Chapter 8 - Recruited

Second Chances by Emily


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Synopsis: As day 2 continues, classmates are starting to take notice of Christina.

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Gym class went for another 10 more minutes after my score and collision with Amber. It was mostly a blur. Classmates were coming up to me telling me how great my run was. I thanked each person and smiled, but my head was stuck thinking about Amber. Is Amber a vindictive person? Will she take it out on me later? Will she take it out on Cindy?


When the class bell rang, everyone jogged back into the building. On my way back to the building one of my female classmates ran right up beside me. "Christina, right?"


"Yeah" I said with a smile. Yup. That's my name. All week.


"I'm Julie." She said. "That was one hell of a sprint. I never saw you run like that."


"I guess I just woke up a different person today." I forced a chuckle.


"That wasn't a fluke." She said. "I saw you yesterday too before you were forced out."


"Yeah. I was annoyed at being picked last and not getting a chance to play until right before the end of class."


"Don't I know it." she said. "Typical guys think girls can't play sports. They want to dominate the entire game! Hey quick question. Have you ever thought of joining any sports?"


"Well." I said. "I did the bowling team a few years ago. I was peer-pressured into JV tennis last year. I sucked."


Those were things Tony did. I was a good bowler, but there were always 5 better bowlers and I was benched. Ron joined the Tennis team last year, and convinced me to do the same. I was stuck on the bench because I couldn't control the ball (or my anger) and it often went into another court or over the fence. There was also Tae Kwon Do, but I joined that because of the constant bullying in junior high.


"Have you ever considered track? Or softball?" Julie asked.


Yes. Absolutely. Especially in my late 20's when I realized I was actually good at those. "I hadn't thought about it." I played coy. "Isn't it too late in the year to try out?"


"For fall track yes" she said. But we do walk-on tryouts during the fall for winter track. "I also have some friends on the softball team that would love some of your aggressive play."


My ego enjoyed hearing that, however it was a slight let-down at the same time. On one hand I loved hearing that people want me. On the other, I was planning on spending my winter in 2018 far away from here.


"Come see us on the track after school. Wear running clothes." Julie insisted. "I'll put a good word in with Coach Shannon."


She jogged faster and left me so I couldn't put in a last word. Thanks Julie!" I yelled after her. "That was too cool." I told myself.


I returned to my locker and put myself back together. I smoothed out my skirt and top in front of the mirror and fixed my hair. I looked down at my poor calf and saw the red streaks again. That sucks. It was so smooth and sexy this morning. Chicks dig scars right?


* * *


The school day flew by for the remainder of the day. Cindy had cheer practice and wasn't expecting to ride home with me. I let Ron know that I was trying out for track. He was shocked and didn't say much. He said he'd spend extra time in the band room and will meet me at the car after it was over.


We didn't have band practice on Wednesdays, so I made my way to the cafeteria where the student council met. The general council was made up of all of the classes' officers. The Student Body President presided over the whole group. The president was Mike. A very preppy senior. Not many guys wore ties in high school. He did.


I sat in the back and took in everything they were talking about. Fundraising, Class slogans, booor-ing.


Then they started talking about homecoming. That was slightly more interesting. The theme was a Masquerade Ball. I remember this back in Tony's day. Really all it entailed was masks. Simple.


The next item on their agenda was the Powder Puff events during Homecoming week. They were looking for someone to organize it.


If you don't know what Powder Puff is, well it's when a number of female athletes play an exhibition football game. Seniors vs. Juniors. And a number of male athletes are the cheerleaders. It's kinda sexist by 2018 standards. But in 1997 we didn't have any female football players nor male cheerleaders, so it was celebrated as a parody of sexist tropes.


I chuckled to myself at a memory. Tony actually volunteered to be a Powder Puff cheerleader. It was a crazy impulsive decision. Driven partially by my desire to be noticed and partially because Cindy got so much attention for being a cheerleader. Tony joined six other guys who were involved in several boys sports. Me being only in Marching Band. Since I wasn't in a fall sport, the other six dudes kinda kept me on the outs and made their own plans including a pyramid, chest paint, and tear-off t-shirts. When the time came, for the pep-rally they had provided us with borrowed cheerleading uniform skirts. Come to think of it.  I had assumed last night was the first time I wore a skirt.  Powder Puff was the first time I wore a skirt - 20 year ago.  I remember being very exposed.  But since I was with six other guys wearing matching skirts, my embarrassment was limited.  We rushed out onto the field, and the six guys performed a pyramid in front of the crowd. Since I was on the outs they told me to just run and cheer and do... something. I said "Fuck this" to myself and dove into a straddle in front of their pyramid. The pep-rally crowd cheered. My attention grabbing stunt certainly got me noticed for a week. A photo of it made its way into our yearbook too. Full page spread. Forever memorialized. Cindy thought it was awesome that her brother did that. Now I'm not going to lie. It did hurt, mostly because-


"Christina, would you like to organize this?" Valerie broke my concentration and my trip down memory lane. Everyone was staring at me.


"Me?" I said. Why me? "Sure. Do we have the plans from last year?"


"Yeah." President Mike said. "We have the notes and contacts from last year. We just need someone to take the lead. Get recruits for the football game and recruit guy cheerleaders"


Shit. How'd I go from being a powder puff cheerleader to organizing the damn thing. Doesn't matter. I'll be gone by then. When's homecoming again?


"Good job everyone." Mike said, adjourning the meeting. "Next week will be the best homecoming week ever!"


Next week?  Great. I need to add that to my list of things I have to do.


* * *


After going back to the locker room and putting gym clothes back on I made my way to the track. I saw Julie waving at me, so I walked over to her. "Christina, I'm so glad to see you." She had me stand off to the side and encouraged me to stretch for a few minutes while she went to find the coach.


I did some lunges and hamstring stretches still amazed at how flexible I was.   I remember being flexible because of Tae Kwon Do. I don't remember being this flexible though.


A few minutes later Julie came back with the coach in tow. The coach was a woman in her early 30's. She's younger than Tony. This is too weird.


"Coach Shannon." Julie said. "This is Christina Demarco, the girl I was telling you about."


I wonder if Shannon is her first name or last night.  She’s kinda cute.  I wonder what she’s doing in 2018.  I guess that means she might be in her 50s.


"Have you ever done competitive running?" Coach asked.


"Not outside of gym class." I said.


"Do you have a workout regime?" She inquired.


"No." I'm starting to get a feeling this was a mistake. I'm not prepared for this at all.  I can feel Coach Shannon judging me.


"Well, let's get you on the track to see what you can do. We'll do a 100 meter to see what you've got." she said. She turned to 2 other girls who were stretching nearby and called them by their last names. "Miller, Pierce. I need to race against Miss Demarco here."


Miss Demarco? I’m not sure I’m going to get used to that.  


The three of us lined up.  They got down in sprint stances.  I just put my right foot back to push off of.


She blew the whistle and we all started running. Both of them instantly jumped out to an easy lead. This wasn't softball, and I think my two opponents have cleats on. I have sneakers on. How was this fair? I knew I was better than this, so I pushed my legs to go faster and faster. Soon I was in front of both of them. But I realized I was running out of steam. The finish line was so close. Come on Christina! Push! Both of my competitors ran past me and through the finish line.


I was gassed. Out of breath. The world was spinning as I was trying to catch my breath.


Both Miller and Pierce came up to me and told me “Good race.”  I slowly walked back to the coach holding my gut.


"I saw some good things there, Demarco." Coach Shannon said. "Of course we're full for the Fall. But if you work on your endurance, you just might make the team in the winter."


"Thanks coach", I managed to say between breaths. Well that's a bummer. Although not entirely surprising considering I was currently wheezing. I'm trying to figure out when the last time Christina did anything remotely athletic outside of gym class. It must've been Tennis in the Spring, or whenever I stopped doing Tae Kwon Do. Maybe last year.


I walked back to the locker room slightly dejected. I mean, this wasn't so bad. I still had a pretty good day. I also have a date I need to prepare for. Time to put this track fantasy on hold. It was a nice fantasy for a few hours.


* * *


I returned back into my cute school outfit for the third time today. It's actually getting more normal to put these clothes on. I smelled my gym clothes and decided I was just going to take these home today and have Mom wash them. I grabbed my gym bag and backpack and I left the locker room. I had to pass the track on the way to my car. I saw Julie running up to me.


"Christina Demarco!" she called. "You did a great job. Thanks for coming out!"


"Oh - It’s just Christina.  Thanks, but, I guess I shouldn't have expected to make the team right away."


"You should keep trying though." she said with a smile.


"Yeah I should" I smiled. I could keep trying, but it's not like I was planning on sticking around for winter track.


"I mean it, Tony." she replied with a wink. Oh no. It's the guardian angel again.


"It's you?" I inquired.


"Yes it's me." the angel replied.


"How long have you been in Julie?" I asked. Here I was thinking Julie was really complimenting me.


"Just now. Julie came up and thanked you for trying. I told you to keep trying." the guardian angel said. "Are you having fun yet?"


"I guess." I said. "I mean it's been a good day. A much better one than yesterday."


"I saw. A makeover, a date, mentoring your peers, playing the heroine in gym class, getting invited to try out for the track team and student council. You've been busy. I'm impressed. I'm also glad that you took our last conversation to heart."


"Some of that just fell into my lap, and some of that is the result of things Tony put into motion before I arrived yesterday, so I don't know how much of that I actually did or can take credit for." I responded modestly.


"You did all of that." she said. "Each one of those events did not happen originally."


"Great." I said. "So you can tell me if I've altered the future yet? I have to believe that today's events set in motion future changes. You know - the butterfly effect."


She looked me up and down and smiled. "Christina Demarco, you ARE a butterfly."


Am I blushing?


"You just haven't flapped your wings yet." She moved closer to me. "Look at that smile you're trying to hide. I see you enjoying this."


"Sure. I guess. As long as you don't go around telling my friends back home that I’m running around wearing a skirt and makeup." I chuckled. Changing the subject, I said, "So not closer to figuring out this mission?"


"No. But you're at least moving in the right direction. Flap your wings pretty butterfly."


The guardian angel certainly was in a good mood and smiling. It put me at ease. I felt maybe I could actually do this mission of hers. Let me see if I can get some answers about Amber.


"Hey I was wondering. This girl in my gym class, Amber" I started. "I don't remember her at all from my first time in high school. I don't recognize her. I was wondering if she's real. If you made her. I mean. A bully head cheerleader is a tired trope."


"Gee Tony, don't judge someone by two interactions on a softball field. I wouldn't call her a bully. But, she's real. She exists here and she existed in Tony’s world too."


"Well she wasn't friendly in the locker room either" I said. "How come I don't remember her?"


"Well, Tony and Amber just never crossed paths in any memorable way." she responded. "She's in your class. How many other of your classmates did you remember before you scanned your yearbook last night?"


"Fair enough." I said.


"Good luck on your date." she said, winking. "I need to return Julie's body to track practice." She ran off.


I let some of that sink in. If today's event's haven't changed the future in any meaningful way, I wonder what it would take. I thought for sure this Amber was a key here. I didn't want to believe she was just a bully either. Maybe. Just maybe, she'll back off and show me a little more respect.


* * *


On my drive home. I was plotting and planning my date night with Fay. We could do the movies. We could do the Mall. Or maybe walk along the boardwalk or beach.  My high school dating experience was limited.  I think I had one quasi date with a freshman and I was quickly friend-zoned.  What did we wind up doing?  Carvel Ice Cream and an Adam Sandler flick.  Yeah, I’m gonna need to up my game.  Well... maybe I can find a way to work the ice cream into the date.


When I got home, I kicked off my flats and took out my contacts. Wow, my eyes are tired from that. I took out my glasses and pulled open the newspaper to check movie times.


Let's check the new releases, first. Gattaca. Good movie, Not much of a date movie. The rest of the movies I either didn't recognize or I recognized and didn't think they were any good. How about cheaper summer blockbusters that were still in the theater? Men in Black and Air Force One were still playing. I chuckled. Those could be fun, but I wonder if Fay's already seen those. I know I have - many times. "Get off my plane!" I said to myself in my best Harrison Ford impersonation.


I'm not sold on the movies. Anyone can do that. What would Tony do in 2018 do that would be unique? 


I would take her out dancing! 


So I learned how to dance during my dating dry spell. I was hoping it would lead to more dates. It didn't. Most people in my dance class were already coupled off. But I retained all of those skills in order to woo my wife. I choreographed our first dancing at our wedding reception...


I paused for a moment. That's a good memory. I smiled, but it instantly turned back into a frown. That memory reminded me that I no longer have her in my life. I'm divorced. My depression from a few nights ago was still there. The wound was still raw. I pushed those feelings back and focused on the present.


OK. I really wish I had the 2018 internet at my fingertips right now. I guess I have to do this the old fashioned way. I pulled out the 5 inch thick phone book and skimmed the Yellow Pages, found the phone number I was looking for and called the dance school. Great. They have a walk-in event tonight. Swing night. Even better.


* * *


I heard a car door shut outside. A few seconds later Cindy came through the door. "Hey sis" she said putting her bags down.


"How was cheer practice?" I asked. I need to make sure Amber didn't take out any vengeance on Cindy.


"That was awful." she said. "Amber rode us so hard. Jill almost broke down crying. What did you do? I take it your talk with Amber didn't go well."


"I'm so sorry. It didn't go well" I said. "What did she say?"


"All she said was 'Your nerd sister better not touch me again or I will destroy her'" Cindy replied. "What happened?"


Destroy me? That was intense and unnecessary.


"I slid into her during softball." I said. "I scored. Completely knocked her over. I have the wound to prove it." I lifted up my leg to show the red skid marks.


"Ouch" Cindy replied. "I would have loved to have seen that. My sister, sliding into Miss perfect."


I laughed too. "So you don't blame me for your hard practice?"


"Nah." She said. "Someone's got to bring her down a notch anyway."


I smiled.


"So tell me," she continued. "How was your day? Did you get many compliments?"


"I did" I gushed. "I also have a date tonight."


"Oh really?" Cindy said with a huge grin. "Who's the lucky guy? Is it Ron?"


I wasn't ready to talk about my sexuality with my sister so soon after accidentally talking about it with Ron, so I figured I'd just gloss over the details.


"No it's not Ron. Though I think you guys may have misjudged him. He says he has a friend he wants to set me up with." I smiled.


"Oh" Cindy said. "A quote, friend." she made a quote gesture with her hands. "So who are you going with tonight?"


"I'm not really to tell yet."


"Ug." she whined. "That's so not fair."


"I'm keeping this one quiet for now."


"Well, at least can I help you pick out an outfit?" She asked excitedly.


"That would be awesome!" I said smiling. I'd love to have her help with that.


* * *


Cindy and I went through my closet looking for something cute. I knew I was going dancing. Swing dancing. As a guy, it was always cool to see the skirts flare up during spins and twirls. I wondered how that would feel being the girl.


"You're going swing dancing?" my sister said surprised when I told her. "Like big band type stuff?"


"Yeah," I said. "I think a few swing songs have come on the radio," I replied. I'm not entirely sure which songs and bands were popular at the moment. But I do remember the swing revival starting this year and lasting into my early college years. "So I definitely want a skirt." I added.


"Look at you. Asking for a skirt." she laughed. "Who are you and what have you done with my sister?"


A poodle skirt would be awesome and retro, but Christina didn't have that in her closet. Neither did Cindy. So we settled on a conservative knee length black skirt that I most likely used for band concerts. We decided on a light purple - or as Cindy called it - lilac - button down blouse over a white tank top.


The phone rang and my mom called me into the kitchen. "Chris, It's for you."


"Hello?" I answered.


“Hi Christina." It was Fay.


"Hey." I replied. "What's up?"


"I was wondering what the plan was for tonight. What kind of activities are we doing?" she asked.


"Have you ever been swing dancing?" I asked.


"Swing dancing?" she asked. "Like that movie last year, Swingers?"


"You know it?" I asked, surprised. I myself didn't even see that movie until I was in my mid-20's. For some reason it resonated with my group of male friends.


"Yeah, I saw it with a group of friends. It was pretty cool. Or at least the dancing part of it."


"So yes - that's exactly what we're doing. I found a ballroom that does open dances for all ages.  The beginning has a quick beginner lesson."


"That's so cool!' she said. "Are we getting food beforehand?"


"Yeah" I said. Quick think of something easy. "I was thinking- a sandwich shop. Something light."


“Sounds great to me!" she replied


"Awesome." I checked the clock. It was 4 o'clock now. I've got two hours. "I'm going to get ready. See you at 6?"


"See you at 6" she replied. "Bye"


"Bye" I hung up the phone. I'm feeling really good about this. I returned to my bedroom to finish my outfit with Cindy.


"You should cover up your road rash." Cindy tossed a pair of rolled up knee-high socks that she used for cheerleading.


"Thank you so much for your help." I said to her.


She gave me a hug. "Thank you for letting me help. This was really cool. Good luck!"


I didn't realize that from Cindy's point of view, her older sister treated her like an older brother would and kept her at a distance. I guess that's a casualty of the way the guardian angel gender-swapped me. Cindy never really had a sibling who acted like a sister. I have to admit that I've enjoyed spending more time with Cindy. And yet it's already different from Tony and Cindy's brother-sister relationship.


* * *


I showered, reapplied my makeup, put my contacts back in, and dressed up for dancing. I was nervous. It made putting on my makeup a little tricky with my hand shaking.


I found a clutch in my closet and piled in my licence and some cash into it. I made sure I had enough to cover food and event tickets.


"I'm heading out." I said to my mom.


"Don't forget it's a school night" she said.


I got into my car. Let's find some mood music. I wasn't feeling any of my five CDs so I just let the radio play. Hootie and Blowfish's "Time" was playing. That works for now.


I pulled out of the driveway. It's showtime.



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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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