Chapter 17 - Lance Needs a New Pair of Shoes

The Boy Who Would Be Prom Queen by Emily


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Synopsis: Life at school has changed for Lance, but its about to get more complicated

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Lance emerged from the landscaper’s shed and walked towards the front of the school. He was wearing the new dress he got yesterday. He walked with confidence as his heels clicked on the sidewalk and his dress swished across his legs.

Students looked at him and smiled.


Just then a girl came by. “Hi, Simone, I’m with the school paper. I’m doing a piece on the prom court nominees.”


“Hi,” Lance said smiling. “I don’t think we’ve met.”


“I’m Trudy.”


“Trudy, it’s nice to meet you.”


“Can I interview you?”


“Sure, Trudy.”


“First, can I get a picture?  The yearbook staff doesn’t have one for you.”


“Sure, I guess.”


Trudy took out a disposable camera and took a picture of a smiling Lance.  She then put it away. “So you just moved here. Right?”


“Yeah, I’m from California. I’ve been here for about three weeks.”


“Three weeks? And you were already nominated for prom queen?”


“I can’t believe it myself, Trudy. I wasn’t very popular at my old school.”


Another girl walked past them. “Hi, Simone, I love that dress!” she raved.


“Thank you, Emily,” Lance said, then turned his attention back to Trudy. He had a sheepish look on his face and tried to laugh off the attention.


Trudy raised an eyebrow. “I have a hard time believing that. Everyone I’ve talked to said you’re nice and pleasant - and you remember everyone’s name.”


“Everyone…” Lance started, but saw Deanna talking to people at the school doors. “Well, almost everyone here has been so welcoming.”


As Lance and Trudy walked into the school, she asked, “What do you do for fun?”


Lance was taken aback by the question. “Oh, I don’t know. I suppose I’ve been hanging around with my new friends. Going shopping. D&D. I like to play Game Boy.”


“Oh, so you’re a gamer girl?” Trudy reacted with surprise. “Have you tried Super Smash Bros?”


“I played it at the mall a few weeks ago. It’s so good. You’re into games too?”


“I just bought it last week. You should come over sometime.”


“Me?”


“Well, us gamer girls gotta stick together right?”


Lance chuckled, “Right!”


“What do you think about being nominated? Is this a dream come true for you?”


“I’m flattered that my classmates think so highly of me. I never thought I would ever be eligible… wait, I mean popular enough… to ever get nominated.”


“Last question. Have you picked a dress for prom yet?”


“I did,” Lance gushed. 


“Can you tell me about it, or is it a secret?”


“It’s kind of a secret.”


“Has your date seen it?”


Out of the corner of his eye, Lance saw Zoey watching him, anxiously waiting. When they made eye contact she scampered off to homeroom. “No. Well, I haven’t been asked yet.”


“Really? After this gets published, you’ll have boys lined up down the hall.”


“Wait, Trudy. Please don’t publish that. It’s just that… I’m kinda hoping a certain someone will ask me.”


“Oh,” she sounded disappointed. She glanced up with anticipation. “C'mon, off the record, who is he?”


“Oh, no,” Lance winked. “You're not getting that out of me." Lance stopped walking. "Well, this is my locker.”


“Simone, thank you so much for taking time with me. My offer still stands about Smash.”


“Thank you. I may take you up on that. Have a good day, Trudy.”


As Trudy walked away, another girl came up to Lance. Lance recognized her from lunch period. One of the girls who were mean to her that first day.


“Hi, Simone, can I talk to you about something?”


“Sure,” Lance replied. “What's up?”


She looked around to make sure no one was listening. “I wanted your advice,” she whispered.


“What about?”


“So, my brother came back home from college during spring break and… I mean… my sister. I mean… I don't get it. Why?”


Lance was stunned. “I’m not sure what you’re asking me.”


“How did you tell your family? How am I supposed to mourn my brother when there’s this… imposter standing there?”


“Oh. I’m not…” Lance stopped short of denying that he was trans. Clearly she came to him for help. He wanted to ask her why she came to him, but he already knew that answer. She sees through this costume. 


“I’m sorry, was I out of line?”


“No, not at all. It’s just that… I barely have my own life figured out.”


“Really? But you’re a role model at this school.”


“I am?”


“You’re so beautiful. You don’t even look like you were ever a boy.”


“Um.. how many other people know?”


“I’m not sure. I recognized you because of what I'm going through with my broth… sister. I’m sorry for the way I treated you when you first got here. I was angry at her. She killed my brother.”


Lance’s head was swirling at this revelation. “Wait. Stop. What’s your name again?”


“Amanda.”


Lance thought back to some of the stories Mack had him read and some of the additional research he’d done on the subject since getting introduced to this world. “Amanda, listen. About your sister. She didn’t kill your brother. You…you never really had a brother. You’ve only ever had a sister. She’s been pretending. She’s not pretending anymore. You wanting her to be your brother is asking her to put on a costume and put on an act for your family.”


Amanda was quiet as she took that in.


“The moment you realize she has always been your sister, is when you’ll accept her.”


Amanda had a look of sadness on her face as her eyes watered up. She then hugged Lance. “Thank you.” She wiped the tears from her eyes and walked away.


“How can I be a trans role model if I’m not trans?” Lance whispered while shaking his head. “Yet another thing I’m pretending to be. This is getting exhausting.”


* * *


After school, Lance returned to the shed to get changed. He moved some caution cones out of the way only to find nothing behind them. He looked around for his duffel bag. When he couldn’t find it, he started to panic.


“Where did it go…Where did it go?” he repeated. First a whisper, then rising in volume and anxiety until he was yelling.


He poked his head out of the shed but nobody was around. Surely his prankster was watching him, right?


* * *


Zoey was waiting by her car when Lance, still dressed as Simone, showed up. “Simone - you’re still here?”


“My bag is gone!”


“Your bag is gone? How does anyone even know it’s there?”


“I don’t know? That means my boy clothes are gone with it.”


“You didn’t have your Game Boy in it, did you?”


“No, I haven’t brought that to school since you yelled at me about it.”


“So all you really lost is a pair of jeans and a T-shirt?”


“My favorite Zelda shirt. And boxers, socks, tennis shoes-”


“OK, calm down, that can all be replaced.”


“Should we report it?”


“To whom? What will you say? You’ve been trespassing inside the school’s shed and using it as a locker room? Let’s not.”


“What am I supposed to do? Go home like this?” He motioned to the dress he was wearing.


Zoey grinned and shrugged her shoulders. “Your dad isn’t home yet. In fact, I’ve been wondering why you’ve continued to get dressed in that shed when you have a perfectly good bedroom with nobody home.”


“And spend another hour of the day as Simone?” Lance retorted.  But the moment he said that, he raised an eyebrow and hoped Zoey didn’t see he was contemplating it.


* * *


Zoey pulled up to Lance’s house. She looked down at Lance who was slouched down in the passenger seat so nobody could see him. “We’re here.” She was wondering if now was a good time to talk to him about prom. “Umm.. Simone?”


“Shh,” he replied as he poked his head up and peered out the window to see if anybody was watching. “Coast is clear.” He then opened the car door and dashed to the house, fumbling in his purse for the key, hoping the neighbors didn’t notice him.


“See you tomorrow!” Zoey yelled from the car. She then sighed at her latest missed opportunity.


He unlocked the door and irrationally ran through this house, into his bedroom and shut the door, despite knowing nobody was home.


His heart was racing as he opened his drawer to reveal his boy clothes. A sudden disappointment washed over him. He should get changed. He then eyed the clock. Dad wasn’t due home for another hour. Surely, he could remain in girl clothes for a little longer.


He smoothed out his dress, and sat up on his bed, fidgeting with his fingers.


He then walked to Simone’s room and started pairing up clothes for tomorrow.


The phone rang, and he quickly ran back to his room to answer it. He threw himself onto his bed and perched himself up on his elbows. “Hello?”


“Hey,” Mack said.


“Hey.”


“So, I heard about your duffel bag.”


“Yeah,” Lance said, twirling the hair from his wig. “I was thinking of maybe going to the mall to see if I can get some new shoes. And maybe a new shirt. That was my favorite shirt.”


“Well, if I had a car, I’d take you. Who else has a car? Francine? Olivia? Christopher?”


“If I take any of them… I can’t shop for boy clothes.”


“Your Dad?”


“Ha! As if my Dad would ever take me clothes shopping.”


“Well, you could ask Zoey.”


Lance sighed. “I’m not sure what’s up with her. While she hasn’t been totally avoiding me, she’s been very… distant.”


“I dunno, Lance. My sister can be weird sometimes.” On the other end of the phone, Mack grinned. She knew exactly what was up with Zoey, but felt it wasn’t her place to discuss it.


“Hey, Mack.” Lance was kicking his stockinged feet in the air.


“Yeah?”


“I didn’t bring it up at lunch, because Francine was there, but a girl stopped me this morning to ask for advice on how to deal with her trans sister.”


“Oh?”


“Yeah. It felt kinda weird because I’m not trans, you know?”


“Sure. And what did you say?”


“I gave her advice. I felt bad about faking being trans though.”


“I see. Lance, you’ve been under a lot of stress lately. At some point, just relax and spend time with yourself. Do some reflection on everything that’s happened.”


“Thank you.”


“Alrighty, I just called to check up on you. I need to get back to homework.”


“Bye, Mack.”


Lance got back up and returned to Simone’s room to examine more of her clothes.


When he heard the car door slam out front, he looked at the clock. Shit! Where did the time go? He quickly grabbed the nearest pair of jeans and pulled them on. He tossed the wig into the closet, slipped off the dress, and threw on an old band hoodie he found in Simone’s closet. He quickly ran to the bathroom and took his makeup off before greeting his dad in the living room. “Hi, Dad.”


“How was your day?” his dad asked.


Lance breathed a sigh of relief that Dad didn’t seem to notice he was wearing girl’s jeans. After an hour, Lance’s anxiety calmed down and his desire to get out of those jeans faded. Surely he could wear more girl’s clothes around Dad, right?


After dinner, Lance got up to do the dishes. Dad watched as Lance sauntered over to the sink. He was confused as he observed the obvious sway in his hips. Was he wearing jeans two sizes too small? First earrings. Now this. “What’s going on with this boy?” he wondered.


“Hey dad?”


“Yeah.”


“Can you take me to the mall? I need new tennis shoes.”


“Didn’t your mom just buy you new school shoes before we moved?”


“I… lost them.”


“You lost them?”


Lance simply shrugged, not wanting to open the can of worms that would happen if he said the word “stolen.”


“Can’t this wait until your mom moves here?”


“Mom won’t be here until after graduation. And these shoes are falling apart.” Lance motioned to the grass-stained sneakers that were slowly falling away from their soles.


* * *


Lance’s Dad pulled up in front of the mall and Lance got out of the car.


“I’ll be back here in an hour,” his dad said.


“OK,” Lance agreed, checking his watch.


Lance knew his dad wouldn’t actually set foot in a mall. At least he got him to drop him off. As he walked through the automatic sliding doors he realized that this was the first time he had ever been in this mall as Lance.


He was a man on a mission. New tennis shoes. That was a must. Maybe if he had time, he’d check out the games. If he found a good new shirt, maybe that.


Since he’d been to the mall several times over the last three weeks, he knew exactly where he was going. He stopped in the shoe store.


As he entered the store he looked around. He caught a glimpse of a cute pair of sandals. Wait. No, that’s not what he was there for. He looked away and headed to the men’s section.


He pulled down a pair of cross-trainers his size and quickly tried them on. They fit perfectly. He boxed up his new shoes and headed to the checkout line to pay.


As he was paying, he heard a familiar voice from the mall call his name. “Lance?”


He turned to see Olivia walking towards him. He looked around to see if anyone else was around. It appeared as if Olivia was alone. “Oh hi,” he said.


“Are you with your sister?” she asked, looking around the store.


“Oh, no, Simone’s not here,” Lance replied. “She stayed home to do homework.” Inside he was cringing at his latest lie.


“Cool!” she said. “What brings you to the mall?”


Lance held up the bagged shoe box. “New tennis shoes.”


“Oh, cool. You play tennis?”


“Me?” Lance said with a surprised look. “No, but my sister does.” Then he realized the disconnect. “Oh, wait. You call everyday shoes sneakers in this part of the country.”


“Oh,” Olivia awkwardly acknowledged. “I knew that. I was teasing.”


“Oh.”


“Where are you off to next?”


“I was thinking of hitting up the game store.”


“Want some company?”


“Sure,” Lance agreed with a smile. 


As the two of them slowly strolled through the mall, Olivia asked the question. “Why haven’t I seen you around school?”


“Oh.” Lance thought quickly. “Um. My dad enrolled me into a private school.”


“That’s a shame. Your sister is very popular at North.”


“Yeah, I heard. Go Bullfrogs! Croak! Croak!” he laughed.


“Yeah! Croak! Croak! Did you know she was nominated for prom queen?”


“Really? That’s amazing. I guess I kinda wish I could be there to see her win - if she wins, I mean.”


“You can be. I know a few girls who would love to bring you as their date.”


“Me?” Lance laughed. “Nobody wants to bring a shy loser like me to prom.”


“Lance, you’re not giving yourself any credit.” She smiled and nudged him.


He paused and stopped walking. “Wait. Are you asking… me?”


Olivia’s eyes opened wide at her implication and she was quick to respond. “Oh, no. I’m so sorry.” She turned red with embarrassment. “I didn’t mean to give that impression. There’s someone else I wanted to ask.”


“I’m sorry too.” It was Lance’s turn to be embarrassed. “I suck at social situations. Simone’s the good one.”


“Simone is so freaking cool. You’re twins, right?”


“Yeah.”


“I guess I would’ve expected you to be popular at school too.”


“Me?” Lance scoffed. “Ha. I’m so awkward. I’m not social. I can’t talk to girls.”


“Now I know you’re lying,” Olivia giggled. “You’re doing pretty well with me.”


Lance was at a loss for words. She was right. Four weeks ago, Lance wouldn’t know what to say to Olivia. His experience pretending to be his sister had allowed him to practice social situations. “So you’re waiting on a certain someone to ask you to prom?”


“Well, I was thinking of asking ‘em myself. I just wish I could know for sure if they’d say yes. There might be someone else.”


“Go for it,” Lance advised. “Many times when I’m unsure, I ask myself, ‘What would Simone do?’ and then I do that.”


Olivia smiled confidently. “You’re right. That’s what I should do. The next time I see your sister I’m going to go right up to her and ask her to prom.”


Lance’s smile changed to a mix of confusion and panic. “Wait, what?”


“I want to ask your sister to prom. She’s not taken yet, right?”


“Umm, no, she’s not.” Lance was conflicted. Should he tell her that she - no he - was waiting for Zoey to ask him? But Lance then remembered the carnival. How long should he wait for Zoey? And could he really resist Olivia asking him to prom?


As they arrived at the game store, Olivia hugged him. “Thank you Lance, it was nice chatting with you. And maybe you could put in a good word for me with your sister.” She was practically dancing as she left Lance at the game store.


Lance stood at the entrance of the store with butterflies in his stomach, anxious about the next couple of days. It was potentially a dream come true. A girl was going to ask him to prom. He just didn't know which one. He decided to push through and do what he came to do. Check out the latest releases to calm his anxieties.


As he walked towards the games he noticed a clothing rack of gaming branded designs. He skimmed through the shirts and found one he liked. He picked it up. It was another Zelda shirt with a prominent image of Link holding the Triforce on it. 


He looked at the size tag. 


“Women’s medium,” it read. 


He sighed with disappointment. A second later he looked around and timidly held it up to his chest. It was definitely a more feminine cut. But surely it would fit him. “It might not be perfect for Lance, but it would totally be perfect for Simone,” he thought. He could definitely wear this to school.


* * *


After reaching Lance’s answering machine for the third time, Zoey put the phone down and sat back on the couch, picking up the TV remote.


Mack came into the living room and sat next to her sister.  “Do you want to talk about it?”


“No.”


“Yeah, you do.  Why haven’t you asked him to prom?”


“I’m going to!”


“Zo, you’ve had no problem talking to guys before. You had Tyler wrapped around your finger, and before that, that guy from the track team, and before that…”


“I don’t know.”


“Is it because it’s not about Lance, but Simone?”


“They’re the same person.”


“Listen, I try not to be all up in your business, but what happened between you and Olivia?

“It’s nothing, OK?” Zoey got flustered.


“It’s not nothing. What happened between you two?  Clearly you two had history before Tyler started stalking her.”


Zoey rolled her eyes.  “You’re not going to stop, are you?”


“I’m your sister, It’s my job to annoy you until you tell me the truth.  C’mon. You can tell me.”


Zoey paused and shook her head.  “We hooked up at homecoming.  There.  Is that what you wanted to hear?” Zoey looked at her sister expectantly.


“I just wanted the truth. And good job.  Olivia’s hot.”


Zoey crossed her arms. “Go ahead, call me the L-word.”


“Why would I do that? You know my best friend is bi, right? You can be bi.  I have gay friends too. There’s nothing wrong with being a lesbian. Are you afraid?”


“I’m not afraid.”


“Then say it.”


“Fine. Lesbian.”


“Great.  And it’s OK to be bi too.”


Zoey looked at her sister. “I’m not bi.” Then she started shrinking into the couch.


“Wait, seriously?” Mack asked, surprised.


“Olivia was right.  I had no idea what I was.  I dated Tyler because it was expected of me.  But… I never really… liked him.  But I brushed it off because I had a boyfriend.  Isn’t that how high school is supposed to go?”


“Have you ever wanted to dump Tyler for another guy? Even those cute guys on the soccer team?”


“No. It never occurred to me.  Until after the incident with Olivia.  Then it was… the umm… girls’ soccer team.  But I never acted upon it.  I thought it was the guilt of cheating on Tyler with Olivia.  My subconscious was punishing me.”


“This is a big deal, Zo.”


Zoey shrugged in frustration.  “I dunno.” 


“So, let me get this straight. You had a fling with a chick once.  The head cheerleader, to boot.  But you tell yourself you’re not into girls and this was a one-time thing.  Then you meet Simone.  You convince yourself it’s OK to feel things for her, because Simone is really Lance.  But you don't like Lance.  You like Simone.  The genie is already out of the bottle.  That now makes two girls you’re attracted to, and zero guys. Am I close? Is that it?”


Zoey huffed. “You’re really annoying.” Then she paused as her sister stared at her waiting for a real response. “Maybe.”


“I think it’s cute.”


“I…” Zoey looked around for any sign of their parents.  “I really like Simone.  She’s smart and witty, and she doesn’t take any of my shit.  And oh, God, is she cute. She does this one thing with her lips when she gets flustered.  And I think she plays with her hair when she’s flirting with me. But… we did that.  Me and you. We created her.  What does that say about me?”


“It says you helped Lance find a missing part of himself.”


“But Lance isn’t a girl. Shouldn’t I feel guilty for what I did?”


“I suppose it depends on whether Lance is a willing participant for this transformation. When I asked him at the very beginning of this, all he wanted was visibility.  He’s visible now, and yet he’s still in this willingly.”


“Right.”


“Zo, who do you want to go to prom with?”


“Simone.”


“Then go ask her.  Fuck gender.  If after all of this Lance doesn’t want to play that part anymore,   or if he wants to continue it, see where it goes from there.”


“But if he stops being Simone, it’ll hurt.”


“So what? You’ve been dumped before.”


“And that hurt.  Tyler humiliated me.”


“Do you think Lance will humiliate you?”


“There’s a very good chance of that, if the truth comes out.”


“I doubt Lance would ever purposely hurt you.  He actually likes you, if you can believe it.”


“What will people say if I show up to prom with a crossdressing boy?”


“But wasn’t that part of your plan?”


“It was.  But, I… didn’t think I’d actually fall for her.  And I didn’t think this would actually work.  I thought he would’ve bailed a week into this and I would have had to admit defeat to Dee.”


“Zoey, who cares who you show up to prom with. Lance.  Simone. Olivia.  Hell, me!  The point is to do what you want to do.  Be yourself.  Date the person you want to date. And fuck anyone who tells you to be someone else and date someone else. ”  Mack stood up from the couch.  “Think about it.”


“Thank you,” Zoey said to her sister. “I appreciate it.”  She then smiled and teased, “Nerd.”


“Bimbo!” Mack replied, walking away.


When Mack was gone Zoey sighed.  She closed her eyes for a minute, trying to think of her next course of action.


Before Zoey had time to fully process her talk with Mack, she heard her father’s voice. “Zoey,” her father said from behind her.


“Yes, Daddy?” she quickly answered, sitting up.


“What’s the meaning of this?” Mr. Sellers held up a stack of envelopes. “These are acceptance letters from five different schools. Tucked in behind the phone books.”


“Weird,” she mused. “I’m not sure how they got there.”


“You told me you hadn’t heard back from any of them.”


She shrugged.


“Talk to me, Zoey. What’s this about?”


She didn’t really want to have this conversation right now.  But she remembered what Lance told her the other day.  And Mack had just told her the same thing. To do what she wants to do. She needed to finally confront her dad. “I’m burned out.”


“Burned out?”


“Yes. I’ve been under immense pressure these last four years to give up all of my dreams and focus on yours.”


“Give up on your dreams? College is your dream.”


“No, it’s your dream.” She grabbed the stack of envelopes from his hands. As she flipped through each envelope she recited, “Business school. Business school. Business school,” and tossed each onto the couch. “All of them hand picked by you.”


Mr. Sellers shook his head in disappointment. “Why didn't you speak up earlier?”


“I did. Freshman year. I wanted to go to dance school.”


“Dance school?” he scoffed. “What kind of job-”


“You’re doing it again. We're supposed to be talking about my future. Not yours. I deserve the chance to at least try.”


“But, I’m paying for-”


“Do you want me to enjoy what I do for a living? I don't want to be a mindless drone who starts looking forward to retirement the day she starts her career.” She pointed down at the acceptance letters strewn about. “Daddy, I don't want to go to any of those schools. That’s not who I am.”


“Where’s this coming from?”


“I spent the last four weeks helping my friend be someone he’s not. I’m a hypocrite. I’m just like you. I shouldn’t have had him pretend.”


There was silence for a minute while both father and daughter considered their next words.


“Will you still love me if I don’t have an MBA? Or I’m not a CEO?”


“Of course I will, honey.”


“Will you be proud of me if I’m still trying to make ends meet while I search for my next gig?”


“I’m always proud of you.  You’re growing to be such a brilliant and independent young adult.”


“Then let me make an adult decision.  This,” she picked up an envelope from the couch, “is not who I am.”


Mr. Sellers sighed and sat down next to his daughter. “If you can show me your plans for the next four years - with fallback plans - then I’ll pay for you to go to the school of your choice - including dance school.”


Zoey nodded. “I can do that.” Internally she was screaming with excitement that she finally got through to him. She got up and hugged him. “Thank you, daddy!”


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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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ZylaKat

God I love it when eggs are known to be trans by completely random people before they'd figured it out themselves xD
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