Chapter 16 - The Amber Strikes Back

Second Chances by Emily


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Synopsis: Day 7. Christina awaits the fallout drama from Friday night.

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Monday, September 29, 1997



As my alarm clock goes off, I sit up. I feel rejuvenated. It's Monday!


I get out of bed and walk over the closet. I think today I'll wear a purple colored sundress with some floral designs. It's one of the new dresses I got yesterday. When I tried it on, I really liked the way the dress felt on my legs.  


I showered, shaved my legs, brushed my teeth, put my contacts in and got dressed. I stopped a few moments to admire myself in the mirror making sure I looked good as I twisted my hips. It elicited a feeling of euphoria and I was mesmerized by the bottom of my dress and the way it twirls. I curled my hair a little bit to give it that added bounce I like.


When I was done getting ready, I grabbed my backpack, my gym bag with clean clothes, and headed out of my bedroom.


Since I was getting better and quicker at doing my hair and makeup, I had some extra time, so I sat down and had breakfast with Dad as Cindy was still getting ready.


"Morning Dad." I said, grabbing a bowl, spoon, cereal and milk.


"Good morning, sweetie." he said. "What do you have planned for today?"


"I have nothing planned, but I'm sure something will come up. It always does." I pour my cereal and milk and sit down at the table.


He chuckled. "That never goes away. Even when you're an adult" He got up from the table to go take his shower. "Have a good day at school!"


I laughed at that. The 37 year old inside of me couldn't agree more.  It’s Monday.  Shit always goes down on Mondays.


I picked up a section of the newspaper that he was done reading. I can't remember the last time I just sat down and read a newspaper. The front page had stories I don't remember reading about originally, or that 17 year old Tony just didn't care about. The up and coming state governors election. A missing local 11-year old boy. Nothing much going on nationally today. I put that section down and picked up the sports section. It was a whole wrap-around section for yesterday's NFL games. The Giants game was front and center detailing their win. I read a few of those stories. I even read an opinion columnist complaining that the Giants ruined the possibility of a number one draft pick by winning. Jeez. There are trolls in every year!


Cindy came out into the kitchen. "Ready?"


"Yup" I said getting up. I put away my breakfast and grabbed my bags and car keys.


* * *


I headed out the door with Cindy and into my car.


"Oh" I said to Cindy. "Friday night is a touchy subject to Ron. I'd rather not talk about it."


"Sure" she said.


I pulled my car into Ron's driveway where he was waiting for me. He opened the passenger side door and slid into the car.


"Morning" I said.


"Morning" he replied.


"So, Ron." Cindy said. "What was your favorite moment from that party on Friday?"


"You bitch!" I said shooting evil looks at my sister through the rear-view mirror. “I thought we weren't going to talk about it


Cindy simply laughed.


He smiled. "My favorite part? It has to be when you were playing beer pong. The first shot you threw - landed in the cup like you've been a pro for years. You should have seen their faces. Here was this high school girl schooling those college frat boys."


The three of us laughed. I'm glad Ron's in a better mood.


"It's a shame you didn't win." he said.


"Yeah well" I said. "I overestimated my 17 year old body's ability to handle large amounts of beer in such a short amount of time. Maybe it was that shot of tequila too."


"Yeah." Ron said. "You should lay off the hard stuff."


Yeah - we’ll be having this same conversation all throughout our 20's except he’ll join me in getting blacked out.


He flipped through my CDs. "Oh you got some new CDs" he said.


"Yeah" I said. I got some from my family for my birthday yesterday.


He held a disk in his hand. "May I?" he asked.


"Sure." I replied


He put a disk in the discman and pressed play. Aerosmith's Nine Lives Album started playing. I could see Cindy rolling her eyes from the rear-view mirror.


"I got you to wear dresses and makeup." Cindy said. "I need you to listen to better music!"


"Nah." I said. I searched in my memory. Who did she listen to in high school? "Never gonna happen. Not going to get me to listen to Brittney Spears!"


"Who?" she said.


Crap - wrong year! "New artist." I said trying to cover my tracks. "She’ll be all over the radio next year, maybe."


I dropped that particular topic and drummed out on my steering wheel as we rode the rest of the way rocking out.


* * *


While I was at my locker, Julie stopped by. "Hey Demarco. How are you feeling?"


"Much better after a quiet weekend" I replied.


"Great." she said.


"Hey Julie." I said. "I want to apologize again. I was out of character Friday. But thank you for being there for me. I don't remember much, but I remember you being there for me. And we've really only been friends for 3 days. So it really means a lot to me"


"No problem, Christina." she said. "I know that wasn't you. Sometimes we make mistakes. I won't hold it against you."


"Thank you." I said. "Oh - and I'm having my mom dry-clean your dress. Hopefully I can get it to you by the end of the week"


"No rush." she smiled. "So. Homecoming." she said changing the subject.


I laughed. She's relentless. I replied, "I have a few ideas of people to ask. But I'm keeping that to myself."


"Fair enough." she said.


I decided to turn the tables on her. "Who are YOU going with?"


"Nobody's asked yet." she said. "I think guys are afraid of me."


I laughed at that. "Um. What did you think of my best friend Ron?"


"He's nice." she said. "At little on the quiet side."


"He did mention that he enjoyed talking to you." I nudged her.


"Oh did he?"


"I don't think he's asked anyone yet." I smiled at her and closed my locker


She nodded smiling.


I decided to probe a little. I know very little about Julie.


"How are you doing?" I asked. "How is home life?"


"Thanks for asking." she said. "Home life is fine. My parents are pushing hard for me to get a track scholarship."


"That should be easy for you." I said. 


"Yeah, but I really want an academic scholarship." she said. "I'd rather go to school for physics"


Julie's into Physics? I didn't realize that. "You can apply for both." I said.


"Perhaps." We'll see how this marking-period goes. I need A's in Math and Physics for this scholarship I've been looking at."


"That's awesome!" I said. Julie doesn't appear to need help from a time-traveler, so I dropped my line of questioning.


“The track meet on Saturday was something else.  We were super competitive but still lost.  I think you’d enjoy it.”


“That sucks you lost.”  I said.  “Hopefully I can help you guys out in the winter.”


"Look at you" she smiled. "You were this shy girl who said nothing a week ago. I feel like I'm watching a bird fly for the first time."


* * *



As I walked through the hallway. There were a lot of people saying hi to me. More than Friday.


"Hi Christina!"


"Way to stand up to that bitch!"


"Christina, you rock!"


One sophomore girl came up to me. "Christina, you are my hero."


I replied. "Listen, I'm not really for advocating violence."


"I tried out for cheerleading this year." she said. "But Amber ripped into me, embarrassed me and made me cry in front of the entire squad. I'm so glad you took her down!"


"I'm sorry to hear that." I said. "Don't let her get to you, and don't let her bad attitude discourage you. Work hard and try again next year."


She smiled at that. "Thank you Christina!"


I was a little embarrassed. I didn't expect to be a school celebrity. Here I am dispensing advice that days ago I wouldn't have followed myself. I guess this did remind me of the time I did finally stand up to one of my school bullies. I got a little bit of an attention boost for a day. Although that bully was not the head cheerleader.


I was lost in thought. I was just about to walk into homeroom, when I felt a hand grab the strap of my dress and bra and shove me against a locker making a loud thud against it.


Amber stood over me with my back against the locker.


"Listen, you little bitch" she yelled. "You burst a lot of blood vessels in my nose. You're going to pay."


Indeed, Amber's nose was swollen and I could see hints of back and blue under her eyes that were cleverly hidden by makeup.


"Yeah." I retorted. "Like you made me pay on Friday when you slapped me?"


"I don't know what your deal is, but I promise you that I am going to destroy everything you've worked for."


I was ready for this.  Amber was not going to get under my skin anymore.  I’ve stood up to her once, and I can do it again.  "I'd like to see you try." I said stepping closer to her and away from the locker. Yo, cool it Chris. Not at school. You were just preaching non-violence mere minutes ago.


She stood there in silence with her angry frown. Then she turned, grunted in frustration and walked away. Maybe she realized the same thing. Any further action from either of us at school would've ended poorly for both of us.


I stayed there for a moment and fought back tears. My adrenaline was going. I needed to catch my breath. I thought maybe she'd leave me alone. That's what happens when guys fight. They earn each other's respect and go on with their lives. All I'm doing is escalating this war with Amber. It's getting worse and worse.


I was breathing normal again, so I turned and walked into homeroom. I hope my eyes aren't red.


Fay was already there. When I sat down at my desk she turned around.


"How was Friday night?" she said.


"Oh boy" I said. "You didn't miss anything. Lot's of drama. I'd like to forget about it."


Just then Jessica came in and sat down and winked at me. We’ve never spoken a single word to each other in school, but she came out with "How did you feel this weekend after the party?"


"Awful" I replied. "It took me hours just to be a functional human being."


"Same." she said. "One of the cheerleaders had to drive me home. It was a rough Saturday. I sat at home watching MTV all day."


"I'm jealous." I said. "My mom and Cindy dragged me to the mall."


I noticed the track coach, Coach Shannon come into the room and walk up to my English Teacher. My teacher looked towards me. "Christina. Coach Shannon would like to see you."


I got up and joined Coach Shannon in the hallway.


"Miss Demarco." she said. "Gale Pierce broke her leg this weekend. I was considering having you join us for the rest of the season."


"Really?" I said. "Me?"


All of the anger and hostility I had only minutes ago evaporated with this sudden good news.


"Yes." she said. "But you'll have to work extra hard to catch up with the rest of the team. Do you think you can handle that?"


"Absolutely" I said, smiling. "You can expect no less than my full effort."


"I expect nothing less." she said. "See you at practice after school."


Wow. That was unexpected. I was excited. I didn't expect to be this excited. But I'm on the team. Fuck you Amber. You're not ruining my Monday!


* * *


About 10 minutes into English class I heard someone whispering to my side. It was Jessica.


"Chris." she said. "Can I borrow a pen?"


"Sure." I whispered. I dug an extra blue pen out of my bag and handed it to Jessica.


2 minutes later she handed it back to me. There was a rolled up piece paper wrapped tightly around it.


I unrolled it and read it. "Come over this afternoon after practice?"


Oh wow. Didn't expect that so soon. I just suddenly got nervous. Me and Jess alone in her house? My thoughts drifted to Friday night in the closet. I felt a twitch down below. I crossed my legs at the thought. Well, we won't be drunk. Maybe she just wants us to get to know each other. Maybe she wants to help me make amends with Amber.


I wrote "Sure" on the note. I rolled it back around the pen and handed it back to her.


Minutes later she handed it back. "Thanks for letting me borrow the pen" she whispered.


I unrolled the note. She had added her address to the bottom of it with 3 hearts. Or maybe she wants to make out for a few hours. I think I could be down for that too.


I got excited. It's only 8 AM and already I've been asked to the track team, asked out by a cheerleader, and been assaulted by Amber. I guess 2 out of 3 ain't bad.


* * *



In AP Comp Sci, my personal study time was over since last week's project was over and Mr. Perry lectured new material all class. All this really meant for me was that I needed to find more time to do homework tonight.


Val asked me how the Power Puff team was shaping up. I told her it was done. I got 15 girls to join the team and the same 6 guys to be cheerleaders. I just needed to schedule a practice later in the week. The game was Friday after school before the real football homecoming game, so I figured a Wednesday practice would be about right.


At lunch time, Ron and I went to Burger King. After we ordered our meals we sat down at the restaurant.


"So anything new?" he asked.


"So I made the track team!" I said. "I have to stay after school today for practice."


"That's great!" he said. "Congrats! I suppose I can hang out in the band room until you're done."


"Anything new with you" I asked.


"Nope. Chemistry is kicking my ass!"


I guess he didn't run into Julie yet.


* * *


I changed for gym class and my daily run with Julie. I was nervous about Amber. What did she have up her sleeve? Should I worry?


When I saw Julie I waved and smiled.


"Guess what." I said to her.


"What?"


"Coach Shannon said I can be on the team for the rest of the season." I said.


"That's awesome!" she said, hugging me. "Congratulations."


"Thanks!" I said.


"Of course you understand-" she said. "I'm going to have to go harder on you now."


I smiled and started running before she said let's go. "Bring it on!" I yelled back to her as she started running after me.


When the rest of the class came out to the field the two of us joined them. I didn't see Amber. Tim saw me though.


"Yo Christina!' he said. "That was totally wicked on Friday. I heard you gave my college buddies a run for their money on the beer-pong table."


"Yeah" I said. "It was fun."


"Oh" he said. "I loved the cat fight! You knocked Amber on her ass in one punch. Totally rad." He had a goofy laugh. It was getting on my nerves.


"Hey." he whispered. "If you want more of my special drink mix. I've got more in my locker."


"Ew. No" I said. Was he talking about the keg of shitty-ass beer or the shots of cheap-ass tequila. I guess it doesn't make a difference. "That was wretched." I saw Brittany. "Oh. Excuse me. I'll be right back."


I jogged to Brittany. "Where's Amber?"


"I think she got a doctor's note to sit out gym today."


"Oh." Should I be relieved?


"I saw her in another class. Her nose is kinda swollen." Brittany said.


"Yeah." I said. "I um- ran into her this morning"


I should ask Brittany what she knows about Amber's home life. I believe Brittany and Amber's friendship predates Amber's role as cheer captain. I bet she's got some insight. As I was about to ask Brittany, I was interrupted.


"Christina." Carl said running up to me. "Hi. I'm Carl."


"Hi Carl." I said. "I know your name already."


"Awesome." He smiled. "Christina, I was wondering." He started. Then paused. "Do you have a date to homecoming?"


I froze. What do I say? Shit. I may want to go to homecoming with Jess. Or Chase. Or by myself. But I don't want to go with Carl.


"I'm sorry Carl." I said, trying to let him down gently. "I was planning on asking someone else this evening." That's partially the truth I suppose. Poor Carl. I've been in his place plenty of times. Maybe I should've said yes to him. But there are two people I really want to gauge the possibility of going with first.


The gym teacher blew her whistle. The teacher had a sack of soccer balls. Shit, I'll have to grill Brittany later.


"This week we're doing soccer" she said pulling a ball out of the mash bag. "For the first 20 minutes we'll pair up and just practice kicking."


Everyone in the class paired up. I paired up with Julie. After 20 minutes of kicking the ball back and forth, the teacher had us split into teams. It wasn't very organized so there were no positions, and everyone was on the field. I honestly hadn't played soccer since high school. At first I stayed near my own goal to play defense. But Julie and some others convinced me to play more offense. So I sprinted after the ball, stole it from the other team and managed to kick it to the net before the goalie deflected it. After that, my team started passing me the ball more. Toward the end of class, I stole the ball from the other team, ran it down the field, then passed it to Julie who scored.


When class was over I was winded from running up and down the soccer field for 20 minutes. Maybe that was Julie's plan all along. But I felt good.


* * *


The rest of the day went by as normal. No crazy life destroying acts by Amber. So maybe I was in the clear.


After band class, Fay pulled me aside. "I forgot to give you something this morning."


"Oh?" I said, curious.


She reached into her backpack and pulled out a cassette tape. "Listen. I was thinking about you over the weekend. I know you're going through a personal journey right now. I made you a tape. Like a motivational group of songs I thought you might like."


I was stunned. "You made me a mixtape? I don't know what to say. Thanks Fay."


"Hang in there." she smiled.


She was serious about maintaining a friendship. This made me happy.


* * *


I changed into my gym clothes for track practice. As I ran out to the practice field, I saw the track team on the track in front of the bleachers. The cheerleaders were in the south end-zone. I waved to Cindy who waved back to me. I saw Jess smile and wave at me too.  I felt a giddy nervousness seeing her.  Then I saw Amber staring at me. I waved. She gave me the middle finger.


When I got to the track team, Coach Shannon had us all huddle around her.


"Alright ladies" Coach Shannon said. "We have a track meet on Thursday. I have to put everything we have into practice this week. Pierce is injured and will be out the rest of the season." Some audible groans were heard. "I've asked Demarco here to fill in."


I smiled as the girls' track team all looked at their newcomer. A number of girls pat me on the shoulder wishing me luck.


During practice we did a lot of running. But also some of my teammates and the coach showed me some proper form. I had never done this in any organized fashion in the past. Running on the track, in some ways, was easier than sprinting around a baseball diamond. But it was easier for my competitors too.


Practice was hard. Very hard. Despite the running with Julie every day. I was still not in prime shape. But I was better than I was on Wednesday when I first tried out for the team. There were times I wanted to quit right there. But something in me stopped me from quitting. Maybe that was the whole point of last week. I learned to pick myself up and push harder. I put my head down and pushed through the rest of practice.


"Great hustle, Demarco." Coach said as we headed to the locker room.


Julie walked with me. "You did good." she said. "Not bad for your first real practice."


"Thanks." I said, catching my breath.


"Gotta run" she said running ahead of me. "I got something to do!"


I was out of breath. I was sweating. My t-shirt was sticking to my skin. Despite that. I felt great.


* * *


After getting changed back into my clothes I walked to my car. I was still overheating but my dress gave me much needed air-conditioning as I walked. Much to my amazement Ron & Julie were at my car together talking.


"Long time no see." Julie said smiling.


"So guess who asked me to homecoming" Ron said leaning against my car.


"Who?" I said coyly.


"Me" Julie said


"Oh really?" I said. "Did you say yes?" I asked Ron.


"Yeah." he said. "What about you Chrissy? Who are you taking?"


"I'm working on it." I said.


"When you figure it out, we should do a double date." Julie said. "Maybe Wednesday?"


"Sure." I said. "If I get a homecoming date by Wednesday."


“The pressure is on, Demarco. ” Julie smiled.


Cindy walked up to us carrying her cheer bag. "That was a hard practice. Thanks a lot Chris for setting off Amber!"


I knew she was joking around with me.


"I do it for you sis" I smiled.


"You must be Christina's sister." Julie said. "Hi, I'm Julie."


"Hi Julie. I'm Cindy." Cindy said. "Are you the one behind this new and improved Christina?"


"No - that's all her." Julie replied. "I'm just helping her come out of her shell more." Julie nudged my shoulder.


Just then Brittany approached us.


"Hey Brittany." I said, forcing a smile. "What's up?"


"Um, Christina." she said. "I can't do powder puff. Can you take me off of the list."


"Oh. I'm sorry to hear that." I said showing disappointment. "I can cross you off when you get home."


"And... all of the other cheerleaders, too."


I froze. I looked at her with a serious expression. "Why?"


"Amber told us that we couldn't play."


"Amber told you you can't play in a charity football game? She doesn't run your life."


"You have no idea what it's like being on the cheer squad." she said. "She demands loyalty."


"You're right I don't." I said. I glanced over to Cindy who gave me a frown and shrugged. "But letting one person run your life doesn't sound right."


"Maybe you could talk to her?" Brittany suggested. "We really do want to play."


"Me? I tried to talk to her all last week. And this was before I decked her ass in front of a lot of people. Then she shoved me into a locker this morning! She isn't going to talk to me."


"A lot of us are upset she's forbidding us from playing for you."


"Oh. So this whole thing is about me?" I said. "What else is she planning on doing?" That last question was more rhetorical than anything. I didn't expect Brittany to know Amber's evil plans.


"Sorry" she said. "I gotta get going. Please talk to her?" She walked away.


"Shit." I said out-loud. I turned to my friends. "How? How am I supposed to sit down and have a civilized talk with Amber?" I said.


"You will figure it out." Julie said. "Just don't punch her in the face again. Alright - gotta run. Have a good evening Christina. Ron. Cindy."


I opened the car door. Neither Ron nor Cindy said anything. I was so close to leaving school today without any major drama.



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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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