Chapter 3 - A Mile In Someone Else’s Shoes

Masquerades 101 by Emily


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Synopsis: Victor and Nicole start their day, going to class, pretending to be each other

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Victor


The walk from Nicole and Alexis’s on-campus apartment to Nicole’s first class was pleasant. It was already warm outside and I could tell that it was going to be a hot day. I was keenly aware of a cool breeze traveling up the skirt I was wearing. I’m not going to lie, it was actually nice and a nice reprieve from the late summer heat. It kinda makes me wonder why skirts don’t appear in men’s wardrobes at all.


I also noticed the way I walked was different. My legs were shorter so I had to take more steps. I also noticed I swayed my hips as I walked. It was distracting at first, but it eventually faded away as I got used to it.


As I walked to class, I still felt awkward. After all, I was wearing a dress. I was also very aware of guys checking me out. Normally, I keep to myself and I didn’t make eye contact. Me in my own body is typically invisible to the rest of the world.  But I noticed every guy I walked passed tried making eye contact with me. I smiled, looked down at the sidewalk and kept walking. 


I could see the Business building up ahead. I felt a hand grab my shoulder. I turned around to see a girl right behind me trying to get my attention.


“Nicole, wait up.” she said. “I was calling your name.”


Was she?  I forgot to listen out and answer to the name “Nicole.”


“Hi.” I said unsure how to greet her. She looked familiar. I think I was in the same art class with her freshman year. We never spoke a word to each other. This “Hi” might actually be the first conversation.


“So where were you last night?” she asked. “Why didn’t you come out with us? I’ve missed you all summer.”


Shit? How do I answer this? “Wait hold, on - I got a text.” I told the girl. Quickly I retrieved my cell phone from the purse and quickly texted Nicole. I texted “Quick, why didn't you go out last night?” I resumed my attention back at the girl. “Sorry. I guess I just wasn’t feeling it. You know, a rough night. Lots to do today.”


My phone pinged back. “Had a fight with Tyler.”


“And I had a fight with Tyler.” I added this piece of new information.


“Yeah.” she said. “I heard about it. Who’s texting you?”


“My roommate.” I responded quickly.


“Your roommate? Lexi is my best friend too. Why are you acting so strange?”


I felt so unprepared right now to pretend to be a complete stranger. “I don’t know.” I said. “Ever since I got back…. I… uh.”


“Had anxiety?” she said.


“Yes!” I said agreeing with her.


The girl had a concerned yet…annoyed look. Did Nicole use that excuse a lot?


Just then a girl walked right past us, smiled and said “Hi Nicole, Hi Madison.” She kept walking to class.


Oh, so this must be Madison. I remember Alexis saying something about her.


My phone buzzed again and I looked down to see the next text. “You need to get to class!”


“Who’s phone is that?” Madison asked.


“Mine, I got a new phone.”


“Really?” she said putting her hand on her hip. “Miss ‘“I have to have the latest iPhone” changed to an LG?”


“Hey now, it was the best value for the money.” I defended myself. I realized that’s probably not what Nicole would say. Shit, I need to correct myself. What would Nicole say? “I mean, it’s a loaner. I dropped my phone. The screen cracked. It got wet. They gave me this…” I looked down at my uninspired yet very functional phone. “...ugly... thing.”


“Oh.” she said.


“Listen, Madison.” I said. “I really need to get going to class.”


“Of course.” she said. “Talk to you later? Tell me about your summer?”


“Absolutely.” I responded.


We parted ways and I sped-walked to Nicole’s class. Hopefully Madison will forgive Nicole for acting a little strange later. Madison certainly seemed annoyed at me - or rather at Nicole. I’ve seen enough body swap movies to know that sometimes you have to improve the other person’s life. Maybe I need to make Nicole less annoying to her friends.


I walked into the classroom and sat down at the desk farthest from the teacher. 


I texted Nicole back. “I suck at this. It’s hard being you. I ran into Madison. She was questioning everything.”


When class started, the teacher passed around the syllabus then took “role”.


As the professor was calling names alphabetically, it occurred to me I didn’t know Nicole’s last name. I could accidentally respond as “here” to the wrong Nicole. I quickly fished Nicole’s ID from my wallet.


“Nicole Rosch.”


Just then the professor called Nicole’s name.


“Here!” I responded.


OK. Mission accomplished. Maybe I can sneak out of class now.


* * *


Nicole


Since I had time to kill, I decided to walk back to Victor’s apartment to change the clothes I was wearing. I was feeling self conscious in these day-old clothes. It was also getting hot outside, and these baggy jeans were hot and unflattering.


I’ve only been gone from my own apartment 5 minutes when I got a frantic text from Victor asking what I did last night. I suppose he must’ve run into someone I know. I reminded him to get to class and stop socializing.


I approached Victor’s apartment complex and looked at the apartment doors. Which one is Victor’s again? They all look the same. I took the key out and tried the first door I came to. Didn’t work. I tried the next door. That one worked.


I walked into the apartment and I looked around, eyeing the mess that Victor left me. I picked up the day old pizza and threw it into the trash. At least I think it was a day old. 


I walked into his bedroom and took an inventory of his clothes closet. Mostly T-shirts. A few button down shirts. I scanned the t-shirts. Sports teams and video game shirts. All were various neutral-earth-tone shades. Ugh. Guys’ fashion is so bland. I found one plain dark grey shirt and pulled that out.


I opened his drawers looking for shorts. I found his underwear and sock drawer, then his jeans drawer, before finally finding his shorts drawer.


I changed into the fresh shirt and cargo shorts and deposited the dirty clothes into his hamper. I emptied the contents of my pink wallet into the cargo shorts. I figured if i was going to be a guy for a day, I might as well take advantage of having pockets.


I know I didn’t want to walk around campus in flip flops so I took out a pair of low-cut white socks… ok. All he had was white socks.


On the floor were a pair of cross trainers, I put those on and tied them.


I felt better. I’m sure I could use a shower, but I just wasn’t ready to do that yet.


I stopped in the mirror to admire my hand work.  Yuck.  Victor’s clothes are so uninspired.  As are most guys' clothes.  How are you supposed to show off your figure if it's hidden behind saggy shorts?


I had nothing to do. Everything I needed to get accomplished today was in Victor’s hands. Hopefully he was able to do the simple task of not getting me dropped from my classes. 


It felt weird to have nothing to do and be bored. I should really finish that internship application, but my laptop is back at my apartment.


I paced around Victor’s apartment. He had some pictures hanging up in his bedroom. It looked like Victor’s family. Victor was in it, with what appeared to be his parents, and maybe a younger sister. 


I looked around and saw no evidence of friends. Does Victor have any friends? If there’s a reason for this body swap, so far that’s my leading contender. Maybe I need to help him make friends.


He had an old bed sheet covering something standing up in the corner of his living room. I lifted the sheet to see a canvas on an easel. I pulled the sheet completely off to get a better look at it. It was an abstract painting. I suppose Victor is into painting. He’d get along with Madison. I laid the sheet back over the painting.


I turned back to the mirror again. Victor certainly isn’t bad looking. He could totally be cuter if he took better care of himself. He’s certainly not my type though.


In his fridge was a case of beer, a case of soda and some packages of lunch meats. “Typical guy” I said to myself.


My phone started ringing. Is it Victor again? Oh wait - it’s Tyler. I couldn’t answer the phone with Victor’s deep voice, so I didn’t pick it up.


Seconds later I saw a text message from him.


“Hey Nikki. I’m sorry about last night. Please call me.” the message read.


I took a deep breath, and texted back. “Can’t talk right now. Still angry.” Then it occurred to me that I should be in class. I added “I’m in class right now.”


Hopefully that holds him off long enough for Victor and I to switch back tonight.


Speaking of, I hope Victor is doing OK in my class. I glanced at the time. It’s time for me to head to out to class too.


* * *


It was a 20 minute walk to the Fine Arts building. I honestly can say I’ve never been to this building so it took me a while to actually find it.


I was prepared for people to recognize me, just as Victor said happened to him earlier. I was able to walk to the building and into the classroom unnoticed. I tried to present myself as a confident male. I would try to make eye contact with people. Nobody noticed me.


I sat down finally. I think this is the first time I’ve sat down since I woke up today. My legs were killing me. If the key to swapping back is walking a mile in someone else’s shoes, then I think we have that one covered. I then felt something uncomfortable in my groin. I adjusted my butt in the seat, but it hurt more. I think I realized…I was sitting on my um… balls.


I looked around and nonchalantly tried to adjust them through my shorts. It took a few seconds but I was able to relieve the pressure. How do guys deal with this? 


Just then a girl in a cute dress walked by. I smiled at her as she passed me. She smiled back. I was jealous. I wish I had her figure. Then I felt it. I was getting another hard on. Arg. I cross my legs - only to realize I couldn’t cross them.


Since I didn't have the ice pack with me, I decided to try to take my mind off of it, by reading… anything. The only thing I had on me was Victor’s schedule.


Victor only wrote down the times and the classroom numbers on this paper. So I actually had no idea what class I’m sitting in until the professor started class.


“Welcome to Introduction to Theatre.” she said as he closed the door.


Seriously? This was his class? I came to college to get a degree in business and find a good job well paying after college. What did Victor come to college for?


I expected the professor to pass around a syllabus. Instead, we went around the class giving our names and favorite play. 


I hated classes like this. I hated being put on the spot like this. Why do teachers insist on doing this to us? It was 2 people away from my turn. My breathing picked up. This was a bad idea. Lexi was right. I was wrong. I can’t do this.


The person next to me went, “Hi, my name is Joe. I’m a Studio Art major, my favorite..”


OMG. I need to get out of here. Fight or flight. What am I even doing here? The guy next to me finished, and the attention of the class just turned to me.


“Umm.” I said. “I’m Nic-” I froze. No. That’s my name. That’s not.. Shit. What’s my name supposed to be?


“Hi Nick.” the professor said sensing I was having stage fright. What’s your major?

Arg. I don’t know Victor’s major. “I’m a Marketing major.” I said, using my own major to just get through this awkward moment.


“Do you have any favorite performances?”


“I uh.” I’m sweating. “I haven’t been to a professional performance.”


“That’s more than OK.” the professor said, smiling. “That will change over the course of the semester. Thank you Nick.” Her attention turned to the student beside me.


I sat down. I wanted to vent. I needed Tyler. Or Lexi. The only other outlet I had at this moment was - my phone. I texted Victor. “I just had the most awkward experience in my life.”


The rest of the class was a blur as I came down from my anxiety. The professor dismissed the class, and I got up to flee.


I was about on my way out of the classroom when the teacher stopped me. “Nick?”


“Yeah?” I said sheepishly walking to her. 


“Is stage fright a common problem for you?”


Actually it was. I’ve always had problems giving presentations in my business classes. “Yes it is” I admitted.


“Have you considered taking Public Speaking?” she asked. “Since you’re a business major, there’s a Public Speaking elective you could take.”


“Thanks. I had considered it in the past, but I’ve loaded my schedule with other electives.”


“Well, then you’ll get your work cut out for you in this class. See you Wednesday, Nick” she said.


She keeps calling me Nick. Wait a second. The whole reason I came here was to make sure Victor was counted in the role. It would suck if I just wasted all of this time and anxiety. I turned back around and asked, “Did you take attendance?”


“Yes I did.” she said. “I did it as everyone was introducing themselves.”


“Oh - um, my name is - Victor.” I said.


“I figured as much.” she said. “Since I didn’t see a “Nick” or “Nicolas” and the only other person whose name wasn’t called was Victor. I assumed you went by your middle name or a nickname. Thanks for checking with me, though.”


I smiled and left the classroom. That was harder than I thought it was going to be. I leaned against the hallway wall catching my breath. This is the second time today I’m having an anxiety attack. Of all days to not have Tyler by my side.


* * *


Victor


Nicole’s first class was boring. The professor read verbatim from the syllabus, making me wonder what I was even doing in there. There were a few times I considered getting up and leaving, but the door of this particular classroom was up near the professor.


I spent the time staring at Nicole’s class schedule. I assumed from this schedule she’s some sort of business major. This class I’m in right now is a Business Statistics class. The professor was using a whole bunch of math terms that went way over my head. Then he started talking about probabilities.


Every time I heard the word probability, my mind went to how unlikely it was to body swap with a complete stranger. Maybe the professor can shed some light on the probability of that happening.


I was also hyper aware of the bra I was wearing.  It was too different.  It itched, the wire was digging into my chest.  I was sweating.  I kept trying to adjust it without anyone noticing me.


The class was over. Finally.


I found the nearest restroom.  I almost entered the men’s room but stopped before I entered the doorway.  That would’ve been embarrassing for all parties.  I walked to the next door over and entered the women's room and shoved my hand under my dress to fix this damn bra.  I think I got it.  Maybe.


A girl came in.  I took my hands out of my bra and dress, smiled and pretended to be adjusting the dress.  


“That such a cute dress.” this stranger said.


I forced a smile.  “Thank you.”


“Where did you get it?”


Umm.  What do I say here?  “I’m borrowing it from a friend.” I said. She looked content with that answer.  Cool.  The truth worked here.


The stranger smiled and walked into a stall.  I exited the women’s room as quickly as I could.  Thankful the bra was no longer bothering me.


Nicole’s second class was in this same building in 20 minutes. I was able to find the next room rather easily, which gave me time to sit at my desk and play on my phone.


My phone started ringing. I looked down at it. It’s Mom. I certainly can’t answer this right now. I let it go to voicemail.


The class started, and like the previous class, the professor handed out the syllabus. I looked down at it. Marketing Strategy using Information Technology. Wow, that’s a title. 


Unlike the previous class, this professor handed out something else. “What I’m passing around now is a case study. I’m going to give you 15 minutes to read it, and we’ll have a class discussion on it.”


What? He wants us to do work right now? On the first day of class? Shit.


The person in front of me handed me a stack of papers. I took one stapled packet and passed the rest behind me. I looked down at the case study in front of me. A wall of text. I tried to read it. But I got incredibly bored before I finished the first paragraph. 


Can I fake reading this? Can I get up and leave? I looked around as the rest of the class sat in silence, reading. Shit. I’ll guess I’ll try to read this again.


* * *


That was painful. The case study was boring. The class discussion after that was boring. I was even called on to give my thoughts. I successfully managed to bullshit my way through an answer by repeating a previous classmate’s answer. During class, Nicole texted me, but I couldn’t respond as the teacher was watching us like a hawk.


At least I got through it. I don’t know how Nicole does it. I was frustrated. I was angry. I was starving. 


Maybe I should reward myself with food. That yogurt was absolutely not enough to get me through the morning. I had time before my third class so I went to the nearest on campus food establishment.


The student union’s food court was the nearest to get food. I picked up a nice juicy burger and fries. Actually it didn’t look that great of a burger. It was mass produced for a campus after all, but I was starving. OK. I picked up a second burger too. I was hungry.


I pulled out cash from my wallet and I bought my lunch. I decided to sit alone at a table. I quickly unwrapped the foil off my lunch. The aroma smelled so good.


I poured some ketchup on the burger and fries and bit into the burger. Oh, this tastes so good. This is like heaven. Nicole must be starving this body.


* * *


Tyler


I was feeling extremely guilty for the way I left things with Nicole. I tried calling her and texting her, but her text message back indicated she still wasn’t speaking with me. I was getting worried that I seriously damaged our relationship.


Granted I realize I might be on the fence whether or not she was the one, long-term, I mostly expected us to break up after graduation, not at the beginning of Senior Year.


After my morning class, I decided to go see her. I didn’t know her class schedule yet, so I was just hoping to catch her between classes. I hadn’t been to her place yet this semester. I know she was rooming with Alexis this year. Her previous roommate went and moved off campus with her boyfriend. I liked Nicole’s friends. Alexis was very friendly and down to earth. Madison was nice, but I kinda sensed she didn’t like me. I’m not sure why though. 


I followed a resident into their dorm and went looking for their room. When I got to their floor, I found their apartment with their names taped to their door. I knocked on her apartment door only for nobody to answer. 


Resigned to defeat, I went to my next class. I hadn’t had lunch yet, so I decided to stop at the student union food court for a snack, maybe I’ll have a full lunch after class. 


After I picked up and paid for a chicken sandwich and fries I saw her - my girlfriend. Just as beautiful as always. Nicole was sitting at a table all by herself. Now is my opportunity to apologize.



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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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Joejedfjsj

Good stuff, can’t wait to see where this goes.
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Emily

Awesome! This is going to be a slower one like Second Chances, but when it gets going - it's not going to let up!
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Joejedfjsj

Wonderful, “the week I turned into Erin” was a good book in many aspects such as the actually story and I could see you where trying to fix some of the problems that you made in “second chances”. but where I felt it wasn’t so good was the pacing of the story. Yet in “second chances I feel like you almost perfected the pacing. I hope you find the sweet spot in between.
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