Chapter 33 - The House Built On Lies

Masquerades 101 by Emily


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Synopsis: Nicole finds out about Vicky.

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Content Warning: Depictions of suicidal thoughts


Vicky


On the walk home, Tyler and I strolled through campus holding hands. I kept looking down at my free hand. The one adorned with an engagement ring. I was thinking about the excitement of being engaged. Who do I tell? Obviously I’ll tell my friends. I’ll tell Hanna. But outside of that, I’m a little disappointed I can’t tell my family.  What do I tell Nicole?


We walked up to my apartment door, and Tyler opened the door for me. When I walked through the door, Lexi jumped out and yelled “Congratulations” and threw confetti up in the air.


“Thanks” I said, trying to fight back more tears.  I’m giddy from the love and attention I’m getting.


“Girl, lemme see the ring” she said as I blushed and offered her my left hand.


“Pretty” she said. “Good job, Ty.”


I could see Tyler beam at the compliment.


“OK” Lexi said. “So, I’m going to give you two love birds some space.” She put thick headphones on her ears and laughed.


“What’s that for?” I asked.


“You just got engaged,” Lexi said loudly, unaware of her speaking volume. “I want to be able to sleep tonight.” She winked at me, walked into her room, and shut the door behind her.


Now I blushed at the insinuation. I turned to Tyler. “Umm. Make yourself at home. I want to call a few people”


“Will do” Tyler said, making their way to my bedroom.


I took my phone out, took a picture of my left hand. Odds are Madison and Josh already know, and may call later tonight. I have no desire to ruin tonight by calling the Rosch’s. Although I’m sure the idea of Tyler proposing to me would make them ill and ruin their night. But I'd like to save that for when I can see the look on their faces. That only left Hanna.


I sent a text to Hanna. “Nana, he proposed!” Then I attached the photo I just took.


Less than a minute later, Hanna called.


“Oh my God, Vicky!” she said. “I can’t believe it. You said yes?”


“I did.”


She squealed in excitement. “Oh my god! I’m so happy for you! Am I going to be a bridesmaid?”


“Nana I haven’t thought that far in advance.” I replied. I got giddy at the thought. “But… of course you will!”


I could hear her joy through the phone.  Then she got quiet. “Umm.” she said. “Does Nicole know?”


“Not yet.” I said. “I don't know how I’m going to tell her.  Maybe privately in person. It’s not a “tonight-problem.” This is my night. I’m going to spend the rest of it with my… fiancé.”


“Aww.” she said. “Enjoy it, sis.” She squealed again. “I can’t believe you’re getting married! I want to meet him!”


“In due time” I said, chuckling.


“I’m going to start looking at dresses!” she said. “Oh you’re going to be such a beautiful bride.”


I blushed even though I’m only talking to her on the phone. Me? A bride? Wow. Slowly this idea is sinking in. I’m engaged. I have a fiancé. I’m going to be a bride. I’m going to have a husband. Will I take Tyler’s last name? Vicky Matthews? Unless Tyler doesn’t want to be a husband. A thought passed in my head. What if both Taylor and I were brides? Taylor would make a beautiful bride too. What if Taylor took my name? Taylor and Vicky Machado?


I realized I zoned out, as Hanna was talking about dress types she saw on a TV show she had watched.  “... sorry I’m jumping the gun” she said.  “I know this is the bride's job and all, but I figured since you were a guy most of your life, you’d want help picking out a wedding dress.”


“Of course.”  I said.  “I can use all of the help I can get.”  I smiled for a moment thinking about Tyler in my bedroom. “Hey Nana. I should get going. My… fiancé… is waiting for me.”


I heard Hanna squeal again at the word, fiancé. “Congratulations again. Want me to tell Mom and Dad?”


“Sure.” I said. “I’d like them to know that on some level I got engaged, Even if they believe I’m someone else.”


“OK.” she said. “Good night, Vicky.”


“Good night, Nana.”


I put the phone down and walked to the bedroom, where a pantless Tyler just finished undoing their tie. I grabbed both ends of the tie and pulled them to me where I planted a kiss on their lips. 


They smiled at me and looked like they were in complete bliss.


I suddenly found myself very frisky. I grabbed them and threw them onto the bed. “You’ve been a very naughty boyfriend.” I said seductively. “All of these secret plans.” I hopped on the bed and straddled them. “Making me spend last night alone.” I rubbed up against their hardening dick. “I’m going to make you pay.”


“Umm.” they said wild-eyed. “What’s my punishment?”


“Sleep deprivation,” I said.  Hey, I’m getting the hang of this sexy-girlfriend thing.


* * *


Tyler


After a long night of amazing sex, my new fiancée Nicole and I finally fell asleep. We both slept in. Sometimes she was in my arms. Sometimes I was in hers. I felt strangely at ease that everything was right with the world. The sun was streaming through the windows when I finally opened my eyes.


Nicole was not sleeping next to me anymore. I leaned up in bed and found her at her desk painting - in the nude.


 “Honey - you’re still naked” I said.


“I couldn’t wait,” she said. “I had to put these emotions on canvas.”


As I leaned up in bed, I watched her naked form paint bright colors onto the canvas she had set up. Despite my fiancée sitting there completely naked, I watched her paint. She was so focused on it. Her eyes were dancing all around it. She bit her lips a few times. She smiled, proud at a dash of color she made.


“Aren’t you cold?”  I asked.


“Nah” she said.  “I paint without a shirt all the time.”


I meant a bra, because it was fairly obvious she was a little cold.  But I certainly wasn’t going to be the one to tell my attractive fiancée to put a shirt on.


As for the canvas, It was an abstract art piece. It was bright, vivid. Many colors.  I was impressed at how much she’s done in the short time she’s been awake.


There was a nagging thought in my head I kept suppressing. The woman in front of me painting in the nude is nothing like the girl I met 3 years ago. Or the girl I knew last semester. What made her change so much? I’ve had some form of this thought recurring all semester. The one I talked to Josh about.  The one I suppressed and buried because the Nicole of this semester has made me so happy. Did she change for me? The guilt I faced for my wish earlier this semester returned.


My thoughts were interrupted by my phone’s notification sound. It was Josh. I read the text. “Hey Ty, The grill is here.  I just started setting up. Let me know when you’re on your way.”


“Shit.” I said. “Josh’s tailgate.”


“Oh crap” Nicole said. “Lemme get dressed.”


I didn’t want to interrupt her painting. “No, take your time” I said “You can meet up with me when you’re ready.”


“Are you sure?” she asked.


“Positive.” I said leaning in and kissing her. 


I walked out of Nicole’s bedroom and found Lexi getting ready for the football game. 


“‘Morning Ty, are you heading out?” she asked.


“Yeah” I replied. “I promised Josh I was going to work the grill.”


“Want company?” she asked. “I’m all ready to go. I was waiting for you two to wake up.” She chuckled.  “You slept in.”


“Sure.” I said as Lexi and I walked out of their apartment and to the tailgate site.


* * *


Nicole


I woke up to Madison stroking one of my nipples. It instantly brought back memories of last night. I involuntarily let out a moan. I was getting a hard on already. I opened my eyes to see Madison propped up on her arm with a great big devilish smile.


“Good morning,” Madison said.


“Good morning,” I replied, returning that smile.


Madison leaned over to kiss me, and I gladly accepted.


“What time is it?” I asked.


“We overslept,” she said. “I think it’s like 10 or something.”


“10?” I said.


“Well, we were up all night.” Madison giggled.


“I think my dick is going to fall off now” I said.


“Hmm. That wouldn't be a bad thing.”


I giggled back. “I want breakfast in bed.”


“Wow, demanding are we?”


“No I mean, I want you to stay right here and I want someone else to come to us.” I put my arm around her and held onto her tightly feeling the warming of her naked body upon my own. I could stay here all day.


“Well sadly I live alone.” Madison said, sitting up, breaking free of my embrace and getting a naked leg out of bed.


“Aww don’t go” I groaned.


She kissed my forehead. “I have to make my cute girlfriend breakfast.”


I’m not cute. I watched Madison walk over to her discarded panties and put them on. “I already know what I want for breakfast and she’s standing right here.”


She giggled and continued getting dressed. It’s for the best I suppose. My dick really does hurt after marathon sex. And my ass. Madison certainly opened my eyes to a whole bunch of bedroom activities I wasn’t previously unaware of.


* * *


I got dressed. I put on my panties from yesterday, tucking my dick like I did then. I found a pair of cute jeans I bought yesterday, pulled the tags off and pulled them up. I looked in the mirror and liked how it gave this manly body a nice feminine ass.


I didn’t have any cute tops - yet. Maybe that can be another shopping trip. I grabbed one a t-shirt and a hoodie overnight bag and pulled it on, then grabbed my socks and sneakers. 


I attempted to slide my phone into my back pocket, then realized the pocket was fake.  I chuckled.  I guess having pockets spoiled me.  I slide on my phone into my hoodie pocket instead.


Madison put out bowls of fruit and I started picking at some strawberries and grapes.


Madison’s phone was sitting on the counter next to the fruit and it buzzed with a Facebook notification.


“You have a notification” I said, sliding the phone to show them. 


“No wait.” she said. “Don't look-”


I don't know why I looked, but I did. Right there on the screen was a post from Tyler. There was a picture of a hand with an engagement ring on it. That hand looks familiar. No…


“What’s this?” I said out loud.


Madison looked up and saw me. “Nicole. You don’t want to look at that. Please.”


I scrolled to the next picture to see Tyler and Vicky smiling and Vicky holding up her hand with an engagement ring. “No.”


“Nicole.” she said. “Breathe.  We were going to have Vicky come over later today to tell you herself.”


I shook my head and dropped her phone. I couldn't get any words out.


“Nicole, look at me.” Mads said slowly coming over to me. “We knew this would happen.” 


I couldn’t breathe. I hadn’t had an anxiety attack in such a long time, I had almost forgotten what it felt like.


“Tyler is your ex now. It’s time to move on. We’re together now.”


All of the pain and depression of the past semester came flooding back. The loneliness, the dysphoria, the jealousy. “She stole my life!” I screamed.


Madison took a step back and stumbled in fear. “Nicole. Let’s calm down.”


I couldn’t calm down. I was so enraged. I ran out of Madison's apartment. 


I heard Madison say “wait” from behind me, but I was a scorned woman on a mission.


* * *


It was cold out, and I had left Madison’s apartment without a coat. Only this thin hoodie. That didn’t matter. I was fueled by anger.  The anger kept me warm. Where was Vicky? At her place? No wait - she and Tyler are probably at Josh’s tailgate party. I continued to speed walk. I couldn’t think straight. 


She took my life. That was supposed to be my ring. My boyfriend. She has my name. She’s living in my apartment with my roommate. Aunt Shirley will likely reach out to Vicky, not me. Vicky is going to get everything of mine.


There was already a crowd hanging around a few tables and grills. Josh was shaking hands with people. Tyler was chatting with Lexi. I didn’t see that life-stealing bitch Vicky anywhere.


“Nicole” I heard my name. It was Kayla waving me over to where she was standing. I waved at her and continued walking up to Tyler.


I could hear Madison behind me pleading for me to stop. But I needed to do this.


“Nicole what’s wrong?” Kayla asked, coming over.


I didn’t respond to her, instead I yelled at Tyler “Tyler!” 


Tyler turned to face me. I could see a look of dread in Lexi’s eyes as she shook her head at me.


“Hi, Victor.” Tyler said with a smile despite the angered look on my face. “I haven’t seen you in a week.”


I shook my head. “Stop it Tyler, I’m not Victor” I said angrily.


“Umm.. What do you mean?” they said.


“I’m Nicole. I’m your girlfriend.” 


Tyler had a look of confusion on their face. Madison came to my side, out of breath.


“Tell him.” I said to Lexi and Madison.


Tyler looked at me. Then to Lexi and Madison.


“She’s telling the truth.” Madison said reluctantly.


“We swapped bodies.” I said. “I’m the real Nicole. You’ve been dating the real Victor this whole time.” I said. 


The look on Tyler's face was pure confusion.


* * *


Vicky


After a blissful morning of painting, I casually got dressed in a thick sweater and jeans. I called out for Lexi, but realized she must’ve left with Tyler. So I had the apartment to myself. I danced around while getting dressed and sung songs since no one was watching. 


Out of curiosity, I searched for bridal gowns on my phone. Holy shit, there’s so many options. I was overwhelmed, so I closed out of that.


When I was out in the living room grabbing a bite to eat, I looked down at my hand and how the diamond sparkled in the sunlight. This is too surreal.


When I checked the time, I realized I was running late, so I grabbed my coat and bolted out of my apartment.


When I got closer to the tailgate party, I could smell the grill going and I saw hundreds of students in clusters in the parking lot.


I approached the crowd of students. Many of them were mingling, eating, and playing drinking games. I could hear yelling. Was that my voice? I mean Nicole’s voice? As I slowly made my way through the crowd of people to find all of my friends together. Tyler, Lexi, Madison, Nicole, and Nicole’s former roommate, Kayla. Nicole looked very angry. All I could think at that moment is that she must’ve found out about my engagement. My stomach instantly twisted into knots.  I wanted to tell her in private.


“Here’s Nicole.” Tyler pointed at me. “Nikki, they’re trying to play a joke on me. They say you’re really Victor and Victor is really you.”


The crowd of students started to get quiet as I walked up to them.  All of these strangers were staring at me.


No. Not like this. I couldn’t say anything. I stopped walking. I was paralyzed. I nervously twirled the engagement ring on my finger.


Nicole and I locked eyes. She saw me fiddling with my ring. “You life stealing bitch!” she yelled and started to charge at me. I tensed up. Nicole in my body is way bigger than I am in hers.


“Nicole, stop,” Lexi said, getting between us.


“What’s going on here,” Tyler reiterated. “Nicole?” Tyler looked directly at me.


“Can we not do this in front of all of these people?” I said. The strangers were looking directly at me, and it made me feel very uncomfortable and exposed.


“Now.” Nicole said. “No more lies.”


What the hell? It was her idea to lie in the first place. Why am I getting blamed for this? I looked at Lexi and then Madison. 


They were both nodding. It was time. The masquerade was over.


“I’m not Nicole, Tyler” I said, forcing the words out of my mouth.


“Ha ha.” Tyler said. “This is a funny joke.”


“You made a wish right?” I asked. 


“I….” they said, looking at me with a hint of betrayal. That was a private conversation between us that I just told to a hundred on-lookers. Tyler looked back at Josh, then looked at me again. “I wished for the perfect girlfriend.. and...”


“And you got me.” I finished.


I expected Tyler to say something first, instead it was Nicole.


“You mean, you did this!” Nicole yelled at Tyler. “You made the wish? You have the genie?”


“Wait. No.” Tyler said. “Genie? This is impossible.”


“So Tyler wished for the perfect girlfriend and Victor and Nicole switched lives?” Lexi said putting the pieces together.


“No. Wait.” Tyler said, trying to correct what was said. Their face suddenly changed to show betrayal. “Wait, how long?”


“All semester,” Nicole yelled.


Tyler looked at me for confirmation.


Kayla chimed in and looked at Nicole. “You mean, you’re actually the Nicole? The real Nicole?” 


Nicole had a concerned look on her face as if she just realized she pulled too much at the thread of our lives, and it’s unraveling way too quickly.  Both of us had lost control of the situation.  As if we ever had any.


I turned my attention back to my fiancé… Well I hope they’re still my fiancé. “Yeah.” I confirmed. “Since the semester began. Almost 3 months.”


“I’ve been dating… a guy… for 3 months?” Tyler said.


The moment they said guy it felt like a gut punch. Deep down I thought they’d understand. They’re non-binary. Why does it have to be about gender? “It’s not like that” I said, reaching my hand out. “I love you.”


Tyler backed away from me as if I was toxic. The look on their face was crushing. I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes. What have I done? Am I to blame?  Is Nicole?


“You made a wish to change me?” Nicole said, looking at Tyler. “Was I not enough for you?”


Kayla turned to Madison. “Did you know about this? Did you know you were dating your best friend?”


“Only recently.” Madison confessed.


“This isn't happening.” Tyler said. “My perfect girlfriend… my fiancée…”


“Is a guy.” Nicole sneered.


Tyler looked at me again. “No. Nicole, tell me the truth.”


“Victor.” I corrected. “Tyler, My name is Victor. I’ve been in Nicole’s body for almost 3 months. I fell in love with you. You feel the same way for me...”


Tyler started backing away from the crowd. 


Josh walked up to them. “Ty, let’s breathe. It’s going to be OK.”


Tyler shook their head and ran off. Josh looked at all of us and ran after Tyler.


I collapsed to the ground on my knees. The pavement hurt, but I felt like my heart was on fire. I couldn’t keep the tears back. Lexi knelt down to my side petting my back. I looked up at Nicole and sneered. “You selfish bitch! You couldn’t let me be happy.”


“Vicky, Nicole, please” Madison pleaded.


“Oh, you’re playing victim now.” Nicole said to me. “You stole my boyfriend. My life. You’re no better than Lindsey and Alan.”


With that, I went to lunge at Nicole, but Lexi grabbed me and held me back. I collapsed again, crying. “Lexi, take me home” I pleaded.


* * *


Nicole


I watched Lexi escort Vicky through the crowd of on-lookers.


I turned to look at Madison, and I noticed a very irate Kayla standing there. “Kayla” I said.


“This whole time?” she said. “The coffee dates. The intimate and personal chats? The sex! My former roommate Nicole?”


“Yeah” I replied. “I’m sorry -”


“I knew something was wrong with you,” she said. “At first I thought you were socially awkward because you had a crush on me. Then I learned you were trans and I played it off as you're trying to find yourself. I can’t believe this.” she said. “I slept with the bitch who made my life hell last year!”


A living hell?  I wasn’t that bad. “Kay - it’s not like that” I said. “I’m sorry about last year but -”


“Was this some kind of sick joke?” she said. “To laugh at me one last time? To get me to lower my guard? To seduce me? I’m such a fool.” Then she stormed off.


“I wasn’t laughing-” I said but Kayla was too far to hear.


My last friend - my girlfriend, Madison, was standing there with an equally angry face. 


“Mads” I said. “This isn’t what I expected.”


“Then what did you expect?” she asked. “Everything that happened just now is the direct result of you and Vicky lying to everyone. You did this. You both made this reality and now you have to live with it.” She shook her head and wiped a tear from her cheek. She looked at me with a pained expression of betrayal. “You said you were ready, Nicole,” her voice broke. “You weren’t.” She turned around and walked off.


I was alone. Standing in a crowd of strangers who were judging me for blowing up every single relationship I had.


* * *


Tyler


I was walking away from the party as fast as I could. I couldn’t believe it. I felt like everything that was good in my life this morning was ripped away from me. Was I so willingly naive to believe that Nicole had not changed over the past 3 months? I knew she had changed. I didn’t expect her to literally be a different person. A guy at that. 


“Ty!” Josh said from behind me.


I kept walking and he finally caught up. 


“I’m sorry,” he said. “I didn’t expect it to go down like that.”


“You knew about it too?” I said.


“Well...” he said. “I’m the one who caused it.” 


I stopped and looked at my roommate. “What? How?”


“I’m a genie” he said.


“Yeah, Yeah” I said, continuing walking. “I’ve heard that one before.”


“I’m not sure why you never believed me.” Josh said, keeping up with me. “I showed up at your door freshman year wearing a traditional Djinn costume.”


“It was a costume. Cosplay. I complimented you on the intricate details of it.”


“I mean it was a costume my previous master made me wear.” Josh huffed. “But it wasn’t Halloween. I wasn’t cosplaying. I was on the run from a crazy fraternity.” He grabbed my arm. “Listen Ty. Ever since you took me in that day, you’ve been a friend. I’ve never had a friend before. I was always a slave. When I had you buy my replacement lamp, you technically became my master. I avoided reminding you of freshman year because I was worried it would ruin our friendship.  I wanted a friend, not a master.” 


“This is too much.”


“When the lamp broke, I wanted it to be you. I had hoped to pay you back for everything you’ve done for me.”


“You are serious?”


“I am.”


“And this is how you repay me?” I said. “By destroying my life?”


“You rubbed my lamp and asked for the perfect girlfriend. Your soulmate was 10 minutes away. But he was a guy you only ever met online. You’ve been telling me for 2 years that you’re not gay, so I put him into the body of your girlfriend.”


“Why the swap?” I said. “Why not just turn Victor into a girl? Why bring Nicole into this?”


“Umm - because you and Nicole refused to dump each other. You two were in a toxic relationship and should’ve broken up years ago. Everyone - your friends, me, even you and Nicole, knew your relationship was hanging by a thread. So it was easier to turn your current girlfriend into your perfect girlfriend, rather than make you and Nicole break up. So I gave you Vicky.”


“Vicky?” I asked.


“That’s what Victor’s been going by.”


I screamed. This is too much. “Why the lies? The deception.”


“I didn’t expect them to lie for 3 months. I expected them to come clean right from the start. Granted, it still got the desired result. You and Vicky fell in love, and Nicole finally got to realize that Madison’s been pining for her for years.”


I thought about that for a moment. “She has, hasn’t she?” Madison was clearly jealous of me a lot of the past 3 years, but not so much the past month. In fact, she’s been rather nice to me. Wait, Josh is distracting me from what’s been done to Nicole. “Nicole looked very distraught to me.” I shook my head and remembered the conversation I had with her - when I thought she was Victor. “She has dysphoria, you know.”


“Yeah, I know,” Josh said. “I tried checking up on her from time to time. She took it harder than I expected. I kinda screwed up there. I was too focused on making sure Vicky wasn’t dysphoric. I neglected Nicole.”


We got to our building and started walking up the stairs.


I was still angry.  I kept replaying the memories of the past semester.  I recalled making the wish that afternoon.  “You weren’t even there when I made the wish” I said.


“But my lamp was there,” Josh responded. “Your wish left - a sort of voice mail - if you want an analogy. I granted the wish when I got home. Besides, body swap wishes are best implemented when both people are asleep.”


Josh is talking but the words aren't really sinking in. 


“I can’t believe you magically made me fall in love with a guy.” I said. “And was Victor straight? That’s so not cool.”


“Well, I can’t make people fall in love,” he said. “And yes, Victor’s body is mostly straight. But I can play matchmaker. I can set lovebirds up for success. Putting Victor in Nicole’s body. Making sure you gave her the right gifts, took her to the right restaurant. That type of stuff. You falling for Vicky and Vicky falling for you was all real.”


“But how did you convince Victor to fall in love with me - a masculine enby?”


“I swapped their souls, but preserved their body’s sexuality - their physical attraction. Nicole was already demi, even if she didn't know it, so it worked out awesomely. Vicky fell for you hard. And when you came out to her, she fell deeper in love with you.” Josh pointed his finger at my chest - at my heart “...with Taylor.”


“But it was all fake,” I countered. “She was a guy.”


“You humans and your concepts of sex and gender.”


“You’re a gay man!” I said. “Or is that fake too?”


Josh sighed. “Josh Rivers is made up. I created this identity to hide from Tau Kappa. I’m actually a genderless being. Although I find human sexuality rather fascinating.”


“And your campaign?”


“Hey, now - I legitimately want to be a student at this school. I’ve lived thousands of years. Right here on this campus, with you as a friend has been some of the best and most rewarding moments of my life. One of my campaign goals is actually to kick TK off of campus. Their influence runs high up in the university and state government. And I had a hand in it.”


I nodded. I remember seeing that as an internal campaign goal that wasn’t publicized. “Can’t you just magically do that?”


“It doesn’t work like that.” Josh said. “I can only use magic when my master wishes it so, or when it’s related to a wish. Speaking of...” Josh added. “Listen Tyler, This part is important. I already knew Victor before I met you. My master at the time was Brandon. Victor’s roommate at the time.”


“Brandon?” I said looking up. I remembered the past 2 weeks and how the threat of Brandon upended our lives.


“Yes - the same one who is still looking for me. The same one who beat up Nicole. The same one who is threatening your friends. He glamoured Vicky freshman year. Made him do sub-human stuff. 


“Glamoured? What, is he a vampire?”


“No No. Those first TK guys that found me were actually quite clever and smart and found loopholes around the no falling in love rule by being able to magically increase pheromones, endorphins, dopamines, oxytocin… But anyway. Vicky - or Victor at the time doesn’t remember any of it. I made sure of that. But I got to know him. There was one night, where Victor and I just talked. I learned about him, his family, his dreams and aspirations. I convinced him to break the lamp and Brandon’s control over both him and I. The lamp broke, and I fled to find a new vessel far from Brandon and TK. He’s looking for me. He doesn’t know I took this form. But he does know Victor and Nicole swapped lives. It’s only a matter of time until he traces me back to you.”



* * *


Nicole


I stood there dumbfounded, surrounded by angry tailgaters. I wanted to run, to hide, but one student looked at me and said, “Now what? Who’s manning the grill?”


I looked at the smoking grill, and realized, yes, of course. Tyler and Josh did run away. This was their event. My stomach turned as I looked at the meat on the grill. The blackened hamburgers reminded me of my life at the moment. Charred. Smoking. Done.


“Sorry” was the best I could say. I suppose I could take over the grill, but I couldn't stand to be around people anymore. 


A guy who was wearing a Josh Rivers campaign staff shirt looked at me. “Well I guess I’ll take over.”


With that I ran home back to my apartment. As I ran, all of the pent up rage turned it to remorse and regret. The pain on Tyler’s face. On Vicky’s face. On Madison’s. The betrayal I caused for all of my friends. All of that was burned into my memory. I did that. I did it willingly out of anger.


* * *


Vicky


I ran into my bedroom and buried my head into my pillow. Lexi sat beside me on the bed petting my back.


I was just so out of it. This felt like a breakup. Hell, it was a breakup. When Lindsey dumped me, I was a zombie for at least two days and only came out of my room when my parents forced me to eat meals.


Lindsey.  Nicole compared me to Lindsey and Alan.  My best friend who stole my girlfriend.  I... I stole my best friend’s girlfriend. I know how betrayal felt? How could I betray Nicole? How could I have been so cruel?  Should I forgive myself?  Should I forgive Alan?


I remembered the look Tyler gave me. There’s no way they want to date me now - or even marry me. I could feel the diamond of my ring digging into the adjacent finger. And it brought me further grief. I’ve only been engaged for less than a day and even that felt like it was being ripped away from me. Flashes of the past 3 months ran through my head. All of the moments played in my head like a movie. Our first date, our first kiss, our first dance, the times we’d fall asleep together, the times we played video games, the intimacy we shared. The weekend with Tyler’s family. What would they think of me?


* * *


Nicole


I walked into my apartment and collapsed onto the floor. I let the tears flow. All of my anger and rage at Vicky suddenly turned into guilt. Why did I do that? Why couldn’t I just let her be happy? Why can’t I be happy? I had Madison. Last night was amazing. I didn’t need Tyler anymore. What was I thinking? Why couldn’t I control my emotions? I’m such a screw up. 


I want this to end.


Make the pain stop.


I opened up the drawers and cabinets. I found some wine, some old beer. I wanted something stronger. 


Make the pain stop and go away. 


I found a prescription bottle in the back of the cabinet. It was made out to Victor, prescribed by a dentist. It was codeine.


Make it stop.


I set the bottle on the counter. 


No. What am I doing? I need help. This is the dysphoria talking. This new life isn’t that bad. I have new parents. A new sister. I have a promising job. I still have my friends. I think I might have a girlfriend with Madison… if she still wants me. Why can’t I learn to be happy with this body? Why can’t I let go of Tyler? Of my old life? Of my old body?


I heard a knock at the door. Maybe it’s Madison. Thank God. I need help. I opened the door without thinking about it.


* * *


Vicky


I don't know how much time had passed, I may have dozed off. I looked up and glanced around the room. Lexi wasn’t there and the sun was lower in the sky.


I walked out of my bedroom and called for Lexi. “Lexi, are you here?”


Silence.


Maybe she left a message. I found my phone on the counter. I must’ve put it there when I ran in crying earlier.


There was one message. It was from Nicole. It only had one word. “help”


* * *


Tyler


We were talking around in circles for an hour it seemed. I suggested Josh go back to his tailgate, but he insisted I was more important than his campaign event and others will take care of it. 


Josh was talking about his past lives. About the fraternity that enslaved him for 15 years. He talked about the rules of being a genie. He told me that my “perfect girlfriend” wish was my first and only wish. Apparently I had two wishes left. I kept dwelling on my fragile sense of what was real. I still feel betrayed. 


“What about Nicole?” I reiterated. “What about Victor? What about me? Everything about this semester has been a lie. My girlfriend. My roommate. Where do we go from here?”


“Go and talk to them both.” Josh said. “Vicky. Nicole. They need you.”


“So if they swap back - Nicole - I mean Victor - The person I proposed to.. is a straight guy again?”


“I think the possibility of Victor being neptunic exists,” Josh said. “But that’s not a given considering what they’ve been through.”


“I love them both. But now that I know I've caused them both horrible pain, I can't keep them there. I have to fix this.”


“Yeah, OK,” Josh said. “Fix it by talking to them. Do what they could not do and tell the truth.”


“No. I mean put them back.”


“Are you sure?” Josh groaned. “There are other ways. So much has happened over the past 3 months, I’m not sure-”


“Put them back. Josh.” I said. “Fix it.”


Josh stood there in silence. He didn't approve. “We shouldn’t do this in haste. We should think about it. Ask them what they want.”


“I’ve made up my mind. I caused them so much pain.  I have to fix it.”  I walked over to the beer lamp by the window. “Is this it?”


Josh nodded.  He didn’t look happy, but I knew what I had to do.


“I wish Nicole and Victor were back in their original bodies.” I said, forcefully.


Josh closed his eyes out of disappointment. “As you command, Master.”


END ACT THREE


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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

Nooooooo
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Emily

Sorry for the cliffhanger!
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Anybody

Damn, this story is good.
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Emily

Thank you very much!
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marter

Oh jeez!!! Also, does that mean Victor was cishet then Josh changed both his gender identity and sexual orientation? but didn't do the same for Nicole?
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Elron

The Genie was under the control of Tyler alone. He took care of Tyler's needs in making the 'perfect girlfriend' out of Nicole's body and Victor's spirit. Nicole got the leftovers. Not saying that was right, fair, or cool. I think someone needs to write a strongly worded letter to Josh's manager. Or maybe sic a Karen on Josh.
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Emily

Nicole was originally demi (but thought she was bi) and Victor was originally straight. Josh swapped them, but left their sexuality with their bodys. So Vicky was now demi with a pre-existing emotional attachment to Tyler/PurpleMage, and Nicole was now exclusively attracted to women (but already had a pre-existing crush with Madison... and maybe even Kayla) Josh did say he helped calm Vicky's dysphoria.. how, he doesn't say.
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Elron

Wow, where to begin? Let's get the proofreading out of the way before the fireworks. "Madison certainly opened my eyes to a whole bunch of bedroom activities I wasn’t previously unaware of." This was a chapter I was not expecting for some time. And I never expected things to turn out the way they did. I guess if the Big Reveal gone smoothly and everyone lived happily ever after, that would be a +10. This was more like a -100. So many lives and relationships ruined, all because of an accidental wish and then trying to keep things hidden. Compounded by Nicole's penchant for impulsiveness. (She chased after Tyler and Nicole after the Halloween party to confront them at that time as well.) So it's nice to see that Vicky and Nana have bonded more now that Victor is a girl. But the second thing Nana says upon hearing of Vicky's engagement, after asking if she is going to be a bridesmaid, is to ask if Nicole knew - an important piece of foreshadowing, as it turns out. And at least Tyler and Vicky got one night of passion out of their engagement. No matter what happens from this point forward, things will never be the same. I'm probably like most readers in thinking Nicole should have just left well enough alone, and moved on with Madison, et al. I was hoping for Tyler and Vicky to get engaged and eventually marry. But, as I've said before, conflict demonstrates character. And Nicole's character is a ticking time bomb of nuclear proportions. First of all, Vicky didn't steal Nicole's life any more than Nicole stole Victor's life. They were both victims of Tyler's wish. And it was Nicole's idea to keep it a secret and play along, although Victor agreed to do it. So Nicole has no right to blame Vicky for how the relationship between Tyler and Vicky developed - she practically encouraged it. They say Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, and Nicole is certainly playing that part, even though she is ignoring the fact that she created the monster she has just become. Nicole really crossed some lines with her venomous comments. "Lindsey and Alan" was really hitting below the belt. Right where Nicole was aiming, apparently. And just like the thermonuclear warhead Nicole was acting like, the radioactive fallout spread far and wide - Tyler and Vicky, Mads, Kayla, Josh. Even Lexi the Peacemaker is going to be guilty for knowing about the swap and apparently not doing anything about it. Plus countless strangers who now have been exposed to the possibility that magic and genies exist. Even a neuralizer from Men in Black isn't powerful enough to clean up the damage Nicole wrought today. At least Josh came clean. I thought at one time he might be the genie, but with all the magic that had taken place, nothing was guaranteed. And Josh is right - they are all in danger of Brandon or TK finding him. At least Nicole didn't get to act on her suicidal thoughts, but if I'm correct about who I think was at the door, Nicole may wish she was already dead. And my guess at this point is that it was Brandon and TK come to kidnap Nicole to use as bait for the genie. And once TK has the genie back, anything bad is almost a certainty. TK obviously never used the genie for the betterment of others, just themselves. And Tyler, Nicole, Victor, et al (wow used Latin twice in one review!) are all in grave danger. I don't believe that guy from TK was there to warn Nicole, he was scouting for the attack that just happened. And once again, hasty decisions will lead to disastrous consequences. Swapping them back will destroy Vicky. Nicole will be vindicated but her and Tyler are toast. Mads and Kayla aren't going to want anything to do with Nicole now. Josh was right - they should have gone at this slowly and like adults once all the radiation had settled. So, speculation for Act IV (Roman numerals - more Latin): - Victor's body has been kidnapped and tortured by TK to draw out the genie. - Nicole and Victor will be returned to their original bodies, if it has not happened already. - Tyler and Nicole are toast. They have been toast for a long time, now they are burnt toast. - Nicole and Mads are toast. - Nicole and Kayla are toast. - Victor might wind up with Stephanie (1% chance). Can't help it, I like Stephanie. - Tyler still has one more wish, maybe he can use it to save whoever is in Victor's body and prevent TK from regaining ownership of the genie. - Taylor could possibly wind up with Victor. Victor will be 100% male, but (see next line): - Maybe Tyler will be permanently turned into Taylor for the sake of Victor. Too early for any more long-range speculation. What a cliffhanger, Emily, you really know how to write 'em. Let the countdown begin!
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Elron

Apparently the Formatter has the day off. I have the original saved, with paragraphs and stuff, to put into TGS nxt week.
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Elron

850 words - pretty good for a review.
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Elron

Hmm, the one for chapter 32 was almost 1100. Ima slacking 😕
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Emily

This was an epic review. Everything about this is spot-on.
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Elisa

Really not cool Tyler. He joins the doghouse here. Completely destroys Vicky (in multiple senses of the word). Very, very controlling -- just gotta remember these are all young kids. Nicole continues to need anger management classes, but she should be much happier with this. Poor Vicky. :'-(
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Emily

Some have said Tyler and Josh are in the doghouse. Josh mismanaged this wish and Tyler mismanaged their reaction to the truth.
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