Chapter 20 - Expect the Unexpected

Masquerades 101 by Emily


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Synopsis: Tyler comes out to Vicky. Nick follow up on that anonymous tip.

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Vicky


Non-binary? Is that what Tyler was?  I looked into his eyes and saw his vulnerability. He was looking to me for approval.  This took me by surprise. I don't know why it did. Was I too busy defending his masculinity to see it?


I leaned in and gave him a big hug. “Let’s talk upstairs.” I said.


I held his hand and escorted him into my building and up to my apartment. I unlocked the door and we both went inside.


“Talk to me Nicole.” he said. “You’re being quiet.”


I could see his eyes were watery. I didn’t mean to hurt him. I just wanted to talk in private. “I’m still processing this.” I said. “I’ve never.. I mean.. I don’t know how or what to say.” I could feel tears forming inside my own eyes.


“Say you still love me.” he said, choking up.


“I do.” I replied. Crap. Here I was avoiding the L word. He needed to hear it from me. I stepped closer to him and looked him in the eyes. I could feel my heart flutter. I wiped a tear from his cheek. My thumb smeared the face paint. “I love you Tyler.”


“I love you too Nicole. So much.”


I internally cringed hearing him use the name Nicole. He’s been calling me Nicole for 2 months without knowing any better. But I just confessed to him my love and all I wanted to hear was my own name back. I just really wish he’d call me Vicky. 


I needed to put my own feelings aside for a moment as I process what he’s trying to tell me. “Talk to me Ty.” I said. “I don’t understand. This is new to me.” This is true. My highschool was more or less on the less diverse side. I know this school is more diverse, but with my self isolation over the past 3 years I hadn’t really befriended anyone different than me.


He took a deep breath. “So I’m non-binary. Not all non-binary people are the same. I kinda go back and forth on whether or not I feel masculine or feminine. Or simply androgynous.”


“How long have you felt this way?” I asked.


“Since high school.” he replied.


“Since high school?” I repeated. “Why didn’t you tell me sooner?” The moment I said that I realized he likely did, and now I was worried about the answer I was going to get back.


“I was dropping you hints” he said, his voice choking up again. “For years. Then there was that time you told me to stop acting like a girl and act more like a man. Or when you defended your parents when they made fun of me. That really hurt me. I felt I couldn’t come out to you.”


“Oh no.” I said, my voice choking up. I was crying now. I heard Nick’s voice echo “not normal” in my head. I could also hear Jim Rosch’s hateful cackle. I wanted to tell Tyler that wasn’t me. That wasn’t me Tyler. That wasn’t me. I would never do that. 


Either I tell him the truth right now or I apologize for Nicole’s behavior. I can’t. I can’t tell him the truth. It would break him. I have to apologize for something I didn’t do. I got up and gave him a hug. “I’m sorry. I’m sorry.” I was petting his head, and he held onto me tight. “I’m here for you. I love you.” I do love him. I was trying to avoid this truth. It’s weird how such a conversation made me admit it to myself. “I love you.” I said it again smiling.


Alright, so my boyfriend is non binary. He acts femininely. What does that mean for me? Well, since I was a straight guy two months ago, dating a more feminine person doesn't really phase me too much. Maybe that’s why it hasn’t phased me up until now. If Tyler acted more masculine, would I not have fallen in love with him so quickly?


“Um.” I said, wiping the tears from my own cheek. I saw smeared paint on my fingers. “How does this work for us? Do I call you something different? Do you use different pronouns?”


“I still go by Tyler.” he said. “I mean - I have gone by Taylor before. Just not in public.”


“Taylor.” I repeated with a smile.


“But it’s still Tyler right now. Maybe one day I’ll let you meet Taylor.”


“I look forward to it.” I said.


“He She They. My preferred pronouns are dependent on how I feel. But I accept them all. This moment I’m really feeling “They.””


“OK” I said. “This is new for me. I may make mistakes in the beginning.”


They hugged me again. “I love you Nicole. I should’ve done this sooner. You’re the best girlfriend ever.”


I hugged them back. Maybe everything happens for a reason. If they came out to Nicole sooner, would she have dumped them?


Suddenly the door opened, breaking the moment Tyler and I were having. It was Lexi.


“We need to talk.” she said. She noticed Tyler was with me.. “Oh, hi Tyler.”


I wiped my face. “This isn’t a good time Lexi.”


“It has to be now.” she said. “Tyler, please excuse us.”


Tyler nodded and walked to my bedroom. Lexi grabbed me and pulled me outside the apartment.


“OK” She said, when the door closed behind us. She took a deep breath. “I kinda want to ask what was happening back there with Tyler but I have to talk about what happened at the game.”


“Brandon was lying his ass off, that's what was happening” I said.


“Brandon says that Victor was a crazy lunatic.” Lexi countered.


“Well Brandon is a liar.” I said. “He’s the crazy lunatic.”


“He has done nothing but treat me like a princess.”


“I have treated you like a friend. You’re one of the first people I’ve trusted in years, Lexi”


She shook her head. “Maybe he’s changed.”


“You’re in love and denial. He hasn’t changed at all. He kept trying to flirt with me behind your back. He did it 2 months ago at the pool. He did it back there at the game.”


I could see Lexi’s eyes starting to water. “Someone is lying to me. It’s either my boyfriend or my roommate.”


“I have never lied to you.” I said calmly.


“But you’ve been lying to everyone else, Vic. It wouldn’t be hard for you to start lying to me.”


“It was never my idea to lie.”


“You can’t blame Nick for everything you are willingly doing. At some point you have to take responsibility for your own life.”


“You are the only one who knows the truth. I trust you. Up until now I thought you trusted me.”


“I don’t know what to trust anymore. You’re telling me my boyfriend has been lying to me. You’re telling me he’s flirting with you. Why would he do that? What possible motivation could he have?”


“I don’t know Lexi.” I said. “I wish I knew. All I know is that guy should not be trusted and you should be careful. I’m not telling you to dump him. But just be careful.”


“I will” she said. She was quiet for a moment. “What was happening back there?  With Tyler?”


“Tyler came out to me.” I said.


She forced a chuckle through her tears. “It’s about time.”


“You knew?”


“Of course I knew. Unlike you, Nick and Tyler, Madison doesn’t keep stuff from me. I’m surrounded by liars.” Her face turned into a frown again when she realized that her boyfriend might be lying too.


“Does Nick know?” I asked.


She sighed. “I don’t know. If he does, he’s in denial. What did Tyler actually say to you?”


“That he’s non binary and he… sorry... they…. go by he, she, they”


“I didn’t know about the pronouns. That might be new for… them.”


“This is all new to me.” I said.


She chuckled and shook her head.


“What?” I said


“Vicky, you changed your name and pronouns too” she said.


She had a point. I hadn’t even considered that. “I did, didn’t I? But that felt natural.”


“I bet this feels natural to Tyler too.” she said. “Vicky, let me just come out and ask. Are you transgender?”


I figured either Nick or Lexi would ask this question eventually. I’m surprised it took them two months. I asked myself this question after I insisted Nick and I change our names and pronouns. Why did I force us to do that? I let out an exasperated breath because I didn’t have a good answer. To her or to me. “If you would’ve asked me 2 months ago I would’ve said no. It’s hard to explain. I feel like whatever made us swap is also suppressing my male side. I feel fine being a woman. I’m actually excited about expressing myself outside of paint and a canvas. But I feel this is artificial. It’s hard to explain. In my head, I’m still Victor.” 


Lexi came over and gave me a hug. She then started crying. “Someone is lying to me. I don’t know who to trust.”


I hugged her tightly. “Let’s go inside. The 3 of us can have a good cry together.”


We walked together back into the apartment.


“Actually,” she said. “I kinda just want to be alone right now, Vic. I’m sorry.”


“Of course” I replied as she walked into her room and closed the door behind her. I walked to my room where Tyler was sitting on my bed waiting for me. His face paint was a smeared mess. I hated to see what my face looked like too.


“What was that about?” they asked.


“I don’t approve of her boyfriend. She’s not taking it well.”


“Well, it’ll all work out.” they said. “You and Lexi have been friends longer than I’ve known you.”


I smiled and they came off the bed and gave me a big hug.


“Sorry” I said. “This was supposed to be your moment, not mine.”


“I’m OK,” they replied. “A huge weight has been lifted. I feel great.” They leaned in and we kissed.


Aside from what I’m going to do about Lexi and Brandon, the only other question in my head for the rest of the night is - should I tell Nick that Tyler came out to me. What would be his reaction?


* * *


Nick


I rolled out of bed Sunday morning and got dressed and headed out to the kitchen to make some coffee for myself. While I was sitting there, I scrolled through my phone and found a new email. It was from that person from the internet forum that emailed me last week. I opened it and read it.


“You didn’t respond to my last email. Are you interested in locating the source of this magic or not?”


It occurred to me that I never finished sending that message during class. I responded back. “Yes. Are you available to talk today?”


I already made plans with Vicky to go clothes shopping today. I know, we’re cutting it close. Her internship starts tomorrow and we put it off until the day before. 


After my coffee, a quick breakfast and shower, the anonymous tipster responded to me. 


“Today is fine.” Then they provide an address. That’s only 5 minutes on campus. We can do that before shopping.


I then dialed Vicky.


“Hello?” she answered. She sounded groggy.


“Rough night?” I asked.


“Something like that.” she said.


“So. You. Me. The town center. Clothes shopping. This afternoon.”


“Yeah” she said. “What time?”


“You know what, Let’s shoot for 11. I got an e-mail from someone from the magic forum I posed to. I wanted to check out that first. We can make it an afternoon. I’ll come and pick you up.”


“OK.” she said. “I’ll see you then. Bye”


“Bye”


Alright. I feel like this day is getting off to a good start. I’ve got an hour to hit the gym, then go pick Vicky up.


Then just my phone buzzed with a text message from a sender I wasn’t expecting.



* * *


Vicky



Nick pulled up to my building, driving my car. I opened the passenger side of my car and got in. “On the way back, you should let me drive my own car.” I said, sitting down and putting my seatbelt on. I looked to Nick, who hadn’t responded yet.


“I’m sorry,” he said. “She insisted.”


I was confused for a moment until I turned around and saw my sister Hanna sitting in the back seat. I was stunned. What’s she doing here? I was thrown off my guard. “Um. Hi, you must be Victor’s sister-”


“Cut the BS, Victor.” she said. “I know the truth.”


I turned back to Nick. “You told her?”


“She overheard us talking on the phone. What was I supposed to do?”


“Why’d you bring her?”


“Um hello” Hanna interrupted. “I wanted to go shopping with my new sisters.”


I shook my head at hearing Hanna call me her sister.


“I didn’t invite her, she just came. She was already on her way here when I got off the phone with you.” Nick added.


Hanna had a devilish smile enjoying the fact she showed up unannounced.


I turned back around to face front. I was silent for a second as Nick drove the car. Then I turned back to Hanna. She was staring at me. “It’s good to see you Nana.” I said.


She smiled. “It’s good to see you too. Vicky.”


I rolled my eyes.  My sister just called me Vicky. I’m never going to hear the end of this.


“I told Hanna that we have an errand to run first,” Nick chimed in. “We’re going to pay this person a visit. Then we will go to the mall.”


“I’m so excited!” Hanna said. “I can’t believe how pretty you look!”


“Thank you” both Nick and I responded at the same time.


“So why didn’t you tell me?”  I said looking at Nick.


“I screwed up by going to your parents house.  You had an awful time with my family.  Did you really want to hear that Hanna and I went for ice cream and talked about you all night?”


“Wait - so this happened a week ago?  You went for ice cream too?”


“Nicole only said good things,” Hanna chimed in.


“Nick, we’re going to need to talk about this… later.  About telling each other the truth.”


“I didn’t lie.” he replied.  “It just didn’t come up in our conversations.”


“I thought we were passed withholding information from each other!”


“I’m sorry Vicky - I don’t want to tell you every detail of my day.  I would like some privacy.”


“You don’t need to tell me every detail, but my sister learning the truth is a big detail you should’ve told me.”  This reminded me that I hadn’t talked to Nick about Tyler yet.  But that happened less than 24 hours ago.


“Hey - no fighting” Hanna chimed in.  “I came to spend time with the two of you, not to hear you fight”


Nick and I stopped talking.  I chuckled to myself. This certainly isn’t how I expected today to go. Actually, now I’m annoyed. I wanted to get Nick in private so we can talk about Tyler’s coming out. About how she treated them. I’m certainly not going to talk about it now with Hanna around. 


* * *


We pulled up to a town home in a nearby neighborhood.

“You have arrived.” my car’s GPS announced. 


“House number 403” Nick said, parking the car into the nearest empty parking spot.


“Nana,” I said. “Maybe you should wait in the car.”


“Nah, I’m good.” she said. “I’m curious too.”


I didn’t push the matter further. The three of us got out of the car and walked to the door of the house. Nick was taking the lead, followed by me, and Hanna trailed behind. Nick knocked on the door.


A woman in her 30’s opened the door.


“Hi.” Nick said. “I’m looking for forum user-”


“Come in.” she interrupted. “I’ve been expecting you.”


The three of us walked into a messy house. A toddler was perched on the couch watching cartoons.


“Let’s sit in the kitchen and talk.” she said, leading the way.


We all sat down at the table.


“I’m Nicole.” Nick stated and turned to us. “And this is Victor and Hanna.”


“A boy named Nicole and a girl named Victor.” the woman said. “That sounds about right. I’m Courtney.” 


“So you said in your email, you saw magic at our university” Nick said.


“So I ran into the genie my sophomore year.” she replied.


“Whoa, wait” Nick interrupted. “Did you just say genie?”


“Yes I did.” Courtney replied.


“From the Disney movie?” I chimed in.


“From Arabian mythology, yes.” Courtney said.


“OK.” Nick said standing up, looking annoyed. “Sorry for your time”


I pulled Nick by his shirt back into his chair. “Stop. Let’s hear her out. We’re already here.” I turned back to Courtney. “Continue, please”


“So, when I was going to school there - just over 10 years ago - I was walking from class, and I was behind this frat guy. A girl walked past us from the other direction. The guy stopped and pulled out something and another person appeared in a cloud of smoke. I had no idea what was going on at the time, but looking back on it, it could only have been a genie. Anyway, the frat guy asked the genie something - the genie nodded - and that guy suddenly became very attractive. He didn’t change physically, but his aura just changed. It’s hard to explain. So he turned around and chased after that girl. I watched this whole thing happen.”


“What happened then?” Hanna asked.


“The girl was instantly smitten and was hanging on his every word. Frat guy noticed that I was watching the whole thing. He asked me if I was jealous. I couldn’t speak. The thing is - I was smitten too. Whatever magic he had made him so irresistible. He asked me to join him, so I did. The memory of that day is fragmented. I do remember the genie apologizing to me and promising he’d erase the memory.”


The three of us glanced around at each other. Courtney had her eyes closed. Whatever memories she hasn’t told us yet must be painful.


“Ummm.” I said, unsure about what to ask next.


She continued.  “If you’re wondering if both the girl and I had sex with this guy - against our free will, the answer is yes.” 


We were silent. I felt a cold chill run down me.  I’m not sure I want to hear the rest of this.


“When I woke up the next morning,” she continued. “I was in this body, with no recollection of the previous day.”


“In that body?” Nick asked.


“Yes.” she said.  “This body you see is the girl that walked passed us. I was a guy. I was a straight male.”


I wasn’t expecting that. I feel like she should’ve led with that. “So you and the girl body-swapped? Like us?” I asked.


“But I don’t remember it.” she said. “In fact, I was given some of her memories so that when I woke up, I thought nothing was different. When I realized what had happened I tried looking for my original body, but never found him.”


“Ever?” Nick said.


“Never. I found the missing person’s report. He’s presumed dead.”


“I’m sorry.” I said. “That must’ve been rough. I’m only getting through this because Nick and I have each other’s back.”  I glanced over at Nick, making sure he heard that part.


“But your experience - that’s not our experience,” Nick said. “We didn’t have any memories altered.”


“Or did we?” I chimed in. “Neither of us remember swapping. We woke up the next morning in each other’s bodies.”


“I think the genie thought he was trying to help me.” Courtney said. “He did this to my memories. It's like I remember the actual event differently. I have conflicting memories. Things I said and did. I remember going with that guy. And I also remember not going with him and having an uneventful evening in my dorm.”


“So you remember being both people?” I said. “How do you know who you really are?”


“I certainly had an existential crisis when these memories started resurfacing. I realized I had more memories of me as a guy than I did of Courtney’s original life. The genie must’ve just given me enough of Courtney’s memories for me to continue leading a normal life in college.”


“Do you now remember… actually swapping?” Nick said, swallowing hard.


“Yes. The frat guy had sex with the girl. Then he turned to me and had the genie swap our bodies so he could have sex with me. I remembered the out of body experience. Then I remember seeing that monster over me. I remember being stunned, confused and disoriented... as he raped me.”


“Fuck.” Hanna whispered to herself. “I should’ve stayed in the car.” 


“Did you report him?” I said. “Did you tell anyone? How could you let him get away with-.”


“Vic, stop.” Nick said, squeezing my leg.


“How could I?” Courtney answered. “I was blissfully unaware of what happened for a whole year. It wasn’t until I started getting glimpses of my previous life that I knew something was wrong.” 


Nick was silent and had his face in his palms. He looked up and wiped tears from his cheek. “I’m sorry for what happened to you. Regarding the magic. I’m not sure this is helpful. This is very different from our experience. We weren’t given each other’s memories. We haven’t had memories changed or altered.”


“I have.” I said, remember last night’s conversation with Brandon.


Both Nick and Hanna looked at me shocked. 


I was shocking myself too. Is this what really happened? “Not about me and Nick.” I clarified. “I was talking with my former roommate Brandon. We had a falling out. He claimed he remembered our fights differently. I dismissed it as him being a dick. But he doesn’t know I’m Victor, so I don’t know why he’d lie to me.”


“I found that focusing on one event could help jog the memory.” Courtney said. “I had to go through a lot of therapy to get the full picture of what happened to me. Even 10 years later there are still holes in my memory.”


“Well. He stole from me.” I said.


“Do you actually remember him stealing?” Courtney said. “Tell me that memory.”


“Well.” I started. “I remember going to grab my wallet one evening. It was empty.” Wait. I see money in that memory. “No. No it wasn’t. I opened it up. It had money in it. Brandon was standing there watching me. Waiting for me. He had asked for something. He reiterated, “Give me your money.” So I did.” I suddenly got frightened at this revelation.  I pulled away from the table and stood. “Nick, you're right. We should go.”


“Holy shit” Hanna said. “Does your former roommate have a genie?”


We were all silent. I was still standing up. I wanted to leave. Right now. I spent the last 3 years isolated because of what happened with Brandon. Was that not real? Was it worse? 


Nick noticed that I was ready to go. He stood up. “Thank you, Courtney. I’m sorry we brought painful memories.”


Courntey nodded and we walked out of her house.


“Well that was a dead end.” Nick said, walking back to the car.


“What do you mean?” I said. “We have a lead now. We have to tell Lexi.”


“Tell her what? Genies? Do you really believe Brandon had a genie and wished you’d give him money?”


“Kinda.” I said. “It fits.”


“She’s telling you what you want to hear. You hate your former roommate and don’t want your current roommate dating him.”


Hanna came beside me and punched my arm


“Hey!” I said, rubbing my arm. “What was that for?”


“Why didn’t you tell me or Mom and Dad about that?”


“I don’t know,” I said. “I didn’t want you to worry.”


“Well, now I’m worried.” she said. “About both of you.” She got into the car.


“Wanna drive?” Nick asked. “Take your mind off of it?”


“Sure” I said, walking around to the driver's side. I re-adjusted the seat and mirror to accommodate the body I’m currently in and started the car. The familiar growl came from the engine. OK. I may have hated this car and what it represented, but I kinda miss driving it.


* * *


We drove to the town center. My mind was still back on Brandon and the genie, but clearly Nick has moved past that and was focused on clothes shopping. I was hoping this would take my mind off of it. He dragged us into the first clothing store we came to and to the business casual section for women. As he scanned the racks, he said “Get a cart.” So I did.


When I came back he piled in skirts, slacks, and some various color tops. Then various suit jackets.


“Isn’t that a lot of clothes?” I said.


“Yeah, you’re going to try them on, dummy.”


Then Hanna came back with several dresses and placed them into the cart too. “Try these on too.” She smiled at me.


“The dressing room is right there.” Nick said, pointing.


I grabbed a stack of clothes and walked into the dressing room. I took off the shirt and jeans I was wearing and tried on a cream blouse and black skirt. The skirt was longer than the ones I was used to. 


“Do you want me to come out?” I asked.


“Yes.” I could hear both Nick and Hanna say.


I walked out the dressing room and walked to the nearest mirror. “It’s classy” I said. “I look like a school teacher.”


“Tuck the shirt in” Nick said looking me over. “I like it. I think the shirt is one size too big. Lets try the next side down.


I returned to the dressing room, found the same cream shirt in a smaller size and returned to them.


“Perfect,” Nick said. “Try the pants.”


Hanna came out of the adjacent dressing room wearing a floral top and designer jeans.


“Oh Hanna,” Nick said. “I love that on you.”


Hanna beamed and returned to her dressing room.


I returned to mine and exchanged the skirt for women’s slacks. This at least felt a little more natural even though I barely dressed up as a guy.


I showed it to Nick. “I don’t like the length of that. Let’s try again”


And that’s how it went. I tried on everything and narrowed down the sizes. Then I insisted I get some casual clothes. I got some designer jeans. Some flannel shirts and some sweatshirts. We put back the sizes we didn’t need and brought our cart to the register to pay. 


It was my idea to move on to the underwear section. I was eager to try out new styles. Nick chuckled and I ignored it. Hanna was all about it and helped me pick out new bras and panties. She even got some for herself.


Hanna leaned over and whispered into my ear. “You are so pretty. I love the outfits you got.”


“Thank you.” I said. At first I was embarrassed at letting my little sister help pick out feminine clothing.  But she was being sweet.  It felt validating to have this experience with my sister. For the first time, I no longer felt like an imposter. If we don’t swap back, I can certainly live like this and be happy about it.


“You’ve come a long way from when you used to put mismatched clothes on my barbies” she said.


I turned red.


Nick chuckled. “It’s OK Vic, we’re all girls here.”


“Yeah but” I said. I didn’t complete the sentence. I wanted to defend my male ego, but realized there really was no point, since I’ve been in a woman’s body for two months, have worn nothing but dresses and skirts in that time, just went clothes shopping with the two of them, and it was my idea to buy new bras and panties.


When we left the store we walked by a salon. Hanna stopped us. “We so need to get our nails done.”


“Well, I did mine last week” I said, holding up my merlot colored nails.


“Let’s try another color.” she said, tugging on my arm.


I sighed. “OK” I said, reluctantly.


“Have fun.” Nick said, sitting down on a bench.


“Ohhh no.” Hanna said, grabbing Nick off the bench. “I want both of my sisters with me.”


“Oh I dunno” Nick said. “I’d love to get a manicure with you, but in this body I think I'd be laughed out of the place.”


“No, it’ll be fine.” she said. “I’ll just say my brother lost a bet.”


I saw a smile on his face, as if he really did want Hanna to talk him into it. “OK” he said. “Vic, your sister can be quite convincing.” 


The three of us got our nails done. I went with a brighter red this time. Hanna went with yellow. Nick went with a blue.


When we were all done and about to pay, Hanna announced. “This is my treat!”


“No.” both Nick and I said.


“I’m not letting my little sister pay for us.” I said, firmly.


“You don’t understand.” she said. “This is like a dream come true for me. To go shopping and get my nails done with a sister. Besides, this is Mom and Dad’s credit card anyway” she chuckled. 


Nick chuckled too. I pouted. I hate using Mom and Dad’s money.


Nick went over and hugged Hanna. “This was actually one of my dreams too.” she said.


I rolled my eyes. Everyone is getting their wishes granted except me.


“We should get going.” Nick announced. “Look at those storm clouds. I don't want to get caught in that.”


* * *


Nick



When we left the nail salon, I couldn’t help staring down at my blue nails. I got a wave of euphoria every time I looked. This felt right. Yeah, these were still big masculine hands, but they seemed less imposing now.


“Nicole, are you OK?” Hanna asked. “You’ve been quiet.”


“I’m fine.” I said. “It’s just been a while since I had a manicure.”


Vicky drove us back to her place. When we arrived, it was pouring. 


“Should we wait for it to slow down?” Vicky asked.


“I need to get home before Mom and Dad send out a search party.” Hanna said.


“Where’s your umbrella?” I asked.


“I don’t have one.” Vicky replied.


“OK then” I said.


The three of us stepped out of the car and into the rain.


Hanna came to me first and hugged me tightly, despite us both getting wet. “Thank you. This was fun. Take care of my sister, Nicole.” Then she hugged Vicky. “Please keep in touch and stop being a stranger.”

“Hug Mom and Dad for me.” Vicky replied. “ I miss them”


Hanna then ran to her car.


“Do you want to come up and dry off?” Vicky asked me.


“Yeah” I said.


We grabbed our bags and ran into her apartment. We were soaked and dripped all over the hallway. When we got into my old apartment, Vicky said. “I have some of my old shirts that I've been using as night shirts that you can use.” I followed her back into my old bedroom. She opened a drawer and pulled out a gray t-shirt for me.


“Thanks” I said, pulling off my soaked shirt.


“Wow Nick” she said. “Those are some serious pecs.”


“Thanks I guess” I replied. I wasn’t working out to get buff. I was working out to channel my anxiety and depression.


“Do you want to borrow the nail polish remover?” she asked.


“No.” I said, defensively clutching and hiding my fingers. I dropped the shirt she gave me. “Why?”


“Oh” she said. “No. I just thought you were only doing that for Hanna.”


“I like it.” I said. She gave me a weird look. Was it because this is her body, and I let Hanna talk me into getting nail polish on these fingers? Was she OK with that? I decided to change the subject. “Um, which outfit do you want to wear tomorrow?”


“I was thinking about this baby blue top and the black skirt. Maybe wear some opaque black panty hose. Those black flats.” She looked at me for validation. She still does that even though I think she’s getting really good at picking out and matching outfits. She doesn’t really need me anymore. 


I’m not sure how I feel about that. Will there be a day that I don't see my old body on a regular basis? “That will work perfectly.” I replied. I bent down to pick up the dry t-shirt she gave me.


“Since I have to get out of these wet clothes anyway, let me try all of this on.” she said. “Maybe I can see what combination looks best for the first day.” She stripped down to her bra and panties.


I wanted to tell her she didn’t need to. But I didn’t object to seeing my old body again. Especially seeing the remnants of the rain water slide down her neck and to her chest. Quick Nicole, think of something unsexy.


“Actually I’m going to try on this new bra,” She said. “It looked a little big in the store.” She handed me the new bra as she removed the bra she was wearing. Great, now she’s topless. I remember 2 months ago, she was extremely timid and shy.


I heard the apartment door open. 


“Lexi must be home” Vicky said, tossing her bra onto the bed. “I could use her opinion too.”


Good. Maybe I can excuse myself and let Lexi stare at Vicky’s naked body. God I missed that body. I was both turned on and envious at the same time.


Vicky turned around to face me and I saw her eyes widen and her face turn to shock.


I turned around to see Madison standing there behind me in the hallway.


“Mads?” I said, shocked.


“Umm. Sorry. Excuse me,” she said, running back down the hallway and out the apartment door.


“No wait.” I said. “It’s not what it looks like.” I caught up to her on the steps. “Mads stop!”


“What is it Victor?” she said, stopping on the landing to look up at me.


“It’s not what it looks like.” I said.


“Oh?” she said. “Then what is it, Victor? Cause it looks like my best friend is cheating on her boyfriend with you.”


“I’m not Victor.” I said. ‘I’m Nicole.”


She gave me a disgusted look. “I don’t understand.” she said.


“We swapped bodies.”


“That is some sick twisted shit, Victor” she said, and continued walking down the steps.


“That’s the truth!” I said following her. “I was helping her try on clothes for tomorrow.”


“Funny” she said, continuing to traverse down the steps. “That doesn’t explain why you have no shirt on.”


“It was wet. It’s raining. I still have pants on. You saw more skin between us at the pool. You have to listen-”


“No, you listen to me.” she said, stopping. “If you two are fucking around behind Tyler’s back. OK, fine, you’re both adults. But Tyler deserves to know. Nicole should break up with him rather than lead everyone on. And don’t lie about it.”


“I’m not lying. I am Nicole.” I said. “I can tell you things. Private things that only Nicole would know. We’ve done the same thing. We’ve gotten naked to try on clothes too!”


“Eww.” she said. “Did you and Nicole discuss intimate details - about me?”


“No.” I said. “I am Nicole! I haven’t told Victor anything!”


“Listen, Victor. Ha ha. I get it. You both were caught with your hands in the cookie jar. Own it. Tell Tyler, and move on with your affair” She walked out of the door and into the rain. 


“But Mads” I said. “Please don’t go.”


She kept walking.


I returned into the building and back up to Vicky’s apartment. “Shit.” I yelled, slamming the door behind me.


Vicky was standing in the living room in the T-shirt I was supposed to put on. “You cursed. Does that mean it didn’t go well?”


“I’m angry!” I said. “She didn’t believe me. Maybe because I’m in your body. Call her.” I suggested. “Maybe she’ll believe us if it’s coming from Nicole’s voice.”


Vicky grabbed her phone and dialed Madison’s number. After two rings it went straight to voicemail. She tried again. Same result. She left a message. “Hi Mads. It’s Nicole. Please call me back. We need to talk.” She turned to me. “Now what?”


My breathing started to increase. This isn’t how I wanted this to go. Mads is my best friend. More than a best friend. Lexi warned me about this. I can’t breathe. Oh no. Anxiety attack. “Vicky, I screwed up my friendship with Madison.” I said, clutching onto the counter.


Reactions: 😶 1

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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BenFan

That one felt kind of like falling into the blender and losing touch with what direction is “up”…
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Emily

That bad?
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Elron

Not just Nick's friendship with Madison. Madison can probably be reasoned with. Nick should be more concerned about what Madison is going to say to Tyler and how they will react. Nick and Vicky need to go see Tyler right now and tell them the truth. Courtney was really an eye-opener. So now a magic genie with the ability to swap bodies and alter memories. It's getting harder than ever to believe any memories from this group of people. There could easily be other swaps and memories going on. One common denominator is that Brandon is a douchebag. He did proposition Vicky while dating Lexi. That really did happen. Sigh, now I have to wait another whole week for the next chapter. Arrrrrrgh. And we are one chapter closer to the end. Double-Arrrrrrgh. Love your writing and your cliff-hangers.
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Elron

Sorry for the single blob of a paragraph. I had some line breaks in there but they all disappeared when I submitted.
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Emily

This group has a hard time opening up to each other. Will they Tyler right away? The plot is moving forward!
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Joejedfjsj

It’s that moment when you haven’t read a book for a while and then you spend all night reading. Just to find it ends on a cliffhanger. Damn
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Emily

At least there's a new chapter next Tuesday!
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Joejedfjsj

What I think we have been ignoring is who will Tyler pick, his new and debatably improved Vicky or try and help Nick get his body back
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marter

Omg. Poor Courtney and poor original Courtney. I can't wait to see what happens next. I hope they don't lose Tyler now too
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Emily

I love that you called her Original Courtney. Hopefully they don't lose Tyler. That'd be awful!
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marter

Lol I didn't know what else to call her. It's a really sad story
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Elron

Maybe Tyler is non-binary because Tyler really was Taylor and swapped into Tyler's body and given some memories to get him by, by the Genie? It took a long time for Courtney's original memories to come back; perhaps Taylor hasn't been Tyler long enough for the memories to surface? For that matter, similar swaps could have happened with Nicole and Victor. Nothing is 'for sure' anymore. Except Brandon, and Nicole's father, are douchebags. I sure would like to see the genie release some appropriate karma on both of them. Do you think we will see or hear from Courtney again, or is her contribution to the story complete? I'm just curious about her experiences after being caught up in the Genie's magic. And what happened to the fraternity guy and the original Courtney. Maybe a linked story someday?
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Emily

I love that this genie thing has opened up the imaginations of so many readers. I may revisit Courtney later in this story. And of course, the prequel possibilities.
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marter

Courtney's story is so sad though.
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Emily

It is. Our MCs better be careful.
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marter

I was thinking Vicky might have been a girl originally, but then Brandon must have wished something again which switched Nicole and her around.
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