Hey. I'm Chris. Chris Smith. Christine, actually... And they used to call me Chrissie, when I was little.  I, uh... I want to share my 'experience'...

 

Well, kind of, anyway... See, my girlfriend... Oh. Uh... I have a girlfriend. And I'm what you'd call 'intersexed'. For those of you who don't know the term, it means I have fully functioning sex organs of both genders... Oh, and I'm female-dominant, meaning I appear outwardly to be female... Yeah...

 

So, girlfriend. And she wants me to share... And she has this, uhh, pouty face thing she does... I used to do the same thing to my dad, come to think of it... And she's a total optimist, too, so she doesn't see what could come out of this, where I can.

 

Anyway, here's the story.

 

It started innocently enough, I guess. When I was little, I had this friend, Maria. She was my best friend in the world. We did everything together. But at some point, in elementary school...

 

I really don't know what happened. It's one of those big events, you know? You remember what happened, but none of the importaant details...

 

Anyway, all I remember was that she didn't want to be my friend anymore, and after that, she never spoke to me again. Miss Mikki, our teacher at the time, said she was sad about something, and that she would come around eventually.

 

Eventually never came. And I was alone.

 

High school came around, and with it, puberty. Which sucks when you're intersexed. Two sets of sex organs flooding your body with hormones? Not pleasant. I came out of it pretty well off, though. I wasn't too tall, or too short. I wasn't too fat or too skinny. And I certainly wasn't what some assholes at school would call 'butch'. Being female-dominant gave me a nice set of curves in the end.

 

I kept my hair short by choice. I know people think that silver hair would look awesome if it was longer, but it's really just a hassle, and there wasn't any reason to keep it long. 'Till my girlfriend asked me to let it grow out...

 

Sigh. Sorry... I'm a little ADD... Focus, girl...

 

Umm, I guess I should mention that, despite being outwardly female, I never really liked boys in... That way. Coming from two intersexed parents, one male-dominant and one female-dominant, it's hardly surprising that I would consider other options more openly and readily than others. Unfortunately, certain members of the public are less than accepting of my... Condition. High school's bad enough, but for a budding young... Well...

 

It kinda goes back to my friend. See, I didn't know it at the time, and I certainly didn't realize it until much later, but I guess I kinda developed a bit of a crush on her... After she 'broke up' with me, no less. And, as time went on, it became... Something more.

 

See, here's what I think, almost eight years after the fact. She was my only friend at the time, and when all the adults said to give her space, and she will come back, I think I kinda latched onto that hope and... Turned it into something else...

 

Understand that, despite the prevalence of MORFS, some things are still rather taboo. The first (and only, actually) time I got 'caught' with my 'extra equipment' in the girls washroom was scarcely a month after she stopped talking to me. Maria, that is. And... Well, it wasn't pleasant. I lost most of the other friends I had at the time, and was left with nothing but the hope that Maria would come talk to me again.

 

I dance around the subject with fancy words and euphamisms because being... Overt... tends to bother some people. I apologise if any of you are upset by this. I'm trying to tell a story here, but I don't want my lesson to make others feel awkward about it.

 

Despite how awkward I feel about talking about it...

 

Huh... Oh well...

 

Anyways...

 

I wanted so badly to talk to her, find out what was wrong and fix it. But this little voice in the back of my head seemed to tell me to let her figure it out on her own. I didn't want to leave her to be lonely, though. Why be lonely on your own when you can be lonely together?

 

But I waited. And I watched as she drew away from the world. And years passed and things grew and fell in importance and life caught up and passed by. But I never forgot what Miss Mikki had said. She would come back when she was ready.

 

If ready ever came...

 

Now, I don't pretend to know anything about matters of the heart, or psychology, or any of that. And yes, looking back I do see a little bit of irrationality in my life. But it happened, and there's nothing that will change that.

 

It was early one Monday morning, late in the eleventh grade school year. I sat in my little corner of the room, keeping mostly to myself. I had managed to make a handfull of friends since elementary school, but none of them were in advanced math classes with me, so I was alone except for...

 

It was a rather impressive puke, if I may say so. Poor Maria must've coated a quarter of the whole floor with the contents of her stomach.

 

Something had been... Off about her, though. Besides the whole upchuck thing, I mean. I don't claim to be an expert at reading expressions, but there was something in her eyes that morning, before class even started... A hollow, resigned kind of sadness that made something inside my heart tremble with dread... I can't rightly say what it was, but... Well, that bit happens later.

 

She left, and I went on about my whole day with that feeling burning in my chest. I stopped in the park on my way home and tried to sort out what it was, but sitting there on the edge of the pond really didn't provide much comfort.

 

"Oof!"

 

A sudden impact nearly pitched me into the water as a small girl tumbled into my lap, giggling loudly despite the tumble.

 

"Well, hello there." I managed, and she giggled louder.

 

"H'lo, miss." She said shyly as she untangled herself and stood up, her big blue-green eyes shining at me from behind her too-long crimson bangs. "Why're you so sad?"

 

That took me by surprise. "Wha-? I-I'm not..."

 

She shook her head. "Not here." She pointed at my head. "Why're you so sad here?" She pointed again. Straight at my heart.

 

"I... I don't... Know..." This little six year old girl, bless her soul, somehow knew that I was hurting. "I'm... Worried about someone. A... Friend of mine..."

 

"Oh... 'M sorry..." She frowned for a bare second before lighting up like a firecracker. "I know!" And she took off, vanishing into a thick bush a few meters away. She was back almost instantly,and something very bright red was stuck into my face. "Give her this! Then she'll feel better, and you won't be sad anymore!"

 

It was a rose. Beautiful, complete and immaculate. My breath caught in my throat at the sight of it, and the scent of it made me want to cry. The stem had almost no thorns on it, and it felt cool to the touch when I took it from her with a trembling hand.

 

"Be happy, lady!" She said, her eyes dancing with little motes of light as she smiled radiantly for a second before skipping off in the direction she came, dissappearing around a bush as a few handfulls of rosepetals drifted past in the wind.

 

"Be happy..." Such a simple piece of advise... But could I do it?

 

Not without my friend. I knew that much. But the years apart, the silent watching... Would she forgive me for letting her suffer in silent lonliness?

 

...

 

Sorry... I get a little altruistic when I get emotional...

 

I cared for that little rose for three days, keeping it alive and well and handy at all times. Some of my other friends teased me about it, but I think they sensed how important it was to me, so they let it be after the first few jibes. And then, on the morning of the fourth day, she appeared.

 

I was working in my locker, trying to get my gym sneakers to fit under my organiser, when I got that little tingly feeling at the base of my neck. You know the one I mean. The one that says 'someone is watching me'...

 

"Umm.. Excuse me...?" The voice was almost lost in the noise of the morning crowd, but I just barely caught it, and put two and two together. And I turned around to look.

 

And my books fell to the floor.

 

She was perfect. There are no words to describe it. I felt my heart thump in my chest, harder than ever before, and tried to keep my mouth shut as I goggled at her.

 

She had lost a lot of height, but no longer looked like an understuffed, depressing scarecrow. Her normally short hair had grown out, changing to a rich magenta-violet, with the few inches of black still decorating the tips, one stray lock dangling in front of her slightly altered face, the rest swept back behind her ears. Her chest had bloomed out into a magnificent pair of breasts, contained and barely hidden in a sharp white blouse, a tiny strip of a perfectly flat tummy peeking out over shapely, skirt-clad hips, which in turn led to the soft, slim curves of her perfect legs.

 

But it was her eyes that made my throat constrict, and my heart pound even harder.

 

Sharp, stunning electric blue. And no longer filled with lonliness. Pain, but no lonliness. Fear, as well. But something else on top of all that.

 

Hope.

 

...

 

Sorry again... I, uh... I'm a bit of a hopeless romantic as well...

 

"Umm... Chrissie...?" Her voice was heavenly, too, though it was barely a whisper. But... Wait...

 

Nobody's called me Chrissie since third grade...

 

"Y-yes?"

 

"I don't know... If you remember me... It's been a long time..." She was loosing her nerve. I could see it in her eyes.

 

"Hello, Maria. It has been a long time." Oh, how those eyes lit up! "Are you ready to talk to me now?"

 

If only I could describe to you the look that flashed in those gorgeous eyes. Tears, I'm pretty sure of joy, leapt up even as the smile appeared on her face. The most heart-breakingly beautiful smile...

 

"Y-yes I a-am..." She hiccupped, and I couldn't resist it any more. I gathered her up in my arms and gave her the hug I'd been waiting for eight years to give her. She seemed so tiny now, fitting just right into my arms as she cried.

 

We missed our classes that morning, but I really didn't care. And somehow, I doubt she did either.

 

We were friends again, and I don't remember being so happy before. Even my parents noticed it. But as the months passed, and twelfth grade loomed, and we talked about all the things we never got to before, I was hurting inside, too. As happy as I was to have my friend back, I wanted so much more. And Maria, bless her soul, had no clue.

 

It was Prom night, actually, when she  finally figured it out. We went stag together, though my heart cried out to tell the truth and ask her. I gave her that rose... Well, a descendant of it, anyway. I'd planted the little thing in my yard the day she came back to me, and it had grown into a massive bush in my backyard over the two years. Pinned it right into her hair. Sure, we danced together, but only for the fast songs, like most girls do together. She danced with some of the other friends she'd made, many of them from my own little circle, but none of the slow dances, which I was silently thankful for.

 

But that magical night is only so long, and Cinderella's chance ran out at midnight. It was so hard for me, watching the rest of our graduating class dance the last few dances together. Boyfriends and girlfriends were dancing so closely... Even some of our gay friends were getting rather intimate.

 

But not me.

 

Never me.

 

The last few songs were always slow. And as the couples who danced past started to get starry-eyed and cuddly, I found I couldn't stop myself. The tears wouldn't stay put.

 

I wanted that. What every little girl dreams of as they grow up. What every teenager looks forward to for their entire high school life.

 

I wanted to dance with the one that I loved. I wanted to be held like I was the only thing that mattered.

 

I wanted to kiss the girl and never let her go...

 

But instead, I was sitting, alone, on the sidelines, in my rumpled green dress, with makeup all messed up, and crying my eyes out.

 

But I wasn't alone.

 

She came. In my hour of need, she came. But I was too cowardly to say it when she asked.

 

"Chrissie?" She's the only one who gets away with calling me that, by the way. "What's wrong? Why aren't you dancin- Oh my god?!" Small, slim hands lifted my chin up, and my eyes trailed up her blue dress and into matching blue eyes. "You're a mess! Are you hurt? What's wrong? Why are you crying?"

 

My mouth moved on it's own. "I-I want to... I want..." You! Damnit, say the word! Three letters! Y. O. U. "...That." My finger pointed. She looked.

 

"You want to dance? But..." Then she looked a little harder. And I think she understood a little, because she looked me dead in the eye for a moment before hauling me to my feet. "Come with me."

 

I found myself dragged into the bathroom, where she thoroughly washed, rinsed and repaired the mess I'd made of my face, and for a second, I had hope.

 

But then she dragged me back into the gym and stood me in one corner. "Alright. You tell me who it is, and I'll go get him for you." I swear if you'd been there, you'd have heard my heart shatter like blown glass. "There is no reason that you should not have at least one slow dance with a boy you lik-"

 

"It's you."

 

It wasn't courage. Don't get the wrong idea here, people. My treasonous mouth just seemed to want to take matters into it's own metaphorical hands.

 

"What?"

 

"It's always been you. Ever since we were little kids... Y-you needed your space, b-but I had no one else... A-And now..."

 

I don't know what happened. I think she stared at me for an entire song, and I knew it would be the last time. Friendships had been broken over less. But when the DJ announced the last song of the night, a tiny hand closed around mine, and I felt myself being gently guided somewhere.

 

It wasn't until the hand let go, and two small arms guided my hands to her waist before draping themselves over my shoulders, that I realized she'd pulled me onto the dance floor.

 

Some of my other friends told me later on that it was the most beautiful thing they'd ever seen. But there and then, I found myself lost in her dazzling blue eyes.

 

We didn't speak. We didn't need to. I could read the acceptance in her face,  and she could read... Well, something or another, in mine. I was a little lost in the moment. And, as the song petered out, and we slowed to a stop, some small, dazed look came over her face, and I thought she was going to faint for a second. But then she shook her head, flushed a bright crimson, took one last look at my whole face, and kissed me.

 

It was shy, soft, and strong enough to tilt the planet's axis. I don't know how I even managed to stay upright. Everyone around us stopped and stared. And I was content. I had my memory. Even if this was to be the last time I ever saw her, I could always look back and remember dancing with the girl of my dreams at my prom, and the gift of our first and only kiss...

 

When those lips finally left mine after a short eternity, I kept my eyes closed. The last thing I wanted to see was her walking away.

 

I'm an idiot sometimes. A hopeless, romantic idiot...

 

"Why didn't you tell me?" The same whispered voice. "Two years... And you never told me..."

 

"Huh?" She had the strangest little smile when I opened my eyes. But she was still there.

 

"You're the best friend I have. The first one I ever had. And you couldn't say a silly thing like this?"

 

"Like..."

 

She sighed. "Oh, you... Can you tell me why?"

 

"I... I..." Here it was. Tell her the truth. It's simple. She'll understand. But you have to say it. SAY IT! "I was afraid..."

 

"Huh?"

 

"I was afraid... I was gonna loose you again... If you knew..." Once I said the words, I sorta realized how rediculous they were.

 

And that was the end of that. Honestly, the next little bit is kinda... Private. Sufficed to say, she told me I was an idiot, and that she was willing to try, and that we'd be friends forever.

 

So... Uh... Yeah.

 

We went to different schools after graduation, but I, being one of the luckiest people in the world, got accepted to a job that was close to her campus after I finished my two-year college program. We moved in to an apartment together, and she'd almost done her four-year degree.

 

And I'm gonna ask her to marry me.

 

-----

 

Sometimes, it's the simplest things that may tip the scales. A small gift from a stranger. A word from a long-lost friend. One last dance. The softest kiss...

 

People close to me ask me all the time why I do what I do. And I always say the same thing.

 

"Do? I do nothing. I just open the door..."

 

Helping people help themselves. -Serenity

 

v, (^_^)

The entire MORFS  Universe can be found at http://morfs.nowhere2go.org/

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