Chapter 23 - La Vie en Rose

Second Chances by Emily


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Synopsis: Christina is on a mission to win back Chase.

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It was already dusk when I got into my car. The radio was still on. Chumbawamba's "Tubthumping" was playing. "How appropriate" I thought to myself. The Radio gods must be telling me something.


I pulled out of the driveway singing, "I get knocked down, but I get up again. You are never gonna keep me down..."


As I drove, I rehearsed what I'm going to say to Chase. I'm going to tell him the truth. Well - a variation of the truth. I won't mention time travel or future events. I certainly won't mention that I was a dude in another life. But I will mention that I have been scarred by someone close to me dying. That is the truth. It's something I need to say and hopefully something he'll accept. The truth may not be able to win him back, it may not be able to save his life. But it's something I needed to do.


I thought more about the repressed memory that came back to me. Not only did Chase die. But so did his girlfriend. I think this is the same girlfriend he brought as a date to Ron's wedding. So I met her too. Now that the memory was back, I remembered crying myself to sleep that night. Even though I didn't like Chase at the time. It was a tragedy, and it had affected me more than I thought.


I'm just hoping he's willing to listen. If he does listen and after that he still doesn't want to see me, then I'll just move on.


Something was bothering me though. Like an itch I couldn't scratch. Almost like Déjà vu. Almost as if that wasn't the first time I cried myself to sleep over a sudden death. Maybe this repressed memory is the reason I'm here. When I'm done dealing with this Chase thing, I'm going to need to work on unlocking that memory.


I found a parking spot on Main street. I got out of my car and started walking to Java Joint. Java Joint was a popular local coffee shop before Starbucks killed the local coffee shop scene. That reminded me that I should give Val's family some business tips about surviving the next 5 years. Comfy tables and couches. Cold brew. Wi-Fi... when it gets invented of course.


I entered the coffee shop. I saw Chase's jazz band in the corner of the coffee shop. They were playing more laid back songs rather than fast tempo swing songs from last week. Chase was already in a set singing "As Time Goes By." "Not bad." I thought to myself. He's no Sinatra, but he's got a nice deeper raspier voice. The accompanying saxophone instead of a piano was a nice touch.


The waitress sat me near the stage and gave me a menu. I straightened out my skirt and sat down. Chase hasn't noticed me yet.


I took a look at the menu, I hadn't drank coffee during the whole time I've been Christina. But Tony used to have two cups a day. When the waitress came back I ordered a cup of Italian roast. And a cookie. I just hope the coffee doesn't impact my body like the alcohol did.


When the waitress came back with my coffee I saw Chase finally notice me. We locked eyes for a second and he looked away.


I put cream and sugar in my coffee and took a sip. I closed my eyes and savored the coffee. I leaned back in my seat and crossed my legs enjoying the music.


The music stopped and there was light applause. "Thank you." Chase said into the microphone. "We're going to take a break. We'll be back in 20 minutes."


I leaned forward in my seat watching Chase. He put down his guitar and shook hands with several people in the coffee shop before he finally got to me.


"Hey" he said.


"Hey." I said. I motioned for him to sit down across from me.


He sat down. He had a glum look on his face. I think I had caused him the same amount of pain I caused myself.


"I want to apologize" I started. "I had no right to do that to you." I took a sip of coffee. "I suck at relationships. I more often than not, I put my foot in my mouth."


"What you said last night." he said. "Didn't seem like a case of saying the wrong thing. It seemed like you meant every word."


Think before answering that, Chris. I closed my eyes and I cupped my coffee cup with both hands. The warmth was comforting me right now. Tell him what you rehearsed. I opened my eyes. "You're right. I want to tell you a story."


"Go on."


"I used to have a friend - a family friend. You remind me very much of him. But he was in his mid-twenties. He - like you - had a bike." I took another sip of coffee. "He died on his bike. Killing him and his girlfriend."


Chase was silent for a moment. "I'm sorry to hear that. And you think that can - or rather will - happen to me?"


"It's more like - I'm reminded of it. I know I can't change that. I can't - and shouldn't change you because of some other person that was in my life. I was wrong. But I felt you should know and understand the truth on where I was coming from." I paused. Make sure he knows that I feel guilty about hurting him. "I understand- if you don't think we can see each other anymore."


He placed his hands around my hands which were around my coffee cup. "Thank you for telling me." He paused for a moment. "How about you? Do you think you can continue to see me? Even if I continue to ride? We all cannot live in fear for what may happen tomorrow."


"You're right." I said. "We don't know what tomorrow will bring." I looked into his eyes and smiled. My only real 'play' right now is that the butterfly effect will somehow change what Chase will be doing that fateful day in 2006. Especially if I do stay here and I continue to date him.


He smiled back. "The future hasn't been written yet." he said quoting Back to the Future 3.


"The Doc gives good advice" I smiled.


"I can't stay mad at that smile." he said.


"Hey" I said. "That's my line."


"It's my turn to tell a story." he said. "My ex girlfriend. She's a girl I know at my school. She hated that I was in so many bands. She was so obsessed with appearances. She would look down at my hobby as a waste of time. She was embarrassed that I was playing these events instead of hanging out with her at her country club or something like that. She was embarrassed about how I dress. She was embarrassed at the friends I kept. She would continually belittle me in front of my friends. She started even scheduling our social calendar ON TOP of my gigs. I had enough of it and I dumped her."


"That sounds awful." I said. "I can see why you would be sensitive to someone trying to judge you and try to change you. Why did you stay with her so long?"


"I don't know. She was warm and caring in private - when nobody else was around. Then she'd be a completely different person when we were around others."


I nodded.


"Christina," he said. "If we are going to continue to see each other. I need you to promise that we can be honest with each other. I need to know that you'll support me for being me. Not to judge me. Not to try to tame me. In turn. I will be honest with you. I will never judge you. I will never try to change you."


"Chase" I responded. "I want to continue seeing you. I like who you are. I don't want you to change. I swear that I will not try to change you."


We held hands across the table.


"Our first fight" he said smiling.


"Hopefully our last." I said. "So how does this work? This fight was my fault. Do I send you flowers?"


He laughed. "No. Just you being here right now is more than enough. Which reminds me - Congratulations on winning your track event." he said.


"How did you know?"


"I was there. Hiding out of sight."


"I thought you wanted nothing to do with me." I said.


"I was holding out hope that yesterday's fight was only just a minor one and that we could have this very conversation we're having right now- in the near future."


I totally have this guy wrapped around my finger. It was nice. He also had me wrapped around his finger too. That part was scary.


"I like your shirt." he said. "Did you get that at a concert?"


"I don't quite remember." I said looking down at my Metallica shirt. "Oh wait - You're right. Ron and I went to their concert freshman year."


"Nice. I have something for you." he said. "Be right back."


He got up and went back to the stage area. A few of his band members got their instruments out. The female vocalist went up to the microphone.


The trumpeter started playing. The vocalist started singing "La Vie en Rose."


Chase walked up to me and held out his hand. "May I have this dance?"


I stood up and took his hand.


He led me to a section that didn't have any tables. He started leading me, and I was able to keep up despite never having danced this style as a follower.


"I thought you said you couldn't dance?" I said.


"A friend hooked me up with some quick lessons this weekend before our first date. I figured it would come in handy. When I saw you dance at the swing club, I realized you were out of my league, and I had to learn."


I don't know what to say. Chase knows how to flatter me. Best to not say anything and enjoy this song and dance.


We continued to dance. I rested my head upon his head and closed my eyes and we moved back and forth.


Towards the end of the song, I looked into his eyes. He returned the stare. His eyes were slowly melting me. I felt my head inch closer and closer. I closed my eyes. Slowly our lips moved closer, and closer. The moment our lips met, it just felt right. We were dancing and making out right there in the middle of the coffee shop.


* * *


"Thank you for the dance." I said whispering into his ear.


"Let me introduce you to the band." Chase held my hand and walked me over to the stage. He first introduced me to the vocalist.


"Chrissy, this is Delores. Delores this is my-" he paused for a moment. "-girlfriend, Chrissy"


He said girlfriend. I turned red. The part of me that was a guy for 37 years cringed. The part of me that's been a girl for 10 days swooned. The girl part won and I suddenly got butterflies in my stomach. I like this guy. The fact that I fought and won him back also helped contribute to the realization that yes - this is my boyfriend. I won him. He's mine.


Delores extended her hand. "Nice to meet you." she said. Delores was prettier up close. Yes, I could tell she was in her mid-40's, but she had aged very well.


I could only hope I look that good when I turn 40 in... 2 years. Wait what am I saying? I'll be Tony when I get back, not Christina. Focus Chris. Your boyfriend is trying to introduce you to his friends. "It's so nice to meet you too." I said. "You have an amazing voice. I heard you last week too."


"Oh" she said. "That was you on the dance floor. I remember that. I love watching people get that into my music. That was smoking hot."


"Thanks". Dancing with Fay to Delores's rendition of Fever suddenly felt like forever ago. Has a week only gone by?


Chase brought me over to the trumpeter and the drummer. "This is Jimmy and Henry. Jimmy. Henry. this is my girlfriend Chrissy."


We all shook hands and said "Nice to meet you."


Lastly Chase introduced me to "Ernie" on saxophone.


"Christina plays the saxophone, too." Chase added.


"Which is your favorite?" Ernie asked.


"The tenor sax" I replied. "I just like the tenor sound better."


"It's my favorite too." he said. "I have a tenor and a baritone behind me for our up and coming set, but I prefer the tenor too."


"We didn't bring the full band tonight." Chase said to me. "We can't really fit a whole big band in a coffee shop."


"That's cool though." I said. "This allows you to play more intimate songs."


"It's time for our last set." he said. "Will you stick around?"


"Yeah." I said, smiling as we let go of each other's hands.


* * *


I slowly returned to my seat in a daze. I sat there, just staring at Chase, smiling. Eating my cookie and finishing my coffee. When the waiter returned I ordered water and paid the tab. A second coffee would interfere with me getting sleep tonight. I have another big day tomorrow.


Eventually, the band was done, and Chase returned to me and sat down. "So tell me about the track meet."


"Well I wasn't as nervous as I thought. Julie really helped clear my head and motivate me. I wound up winning. It was the most focused 13 seconds I ever had."


"That's great. I was rooting for you."


"I never got a chance to tell you how much fun I had last night. I wished I didn't screw it up."


He held my hand. "Let's not dwell on the bad parts. Let's just look forward to this weekend. What are you doing tomorrow?" Chase asked.


"It's homecoming."


"Oh right." he said. "The game?"


"Yeah - it's a busy day. I'm playing in the Powder Puff Football game. Then my marching band is at the real football game."


"You're playing football tomorrow?" he said.


"Yeah. I forgot to mention that yesterday."


"I bet you'll do great. What position are you playing?"


"Thanks. They have me playing running back. I can't catch worth a shit, but I can run."


"So no crazy post-game parties like last week?"


"No. Not this week. I learned my lesson last Friday night. In fact, I just can't stomach alcohol right now. It may take me weeks before I'm ready for another drink."


"In that case," he said. "How about you come over after the game."


That sounds exciting. That also sounds like my parents would kill me. "I'll likely have to run that by my parents." I said.


"Oh course." he said.


"If you get the go ahead, bring your bathing suit. I have a hot tub in the backyard."


"A hot tub? Sweet. I like hot tubs. I'll give you a call after school." I looked around for the time. I should really get a watch. "I should probably get going. I have a big day tomorrow."


I stood up and he led me to the coffee shop door. "My car is around the corner." I said.


"Can I walk you to your car?" he asked.


"Yes you may." I said.


We held hands walking down the street. When we got to my car he held me in a tight embrace and kissed me. I passionately kissed back. We picked up right where we left off last night as if we didn't have the fight.


* * *



I returned home. I went straight to my room. Hanging in front of my closet was my homecoming dress. Mom must've picked it up this evening. I picked up the dress and draped it over me as I looked in the mirror. It still had clear plastic over it, but I wanted to imagine wearing it.


That vision I had of wearing it when I picked it out- I mentally placed Chase into that vision. It made me smile.


Cindy came into my room. "You are going to look amazing in that dress on Saturday."


"Thank you." I said.


"Mom made us an appointment for hair and nails Saturday morning."


"Hair and nails?" I said. "I figured we'd just do that stuff here."


"It's my first homecoming dance, Chris. It's your last. We have to look our best."


"It's actually my first too" I smiled. "I'm looking forward to it."


"I'm glad we can share it together. How did tonight go?"


I hung the dress back up. "It went well. We apologized. We kissed."


"That's awesome." she said smiling.


"And we kissed some more." I smiled as my face turned red. I let out a giggle. I realized how girly that sounded so I immediately covered my mouth.


"Is he your boyfriend?"


I still had a big smile on my face. I couldn't hide it from her. "I um - think so. He called me his girlfriend tonight."


Cindy suddenly got giddy and jumped over to be and gave me a hug. "Christina's got a boyfriend!"


"OK OK. I should really do my homework." I said, laughing.


Cindy left happy. I did my homework. I washed up and changed out of my school clothes and into my sleep attire. I crawled into bed knowing that today was a great day. It started off kinda shitty, but I managed to turn it around with a lot of help from my friends and family.


I closed my eyes and thought of Chase. My boyfriend, Chase. The kisses. How I have butterflies in my stomach again.


It's crazy how I like him so much now. Maybe Tony's jealousy was really just a man-crush. When I became Christina it bloomed into a real crush, and finally into something more.


Either way. It's not important right now. I really must sleep. Big day ahead. I involuntarily let my hand move down my body and under my shorts and panties and started rubbing myself. A smile formed on my face. I can't wait to see Chase again. Dammit Chris, you need to sleep.


Damn coffee.



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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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