Chapter 6 - The Aftermath

A Suitable Crush by Emily


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Synopsis: The finale!

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 Previous Chapter

Lisa was speechless as both Ava and Kaitlyn stared at her. Surely she could come up with an excuse on why she had Tristan’s phone. Maybe she borrowed it from him. Maybe her phone was dead. Maybe there was a mixup. She made eye contact with each, but it was Ava who was looking at her more intently. 


“Your eyes are brown,” Ava observed.


“My eyes?” Lisa echoed.


“Your eyes were blue earlier.”


Lisa put her hands up to cover her eyes. She had forgotten to put the contacts back in during the last switch. Surely she could come up with another excuse. Maybe it was the lighting in this ballroom. Maybe she did wear blue contacts but they were irritating her eyes.


Ava reached into her clutch and pulled out her own phone. She typed something.


Tristan’s phone once again pinged with a QuikChat notification.


“I just DM’ed you,” she quietly said to Lisa. “And it came up on Tristan’s phone. What’s going on here?”


Lisa looked back up at Ava. Maybe she could find another excuse. “I can explain,” she said defensively. She looked over to Kaitlyn, but she had a stunned expression. 


Or maybe she really just wanted to be caught. 


“Tristan?” Ava whispered. “It can’t be. I saw you both together on the dance floor. I introduced you both.”


“It doesn't make sense,” Kaitlyn said, playing back her own memories. “How? I live with Tristan - you’d think I would’ve noticed…” Her eyes got wide. “Wait - that is my mother’s necklace! Tristan? Is that really you?”


Lisa put her head down in shame. She was caught. No excuse would get her out of this jam. “Yes,” she admitted, her voice barely above a whisper.


“Sorry, Lisa, I couldn’t hear that,” Kaitlyn’s voice was rising to the point of attracting attention.


Lisa looked up at Ava and swallowed. “Yes, I’m really Tristan. I’m so sorry.”


“How could you do this to me?” Ava said, her anger and hurt rapidly building.


“I only wanted to get close to you,” Lisa whispered. “I didn’t mean to hurt you.”


Kaitlyn looked Lisa up and down, and stopped on her breasts. “How is this even possible? Is that a mask? Fake breasts?”


Lisa continued talking to Ava. “I didn’t take your rejection well. I wanted to see if you were telling the truth. I bought a body suit. I enrolled in Lovelace. I pretended to be a new girl at your school. Things got…out of hand.”


“‘Out of hand?’ What the fuck, Tristan!” Ava raised her voice. “I told you, ‘No. I don’t want to date you.’ That should’ve been the end of it. You don’t go and pretend to be someone else. That’s so fucked up.” Ava stood up. “I can’t believe you would humiliate me like this. After I trusted you with-” Ava froze while she processed more of Tristan’s betrayal. Her eyes narrowed and she hissed, “You- you saw me-” She suddenly slapped Lisa hard across her face, the suit’s pain receptors making Tristan’s cheek sting.


Ryan frantically appeared at Lisa’s side. “Lisa, is everything OK?” 


Before Lisa could answer, Kaitlyn spoke up. “No, it’s not. Ryan, do you know you’re on a date with your best friend?”


“I’m sorry, I can’t do this,” Ava interrupted, “I want to go home. Ryan, please take me home. I don’t want to see her… him. Tristan, please stay away from me. Forever.”


Ryan looked at Lisa, who was cradling her face. He wanted guidance that he wasn’t abandoning his own date.


“Go,” Lisa said quietly. “Take her home. I’ve screwed up enough tonight.”


When Ryan and Ava were gone, people who were sitting at the nearby table were confused at what just happened. Isabella and Abigail finally returned.


“What happened?” Izzy asked. “Where's Ava?”


“I just want to go home,” Lisa stated, putting her head into her hands.


“Let me find my date, and we’ll head out,” Kaitlyn said.


As they left the ballroom, Lisa passed Addison Thomas who was laughing. “Fuck around and find out, bitch!” Addison laughed.


Lisa wasn’t sure how much Addison had seen. Was it the whole confrontation or just the slap heard ‘round the world? Either way, Lisa ignored her and pushed through to the outside.


* * *


Lisa collected her things from the adjacent empty ballroom and met the others at her car.


“Where’s your stepbrother and his date?” William asked. “Who’s this girl?”


“Don’t worry about it,” Kaitlyn said, as the three teens got into the car. 


Lisa just wanted to get home, so she left her heels on as she drove. It was awkward at first, but she got used to it.


The drive home was quiet. William, not knowing what had happened inside, tried to lighten the mood with some jokes that just didn’t land. Lisa dropped him off at his house and they continued on home. 


The siblings walked into their dark house. Lisa turned on the lights and started for the stairs.


“I’m going to bed,” Lisa announced.


“Not yet,” Kaitlyn disagreed. “You owe me some answers. Sit down.”


Lisa was too tired to argue, so she trudged back into the living room and fell into the couch. She unstrapped and kicked off her heels, then started massaging her feet. Knowing that she no longer had to hide her inexperience at women’s attire she commented, “God, I don’t know how you wear these things.”


Kaitlyn sat across from her. She noticed Lisa’s legs were wide open. “Dude, close your legs.”


Lisa sighed as she crossed her legs and adjusted her dress. “What did you want to talk about? You’re pissed right? Go ahead and rip me a new one. Just make this quick. I’m already pretty humiliated and tired from all the changes tonight.”


Kaitlyn was quiet for a moment as she was trying to find the right words. “Do you prefer Tristan or Lisa?” she asked, her voice calm.


“What?” Lisa asked, surprised. “That’s what you want to ask me? You’re not angry?”


“I am angry. But, I gotta know. Tristan, are you trans?”


“No.”


“How long have you been dressing like a girl?”


“Since I got the body suit. Last week.”


“Does your mom know?”


“No.”


“So, let me get this straight. You impersonated a girl online. You bought a female body suit. You bought girl’s clothes. You enrolled yourself in an all-girls’ school. You convincingly fooled everyone into thinking you were a girl - so what? So you could date Ava?”


“Yes. Ava told me she’s a lesbian. So, I decided to become one, hoping-.”


Kaitlyn cut her off, “Tristan, lesbians by definition are women. You aren’t. Unless - and I’m going to ask again. Are you trans? If so, you can tell me. I swear I won’t tell your mom or my dad.”


Lisa was silent. She wasn’t trans, and she didn’t want to repeat herself. “Can I go upstairs now?”


“Did you enjoy being Lisa?”


“Yes,” she whispered, looking at the floor.


“Why? What was exciting about it?”


Lisa sighed as she searched her feelings for answers. “I’m such a loser. I only get friend-zoned. When I’m Lisa, I’m a different person. More confident. More attractive. The way people looked at me when I was Lisa made me feel like - not a loser.”


“Tristan, you’re not a loser.”


“Yeah, right. You’ve been calling me a loser since the day you met me.”


“I was angry about my dad dating again. I was angry he moved on from Mom so quickly. She was only gone six months when he introduced me to you and your mom. What did you think was going to happen? That we were going to be BFFs?” She couldn’t hold back the tears. “I didn’t want a brother… I wanted my mom back!” 


Lisa felt like shit. She knew Kaitlyn’s mom had passed away, but she never considered the effect this had on Kaitlyn. It didn’t help that Kaitlyn had never brought the subject up until now. “I’m sorry, Kaitlyn, I never knew,” Lisa apologized. “I should have asked you how you were coping.”


“Thank you. I think we both could have done a better job communicating. And for what it’s worth,” Kaitlyn added, “I was trying to set you up with Abby. She seems like she’s interested. But you were too boneheaded and obsessed with Ava to notice.”


Lisa whispered, “I really screwed up, didn’t I?”


“Yeah, you did.”


“I don’t know what I’m going to do.” Lisa got up and said, “But I am going to bed,” and walked upstairs. Kaitlyn didn’t stop her.


* * *


Lisa threw herself on her bed. She wanted to change out of the body suit, but instead buried her head into the pillow and cried. She wanted to cry. No, she needed to cry. And for reasons she didn’t understand, she found it much easier to cry as Lisa and not as Tristan, so she let the floodgates open. 


When she was ready to get up, she peeled herself from the pillow and deactivated the suit. 


He pulled off the mask. Tristans’s face was tear soaked. Those were his tears. They weren’t manufactured by the suit.


He continued getting undressed then took a shower. He put on a T-shirt and shorts and sat on his bed trying to think of what he was going to do. He checked his phone. Ava’s contact disappeared from QuikChat. She blocked him.


He decided to text Ryan. “I’m sorry I ruined everything.”


There was a knock at the door. “Are you decent?” Kaitlyn asked.


“Yeah,” he sighed. 


“Sorry, I know you’re about to go to bed…” She walked into the room. Her eyes were drawn to the body suit draped on the bed. She walked over and touched it. Her hand recoiled. “It’s so real.”


“What did you need?” Tristan asked without looking up.


“I came to check on you.”


“Your necklace is on the dresser. I also borrowed some of your clothes.”


She walked over to the dresser and picked up her mother’s necklace and let it dangle from her hand. She chuckled. “Mom wanted two daughters. I always wanted a sister.”


Tristan was silent.


His phone buzzed with a reply from Ryan. “I’m home. Ava didn’t say much. I didn’t even get Chloe’s number.”


Tristan put his phone down without responding.


“So what now?” Kaitlyn asked. “Are you just going to box Lisa up? Throw her in the closet? Pretend none of this happened?”


“I said, I don’t know,” Tristan tersely replied. “Ava blocked me. She doesn’t want to hear from me. Ryan is pissed. This was only supposed to be for a week. I was going to drop out of Lovelace tomorrow. Box up Lisa. Donate her clothes.”


Kaitlyn sat on the edge of the bed looking sympathetically at Tristan. “But what would’ve happened if Ava said yes?”


Tristan closed his eyes and shook his head, “I didn't think that far. I-I would’ve found a way to keep being Lisa.”


Kaitlyn nodded and stood up. She walked to the bedroom door and turned back towards Tristan. “Tristan?”


He looked up at her.


“If you… find a reason to keep being Lisa… I’ll support you.”


Tristan rolled his eyes.


“By the way,” Kaitlyn asked, “when you went out last night to buy a suit…”


Tristan cringed at yet another lie. “That’s when Ava and Lisa went dress shopping.”


“Wow!” she exclaimed. “You went dress shopping. Did you have fun?”


“Sure. I got a chance to hang out with Ava. We had a great time.”


Well, next time the girls go shopping we'll bring Lisa with us. Just… ask before borrowing my clothes next time.” She smiled and left the room before Tristan could respond.


He went over to his alarm, shut it off, turned out the lights, and climbed into bed.


* * *


Tristan didn’t get a good night’s sleep. He tossed and turned as the events of the dance played back in his mind. The high of being Lisa. Of being a hot girl at that dance. Of dancing with Ava and Madeline. But then the lows of seeing Kaitlyn and Ava kissing. Of seeing Ava’s hurt expression as she told him to never talk to her again.


He was awakened by a knock at his door. 


He didn’t get up. 


Another knock. This time louder.


“Tristan, get up. It’s Friday. We still have school.”


He rolled over. “I already told my school I’m out all week. And I’m certainly not setting foot back inside Lovelace.”


That’s when Kaitlyn barged into his bedroom and turned the light on, welcome or not. She pulled out Lisa’s uniform from his closet and laid it on top of his bed, next to the body suit that was never put away.


“You’re driving me to school today,” she announced. “And you’re going to apologize to Ava.”


“Not a chance,” he replied from somewhere under the covers. “She doesn’t want to talk to me. She doesn’t even want me going near her.”


“You’re going to make the attempt.”


“Kaitlyn…”


“Lisa, you owe me big time. I’m sticking my neck out for you. I’m keeping this whole escapade a secret from Dad and Melissa.”


He sat up in bed. “What if they kick me out? What if they arrest me for being a boy at a girls’ school?”


“Where were those concerns at the beginning of the week?”


“Nobody but Ryan knew I was a guy until last night. Now… one, two, three, maybe more know the truth. Maybe the whole school knows.”


“Then don’t piss anyone off.”


“Yeah, well, looks like that ship has sailed.”


“Let’s go. We’re running late.”


He pulled the covers off himself and got out of bed. “Do you mind?”


She turned her back to Tristan and faced the doorway.


“Go away.”


“I’m not leaving until you are up and ready for school, Lisa.”


He grunted then walked over to the body suit. He put it on, this time not taking long at all. 


“Where’d you get it?” Kaitlyn asked, still facing the door.


“What?” Tristan asked.


“The body suit.”


“This company called ‘Skincognito’. It was a government contractor that made disguises for spies and witnesses.” He pressed the earlobe and activated it.


“That couldn’t have been cheap.”


“Over 500 dollars,” Lisa replied when the suit was done activating.


Kaitlyn gasped at the change in Tristans’ voice. “It does your voice too.”


“It does.” Lisa quickly slid on a pair of clean panties and fastened her bra.


“So, that’s where all of your Christmas money went,” Kaitlyn said, making the connection.


“That and clothes. I never realized how much girl’s clothing costs.”


Kaitlyn chuckled. “If you think clothing is bad, wait until you have to buy makeup, or get your hair done.” She turned around to see Lisa standing there wearing just her skirt and adjusting her bra cups.


“Do you mind?” Lisa groused, making a futile attempt at covering her chest with her arms. 


Kaitlyn giggled. “We’re both girls - at the moment. Hey - next time try putting the blouse on first, then the skirt. That’s how I do it.”


Giving up on modesty, Lisa picked up her blouse to continue dressing. She sighed as she put it on and started buttoning. Fastening the girl’s-side buttons had become as second nature as putting on the body suit. When she was done, she tucked the shirt into the skirt then sat on the bed and put her foot through the pantyhose. She huffed and looked over at Kaitlyn who was biting her thumbnail and had a smug look on her face. “What?”


“Want help?”


“Do I have a choice?” Lisa asked, handing the pantyhose to her.


“See, you ball it up in your hand, like so,” she demonstrated, expertly rolling it up. “Then you stick your foot in it, and unroll it up your leg.” She handed the hose back to Lisa with the one leg still rolled up.


“I know, I know! I watched some videos on it.”


“Sorry, I didn’t know you were a pro after only a week.”


“I’m just flustered. I never had to crossdress in front of anyone before. Especially when they’re judging my every action.” She then repeated the process on her other leg, trying to do it just right, knowing she was being scrutinized.


“Wasn’t that easier?”


“It’d be easier if you weren’t watching me.”


“You know,” Kaitlyn said, ignoring Lisa’s quip. “If you continue to be Lisa, we’re going to have so much fun! Clearly you have an eye for dresses. Did you pick that out, or did Ava? And those heels! Damn girl, those were hot.”


“I found the dress, and then Ava picked out the matching heels. Hey - who said I’m going to continue to be Lisa?”


“Duh. I barged in here, told you to be Lisa, and drive me to school - and you did it without much complaining. I also have been living with you for a year. I can't get you to do anything unless you secretly already wanted to do it. Like driving me to the mall. Only if Ava is present. You think you’re sly, but I see through your complaints and mild resistance. You also admitted to me last night you liked being Lisa.” She smiled in victory. “Ergo…”


“Fine,” Lisa said. “I make no promises.” She stood up, faced the mirror, and put on the tie and blazer, then her school shoes.


“Face me,” Kaitlyn directed.


Lisa stood in front of her grinning as Kaitlyn dusted off the blazer and straightened the tie.


“Are you smiling?” Kaitlyn asked.


“No,” Lisa said, trying in vain to hide it.


“Liar. You are enjoying this. Don’t you ever deny being Lisa is fun.”


They both turned to face the mirror to see the reflection of two girls in identical Lovelace uniforms.


“OMG we're sisters!” Katilyn gushed.


“Can we just go?” Lisa grumbled. “I wouldn’t want to be late to my own execution.”


“Yeah, we can,” Kaitlyn agreed. “Thanks again for driving me to school, sis!”


Lisa grunted as she followed Kaitlyn downstairs. “You’re enjoying this too much.”


* * *


Lisa parked and she and Kaitlyn walked towards the entrance of Ada Lovelace Girls’ Preparatory Academy. Ava, Izzy, and Abby were sitting in their normal spot under the grand oak tree.


When Ava saw Lisa and Kaitlyn approaching, she quickly got up and walked into the school.


“I’ll talk to her,” Kaitlyn promised, putting her hand on Lisa’s shoulder. “Just be patient.”


“She’s likely talking to the dean right now explaining that I’m a guy,” Lisa replied.


“Stay positive. Just don’t go talk to her without me, or before I’ve had a chance to talk to her first. Don’t make things worse.”


Lisa nodded, then asked, “Kaitlyn, why are you doing this for me? Just a few days ago you hated me.”


“Well, a few days ago you were just my dumb stepbrother. We’ve talked more in these past 24 hours than we have in the past year.”


“But, still. A few heart-to-hearts and you’re sticking your neck out for me?”


“Because I feel like I’ve gotten to know you better. And I think you know me better. Because I know you encouraged Ava and me to happen. Because - I… might have a sister.”


“Kate!” Lisa said, annoyed.


“I know, sorry. No labels. But I want Ava to be my girlfriend. I can’t have a feud between my girlfriend and my brother - or sister.… sister - or brother. I want us all to be friends.”


“I want that too,” Lisa agreed. “But right now I’d settle for her not hating my guts, and not getting thrown in jail for trespassing - or worse.”


They walked up to Abby and Izzy.


“What happened last night?” Abby asked.


“Ava refuses to talk about it,” Izzy added.


“Another time perhaps,” Kaitlyn said cryptically to the girls on the bench.


“Well, I’m not going to dance around this,” Lisa declared. “It’s my fault. I lied to Ava. I betrayed her trust. Now she doesn’t want to see me again. I need to apologize to her.”


The class bell rang and Lisa followed all the students filing into the school.


* * *


The day went on normally. Nobody mentioned the events at the dance to Lisa. Gym class was the biggest test. If anyone knew the truth, she would’ve been kicked out of the locker room and security notified. Nothing happened.


During English Lit, Madeline was waiting for Lisa. “Hey, what happened to you last night?”


“Shit hit the fan,” Lisa whispered. “My crush found out.”


“About… Tristan?” Madeline whispered back.


“Yeah.”


“I’m glad you came back. I saw a little bit of that drama from afar. It looked bad. I wasn’t sure I was going to see you again after last night ended the way it did.”


“I wasn’t planning on coming back, but I wasn’t given a choice this morning.”


“So what happens now?”


“I don’t know. I came back to apologize to her. If she’ll see me.”


“I mean with you, Lisa. Will I see you again?”


Lisa didn’t know what to say. “I’m not sure if I can juggle two schools. I don’t think I’m coming back Monday.”


“I understand. Lisa-”


She was interrupted by the teacher starting class.


“We’ll talk after school,” she said, then turned back around to face the teacher.


During World History is where Lisa ran into Chloe.


“What happened last night?”


Lisa sighed. She didn’t want to talk about it.


“I was having fun with your cousin, then he rushes over to your table where there’s all sorts of drama, then you all left!”


“Sorry, Chloe, I had a big argument with my friend. Ryan agreed to take her home.”


“Oh,” she said. She paused for a moment. “Your cousin is a great dancer.” She turned around in her seat for a moment, and turned back around. “I forgot to give this to him.” She slid a ripped-off corner of note paper with a phone number on it to Lisa. “Can you give that to him?”


“Of course,” Lisa responded. She smiled, knowing this would certainly help redeem her in Ryan’s eyes. This might even make his day.


“Oh, you should keep a copy too,” Chloe added, “in case you want to get together sometime.”


“Thanks, Chloe, I will.” Chloe’s simple gesture gave Lisa a glimmer of hope she might survive this ordeal, although Chloe didn’t know Lisa was a guy underneath this pretty girl.


The rest of the school day was uneventful. Right before the last period of the day, Kaitlyn finally texted Lisa, “She’s still angry, but agreed to meet you after school.”


Knowing that Ava was still angry tightened the knot in Lisa’s stomach. She was getting more nervous by the minute. She knew she had to apologize, but she didn’t know the right words to say.


* * *


Lisa spent the final period thinking about what she wanted to say to Ava, and also how to say it. She reflected on everything that had happened this week. All the lies that had been told. The betrayal. The hurt feelings. 


When the last class of the day ended, all of the students rushed out of the classrooms and out of the school. Lisa however, nervously trudged along. This was not a conversation she was looking forward to.


As promised, Ava was sitting outside the school under the grand oak tree with her friends. When Kaitlyn saw Lisa, she grabbed Abby and Izzy and walked away to give Lisa and Ava some privacy. Ava stood up.


“Hi,” Lisa greeted Ava as she approached.


Ava stood there with her arms crossed. 


“Do you want to go somewhere private?” Lisa asked, looking around at the students around them heading home.


“No. Not at all,” she abruptly replied. "You have five minutes, Tristan. You can thank Kaitlyn for them because I wasn't going to give you even one." Every word oozing with contempt, cutting deep into Lisa.


Lisa tried to speak but choked on her words. This wasn't going to be easy, but she had to do this. She knew she would never be able to forgive herself if she didn't at least try to make amends.


"Well?" Ava said, impatiently.


Lisa felt the anger from Ava’s response and took a deep breath. “Ava, I am so sorry-.”


“For what?” Ava sharply replied. “Do you even know what you’re apologizing for? Are you even capable of remorse?”


Clearly this was going to be harder than Lisa imagined. “I… I tricked you.”


“You catfished me.”


“Yes. And… I… I betrayed your trust.”


“You used my secret against me. To lure me into spending time with you.”


“Ava, I am so sorry I lied to you. I’m sorry I kept on lying. I’m sorry I pretended to be someone else. I used you. I broke our trust. I screwed up royally. I hurt some people, but most of all I hurt you. And again, I am so sorry for everything.”


“Then why did you do it?”


Lisa took a deep breath and looked into Ava’s eyes. “Because…I love you.”


“Love? This is about love? Lying to me? Deceiving me. Using my innermost feelings against me? That’s your idea of love?” she erupted. “My God, Tristan, if you loved me, you would have respected my decision. You would have trusted me. Instead, you betrayed every minute of friendship we've ever shared - all so you could trick me into dating you. What was next, sex? Tristan, Lisa - whoever the fuck you are - you’re not even human. You're a monster!”


Lisa looked back at the ground. “You’re right. I was only thinking of myself, not you.”


“Clearly. What did you even think was going to happen? I don’t understand what was going through your mind. There’s only one way catfishing ends.”


This wasn’t how Lisa imagined the apology would go. She was losing her audience. “My intent wasn’t to catfish you. It wasn’t to hurt you or cause you pain. I was in a bad place. I did it because I didn’t believe you.”


“You didn’t believe me?”


“When you told me you were into girls, I assumed I was being rejected because you didn’t like me for me. I did this initially because I wanted to find the truth. I was looking for verification that yes, I was a loser and you rejected me because I was a loser - not ‘cause I’m a guy. This was never about hurting you. This was about me doubting myself. Doubting that I was worthy to ever be anyone’s boyfriend. I should've respected your wishes. Instead, I was obsessed with my self-fulfilling prophecy. So, I created ‘Lisa’. After I found out you were telling the truth, I should’ve stopped. Lisa should’ve just disappeared. But instead I continued to mislead you and dig myself in deeper. Throughout this whole ordeal, you did nothing wrong. I, however, did everything wrong. I reacted poorly, and I’m embarrassed at how I’ve acted since then.


“So, you did this because you thought I was lying? Tristan, have I ever lied to you?”


“No, you never have.”


“Why didn’t you stop? Why did you keep being Lisa?”


Tristan mumbled, “I-I liked it.”


“What was that?”


“I liked it. I liked flirting with you. I liked hiking and shopping. I liked being Lisa. Besides, I already dug myself a hole. There was an ad with a coupon on the site where I made the pictures I sent you - for realistic body suits - and that's when I thought that maybe you might want to date Lisa. So, I bought one. I told myself at the time that it was the coupon that convinced me to do it, but I knew I was going to buy it just on the chance you’d say yes. Ryan tried talking me out of it, but I was desperate and wasn’t listening to anyone.”


Through her anger, Ava let out a slight chuckle. “You never were one to take half measures. Or think things through before jumping in.” She regained her defensive composure. “But I told you at the fountain that I already had my heart set on someone. What made you think that 'Lisa' could replace her?”


"I hoped that by being 'out' and 'available' that the connection we already had could grow into something more. But, when I asked you out again on the hike it became clear that we were never going to be more than friends. I was upset, but not just because of yet another rejection. I was upset because I spent my entire savings on Lisa so that we might become more than friends - only to end up as just friends - again. Now, I liked being friends again, but the reality started to set in and I was back at that same dark place I was at the fountain. Luckily, I somehow made other friends this week. One of them found me and talked me out of the darkness.”


"So, if she hadn't talked with you then, you weren't going to come back?"


"Most likely. But I'm glad she did. The next day Kaitlyn and your friends convinced you and me to go to the dance. I knew Ryan needed a date, and since I was a girl all week, I offered. Then you asked Tristan-"


"I only asked you because I thought you understood the boundaries.” The anger in her voice was back with a vengeance.


“But I’m still glad we all went to this dance.”


“You’re glad you fooled and tricked us?" 


Lisa winced a little. "No, I meant I’m glad because you and Kaitlyn finally connected at the dance. If I hadn't helped you to believe that you could come out to her, or been there to help Kaitlyn through her feelings, you would still be hiding part of yourself away. I know I wanted to be the one you chose, but your happiness is more important to me than a childhood crush. If you never want to speak to me again, I can at least know I helped you and my sister Kaitlyn find happiness with each other.”


"Wait, you talked with Kaitlyn? Did you tell her my secret after I asked you not to?”


“No, no - this was after you pulled her aside. She ran away. I followed her. We ended up having the most honest conversation we've ever had since our parents met. I finally saw the bond between the two of you for what it was. Ava, I want both of you to be happy, and I know now that you two will be happy together.”


“So, you think just because you helped us that you should be forgiven? The ends don’t justify the means.”


Lisa shook her head firmly. "No. Absolutely not. What I did was wrong on so many levels. I know that. If anyone else found out, I would probably end up in prison and definitely on one of those sex offender lists.”


“Are you only remorseful because you got caught?”


“No. I realized I had dug myself a hole I couldn’t get out of earlier in the week. I couldn’t stand lying anymore. I knew that I couldn't keep the lie going, but I wasn't about to spoil the night for everyone else. I was already formulating a plan to reveal everything to you, but then you and Kaitlyn figured it out. But I am most remorseful because I hurt you, and broke a trust that took years to grow.”


“So why are you still in that get-up?”


“At first, Kaitlyn pushed me to be here. And being here means being Lisa. But, I had all day to think about what I had done, and I realized I needed to apologize to you in person. Not a text or phone call. I wanted to show you how truly sorry I am for hurting you. Finally, I made friends here. They deserve a goodbye.”


Ava looked down at her cellphone. “Your five minutes are up.”


Lisa nodded her understanding, and was about to walk away.


“You’ve been lying to me for weeks,” Ava said. “Tell me something real. Something truthful. And don’t tell me you love me.”


Lisa avoided eye contact and looked off into the distance. A few bare trees swayed with the cool early March breeze. A sign spring was almost here. “I’m struggling, Ava.” She winced in pain. An acknowledgement she had never spoken out loud.


That answer took her by surprise. “Struggling? Like how?”


Their eyes met for a moment before Lisa looked away, not wanting to reveal how vulnerable she actually was.


Ava motioned to the bench. “Here, sit down. Talk to me.”


They both sat on the bench. Lisa resting her elbows on her knees, looking down. Ava facing Lisa at full attention. 


Lisa continued, “I haven’t told my Mom. I haven’t told Ryan. But… I’ve been depressed ever since my dad left us. It’s been one rejection after another. I have a hard time waking up each day. Seeing you gave me one good thing to look forward to. And that was long before Lisa. Kaitlyn would use that knowledge to get me to drive her anywhere as long as you were around. But, I didn’t care. I enjoyed it because I got to see you. Your presence was the highlight of those dark days. I know this doesn't excuse my actions - I still did an awful thing - but being Lisa… gave me an opportunity to be someone else. To leave Tristan’s problems behind.” She paused, closed her eyes and reopened them. “I think that’s why I really came back. That’s the real reason I’m Lisa right now.”


“If you’re struggling, you need to talk to someone. Dressing up and pretending to be someone else is not healthy.”


“I know, but I had to be strong. You’re the man of the house now, Tristan. I'm not strong. I’m weak. I couldn’t admit that. Not to Mom. Not to Ryan. I’m not strong. I should’ve listened to Ryan when he told me this Lisa thing was a bad idea. But I was desperate for connection. Desperate for someone who wouldn’t reject me.”


“You know who else you could’ve talked to? Someone who may know what you’re going through?”


Lisa shook her head.


“Kaitlyn. Have you ever talked to her about this?”


“No.”


“You should. She lost her mom around the same time you lost your dad.”


Tristan nodded.


“Tristan? Are you still in that dark place?”


“No. Despite the fact that I'm in a lot of trouble - I feel like a weight has been lifted. I don't know what the future holds for Lisa, but if she disappears I hope everyone focuses on the good memories.”


"Tristan-," Ava began.


"Please, it’s Lisa," she corrected with a gesture down her body. "The person you see before you is named Lisa. If you want to talk to Tristan you will need to give him a few minutes to get here." She forced a playful smirk.


Ava curiously cocked her head, letting those words sink in. It was a weird thing to demand in the middle of an apology. She looked at Lisa’s body language, and tried to decipher what she was trying to tell her. Between Lisa’s admission that she was in a bad place and her insistence that Ava call her Lisa, Ava understood. “No, Lisa, that’s fine. I understand what it’s like to not be seen. Either way, I have a feeling you can relay any message I have for him." Her lips contorted as she tried to find the right words. "Look, I am still mad at 'both' of you, but I can admit I missed the signs that a close friend was hurting.”


“What I did was inexcusable-”


Ava held up her hand. She wanted to finish. “We are all so caught up in our own troubles that it can be easy to miss the struggles in others. Lisa, I appreciate you coming clean about all of this - even though you only did so because you got caught. But, I need time - a lot of time - to think about everything that happened. Maybe someday I can forgive you, but you need to show me that you really understand what you did, and how you betrayed me. Maybe then you can earn that trust back. That’s going to take time. Don’t worry - I’m not going to turn you into Lovelace, or tell anyone your secret. But I need some time alone to think about whether I can ever trust you again. I want to be able to. To do that, the lying stops - now. I should ask you to stop pretending to be Lisa. But if you are Lisa, then that’s not something I can ask. Else I’d be a hypocrite. Lisa, are you really…” Ava paused and noticed Lisa was blushing. 


Lisa was attempting to shrink. If she was a turtle, she would’ve withdrawn into her school uniform. 


Ava knew from experience that this was a topic Lisa wasn’t ready to discuss, so she changed it. “Lisa, if you see that dark place again," she pulled out her phone and tapped a few times to unblock Tristan and Lisa, "contact me immediately. You or Tristan. Do you understand?" A single tear rolled down her cheek. “Actually, ask for help. Like, literally. Ask. Doing illegal things in the name of crying for help - it isn’t healthy.”


At that moment Lisa didn't care what the boundaries were, she moved in and hugged Ava tightly. “I’m so sorry,” she sobbed.


A moment later Kaitlyn returned with Abby and Izzy to find Ava and Tristan sitting on the bench, embraced in a hug. Both appeared to be crying.


"What's going on?" Izzy asked.


"Did you two settle whatever happened at the dance?" Abby Inquired.


Before Lisa could respond, Ava spoke up."There were a lot of misunderstandings and hurt feelings.” She shared a glance with Lisa. “We both need some time apart to sort through everything,” she paused so Lisa understood, “but our friendship is going to be there when we are both ready."


After Lisa left Ava and her friends, she wiped the tears with her blazer sleeve. Despite what happened she had a slight smile on her face. She wasn’t sure why. Ava ripped her a new one. And she deserved it. Their friendship was certainly on probation. But for a moment there, they saw each other. Exposed. Raw. Lisa didn't know what it meant yet. It would take a lot of time to heal, but considering the alternatives, that went better than she could’ve imagined it going that morning.


As Lisa got to the parking lot, she saw Madeline sitting on a bench, waiting for her.


“How’d it go?” Madeline asked.


Lisa sat down next to Madeline. “Our friendship is on probation. But it’s still there. And she’s not going to tell anyone of my little secret.”


“That’s great! So you’re coming back Monday?”


“I don’t know. I only enrolled to get closer to Ava. There’s really no point in continuing to be Lisa after today.” Lisa frowned.  “But it was fun.  Until last night.”


"You’ve made other friends here too. Besides, maybe you can find another crush to get closer to?"


Lisa chuckled. “I don’t know. Ava was pretty pissed off when she found out Lisa was a guy in a body suit. I don’t think I could do that again. I imagine the same thing would happen-”


“I don’t mean tricking them.” Madeline placed her hand on Lisa’s knee and whispered in her ear, “I mean - someone who knows the truth. Someone who you don't have to lie to. Someone that would let you be both Tristan and Lisa. Some girls might get a thrill from knowing Tristan is inside such a lovely girl.”


As Madeline slowly moved her hand along Lisa's stockinged leg, Lisa's eyes went wide with realization. She stuttered but couldn’t get the words out, "But you saw the real me. You know this isn’t real."


“I just want Lisa to stick around,” Madeline said, then whispered, “I want to get to know both versions of you. Don’t hide part of who you are. If this is who you really are.”


Lisa bit her lip. She was surprised Madeline was being so forward. Madeline knew Tristan’s secret, and apparently was more than OK with it. “So, you want to hang out with me? Even though I’ve got…” she motioned to her body, “...this going on?”


“Especially because of what you’ve got going on. I think a guy should be in touch with his femininity. I like a person who knows who they are. That’s hot.”


“Ha! I wouldn’t go that far. I have no idea who I am. I’m still figuring that out.”


“Then let’s figure it out together. My parents have a work function this weekend. Why don’t you tell Tristan to come over then so we can get to know each other better? Make sure he brings you along, too. Or the reverse. You come and bring Tristan with you. However you’re feeling.”


Lisa smiled. After all of the rejections, it felt good to be the one who was being asked out. “I’ll be sure to tell him,” she timidly replied.


“Great!” Madeline said, quickly standing up. “I need to get going.  I’ve got D&D soon. I’ll DM you! See you both this weekend!”


As Lisa watched Madeline saunter off, she realized this made her decision to put Lisa away for good that much harder. On the plus side, though, it didn’t seem like Madeline would be revealing Tristan’s secret to anyone.


* * *


After school Lisa drove to Ryan’s house. Since she was on her “Lisa’s Apology Tour” she figured he should be next. She rang the doorbell.


Twenty seconds later Ryan showed up at the door. He was slightly surprised to see Lisa standing there instead of Tristan. “Why are you still pretending to be Lisa?”


“I had some apologies to issue today. So, I went to school at Lovelace to make them in person.”


“Did you talk to Ava?”


“Yeah. She’s still pissed. We agreed to give each other space. But she is at least talking to me now.”


“Good.”


“It’s your turn for me to apologize to you. Ryan, I’m sorry. I know you were excited about the Sadie Hawkins dance. You’ve been talking about it since they announced it back in December. I ruined what should’ve been a fun night for you.”


Ryan smirked. “At least I can say ‘I told you so’. Remember, I’m on record saying pretending to be Lisa was a bad idea.”


“And that was even before I made Lisa into a real person,” she laughed.


“Right! But, your apology isn’t really necessary.”


“Why not?”


“If it weren’t for you, I wouldn’t have gone to the dance at all. I would’ve stayed home. I got to go to the dance. Hang out with my best friend. Watch him make a total fool of himself. I even got to dance with some cute girls - present company included. My parents are still talking about you. Overall… I think it was a success.”


“I’m glad you see it that way,” Lisa smiled. “I was worried you’d hate me forever.”


“Tristan, you’re my best friend. We’re allowed to do stupid things and forgive each other. This might’ve been the stupidest though.”


“Thank you. I do have one more thing for you, something that will make last night even better. Maybe even less stupid?”


“What’s that?”


Lisa pulled out Chloe’s number from her bag. “Chloe asked me to give you her number.” She handed the ripped paper to Ryan.


Ryan looked at it and suddenly had a huge smile on his face. “What else did she say?”


“She had fun with you. You’re a good dancer. Clearly, she wants to see you again.”


“What about you? Last night was a disaster. How are you holding up?”


“Much better. It wasn’t a total disaster. One girl is interested in me.”


“That girl you were dancing with? Not Ava. The other one.”


“Yeah, her name is Madeline. How’d you guess?”


“I was watching you dance with her. She just had that ‘look’, you know?”


“I didn’t realize.”

“Tristan, you’re clueless sometimes. That girl was into Lisa.”


“So, I’m just realizing.”


“Does she know about Tristan?”


“She does, in fact.”


“That’s good. No more lies then.”


“Yeah. No more lies.”


“Well, thanks for stopping by, dude... excuse me, Lisa. Speaking of which - will I be seeing Lisa again?”


Lisa looked down at her feet or rather, her stockinged legs and penny loafers. She smiled and replied, “Maybe.”


“Good, because I think my mom is already planning our wedding,” he joked.


Lisa chuckled, “Awesome. You can pick Tristan to be your best man.”


Ryan laughed. “Great! A repeat of last night. My best man and bride can’t be in the same place at the same time. That ought to screw with everyone.”


“I should get going. You have a number to call.”


“Where are you off to now? It’s Friday night. Does Lisa or Tristan have a hot date?”


“Not tonight. I need to pick my parents up from the airport. I really would just like to chill. I need it after last night.


“Available to play some video games?”


“Sure. Catch you online.”


“Sounds good. See ya later!”


* * *


When Lisa got home, the house was empty. Presumably Kaitlyn was still out with Ava. She got out of the body suit and took a nice long hot shower.


After getting into a T-shirt and jeans, Tristan collapsed on the living room couch and dozed off. He was exhausted from a long, stressful week. He wasn’t sure how much time had passed when he was awoken by the sound of the front door opening. He looked up to see Kaitlyn.


Kaitlyn looked at him. “Oh. Tristan, it’s you. I was kinda hoping Lisa would be here. For a sister’s night.”


“Ha. Ha,” Tristan replied.


“Ava told me about your talk in private.” 


“Yeah, it went better than I was hoping for. I also talked to Ryan. We’re cool.”


“You know there’s probably one or two more people you need to talk to, right?”


“What do you mean?” Tristan said, sitting up. “I apologized to everyone I needed to. Do you mean Abby and Izzy?”


“Nah, they don’t need to know right away, unless Lisa continues to hang out with us. I’m talking about…your mom and my dad.”


Tristan sank back down into the couch. “They don't need to know,” he mumbled.


“Are you going to continue to be Lisa?”


“Maybe. Probably. I’m not sure.”


“If you do, then you know you have to tell them eventually. Especially since you promised Ava that you were going to stop lying.”


Tristan grumbled. She was right, but he didn’t want to admit it, nor did he look forward to telling his mom what happened this week.


“Here’s a better question,” Kaitlyn added. “Where are you going to school on Monday?”


Tristan shrugged.


There was silence for a minute as Kaitlyn let that question and the only logical course of action marinate with Tristan.


She finally broke the silence. “What time do you have to pick our parents up from the airport?”


Tristan glanced down at the time on his cellphone. “In twenty or so minutes.”


* * *


The ride home was awkward for Tristan. He tried not to look too guilty while his mom and Steve went on about their trip - the places they went, the sights, the food. He was glad they did all the talking. When they arrived home, he carried in their bags and headed straight upstairs to bed as they repeated those same stories for Kaitlyn. Tristan used the excuse that he was tired. Tomorrow was going to be a difficult day. 


* * *


Sometime after breakfast, Tristan finally got the nerve.  He glanced at Kaitlyn. “I’m going to talk to her now.”


She gave him a warm smile for support. “I’m here if you need me.”


“Mom, I need to tell you something,” Tristan announced to her. He looked at Steve standing there. “In private.”


“We’re a family, Tristan,” Melissa reminded him. “What you have to say, Steve can hear too.”


“Fine,” Tristan said. “But you’re going to want to sit down for this.”


Tristan sat down on the couch. Melissa sat on an easy chair across the coffee table from her son. Kaitlyn sat next to her stepbrother for support. Steve sat off to the side.


“So what did you kids want to tell us?” Melissa asked. “Oh, my God. Please don’t tell me you two are dating each other.”


The two teens quickly looked at each other, then back at Melissa. “No!” Tristan and Kaitlyn yelled in embarrassment.


“Eww!” Kaitlyn added for good measure.


“Well, you two are sitting next to each other without fighting,” Melissa clarified. “That’s unusual.”


Tristan got serious. “Mom, I have a confession to make.”


“What is it, honey?” she asked, leaning forward in full attention.


“I skipped school last week.”


“Oh, Tristan-” She looked disappointed.


“And I enrolled into Kaitlyn’s school and went there all this week instead.”


She looked confused. “I don’t understand. Kaitlyn goes to a girls’ school.”


“Yeah. I was pretending to be a girl.”


Melissa got a serious expression as she looked at her son. “... and they let you do that?”


“I was very convincing.”


Very convincing,” Kaitlyn echoed. “Lovelace never found out.”


“I spent all of my savings on a realistic body suit and girl’s clothes.”


“All of your savings?” Melissa was lost. “I don’t understand what you’re trying to tell me, Tristan. What’s a body suit? And why would you do any of this?”


“You remember my friend, Ava?”


“Our friend Ava,” Kaitlyn corrected.


“Right,” Tristan added. “I asked her out. She turned me down and said it was because she’s a lesbian. So, I thought if I was one too, she’d date me. So I made up a girl named Lisa and pretended to be her for the week. So I could date her.”


“You catfished your friend?”


“Yeah, I know what I did was bad.”


Melissa sat there motionless, silently processing what Tristan had just said. After a few moments she crossed her arms and scowled in disapproval. “And let me guess, you got caught. Or else you wouldn’t be telling us, right?”


Tristan broke eye contact and looked down at the floor. “Yes,” he said, defeated.


“So, you skipped school, forged registration papers, lied to your friend, and got caught. There’s more right?”


“No, my disguise worked. Ava found out, and is still pissed, but we’re giving each other space. The problem is I’m enrolled at my school and Lovelace. And I don’t know how to be in both places at once.”


“That’s the predicament you find yourself in?” Melissa shook her head at her son’s inability, or unwillingness, to grasp the obvious answer. “It’s very simple, Tristan. Stop pretending to be a girl.”


Tristan silently nodded. He had expected her to say that.


That’s when Kaitlyn elbowed him. “Tell them.”


Tristan sighed, “OK.” He looked at his mom. “The problem is, I don't want to stop being Lisa.”


“Lisa?”


“The girl I’ve been all week.”


“You don’t want to?” His mom asked as she looked at him, curiously. “Honey, are you…”


“No, I’m not trans. Well, I don’t think so. I don't want to stop being Tristan. I don’t want to stop being Lisa, either. I want to be both. There’s a girl I met who actually likes that I’m both.”


“So you’re coming out to us, but you’re not?”


“I’m not coming out at all.” Tristan replied.


“Tristan, honey, you're not making sense. What are you trying to tell us?”


“I need your help. I’m in over my head.”


“With what?”


Tristan was silent for a moment. What did he want? “I don’t know. I thought maybe there was a get-out-free card you could play? Or at least advise me on how to proceed?”


“You want us to be accomplices?” Steve chimed in. 


“No,” Tristan replied.


“Honey, you need to stop being Lisa. You’re breaking all sorts of laws.”


“Don’t put her back in the closet,” Kaitlyn interrupted. “She deserves to be herself.”


Everyone looked at Kaitlyn after her outburst. Tristan shook his head in embarrassment.


“I’m sorry,” she said, then elaborated. “Even if Tristan doesn’t believe he’s trans, let’s pretend for a moment he or she is. What if Lisa is a cry for help?”


“I’m not trans,” Tristan whispered.


“But if you were… you could be truthful about being Lisa.”


“But then I would be lying about being trans. I want to stop lying”


“You don’t have to pick a label. You stopped being cis the moment to decide you wanted to be a lesbian.”


“Alright, stop.” Melissa said to stop the step-siblings from arguing any further,


The room was silent as everyone considered the possibility.


Melissa looked at Steve, and then the kids. “Why don’t you two give us some time. We need to discuss all of this and decide what to do next.”


* * *


Tristan retreated to his bedroom. He could hear his Mom and Steve’s muffled voices downstairs. He couldn’t make the words out. Occasionally someone would raise their voice. Tristan covered his ears. He felt guilty. They had just gotten back from their honeymoon and were hitting a huge test to the marriage - all because of him.


Kaitlyn silently walked into his room and sat next to him. She held his hand. “It’ll be OK.”


Tristan remembered what Ava had told him about reaching out to Kaitlyn. “Hey - thank you for telling me about your Mom last night.”


“She was a good woman.”


“I’ll bet. My father, though, he was the opposite. He walked out on us.”


“I know.” She squeezed his hand. “My dad told me as much.”


“What you don’t know is how much that messed me up. I’m still messed up. My own father rejected me. What if my mom rejects me too…”


“Tristan, stop!” Kaitlyn interrupted. She hugged him tightly. “Your mom loves you. She’s not going to reject you. Neither am I. We’re family now.”


After what seemed like forever, Melissa called up to them. “Kids, come down here.”


Tristan and Kaitlyn both descended the stairs and returned to the living room.


“Tristan, honey,” Melissa began. “I know you said you’re not transgender. But, given all that has happened, we cannot ignore that possibility. You’re my child. I want what’s best for you. Part of that is, I want you to be yourself. If Lisa is part of you, I cannot deny you that piece of yourself. So, we’re not going to.”


“Really?” Tristan replied, excitement returning to his voice. “How…” His voice trailed off as he imagined all of the logistical issues that would entail.


“Leave that up to us.”


Steve added, “We discussed a few options. I found a school that deals with this sort of thing, but they’re out in the middle of nowhere. Puella Aurora Academy-”


“But, I don’t want to leave my friends-” Tristan interrupted, panicking.


“We figured that,” Melissa replied, trying to calm him down, “Which is why we’re going to allow you and Lisa to remain enrolled at your respective schools. We don’t want to send you away with only three months left until graduation. But,” she emphasized, “we’re going to do this legally. We’ll help formalize… Lisa’s enrollment. We’ll excuse your absence from your school, but that means you’ll have to do homework for both schools, and maintain passing grades at both. There’s also the matter of Lovelace’s tuition. Sending you both to private school is expensive. Tristan, you’re going to be on the hook for Lisa’s tuition.”


“But, I’m broke,” Tristan replied. “I used all of my savings-”


“You’re going to need to get a job,” Steve replied. “Or Lisa. It’s March 2nd. That means you have at least three months of tuition until you graduate.”


“That’s the price for being two people,” Melissa added.


Tristan breathed a sigh of relief. “Thank you mom, thank you Steve. This means a lot to me. I won’t let you down.”


Steve gave a concerning look to Melissa.


“Oh,” she added, sighing, “Tristan, you're grounded.”


“Grounded?” he questioned. “I’m 17.”


“Yes - and you forged paperwork, you trespassed at an all-girls’ school. And broke I don’t know how many laws. You’re getting off easy.”


“But, I have a date with someone today.”


“Go as Lisa,” Kaitlyn said, thinking she found a loophole.


“Lisa’s grounded too,” Steve added, frowning at Kaitlyn.


Tristan wanted to protest. He wanted to say, “This isn’t fair.” But then he realized it was quite fair. He got off easy. “How long?”


“Until you can prove you can handle your studies at both schools,” Melissa answered.


“And when you find a job,” Steve reminded him.


Tristan nodded his acceptance of their terms.


After a moment of silence, Melissa spoke up, “I think we’re done here.”


* * *


Tristan laid down on his bed and pulled out his phone. He had to break the bad news to Madeline. “Hey, Madeline.”


“Hi,” came the response.


“I got grounded.”


“Oh, no,” she replied. “Does that mean your parents found out?”


“I told them what happened. No more lies.”


“So, I’m guessing we can’t hang out today?”


“Unfortunately, no. We’ll have to reschedule.”


“Um, what about Lisa?”


“She’s grounded too.”.


“OK, so how long are you two grounded?” she asked.


“I’m not sure,” he replied. “They are letting me and Lisa go to school, but I have to pay her tuition. So, I have to get a job. Maybe both of us,” he chuckled.


“How’s that going to work?”


“I have no clue.”


“I’m really sorry I - we - can’t see you today. We were looking forward to it.”


“That’s OK. Good things are worth the wait 😉,” she replied.


Tristan put the phone down and stared at his ceiling. He could hear Kaitlyn on the phone in the next room. The walls weren’t really soundproof.


“...I can’t go today. My ride got grounded,” she said. “Yeah, our parents were pretty pissed... No, not as much as you are… I dunno. Maybe next weekend.”


He got up from the bed and walked to Kaitlyn’s room. He leaned against the doorframe.


She was lying on her bed with the phone to her ear. Kaitlyn noticed him standing there then said into the phone, “Hold on, Tristan’s here.” She put the phone down and sat up. “What’s up?”


“Thank you,” he said.


“For what?”


“For being supportive of all of this.”


She smiled.


“Is that Ava?”


“Yeah, she invited me to go out to her parent’s beach house today.”


“Sounds like fun.”


“Well, I can’t go. Unless I can find someone who isn’t grounded to drive me. I don’t want to ask my dad just yet.”


Tristan reached into his jeans pocket and pulled out his car keys. He tossed them to Kaitlyn.


She gave him an inquisitive look.


“Obviously, I can’t use it today. I figured maybe you could.”


She shot out of bed and hugged him. “Thank you!” She then rushed back to her phone. “My brother is letting me borrow his car!”


With that, Tristan walked back to his own room. He noticed his phone had a text notification on it. It was another text from Madeline.


“Will I see you Monday?”


That was a good question, Tristan thought to himself. Who was he going to be? How was he going to juggle going to two schools? He didn’t know what the future held.


He stood in front of the closet examining the far end where he stashed the girls clothes he bought. He noticed a cute magenta top Lisa bought with Ryan, but never got a chance to wear.


A smile formed on his face. He slid the body suit box out from under the bed. “But, I suppose the bigger question is… who am I going to be today?”



Author's Notes and Acknowledgements 

Thank you for reading!

A number of Discord Server members were interested in reading a body suit story created by yours truly. I wasn’t quite sure how it would be received, so I set out to write a quick short story. Four months and 40,000 words later, here we are!


I know a number of people were turned off by a catfisher being the protagonist of this story, so I hope those who stuck it out feel his actions and consequences were balanced.


The story of Tristan and Lisa isn’t over. Hopefully there will be more adventures. After all, they need to get a job, and they need to finish school and go to college. Plus, there is a girl interested in Tristan and a girl interested in Lisa. Is Kaitlyn going to come out to their parents?


Thank you to my alpha readers - ETSD and Elron. They provide such an invaluable service to me. Plus, I get that instant feedback on whether this story is good or not. Of course I say this every story, but lastly I also want to thank all of the readers - especially those who interacted with me on the various online platforms during the course of the story. Without you, this wouldn’t be nearly as enjoyable, and I likely wouldn't still be writing anymore.


You can leave a comment here or reach out to me via email (tfes8@yahoo.com), or on my Discord Server (https://discord.gg/cTuZwYF4dT). 


You can find other free stories on my website (https://tfemily.com), and my pay stories on Amazon. (https://www.amazon.com/stores/T.F.-Emily-Sorrento/author/B0B5H54V1D).


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Emily

Hi, I'm Emily and I'm writing Gender Transformation Fiction! This site is a place for me 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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YuShengSheng

Okay, I definitely wasn't expecting to see this story end this way! Honestly, when I first saw this, I thought we'd see Tristan try to hide what he was doing via increasingly contrived means until he finds out that he is now permanently stuck as Lisa after a freak accident (I'm thinking of something involving ear piercings), but perhaps I was inspired by the wish fulfillment gender transformation stories that I wrote back when I was a lot more naive. In any case, this ending has me wondering what the future has in store for Tristan and how he's going to address paying for Lisa's tuition; I think it would be pretty funny if he took up a modelling job or found work in some other sector that primarily employs women, but maybe you've got something more surprising planned!
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Emily

A lot of my stories have a true ending. This one I was a commentary on other body suit stories. How do they really end? Do they really get stuck? Do the ditch the suit and transition? I occasionally read the webcomic Bodysuit 23. And that is going on forever and we're no closer to the MC's egg cracking. I figured I could keep Tristan/Lisa's story open ended and write new episodes next. Obviously, they are going to need to find a job. So that's likely where this story goes next. Will Tristan learn his lesson or use the Lisa suit to get ahead in the part-time job market?
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FayeBliss

In the case of Bodysuit 23 it was only a month or so ago that the writer came out as transgender after years of denial, so maybe the MC finally will as well.
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Emily

I saw that too. I'm curious which direction the author will be taking the comic.
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marter

I missed that revelation! Reminds me of Finnster denying it for years as well
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YuShengSheng

I only discovered Bodysuit 23 through reading this story, but I'm surprised that the author managed to draw such an eggy comic for almost a decade without realizing something! It kind of reminds me of when someone jokingly asked me if my eggshell was made out of tank armour because I wrote a 100+ page story where a guy turns into a girl under the impression that this was something most guys fantasized about, but that's pretty tame in comparison. I guess this is something we have to figure out on our own terms, but it's funny how some people can go years without realizing something.
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YuShengSheng

I'll be honest, I had never actually heard of the bodysuit trope or Bodysuit 23 until I read this story, but it definitely looks like an interesting concept and I'd like to see where Tristan's double life takes him next. Something tells me that he hasn't really learned his lesson and this won't be the last time we see Lisa, but I guess we'll have to see what you do with this story!
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Emily

I'm pretty sure he hasn't completely learned his lesson yet. That bodysuit is too tempting
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TamiHeaton

Love these characters! I'm happy their story isn't really ending.
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Emily

More is planned. Just not immediately. I have a few more stories I want to write before I return to theirs.
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natalierath

A sweet and happy ....beginning!

I need more. Though maybe Tristan gets an update from all the magic there is at the Academy.
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Emily

I wasn't planning on Tristan/Lisa actually going to PAA. After all, they graduate in a few months. But Tristan/Lisa WILL need to get a job to pay for tuition. Then there is juggling both schools. Plenty of drama and plenty of space for Tristan to dig himself another hole.
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natalierath

Hehe okay!
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marter

I'm glad the ending was happier than I expected. A short one but a good one!
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Emily

yeah, i needed to write a short one after so many long ones. The next one is likely short too.
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marter

Short can be good! The Xmas story was short and sweet!
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EmberSky

That was such a a fun story. I was surprised that it ended with Tristan/Lisa not being closer to any personal revelation with their identity. Maybe a story for another time :3
I also geeked out when PAA was mentioned! 🩷
Thank you for the story! Looking forward to the next one!
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Emily

I wouldn't say Tristan isn't any closer to a personal revelation. He's firmly in the egg stage. He's in denial, but he knows he enjoys being Lisa, but he doesn't know why. When Kaitlyn and Ava suggest he's trans, he firmly denies it. "I can't be trans!" But again, doesn't understand why. He'll get there.
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Capybellie

I have read a lot of stories where the MC wasn't really on the good side of ethics and Tristan/Lisa is by far not the worst. They were never trying to really intentionally hurt someone. And framing this as a result of their depression put it even more into perspective.
I cried a bit when talk came to Tristan's fearnof rejection and abandonment. I know those who well. I'd be happy to read more of them in the future. Maybe we get a grnderfluid protagonist? Those are quite rare. Even if they don't go to PAA, I bet there is a lot of chaos in their future.

Thank you for the story.
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Emily

Ever since I realized I was genderfluid, I've certainly been playing more and more with genderfluid characters! There's definitely lots more drama ahead in Tristan/Lisa's life! Thank you for reading!
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J R G

I wrote a nice long comment but html threw an error when I tried to submit it. 
More abbreviated this time,  enjoyed the story with more to come. 
Ava seemed to overreact to being misled. What happened in her past to cause this.
Final point was something about derive such real pleasure... high school math class ... integral to plot in such a limited scene. Said without hyperbole or circular reasoning. Definitely not imaginary... there was more ...
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Emily

Oh no. I hope it wasn't because I redeployed the site a few hours ago. I'll have to check the logs to see what causes the problem. So Ava overreacted because all of my beta readers overreacted to having a catfisher be the protagonist. I threw them a bone for continuing to read. But often in these types of stories (especially 90s early 2000s) those types of transgressions are often quickly forgiven. I'm glad you enjoyed it! Hopefully I'll circle back to these characters soon after my next story.
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J R G

I would expect the response to be appropriate if we're talking about adults, relative strangers, or the protagonist attempting violence- physical or emotional. None of these apply here. An immature teenage boy has a crush on their close friend, finds out why he's rebuffed, and sees a way he might still get close to her. He makes a poor choice and doesn't heed warnings of a friend or signs of impending disaster. It usually involves dyeing hair, clothes, joining a team or club, volunteering, getting a certain job, etc rather than establishing an entire new identity. For this story it would have helped me for someone to explain why she will feel so betrayed - something about a family member's experience, watching TV show, comment in a class, fundamental belief. She acknowledges her reaction is stronger than might be expected and since they are good friends I would've expected her explain why she would react that way, unless she feels too vulnerable. But then, these are teens still learning what communication requires and what happens when you ass u me. I'm old and may be out of touch with current teen values and expectations for transgressions. Things have improved since I was younger. 'Boys will be boys' is less of a free pass for bad behavior. Thanks again for the story.
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