheerleader. 


I was playing beer pong. 


I punched Amber in the face.


I smiled at that last memory. My head is still throbbing though.


I managed to open my eyes. They're so dry. Yup. Contacts are still in. I'm in my bedroom. The sun is up and my room is bright. How did I get home? I don't remember much after being on the porch of that house. Ron took me home?


Oh no. The embarrassment hit me. I made a complete fool of myself last night. Maybe if I just stay here in bed for the next week everything will be fine.


I'm starting to get uncomfortable. My head is still throbbing. It's getting hot under these covers. Is the heat on or am I just burning up?  I pulled the covers off of me. I was still in the dress from last night. I sit up on the bed.... oh no too fast. I fell back down.


The ceiling was spinning. My head hurt more.


Just then my stomach lurched. Oh God.


I pulled myself out of bed, ran across the room through the hallway and into the bathroom falling to my knees in front of the toilet. I made it in time to vomit.


Just then I noticed someone behind me. My hair was pulled back. "Just let it out." my mom said. I vomited some more.


This sucks. This can't be happening. Hold it together Chris.


After a minute, I said. "I'm good. Thanks."


Mom let go of me and left the bathroom.


I stood up and held onto the sink. I washed my face, spitting the remaining bile out of my mouth. I fumbled for my contacts’ case and solution. I pulled my contacts out of my eyes. My eyes were so dry it felt like I was ripping them out with sandpaper. I washed the smeared makeup off my face. I found a hair-tie and put my hair in a pony-tail.


I slowly made my way back to my bedroom. I pulled out the first t-shirt from the closet I could grab. I grabbed the first shorts from the drawer. I pulled off Julie's dress, removed my bra and put the t-shirt and shorts on.


I trudged out of my room and to the kitchen. It was so bright I had to squint my eyes.  I could smell food in the air. The kitchen radio was playing. Mom, Dad, and Cindy were sitting at the breakfast table. They were looking at me. I didn't make eye contact. I was too embarrassed. I don't know how many of their rules I broke last night.


I sat down and none of us said anything. My mom handed me a plate of scrambled eggs topped with melted cheese. I looked at it. The smell made my stomach turn again.


I put my hand over my mouth and ran back to the bathroom. I vomited again. My head was throbbing. I started to cry. This was too much. My family likely heard my sobbing, but they let me have my space.


I don't know how much time went by. But I did become intimately familiar with the toilet. It was a late 70's American Standard. Mint Green. The seat was worn out where the lid would rub when down. Despite my vomit, it was rather clean, which was a relief since I was leaning my arm on the seat with my head in my arm.


When my stomach was empty, I stood up washed up and returned to the kitchen. Cindy wasn't there. Mom was doing the dishes and Dad was still reading the paper, but my plate of eggs was replaced by two Advil tablets and a glass of water.


I was feeling better. If only slightly. Likely my stomach was empty of... everything. Food, water, bile, likely the stomach itself. I probably puked that out too. I popped the Advil in my mouth and chugged the water. I sat down at the table in silence just listening to the radio. The sound of my dad flipping the newspaper pages.


They were waiting for me to talk first.


I put my head down. "I'm sorry."


Dad folded up the paper and Mom dried her hands and sat down with him. They gave me their full undivided attention. Oh boy.  I can’t even remember the last time I got in trouble like this.  I took this opportunity to devise what I wanted to say.


"I made a huge mistake." I slowly started. "I broke one of our rules. I alienated some of my closest friends. I embarrassed myself. I set a poor example for Cindy."


"What do you think your punishment should be?" Mom asked.


"I don't know." I said. "I totally get why you'd want to ground me."


"Talk to us Chris." Dad said. "What has gotten into you. Let's not even talk about last night just yet. We know something's up. Please tell us. We want to help."


They can't help. I can't tell them what's really going on. But I want them to trust me. Can they trust me? After last night I don't think I can trust myself.


"I'm trying to help a friend." I started. Vague enough, seeing as I don't know who I'm trying to help. "Something bad is going to happen to them. Don't ask me how I know. I'm trying to be a part of their life so I can try to prevent that bad thing from happening."


"Drugs? Alcohol? Abuse? Something else?" Dad asked.


"I don't know." I said. I just know they need me" I too would like to know.


"Chris" Mom said, "Why would you put that kind of burden on yourself?"


"Because only I can help them." I said. "They only trust me." I made that last part up. But it sounded good. "Because I thought I could do it. I thought it would be easy. It wasn't. I failed."


"How did you fail? What happened?" Dad asked.


"Nothing bad has happened yet. But look at me. I embarrassed myself. I may have damaged my friendship with Ron. I definitely damaged my friendship with Fay. I made an enemy out of a girl on Cindy's cheer squad. On top of that I got careless and broke your rules. And now I'm sure I've lost your trust"


"What are you going to do now?" Dad asked.


"Give up." I said. "I don't think I can stand ruining mine and other people's lives even more."


"Setting aside this party, which we don't approve of. It sounds like you didn't necessarily fail. You just had a few setbacks." Dad said. "Failure and bumps in the road are a part of life. Get up and dust yourself off."


"If you manage to help this friend of yours." Mom added. "Were these setbacks worth it? Would you do it all over again?"


I thought about that for a moment. I was having fun up until last night. I can't deny that I had fun with Fay. I can't deny I was having fun exploring who Christina is. Was competing with Amber fun? Maybe. My inner competitor was certainly enjoying it. I regret fighting with Ron. I regret getting drunk.


"Most of it." I said. "I think I may have pushed myself too far too quickly."


I saw a smile on my parents face.


"I'm sorry for breaking the rules." I said. "What's my punishment?"


My parents looked at each other and my mom said. "Let's call it- you get off for time served."


"Time served? Really?"  Their oldest daughter just broke every rule in the book and they’re letting her off for time served?  


"You've been puking your brains out for an hour. You have damage control to do with your friends" Dad added. "I think you may think twice about getting shit-faced in the future."


"Thank you so much!" I said smiling. I went to get up and give them a hug, but stopped myself because I couldn't move that quickly.


"Take it slow today." Mom said. "If you're up to it, you should really eat something"


"Thanks". I said. "Oh. I'm embarrassed that I have to ask this. How did I get home?"


"Ron and a buddy brought you home." Mom said. "They carried you up the stairs and to your room. I tucked you in and made sure you didn't roll out of bed. Ron apologized profusely. He took full responsibility for you."


"It was my fault, not his. I was the one who dragged him to that party."


"We figured." Dad said. "I can tell when someone's lying to cover for someone else."


I owe Ron one.


I looked back at my parents. I can't believe I pushed them out of my life. It didn't occur to me until now, but they're both 40 in 1997. Only 3 years older than Tony was. Crazy. I can't imagine being a parent to two teenagers at my age. They both seem to have it figured out. I'm still struggling. When I get home, I'll take Mom up on that offer for me to come visit.


* * *


I wound up eating a piece of toast and a glass of orange juice. I couldn't even look at eggs. I looked for some Gatorade in the fridge but didn't find any. I eyed the coffee in the coffee pot. I don't know how Christina's body will take to drinking coffee for the first time in its current state. I refilled my glass of water.


I went looking for Cindy. I found her laying on her bed on the phone. I stood at her door’s threshold.


"Hold on Jill, she just came into my room. Let me get the scoop and I'll call you back." she hung up her cordless phone and looked at me. "What happened last night?"


I walked into her room.  "Well." I said, sitting on her bed slowly. "I drank too much."


"Well, duh." she said "I had to listen to you puke for an hour. It really ruined my appetite. What happened with Amber? I heard you decked her."


"Yes." I added. "I think I may have accidentally bumped in to her forcing her to spill her beer. She called me names, and slapped me. Then I laid her on her ass."


Cindy laughed. "That's awesome."


"I kinda feel bad." I said. Cindy gave me a look. "OK, But only a little bit."


"Rumor is that you were hanging out with Jessica or something."


"Oh that" I said. I decided that unlike Jess, I was not going to out her. I wasn't sure if she was out of the closet anyway. "We played some drinking games together. Amber got jealous that I was getting close with one of her friends."


"Did you talk with Fay?"


"Yeah. We're done. That was a pipe-dream of mine."


Cindy laughed. "No wait - sorry for laughing.  It’s just that you have certainly been bringing the drama with you all week."


"I know." I said. "It's exhausting!"


We both shared a laugh.


"I’m sorry about Fay.”


“I’ll get over it.  It’s the least of my concerns at the moment anyway.”


“Did Mom and Dad come down hard on you?"


I didn't want to tell her that they went easy on me. I have to set a good example for my younger sister. "They're disappointed. They may not trust me next time I go out."


"Oh. That sucks" she said.


"Well." I said standing up. "I need to shower. I bet I smell like skunky beer, and vomit." And sex, but I didn't say that.


"OK." she said. "I'm going to call Jill back."


As I got to the door, I heard her say. "Tony."


I took a deep breath, turned back into her room and closed the door behind us.


"I was wondering when you'd show up again." I said.


"I wanted to see how all of this played out." the guardian angel said. '”Your parents had good advice and I don't want to interrupt them or your sisterly bonding time."


"Did you set me up to fail?" I asked. "You knew about Fay being straight, yet you let me walk into that trap."


"Well, you haven't failed the mission yet. But yeah, we knew how that particular side journey of yours would turn out."


"Why would you do that to me? You encouraged me to do it."


"You're right. I did encourage you to go out and find yourself. You are doing a terrific job."


"But everything about yesterday was a complete disaster!"


"When taken in the context of just yesterday, yes. Yes it was. But that was the point."


"You wanted me to crash and burn?"


"Yes."


"Why would you do that to me? Is this just a game to you? Just send me home! I'm more than capable of being a complete failure as Tony in 2018. I don't feel like being a complete failure as Christina in 1997 anymore."


"You're not a complete failure. We've made some progress here."


"Oh? I don't see it."


"Your parents gave you some great advice. Are you going to give up this mission?"


"No."


"Are you going to press on with more resolve?"


"Yes."


"And if you run into more setbacks. Are you going to press on?"


"I guess so. What choice do I have."


"Are you having fun?"


"Up until my letting myself get too drunk… yeah.  Yeah I was."


"I'm going to ask again. If you run into more setbacks. Are you going to press on?


"Yes."


"See. We've made progress."


"I don't get it."


"Let me make this crystal clear for you, Christina." The angel in Cindy's body stood up and got close to me.  We made eye contact.  Cindy’s normally warm gaze was replaced with the angel’s cool intensity. "When you were Tony, you never took any risks. Whenever you encountered an obstacle you avoided it. When you suffered a setback you gave up. You gave up on friendships. You gave up on your career progression. You gave up on your family. You gave up on your marriage."


That felt like a gut punch. But she was right.  A smirk formed on her face, happy she got the reaction from me that she wanted.


"I think I've made my point. Let's talk later." she returned to her bed and picked up the cordless phone. I started to walk out of the room as we heard a loud motor outside. I turned to Cindy and she gave a confused look as we both walked to the window and looked out.


A motorcycle pulled into our driveway. The biker removed his helmet. It was Chase.


"Who is that?" Cindy said. "He's kinda cute."


"That's Chase." I said. "Ron's friend."


"The one he's setting you up with?"


"Yup. That's the one."


* * *


I left Cindy's room, went down the steps and outside of the house to greet Chase.


"Chase." I said. "What are you doing here?"


"Good afternoon, Chrissy." he said.


"Wait, is it afternoon already?" I responded. Oh wow, his eyes sparkle in the sunlight. Stop it, Chris!


"Yes. 12:05" he said looking at his watch. "I came-" he got off his bike. "to drive you to your car."


"My car?" I said. Oh right! I left it at school. That's incredibly generous of him.


"Sorry, Ron had to run errands with his mom so I volunteered." he added.


I sat down on our front porch and I motioned for Chase to sit. He sat right beside me. He was more handsome than I remember from the other night in the dark club, and from Tony’s 10 year old memories. I felt something in my stomach, but it wasn't vomit this time. I was giddy. I think I might be attracted to him.  Nah.  That can’t be.  But not now, Chris. Put those thoughts out of your mind.


"First I want to thank you." I said. "For helping me last night. A person you barely know."


"It was my pleasure." he said. "You're not just a stranger. You're Ron's good friend. Besides, I've certainly had my share of times I was in trouble and needed help from friends."


"I also want to say sorry. I was really really drunk and embarrassed myself. I hope you don't think less of me."


"It's OK." he said. "I was a little disappointed. I was hoping to hang out with you and get to know you better. When Ron told me you guys were going to a party and invited me to join I was looking forward to it. Maybe get a chance to ask you on a real date. I'm just sorry I got there too late."


I blushed a little. Chase came to see me? The thought of going on a real date with Chase actually made me a little giddy. I can't believe I'm thinking these thoughts.


"What happened last night?" he inquired.


"Oh I've been having problems with this one girl at school. She first started spreading rumors about me liking girls. At the party she caught me with one of her girl friends then called me a lesbian and slapped me. So I punched her back." Wait. I think I said too much there. Shit. Word-vomit again.


"Oh, really?" he said. He was thinking. "Can I ask a selfish question?"


"Go for it." I said worried about what he's going to ask.


"Umm... are you?" he said.


I took a deep breath. How do I answer this?  "Give me a moment. I want to not trip over my words for once." Shit Shit. Wow, I'm actually worried I ruined a potential date with Chase. So I can't tell him I'm a lesbian. But am I? Can I tell him I'm bi? Am I? Was Tony bi all along? That might be a question I might need to ponder another time when this is all over. After about 5 seconds I found the words I wanted to say. "Chase. I don't know. I'm still young. I'm trying to figure out who I am. I'm not going to let labels get in the way of my self exploration."


"Wow." he said. "That is a very mature answer. Are you sure you're only in high school and not in college?" He smiled.


I smiled back. "I'm sure."


“So you do like guys?”


“Yeah, I like you.”  I said without thinking.  Wait did I say “You?”  I covered my mouth with my hand and turned bright red.  


He chuckled, but didn’t acknowledge what I just said, maybe he realized how embarrassed I just got.  "Nice shirt, by the way." he said.


I looked down and realized I was wearing a Super Mario Brothers t-shirt. "I have a serious hangover and wasn't really thinking straight when I got dressed this morning" I said slightly embarrassed. After 3 days of dressing to impress, dressing down was weird.


"I like it." he said. "I mean. That was one of my favorite games. Mario 3 was awesome."


I looked at Chase. His smile. His chiseled jaw. I suddenly drew some confidence from my conversation from my parents and the guardian angel. I need to own who I am. "It's actually retro chic. In the future people are really going to embrace geek culture".


He chucked. "Oh so you're a trendsetter. I like it!"


"Let me put on a bra and we can head out." Whoa Chris. That was too much information. I blushed as I saw Chases eyes instinctively dip down to my chest and back up again as he knew he'd be caught. He turned red. I giggled nervously and walked back into my house. Did I just giggle? Ug.   We’re both acting like a pair of horny teenagers.  Oh wait.  We are.  Dammit.  How’d I end up in this situation?


As I was in my room taking my t-shirt off, Cindy came in and closed the door behind her since I was topless. "OK, dish"


"His name is Chase. He's taking me to get my car." I pulled a bra out of my drawer and put it on.


"He's totally cute." she said.


I smiled. Cindy was smiling back at me.  She was waiting for it.  Then I finally verbally admitted it. "Yes.  Yes, he is."


I looked down at the t-shirt in my hand. I thought to myself "Screw it. He liked it. I'm a trendsetter" I said putting it back on.


"Are you going on a date?" she asked.


"Maybe one day." I said pulling down my denim shorts. "He hasn't asked me yet."  Was I really anticipating him asking me?


"Good luck!" She gave me a big smile and left my room.


I took off my black lace panties. Totally smells like sex. I thought back to Jessica in the closet. I didn't even know Jessica existed until yesterday. And I sit next to her in English class! But her and me in the closet - that was hot. Question is- do I want to date Jess or Chase? Am I bi? I don't know yet.


"But you know what" I told myself out loud. "I think I'm excited to find out."


I guess I'm postponing my shower til later. I put on a clean pair of panties and put the denim shorts back on. I grabbed a pair of socks and looked for my sneakers.  Right - my sneakers were in my gym bag, in my car, at the school.  So I grabbed a pair of beat up sneakers I found in the back of the closet. I found my car keys on my dresser next to my heels. Thankfully someone put them there. I walked out of my room and down the hall. "Mom, Dad. A friend is driving me to pick up my car! Be back soon!"


Chase was sitting on his bike. It hadn't occurred to me until he tossed a helmet at me that he expected me to ride on that.


"Hop on." he said.


Oh Shit. "Oh no." I said. "I can't get on that thing!"


"Yeah you can. Just hold on to me."


I bit my lips. Chase is going to die in a motorcycle accident. How can I willingly condone this and get on the bike with him?


"Chris? You look worried"


"I have never rode one. I'm not sure it's safe."


"It's not supposed to be safe. It's supposed to be fun." he said.


"But Chase." I said. "It's not worth the risk."


"Says the girl who drank until she blacked out last night" he said. "How's your liver?" He smiled and winked.


I may have given a visible pout. Shit.  Now I’m pouting? Chris, get a hold of yourself.  You’re taking this teenage girl thing too far.


OK. At least I know when he dies. So that means he doesn't die today. I'm not sure that's the best rationalization there is.


I caved. I put the helmet on my head. He put the helmet on his.


He held out my hand as he helped me onto the bike. "Hold on to me." he said. I wrapped my arms around him. I could feel his heat on my chest. My breasts were pressed up against his back. He smelled good.


"Are you wearing cologne?" I asked.


"Yes." he said. "you said you liked it last night."


He put on cologne. For me.  He's totally into me. Not sure why.


He started the bike as it roared to life. Then we sped away down the street.


* * *


I can see why people love motorcycles. The wind in your face. Being exposed to the open road. It was exhilarating. It doesn't mean I wasn't shared shit-less.


We arrived at the school to my car, which was the lone car in the student parking lot. Chase helped me down from the bike.


"Thank you for the lift." I said.


"Chrissy." Chase said.


"Yeah?"


"I would like to see you again. When are you free?"


"Um." I started "Today I'm just beat. Tomorrow I have family coming over for my birthday. I'm open Monday."


"Monday I have a gig. How about Tuesday?"


"Tuesday?" I responded. "I have nothing after band practice."


"So it's a date?" he asked. He smiled. That smile simply melts me. I hate that I'm attracted to this guy. I feel so out of control and not myself.


"Yeah." I said. "It's a date."


“Is Sunday your birthday?”


“Oh, last Tuesday was, I’m just celebrating with family on Sunday.”


“Well happy belated birthday, Chrissy.”  He said.  "Have a great weekend." He started his bike and drove away.


I opened my car and leaned up against the door. I have a date with Chase. With a guy. I'm excited. I'm nervous. I'm way over my head.



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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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