Chapter 28 - Speechless

Masquerades 101 by Emily


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Vicky



When I got home Saturday night, I was afraid. More than I’ve ever been. The looming threat of Brandon - now his whole fraternity - was in the back of my head. If I was still Victor, I could just barricade myself in my apartment and only go out to class and not have to worry about anything or anyone. But I’m Vicky. I have friends. I have a boyfriend. None of us were safe. 


You’d think that me and my friends’ safety was the only thing on my mind. But it wasn’t. The other thing occupying my thoughts was Nicole - feminizing my body.


“I can’t believe she shaved my legs,” I said, poking my head into Lexi’s room.


“Well, it was bound to happen.” Lexi replied. “Once she accepted she was trans, she’s going to try to reclaim some of her femininity.”


“What if people notice? What if my parents notice?”


“Men shave their legs too. I once dated a swimmer in high school. His legs, arms and chest - dolphin smooth.”


“But I’m not a swimmer.”


“Are you going to stop eating meat?”


I sneered. “Why would I stop eating meat?”


“You’re making changes to Nicole’s life. She’s making changes to Victor’s.”


“What if she starts actually transitioning and making permanent changes? My diet isn’t a permanent change.”


“Well, your relationship with Tyler kinda is.”


“How so?” 


“Tyler might be oblivious... or in denial, but Vicky and Nicole are very different people. If you swap back, I’m not sure Tyler can handle the return of the old Nicole. Thus you have made a permanent change to the Tyler - Nicole relationship.”


“Well… we’ll cross that bridge when we get to it. But Nicole...”


“Seriously, Vic,” she said, cutting me off. “You need to choose your lane.”


“Choose my lane?”


“Are you Victor or Nicole? You can't have both lives. There will be a point where you will need to choose a life. And you won’t get a choice.”


I sighed. Is that what I’ve been doing? “Have I been too controlling?”


“I’d say it’s been 50-50 up until now with that crazy abstinence pact Nicole put on you both.”


“What should I do?”


“I can’t tell you that Vic.” she said. “But you have to let Nicole live her life. And she needs to let you live yours.”


I sighed. Clearly, I wasn’t ready to let go of Victor. “What about swapping back?”


“Vic... Vicky.” she said. “That’s the first time you’ve even mentioned that possibility in a long time. I think you’ve already accepted your new life.”


I was silent. Lexi was always on point with her hard truths. I never had a friend quite like her.


“So let’s talk about the other thing.” she said in a somber tone, interrupting the silence.


“Brandon?”


“Yeah.” she said.


“We should be careful. We should avoid going out at night. At least until they catch him.”


“I agree.”


“That means no going to visit Tyler late at night. Same for him. Sure - spend the night at his, or have him stay here. We should suggest the same to Mads and Nicole.”


“So, you’re saying I should go to class and my internship, then come right home and stay there all night?”


“Yeah. Until we’re safe. We should talk to the RA too.”


“Ugh. I don’t want to talk to her. She hates me.”


“She doesn’t hate you, Vic. Let's go do this now before it gets too late.”


I begrudgingly followed Lexi down a flight of steps and to the RA’s room. The door was decorated with her name - Alaina and a bulletin board full of building events which I haven’t attended,


Lexi knocked on the door and Alaina answered.


“Hello ladies of 210.” she said. “What’s up?”


“We wanted to let you know that we might have a stalker.” Lexi responded. “My ex-boyfriend. He already assaulted Victor. We’ve already talked to the police, but he hasn’t been caught yet.”


“Oh wow.” she said. “I can make sure security keeps an eye out.”


“Thank you.” both Lexi and I said.


“Is Victor alright?” she asked. “I haven’t seen him around.”


“He’s recovering,” Lexi responded.


“His ego is bruised though,” I chimed in. Lexi elbowed me in the side.


“That’s good to hear. Hopefully he gets better,” Alaina said. “But if we’re going to beef up security, we need to talk about uninvited guests. We need to keep an eye out for people who don’t live here.” she said and looked directly at me.


“You want me to make sure my boyfriend doesn’t walk unescorted.” I said.


“Yup.” she said. “And your other boyfriend.”


I blushed, but wanted to correct her. Nicole is-


“And your girlfriend.”


‘Hey now - Madison is Lexi’s friend too.” I said.


“What the 5 of you do behind closed doors is your business.” Alaina said giggling. 


Lexi giggled too. It was nice to see her laugh. She’s been in a depressed mood since the Brandon incident.


“Just make sure people who don’t live here have proper escorts,” Alaina concluded.


This arrangement seemed fair I suppose. I wish I could just give Tyler, Nicole, and Madison a key, but alas we’re living in dorms not a private apartment. I'm just lazy and don’t want to walk down 2 flights of stairs to let them in, then walk back up those 2 flights.


“Thank you for letting me know about your ex,” Alaina added. “I’ll call campus security right now.”


“Thanks. Have a good night, Alaina” Lexi said.


We both walked back up to our apartment without saying a word. Lexi walked straight to her room. I’ve known Lexi for 2 months, and I know something’s off with her. And I believe I knew the reason.


She’s been there for me. It’s time to return the favor. I walked to her bedroom door. “Hey Lexi, can I come in?”


“Sure, Vic” she said. “What’s up?”


“You know it’s not your fault right?”


She was silent for a moment. She looked down to the floor. “I don’t know.”


“It’s not your fault. It’s his.”


She looked up at me with tears in her eyes. “I’m sorry. I’m supposed to be the strong one.”


I went over and hugged her. “You are strong. You’re the strongest person I know.”


“But I couldn’t resist him. I didn’t even know I was under a spell.” I could feel her hug me tighter.


“It’ll be OK.”


“He violated me.”


I held her tight as she cried into my shoulder. This brought up my own memories of Brandon. What he did to me when we were roommates, what he did to me at the restaurant. I cried too. “Remember what you told me after the restaurant.” I said through sobs. “We’re in a sisterhood. I’m here for you, like you were for me.”


“Thank you Vic” she mumbled.


Minutes went by and eventually we were both able to compose ourselves. I returned to my own bedroom and climbed into my bed. I wiped my tears away, recomposed my voice and called Tyler on my phone.


“Hey babe” they answered. “How was your evening with the girls?”


“It was good.” I replied. “Somber. We pretty much talked about this Brandon stuff.”


“Any word on that?” they asked.


“None” I signed. “Listen, Lexi and I agreed that we should try to remain at our places when not at class.”

“That’s a good idea” they said. 


I was really hoping Tyler would talk me out of it. Something about not letting fear run our lives, or something like that.


“I was thinking we could get away for the weekend. This way we don’t need to be looking over our shoulders.”


“Oh?” I said. This wasn’t what I was expecting, but it sounded interesting. “What did you have in mind?”


“My parents' house.” they said.


Didn’t Nicole tell me she’s never met Tyler’s parents? Is this a big deal? “That sounds great.” I replied.


“Awesome,” Tyler replied. ‘“I’ll let them know.”


After I hung up with Tyler, a smile broke through the fear and uncertainty. I get to meet Tyler’s parents. This relationship feels like it's getting real serious.


* * *


On Sunday, I noticed Alaina posted signs at each entrance warning residents about increased campus assaults and to not let unknown people in behind them. 


Tyler and I spent the evening gaming at his place, and doing homework. We filled in Josh on the drama we were currently experiencing. He was super emphatic and agreed that we should stay in - and avoid Tau Kappa at all costs. I spent the night at Tyler’s place. Tyler was in the mood for some sexy time, but I was feeling self-conscious about Josh hearing us through their thin walls.


On Monday, after class and my internship, we had Malbec Monday. This time we invited Nicole and Tyler and decided all of us would just have a sleepover. Lexi and I did rock-paper-scissors to determine who was going to be on door escort duty. I threw “rock” and she threw “paper.” So I had to make 3 separate trips up and down the steps for Madison, Nicole and Tyler. I certainly got my exercise that night. 


Madison brought up two bottles of wine to account for our growing numbers. Tyler rented the new Jumanji movie. He claimed the movie was Josh’s idea. I never saw the trailer for this, but this did come up in my body swap movie research and was on our list. So when one of the characters changed from a girl to a guy, those of us who know of mine and Nicole’s situation, held our breaths. I know I was fine, but I was worried this would set off Nicole’s dysphoria. I eyed Nicole out of my periphery and she just chuckled at the situation and took another sip of wine. I exhaled, and was able to relax.


Nicole and I barely spoke to each other before and after the movie. She avoided me and I avoided her. I also think Lexi and Mads helped keep us from a confrontation. Madison kept Nicole close by. It was Lexi who decided we should paint each other’s nails. Even Tyler’s. I felt bad for Lexi. She was essentially a 5th wheel since Tyler and I, and Nicole and Madison seemed to have paired off. She was handling everything as well as could be. I could tell she still felt enormous guilt for bringing Brandon into our lives. It wasn’t her fault. She knew that, but the guilt was still there for her. 


Tuesday, I managed to get my old video game system from Nicole so I could play Tyler remotely. She dropped it off after her class, but before I came home. Tyler and I both had homework to do, so we decided to not spend the night at each other’s places. It was just me and Lexi at home. I made sure our doors were locked and dead bolted.


On Wednesday, a week has passed since Nicole’s incident with Brandon. Nicole sent us a group text to tell us that the police still haven’t caught up to Brandon. He was hiding somewhere. Nobody knew where though. I had this gut feeling it was nearby. He wants the genie, and he thinks we have it. As the days go by, I get increasingly worried that Brandon will get desperate and strike during the daytime. There was also no sign of any TK members taking interest in us. While I was walking back to class, I had a feeling I was being watched. I heard a rustle, but it was just leaves. Nobody was in my immediate vicinity. I could see other students in the distance, and nothing around but grass, leaves and trees. I decided to pick up my walking pace.


That night, Tyler came over again. We played video games, and even taught Lexi how to play. After we were done with games and Lexi retired for the night - Tyler and I had hours of sex. Sex managed to calm my nerves down, and for these few hours, I didn’t have a concern in the world - except for pleasing Tyler that is. Tyler meanwhile certainly returned the favor and introduced me to the world of endless orgasms. Lexi banged on the wall at least twice. I don’t think I ever slept so well.


Thursday I spent the night at Tyler’s because we were going to pack and leave tomorrow right from there. Josh insisted he treat us to Chinese take-out. I didn’t complain. He was interested in how we were all holding up. I told him, the support from him, Mads and Tyler has been amazing. Never once did either of them blame us for bringing this Brandon drama into our lives. 


* * *


Before Tyler’s Friday morning class, we packed and loaded their car. I was hoping Nicole would see me off, but I hadn’t even seen her since Tuesday morning. When Tyler went off to class, I saw a text message. It was Nicole.


“Vicky. I’m not over Tyler. I’m not over you sleeping with him. I’m not over you stealing my life. I’m still angry at you. But I will eventually get over it. Not today though. Enjoy this weekend at Tyler’s parents. I’ve been waiting years for Tyler to take our relationship to the level you’ve allowed him to take it. One day I’ll accept you’re a better girlfriend than I was. Good luck. Nicole.” 


I could feel my eyes water up. I put my phone down on the counter. Nicole is still angry. But I feel this message might be the start of the healing process for all of us.  


I turned my attention to my attire. I was still in a t-shirt and jeans from earlier when we packed Tyler’s car. I wanted to change to make a good impression. I quickly returned to my own dorm.  When I walked in, Lexi was still home and in her room getting ready for the day.


“Lexi, what should I wear to meet Tyler’s parents?”


“Something nice,” she said looking up at me. “Not what you're currently wearing.”


“I could wear the clothes I wear to my internship.”


“No.” she said. “Vic, you’re meeting the parents, not going to a job interview.”


I thought for a moment. “Well there is this sweater dress I have hanging up. Let me try.”


I went to the closet and pulled out the beige sweater dress with the bunched up turtle-neck looking thing. I wonder what to pair with this. I found burgundy leggings. I quickly got dressed and returned to Lexi’s room.


“How’s this?”


She smiled at me. “It’s cute. You’ve come a long way Vic. I don't think you need my advice anymore.”


“But I like your advice.” I replied with a great big smile.


“Or maybe… just maybe you like being called cute.”


My face turned red. “Not at all” I walked away and returned to my room in embarrassment.


* * *


When Tyler got home from class, we got into their car and left the university. As I watched the campus disappear into the distance, I could feel a sense of relief. It’s been a long week of being paranoid. It warmed me to think of this weekend as both a vacation and the next step in my relationship.


During the drive, I was rehearsing what I was going to say to their parents. Then it occurred to me I don't even know Tyler’s last name. I’m sure Nicole knows it, but it has never come up during the past 2 months. I need to know how to address Tyler’s parents.


“Ty, what should I call your parents?” I asked Tyler. 


“I just call them Mom and Dad,” they said.


“Well I can’t call them that, silly”


“I guess Mr. and Mrs. Matthews until they tell you otherwise.” they said.


“Am I the first person you’ve brought home to them?”


“You are.”


“Oh God.” I said. “Now I’m even more nervous.”


“Don’t be nervous. You’ll do great.”


I decided to kill some time on my phone.  I reached into my purse and it wasn’t there.  Out of habit, I patted down my non-existent pockets.


“Shit.”  I said.  “I forgot my phone.”


“Where did you leave it?”  Tyler asked.


“I…  I left it on your counter.”


“Do you want me to turn around?”


I sighed.  I don’t really need it.  Hell, it’s not my phone to begin with.  But it is my only lifeline to Lexi, Madison, and Nicole.  And the internet of course.  “No.  Don’t turn around.  I have you to keep me occupied.”  I smiled and grabbed their right hand.  I saw them smile, though they kept their eyes on the road.


It was about a forty minute drive to Tyler’s. We pulled up to a new-ish looking house. Not quite as big as my own, but a huge upgrade from Nicole’s.


We both got out of the car. Tyler held out his hand.


“Should we get our bags?” I asked.


“Not yet.” they said. ‘We’ll come back for them after we say hi”


I took his hand and we walked to the door. Tyler opened the door and led me in. The walls were adorned with many family pictures. I’m sure I’ll see a young Tyler in them. I kinda wanted to stop and look at them, but Tyler led me further into the house.


Tyler’s dad was at the sink washing dishes. He smiled at us, grabbed a dish towel to dry his hands and walked over to Tyler with arms open, “Ty! Welcome home!”


Tyler and their dad embraced in a hug. Then Tyler’s mom came out from another room. “Honey!” She too gave Tyler a hug.


Tyler stood back and introduced me. “Mom, Dad, this is Nicole.” Ugh. I wondered what it would take for Tyler to start calling me Vicky?


“It’s great to finally meet you.” Mrs. Matthews said.


“Tyler has told us so many things about you...” Mr. Matthews added. “For 3 years.” She gave Tyler a snide look. “It’s about time. Welcome to our home, Nicole.”


I heard the front door open. “Is Tyler already here?” I heard a voice come down from the hall. Then another older woman, the same age as Tyler’s parents came into view.


“Aunt Kira,” Tyler said, and they hugged.


Aunt Kira let go of Tyler and looked at me. “And you-” she said. “Must be Nicole.”


“Guilty” I said, meekly. I didn’t expect to meet anyone else. Aunt Kira didn’t hesitate to come over and give me a hug.


“We were just about to get lunch ready,” Mr. Matthews announced.


“I have to send a few emails first,” Mrs. Matthews added. “There are some meats and cheeses on the island. Enjoy!”


I noticed the kitchen island had a whole spread of meats, cheese, olives, and various other antipasto items.


“Nicole.” Mr. Matthews said. “You’re 21 right?”


“Yes, sir,” I replied.


“You don't have to call me sir. Would you like some wine, or would you rather something else?”


‘Wine is fine.” I replied.


Mr. Matthews pulled out 5 wine glasses and poured wine into each one and passed them out to me, Tyler, and Aunt Kira.


“Cheers.” Aunt Kira said, clinking my glass.


Everyone pulled out a barstool from under the island. I sat down and filled paper plates with various antipasti. Tyler sat next to me and squeezed my hand under the table. They smiled at me. Mrs. Matthews eventually came out and joined us.


Everyone spent the next 10 minutes asking Tyler about their semester. I liked how they took interest in their son. Very much unlike the way I was treated when I visited the Rosch’s.


Tyler leaned over to Aunt Kira and whispered something in her ear.


“Yes!” she said, excitedly. Tyler and Aunt Kira giggled. What are they up to?


Aunt Kira walked around to both of Tyler’s parents, whispered something to them and both she and Tyler retreated upstairs.


“What’s going on?” I asked. I’m not sure I like not being in on the joke.


“So Nicole,” Mr. Matthews said to me. “What’s your intention with Tyler?”


“My intention?” I repeated with surprise. Oh boy. I’m getting the “Dad grills the boyfriend act?” But I’m the girlfriend. “Well I love Tyler very much. I’ve been dating them for… 3 years.”


“What are your plans after college?” he asked.


“I honestly haven’t thought that far.” I replied. “But my internship has all but hired me post-graduation.”


“So you’re staying around here?” He said with a smile. He’s clearly enjoying interrogating me.


“I think so” I replied. “My family is from around here, and I have nothing pulling me to move.” I thought about that for a second. When I said “my family” I was talking about my family, not Nicole’s. The thought of spending the rest of my life related to the Roschs made me a little queasy.


“I’m assuming Tyler has told you about their gender.” he said. “How did you take it?”


“I was surprised,” I replied honestly. “I hadn’t met any non-binary people. Tyler is my first.”


“So it doesn’t bother you that Tyler isn’t a stereotypical guy?”


Where was he going with this? I eyed Mrs. Matthews. Was she just going to let him interrogate me? I’m having flashbacks to my arguments with Nicole’s dad. “Not at all Mr. Matthews. I find it endearing. I love Tyler more now than I did before that.”


He smiled at me and changed the subject to the food and wine. I guess he got what he needed from me. Mrs. Matthews asked about how my semester was going. I left out any details about body swaps, genies, and a powerful misogynistic fraternity. Or even the real reason we were here this weekend was because we no longer felt safe on campus.


Twenty minutes went by with me sitting in the kitchen alone with Mr. and Mrs. Matthews. The conversation was pleasant, if not a little awkward for meeting these people only a short time ago.  This is where I could really use a cellphone to fill in this blank awkward space.


“We’re ready” I heard Aunt Kira’s voice from the second floor.


Mr. and Mrs. Matthews got up from their seats and walked out of the kitchen so they could see the stairs. I followed them. What’s going on?


I had a clear view of the staircase. And like in a cheesy romcom, I saw a foot in a black 2 inch heel step down on the first step. Then another. Then I had a view of long smooth legs. My breath stopped as I watched her come down the steps.


She was wearing a little black dress. The dress style gave her the appearance of curves in all of the right places. It had spaghetti straps and a plunging neckline that gave the hint of cleavage. Her hair was down and lightly styled.


I stood there, speechless.


Mr. Matthews spoke to me. “I’d like to introduce you to my daughter, Taylor.”


I was still speechless. I’m sure my jaw was wide open.


“Well, go to her.” Mr. Matthews chuckled.


I walked to the bottom of the steps where Taylor was waiting for me. I put my hands out and took Taylor’s hands. Her makeup was wonderful. Accented by ruby red lips. “Taylor,” I whispered.


Taylor blushed and smiled. “What do you think?” she asked.


“I.. I..” I stuttered. “I think you’re stunning. Gorgeous.”


Aunt Kira followed Taylor down the steps, but my attention was on my boyf- girlfriend.


Suddenly I felt like the boyfriend. The moment I saw Taylor, I felt like I shifted back into Victor mode. I took Taylor’s hand and led her back to the kitchen and to her seat. I pulled her stool out for her. I watched her smooth out her dress and sit down. Mannerisms that took me weeks to master, she was doing naturally. I helped push her seat in.


I saw the Matthews shoot each other a glance and smile. Am I winning their approval? I’m so nervous that I'm going to screw something up with them - or with Ty- I mean Taylor.


“So Nicole,” Aunt Kira says. “How did you two meet?”


I’m assuming she doesn’t mean Taylor, because the answer would be - you just saw us meet. “Umm. Freshman year. I needed a Halloween costume. My best friend knew of an awesome cosplayer who could hook me up.” I think I did a good job of paraphrasing that.


“Very nice,” she said, accepting my answer.


“We were nearly inseparable after that.” I added.


“Nicole, do you have any favorite meals?” Mrs. Matthews asked. “We haven’t decided on dinner yet.”


It then occurred to me that we’re sitting here eating meats, cheese, and antipasto. The old Nicole would have never eaten this stuff. Tyler must’ve already updated them on my eating habits. “I did a vegetarian phase for a bit,” I said. “But now I’m more of a pizza, beer, and wings kinda girl.”


Mr. Matthews chuckled. “A girl after my heart.”


“We can throw stuff on the grill.” Mrs. Matthews suggested. She turned to her husband. “Do we have ground beef?”


“We do” he replied.


I felt Taylor squeeze my hand under the table.


We continued our lunch with more small talk. I couldn’t keep my eyes off my girlfriend. We’d exchange glances and smile, then look away realizing that we were not alone. Despite dating Tyler for 2 months, I had this strange feeling I was really meeting her for the first time this afternoon. 


* * *


After lunch, Mr. Matthews got our overnight bags from the car and brought them to the house. I insisted it wasn’t necessary and he just shrugged it off.


The guest bedroom was going to be mine. Despite Tyler’s parents- I mean Taylor’s parents being progressive about their kid being gender nonconforming, they were a little conservative when it came to college kids sleeping in the same bed. Which is fine I suppose. I can wait for the weekend to end to get Ty-Taylor back into my own bed. Although the thought of returning to campus - with all of that drama wasn’t appealing.


Taylor took me for a tour of her parent’s house. She led me upstairs to their bedroom. The bedroom walls were painted an aqua blue. I saw the words “Tyler” on one wall and “Taylor” on the other. The bed had a number of different dresses laid out and the dresser had makeup and accessories laid out. Clearly this is where Taylor and Aunt Kira went while I was downstairs. Before I could examine anything else, Taylor closed the door behind me and brought me in for a long kiss.


I kissed her back. Her lipstick tasted like raspberries.


She broke off the kiss. “I’ve wanted to do that for weeks.” she said.


I was confused. “But we have. We’ve… even had sex..”


“I wanted to introduce you to Taylor for weeks,” she corrected.


A part of me wanted to ask that if she was going to go by Taylor, could I go by Vicky? Would that be weird?


“Girls,” I heard Mrs. Matthews say from downstairs. “Please keep that door open.”


Taylor giggled and opened the door “Sorry, mom!”


I looked at a picture on the Tyler side. I saw a little boy playing with LEGO bricks. I checked a picture of the Taylor side. There she was. A teenage girl of 13 wearing a dress. I turned to Taylor. “When did you know?”


Taylor smoothed her dress and sat on the edge of her bed, crossing her legs. I sat beside her.


“The summer I turned 12” She said. “I spent about a month with Aunt Kira while my parents went on a 2 week cruise. One day at the pool, she was wearing this gorgeous sundress. I remember telling her she was so beautiful and I loved that dress on her. She asked me if I wanted to try it on. I resisted at first. I was a boy, and boys didn't do those things. I think it was the next day - I was helping out with laundry while she was out of the house. That dress was in the laundry basket. The seed was already planted in my head. So I tried it on. Yeah it was too big, but I instantly fell in love with it. The feeling of the fabric, how it flowed when I walked. This went on for a few days. I found more and more beautiful outfits. She must’ve known somehow. I started to find outfits that fit me that I never saw her wear before. Slowly I dropped my resistance and opened up to her. She asked me if I wanted to spend the rest of the month as a girl, and I agreed.”


This was interesting. I could relate. This in some ways sounded like when I was thrust into Nicole’s body. I resisted her clothing and style at first. But now I have my favorite outfits. “How did your parents take it at first?” I inquired. “They seem so cool and accepting of it.”


“They’re accepting of me now. Nine, almost 10 years later. They were not happy when they found out Aunt Kira had me crossdressing the entire month. At first, I saw my parents' point of view and decided to put that summer behind me. It was just a fetish. A phase. Every boy does that. But the thoughts and feelings never left. By the time high school had come, I was a wreck. I was depressed and had turned inward. Finally I came out to my parents. Aunt Kira was my ally. I told them both that I didn't have all of the answers, and I couldn’t live like that. I had to stop the masquerade. The Tyler they wanted was a lie. I wanted to find who Tyler and Taylor really were”


“Wow’ I said.


She placed her hands on mine. “Thank you Nicole. I was worried you wouldn’t be accepting. It was scary. But I know if my parents can change, maybe you could too.”


Oh I certainly changed alright. 


“So what would you like to do this afternoon?” she asked.


“Anything,” I replied. “This is your hometown. You’ve finally brought your girlfriend home.”


* * *


Taylor drove me around town, pointing out various nostalgic places for her. Her high school, where she played various sports, the shopping mall, her favorite restaurant. I took it all in, and let her reminisce.


When we returned to the house, we all prepared dinner as a family. The Matthews reminded me of my own parents, and dinner was an elaborate affair - despite only being hamburgers. I offered to help. We each took turns making our own hamburger patties. Taylor and I were also assigned side-dish duty. I was crushing garlic as Taylor diced the veggies. I sautéed it all together on the stove.


The burgers were delightful. I don't know what flavors and spices Mr. Matthews added to the ground beef, but it was the best burger I’ve had in a long time.


After dinner, we all sat on the back porch around a gas fire pit. I borrowed a warm hoodie from Taylor and we cuddled on a loveseat. Mr. Matthews topped off all of our glasses of wine. Taylor’s parents and Aunt Kira would tell stories about Tyler and Taylor’s childhood and adolescence. I just sat, listened and took it all in. I daydreamed on what it would be like to bring Taylor home to my parents. But that could never happen, so I put it out of my mind.


“Nicole, you’re so pretty.” Mrs. Matthews said.


I smiled. “Thank you.” Yeah, I know Nicole’s body is attractive.


“I love that dress on you.” she continued. “Your makeup, your hair. So radiant.”


I was taken back.  She was complimenting… me.  The things I did. I couldn’t help but smile.  Why couldn’t my trip to Rosch's be this way?


On a trip to the bathroom, Aunt Kira pulled me aside. “Nicole, I'm very happy to have met you finally. I admit you are different than I imagined in my head.”


“I am?”


“All of the stories Tyler’s been telling us over the past 3 years. I had my reservations. You are not what I expected. You seem to care for them deeply.”


Did Nicole not care deeply for Tyler? I thought she did. I wonder what stories Tyler did tell about Nicole. I imagine they all weren’t flattering. Maybe the Matthews didn’t approve of Nicole. Is that why Tyler was so hesitant to bring her home? I decided to not dwell on it too much while talking to Aunt Kira. “I do care for them.” I replied. “I mean I love them.” I blushed. “I feel like I've been caught up in a whirlwind romance and I haven’t really had time to process it.”


She chuckled and gave me a hug. “Oh honey, I can tell. Enjoy it. Tyler is a great kid. I don’t have any kids of my own. So I treat Tyler like one of my own. They are very important to me. Please don’t hurt them.”


We both returned to the fire pit.


“So I’m going to head home,” Aunt Kira said.


“Bye Kira.” Mrs. Matthews said, and everyone exchanged hugs. 


“It was good seeing you, sis,” Mr. Matthews said, hugging her.


I, too, hugged Aunt Kira as she left.


When Kira left we all sat back down and I re-cuddled with Taylor.


“Aunt Kira really wanted to meet you,” Taylor said. “She drove an hour just to be here tonight.”


“I hope I made a good impression,” I said.


“You did.” Mrs. Matthews said.


Taylor put her head on my shoulder and wound up falling asleep there. Eventually the whole family decided to call it a night, and I woke Taylor up and led her to bed.


After I brushed my teeth and put my pajamas on, I walked downstairs to get a glass of water. I saw Mr. Matthews sitting on the couch, playing a first-person shooter.


He noticed me. “Hey Nicole, wanna play?”


I shrugged. “Sure” I wasn’t tired yet, but I was certainly getting there, so I sat down next to him and picked up the second controller.


He restarted the game in 2 player mode.


Mr. Matthews reached down the coffee table and took a sip of the drink. 


“What are you drinking?” I inquired.


“Whiskey. Wanna try?”


I took the glass and sniffed it. Oh boy, that smells strong. I took a small sip, and coughed. “Wow.”


“Yeah, it’s an acquired taste,” he said. “I didn’t start drinking whiskey until I was in my 30s.”


We started playing. He was good. I could see how Tyler got into video games.


“How are you doing Nicole?”


“I’m doing fine,” I replied. “Maybe a little buzzed from the wine.”


“Was this all too much? Meeting Taylor I mean?”


“Not at all” I took another sip of his whiskey. “Tyler came out to me a few weeks ago. They told me about Taylor and I’d meet her eventually. So I was curious. I didn’t expect it to happen this weekend, though.”


“Tyler would call home, and be concerned that you wouldn't be accepting.”


I nodded. “I understand this weekend might’ve been a few years in the making.”


“I told them to be patient with you and give you time. Of course we were eager to meet you, so I’m sure that didn’t help.”


We continued playing.


“It wasn’t easy,” he said. “Watching my son desire to be more feminine. In order for me to come to terms with it, I needed to let go of my own views on gender. Society puts pressure on everyone. Including parents. Fathers. Mothers. How does one properly raise a son in this world?”


“I could see that.”


“When my sister came out as trans before Tyler did, I was lost. Unable to cope.”


“Your sister?”


“Kira.”


“Kira is trans?”


“She is. Growing up she was my older brother Kenneth. I looked up to Kenneth. He was my hero. He was everything I wanted to be as a guy. It took me a long time to accept Kira. But eventually I realized Kira and Kenneth are the same person. I still look up to my older sister. I’ve found a newer respect for her. But when Tyler came out to us after spending a summer alone with Kira... All of those wounds were reopened. I was angry at Kira. She did this to him. She turned my son into a feminine boy.” 


I was silent. I watched Mr. Matthews look away, then look down, ashamed at how he acted in the past.


“I had to go to therapy. Eventually when I looked back on Tyler’s childhood I realized all of the signs were there. Tyler never took to traditional boy things. They were jealous of his girl classmates. Kira saw what I didn’t. Or what I refused to see.


“Do you always go back and forth on name and pronouns?” I asked. I was legitimately curious.


“We respect what our child wants. This weekend it was important to her to introduce her girlfriend to Taylor. So she’s Taylor this weekend. When she’s not dressed at Taylor she prefers Tyler. It was this summer Tyler asked for us to use she/they pronouns and not “he”.


I nodded. “And your relationship with Aunt Kira?”


“I forgave Kira. She saw what I was too blind to see.”


“I think I was blind too,” I said.


“Oh?”


“Well.” I said. “I was never into guys. But yet I felt this attraction to Tyler. I don't know why it didn’t come as a surprise that Tyler wasn’t really a guy. I accepted them quicker than I accepted the pronoun shift.”


Mr. Matthews chucked. “Did you know that Tyler coming out helped save our marriage?”


“How so?”


“Well I myself was struggling with depression. I was just laid off from my job, and I was trying to cope with my wife being the breadwinner. It wasn’t easy. But because I was in therapy for coping with Tyler’s transition, and how it was exposing my own gender biases, it was easier for me to see I was putting pressure on myself, I was able to cope with my new role in this family. It was my responsibility as a father and husband to support everyone - including my wife.” He paused and took a slip of his drink. “It was then, everything clicked for me. I had a family who needed a husband and a father - not necessarily a breadwinner, or a stereotypical male role model. With society’s gender roles, I could still be what they both needed me to be. My wife needed love and support. Tyler needed encouragement and love.”


* * *


Taylor



I heard talking coming from downstairs and I got out of bed. I slipped on a cute cami and pajama bottoms and walked down the steps to find Nicole and my dad talking and laughing playing video games. They saw me and both smiled.


“Tay, I hope we didn’t wake you..” Dad said. 


“Your dad is kicking my ass at this game.” Nicole said.


Dad turned the game off.


“I should get to bed, it’s getting late. I’ll let you kids be.” he said, picking up an empty glass and walking back to the kitchen.


Nicole stood up. She looked a little flush.


“Hey.” she said, smiling at me. “Your dad’s got good whiskey.”


“Apparently,” I chuckled, bringing her in for a hug.


Dad turned off the lights as he went upstairs, leaving us in the glow of the TV.


She placed her head on my chest. “I love you Taylor.”


“I love you too” I held her close and tightly.


“If we were home, I’d say let's go out for a late night snack” she said.


“We still can.” I replied. ‘There’s a few fast food restaurants nearby.”


“No. I don’t want to let you go.”


We stood there in silence, swaying back and forth. I heard her start to hum something.


“What are you humming?” I asked.


“A country song I heard on the radio earlier.” she said. “A Dan and Shay song.” She started singing. “And I’m speechless. Something something something something.”


We both started laughing.


“Keep humming,” I told her.


“You sure?” she said. “I have an awful singing voice. It probably extends to my humming too.”


“No you don’t” I replied. “Everything about you is beautiful.”


She started humming and we slow-danced right there in my parents' living room. Her eyes were closed and I could feel her getting heavier.


“I think I saw some slices of pizza in the fridge here.” I said


“Hmm.” she said, her eyes still closed. “Ty you already won me over before the pizza.”


I chuckled.


“Remember our first date?” she said. “We split a pizza and played video games. You may have won me over then.”


Weird. “That wasn’t our first date, silly. That was like- 2 months ago.”


“Hmm” she replied, her eyes not opening. She was getting heavier.


“We should get you to bed.” I said.


She didn’t respond as she nestled further into my chest.


I walked her up the steps and to the guest bedroom where I tucked her in and kissed her goodnight.


I enjoyed spending all week with her. Sure it’s been stressful, but having her by myself felt right. The way she looked at me dressed as Taylor. My thoughts about us breaking up after college evaporated. If I could spend every day of the rest of my life with her, I’d be one happy person.


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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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marter

I'm sure leaving her phone behind won't have any repercussions
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Emily

Totally!
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marter

I got a message saying replied another time but I don't see it. Btw I'm rereading Second Chances and it's so good!
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Emily

Yeah - that's a known bug i have to fix. it only happens for replies of replies. I'm glad you're checking out Second Chances. Let me know what you think!
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marter

I read once before on tgstorytime but I reread it and still love it!
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