We Can Work It Out: A MORFS Universe Story
By Terry Volkirch
Chapter 10: May 28 to Summer Vacation, 2035 "Bobbi?" Michelle asked. "Is this really her? She's real?" I was in a state of shock so I didn't say anything. I had begun to doubt whether Jill was real myself. This whole moment was unreal. Now I felt like I was swimming underwater, trying to get to the surface before I ran out of air. "Am I real?" Jill asked. "What are you two talking about? Who are you?" "Oh, hi," Michelle spoke for me. "I'm sorry. I'm Michelle and the speechless one here is Bobbi." "How do you know me?" My true love asked, and that broke the spell. I had to answer that one. "Jill, you may have trouble believing this, but I met you in a dream." She laughed at that, and I didn't blame her. It did sound more than a little ridiculous. Still, I pressed on. "I had MORFS about a month ago and a precog scanned me in the hospital. She used dreams to predict the future and we both saw you. I didn't know exactly when or where we'd meet. All I knew was that I'd meet you and we'd become the best of friends." "I hope you forgive me but that does sound crazy," Jill said with a pleasant smile. "It doesn't explain how I know your name," I said. "You aren't in last year's yearbook, and this year's book doesn't come out until tomorrow. You're a freshman, aren't you." "Yes. That's right. It's not much proof though. You could be on the yearbook staff for all I know." That's when I realized how late it was getting. Michelle and I had to go. It was becoming quite a stressful little scene for me but I somehow kept my composure. "Listen Jill, Michelle and I have to go. My mother is waiting for us. I don't have time to prove anything to you. I'm not sure I can. I only hope you'll give our friendship a chance." Mercifully, Jill agreed to exchange phone numbers. She was curious if nothing else. That was one of my favorite traits in a friend, and one I nurtured in myself. A life without curiosity seemed rather dull to me. So there was still hope as Michelle and I left Jill behind in the store. I was lost in thought as my shopping partner and I made our way to the car. I almost couldn't believe it. I found Jill. There was only one problem, and it was a biggie. If my dreams were accurate, Jill wouldn't be attracted to girls. What could I possibly do about that? I had to find Sandy. She was the only one who could help me as far as I knew. She told me things would work out, but how long would that take? I didn't know if I could wait. I didn't realize it then but I had some clues to go on that could've helped me be more patient. My visions when Frank scanned me showed me I had some sort of power, and they showed me I'd be with Jill. It wasn't definite but I had the impression that Jill and I were intimate too. Then there was my dream session with Sandy. I'd met Jill as both a boy and a girl. How could that be possible? There'd be more clues as I went along. I just had to watch carefully and collect enough of them. Sooner or later, I'd see how things would eventually work out. Before we got to the car, I realized there was still a loose end I had to take care of. I snapped out of my trance long enough to ask Michelle to please keep quiet about Jill. My mother still didn't know about my dream girl and I wanted to keep it that way. I'd introduce Jill into my life in my own way, at my own pace. My friend understood and assured me she wouldn't say anything, but only after she scared me with some high caliber teasing. "I won't tell, Bobbi," she said. "As long as you keep double dating boys with me." "What?! How could you?! That's blackmail!" I was shocked until my cruel friend started giggling. Luckily, she couldn't keep a straight face. I chased her the rest of the way to the car but she escaped unharmed. She was lucky. I was weighed down with more clothes than she was and I couldn't run in heels nearly as well as she could. I'd have to work on that. My mother was tapping her foot when we caught up with her, but she quickly forgave me for being a little late. I held up my two shopping bags like a trophy and she couldn't help but smile with approval. We all got in our little family car and sped for home to get ready for dinner. My parents were taking my friend and I to my favorite Thai restaurant and I couldn't wait. I'd worked up quite an appetite with all the shopping and emotional exercise. Michelle and I didn't really need to get ready. We were already dressed. About the only thing we needed to do was touch up our makeup. My father wouldn't need much time either. Men never do. It was just my mother who wanted to change so I had to endure some of her worst driving to get home. She was driving too fast and making me a nervous wreck. At least I managed to slow her down when I promised to help her get ready. I was looking for an excuse to check out my mother's wardrobe and now was the perfect time. I could help her pick out an outfit and accessories, and even zip her up if necessary. Mom liked that idea and mellowed considerably. After getting home and teaming up to help my mother get dressed, the four of us were speeding to our destination once again. Mom was driving as usual but she remembered how sensitive I was and took it easy on me. I'm sure she did a much better job than daddy would've. He rarely took the car. He drove like the maniacs that I was afraid of downtown. I was sure that driving was becoming a lost art with public transportation being so popular. I certainly wasn't looking forward to getting my drivers license. I'd be taking the driver's education class next fall but it could wait until my senior for all I cared. I'd already put it off one semester. I didn't want to drive on the same roads as all those maniacs. In spite of a couple near misses, the fast driving paid off. My parents had made reservations at the popular restaurant and we just made the 15 minute grace period. That was a relief, but it still would've been worth it to have to eat somewhere else. Meeting Jill was worth it. Dinner was delicious. It made it difficult to leave room for dessert but it had to be done. There was chocolate cake and ice cream waiting at home and it would be impolite not to have some. We all ended up boxing up half of our meals to take home. Thai food leftovers were just as good the next day anyway. As we drove home that night, I started feeling a little strange. It didn't feel like a cold though. No one else said anything so I didn't think it was food poisoning either. We'd all shared tastes of our meals so if one of us got sick from it, most likely someone else would've too. No, I was experiencing some other form of discomfort and it was getting worse. It didn't take me long to figure it out. I was haunted by something I'd said to Jill. I kept going over our conversation when I told her that I'd had MORFS about a month ago. I kept thinking that it's felt like I've been a girl for much longer than that, but there was something about a month that I was forgetting. Then it hit me. It must that time of the month. I was starting my first period. My expression must have been pretty bad to frighten Michelle like I did. I was doing a good job of hiding my pain until I realized what was happening to me. Once I knew the cause, the emotions flooded in and swept me away. Michelle asked me what was wrong and I broke down and cried. Why tonight?! Of all nights to start my period, why did it have to be the night of my birthday? I tried to shrug off the questions being thrown at me. I just wanted to get home. My mom wanted to stop the car. She thought I might be getting motion sickness. I screamed at her to keep driving, and my poor flustered mother swerved all over the road before she regained control. It was a miracle we didn't get into an accident that night. I tried using sign language with Michelle. I really didn't want to discuss it out loud with my father in the car. I remembered how men and boys could be about the subject. I'm not sure why I was so concerned about him but I was. I suppose I was embarrassed too. The pain made it hard to think straight. Michelle finally got it when I pointed to my crotch with both index fingers and then made a sweeping gesture with both hands away from my crotch. She wrinkled up her nose and reached into her purse for a combination pain reliever and muscle relaxant. I gratefully took two pills and managed to choke it down without water. It was a good thing she was prepared, and it was a sure bet I'd be prepared next time. I was still in pain when we got home. The medication would take a bit longer to start working. In the meantime, I had a few things to do to prepare for the rest of the symptoms. I still remembered my mother's lessons well. I whispered one word in my mom's ear and she got the message and calmed my father down. Then I trudged upstairs to the bathroom. I probably should've said something earlier. It would've been easier on everyone, but again, I wasn't thinking straight. By the time I'd finished in the bathroom, I started feeling better. I was ready to resume my birthday celebration. I apologized to everyone and cried a little more. I didn't mean to do it for sympathy. I was just having a little trouble coping. Of course I was forgiven. The chocolate birthday cake was wonderful, and how could you go wrong with ice cream. The sweet goodies cheered us all up and got us in the right mood for the giving of the presents. The Bingham's gift card was an early present but there were still several more. I got a couple awkward cards with money from my grandparents. Both cards were addressed to a grandson. Either they weren't told or they weren't handling my gender change very well. As I held the cards, I looked at my mom with a raised eyebrow. She just mouthed the word 'later'. That promised to be an interesting conversation. Michelle was next with a card and a large box. I read the card and took a moment to appreciate the beautiful wrapping paper. Then I shredded the box, opening it to find two framed photos of myself. She noticed! They were my two favorites. I lingered over them much longer than the rest. How could she not notice. One was of me lying on my stomach on her bed. My chin was resting on my fists and I looked off to one side with a playful, dreamy sort of look. It was so cute and such an interesting mix of expressions. The other was a shot of my face with a big, happy smile. I thanked my friend profusely and started thinking about where I'd display them. My parents appreciated them a lot too, and they complimented Michelle on her photography skill. Their praise, along with the wistful look my mother had when she looked at my big smiling photo, made me realize they might like one to display in the hallway with our other family photos. I didn't want to part with my mother's obvious favorite, but at least I'd still get to see it. My other one would go on my wall behind my computer monitor, so I could be reminded of who I am whenever I sat and composed emails or chatted online. It was the perfect spot. Now it was time for the grand finale. My parents had two more presents for me. My jewelry detector went off when I saw the smaller box so I saved that for last. I never thought much of jewelry when I was a boy, and I hadn't thought much of it so far as a girl, but recently it began to catch my eye more and more. I noticed Michelle's earrings tonight along with my mother's rings. Whatever was in the box, I was sure I'd love it. I set the jewelry box to one side and put the other big soft box on my lap to open it. It obviously contained an article of clothing. The trick was to guess what kind of clothing. I always liked trying to guess presents. It was a large box so it had to be something large, like a sweater or jacket. It was almost summer though so it had to be lighter. It might be a blouse but I was betting on a dress. I didn't know summer styles all that well yet so I didn't try to guess the exact type of dress. My guess was close enough for me. I'd know soon enough. I shredded the paper and lifted the top half of the box to reveal a white halter sundress. It was love at first sight. I noticed that the v-neckline was a little modest but the white would still emphasize my chest nicely. I had to suppress an urge to go try it on right away. I still had a guest and one more present to open. I didn't even try to guess the type of jewelry in the small box. It wasn't wrapped so I didn't have to wait long. I just held my breath and lifted the lid. Inside, was the most beautiful sapphire pendant I'd ever seen. The stone was about the size of my pinkie fingernail, and it was bright blue - my favorite color so it was sure to become my favorite gemstone. From the proud look on my father's face, I guessed he picked it out, and my mother had to have gotten the sundress. It was a team effort and it was beautiful. I couldn't help crying and hugging them both. That night, I thought a lot about how good my life had gotten. In spite of some emotional trauma, I was much better off than when I was a boy. I don't remember ever feeling more at ease with myself - not including the earlier problem with my monthly visitor - and I've never had a happier birthday. I lost a couple friends but perhaps they weren't true friends. Maybe Michelle and Jill would more than make up for my loss. I hadn't given up on Adrian yet either. My birthday marked yet another day when I fell asleep with a smile on my face. Life was good. * * * Tuesday morning was complicated. I felt yucky again and I was bleeding. I wasn't used to bleeding. I had to keep reminding myself that it was normal. I was a girl. Girls bleed. Get over it. Okay, so I was grouchy. Part of my problem was being forced to return to earth after my grand evening last night. Part of it was that I wasn't naturally a morning person - and of course my period had more than a little to do with it. My sympathetic mother served me some oatmeal, and I think the warmth in my belly helped a little, but not as much as the two pills I took right away when I got up. They started kicking in and I was feeling no pain by the time I left for school. I'd never be without medication again. I was in a good mood when I got to school. I felt better and I was looking forward to getting my yearbook. I couldn't wait to find Jill in it. She gave me her phone number but she didn't add her last name. I'd be able to get her last name now. I'd also have a picture of her to cherish, assuming she wasn't in the camera shy section. The yearbooks were handed out in my English class and I was surprised when several people asked me to sign theirs. It was an annual ritual that we'd sign yearbooks of friends and teachers we liked. I thought everyone had forgotten I existed, but happily, I was wrong. Of course I returned the favor and asked the same people to sign mine. I imagined Michelle would be surprised to see all the signatures when I had her sign it. My English teacher, Mr. Wyman, graciously gave up all of his class time for us to chatter and sign yearbooks, so it was the least I could do to ask him to sign mine. He did give me the best introduction on my first day as a girl after all. I had to work up come courage. Then I walked up to his desk in front of the class. "Mr. Wyman?" I asked timidly. He was reading and I was a little hesitant to interrupt him. "I want to thank you for your introduction on my first day back. I was a little preoccupied at the time but I can fully appreciate it now. So, thanks." "You're welcome, Bobbi," he beamed. He was so nice and friendly. I don't know why I felt so awkward around him, but I continued. "I was also wondering if you'd sign my yearbook. Will you?" "I'd be delighted," he answered. He wrote that he was very pleased to have me in class and was impressed with my progress in class since I returned from the hospital. He wished me well and told me he hoped to read a publication of mine sometime in the near future. I blushed a little but I was happy I'd gotten the courage to ask him. I noticed that two other girls asked him to sign theirs after me too. That was good to see. Hopefully some of my classmates can appreciate him as much as I did. He was a good teacher and a nice man. The rest of my classes pretty much followed the same pattern with one important exception. Teachers resigned themselves to letting their students go wild with their new yearbooks so I had plenty of time to look up Jill. I found her about half way through the freshmen class. Her last name was Patterson and her picture was a dreamy vision of loveliness. I was in love all over again. Too bad I didn't have time for swooning though. I had more yearbook signing to do. I had dozens of signatures by lunchtime. I never felt so popular and it almost made me cry. I wanted to cry about how sad my life was as a boy and cry with joy at how much better my life was now. Mainly, I think I just wanted an excuse. It had been too long since I'd had a good cry. At lunch, I knew better than to seek out Jill. I figure she needed some time to think about the situation so I concentrated on the task at hand. I bought a banana out of the vending machine to go with the sandwich I'd brought. Then I found Adrian and Michelle already waiting for me. Actually, they didn't seem to notice me. They were sitting next to each other and signing their yearbooks. That was nice to see. I sat down across from them and sighed to get their attention. It worked. They looked up and I gave them a little smile. Then they finished their signing and we all traded yearbooks to start some more. Food could wait. When I got my yearbook back from both of them and read what they'd written, the dam finally broke. I started crying. Michelle immediately came over to sit next to me and hug me. She offered soothing words of comfort and then something equally as valuable when I'd finally stopped crying. She gave me a cotton ball dabbed with eye makeup remover. I immediately took out my handy little pocket mirror that I promised myself I'd get and surveyed the damage. I needed that cotton ball. Michelle was a lifesaver. When I'd finished cleaning my ruined mascara, I finally noticed Adrian. He didn't look concerned, but I felt the need to put him at ease anyway. "I'm okay Adrian," I told him. "Really. I just needed a good cry." Then I can't believe what Michelle said next. "It's that time of the month, Adrian," she told him. "She's just a little more emotional than usual." "Michelle! He doesn't want to hear that!" I hissed. Then I looked back at Adrian and wondered if maybe I was wrong. He just sat there the whole time with a coy little grin on his face. That didn't make sense. His behavior didn't match what I expected. I thought most boys would leave before the conversation got this far. Every boy I knew, including myself before my gender change, was very uncomfortable with the subject of menstruation. Instead of running away, Adrian did the opposite. He leaned forward and motioned with his finger for Michelle and I to do the same. Then he whispered to us. "Promise not to tell?" Two extremely curious girls ever so slightly nodded their heads yes. This was a very important moment. "I'm a hermaphrodite," he whispered again. "Huh?" Two very confused girls said in unison. We'd never heard of that word. Adrian looked slightly annoyed but he didn't give up. "It means I'm both a boy and a girl," he said at normal volume. Michelle and I were still confused. We didn't know it was possible to be both. Wasn't everyone either one or the other? Adrian was much more than slightly annoyed now. He rarely looked so angry. I know he got frustrated when people had trouble understanding him and that was exactly the case. He backed away from us, sat straight up and shouted. "It means I menstruate!" Wow! I mean wow!! A hush fell over the lunchroom and all eyes looked our way. Adrian immediately turned a bright shade of red and then ran out of the room crying. He was actually crying. It would take a long time to heal this wound. When I finally caught up with my embarrassed friend, he was standing with his head in his open locker, trying to hide his shame from the world. At least he was all cried out. He could answer questions. He was in one word mode but he could talk. "Adrian, I'm sorry." "S'okay," he said in a small voice. "I didn't know what that long word meant," I told him. I wanted to help him but at the same time, I felt a strong need for his forgiveness. I felt like I had to explain myself. "I didn't know such a thing was possible." "Obviously," he grumbled. Anger was there along with his shame. I had to stop trying to get him to forgive me and concentrate on helping him. If he really menstruated, I wondered what that would do to him. Would he eventually look more like a girl than a boy? Would he develop breasts? I strongly suspected the answer to both questions was yes. That would mean he'd need more help than I could give him. He'd need professional help. It didn't matter how intelligent and rational he was. He couldn't think himself out of this situation. "I know someone who can help you," I said. "She's helped me a lot since MORFS got me." "Who?" "Her name is Gwen. She's a psychologist. I have an appointment with her after school but I think it might be better if you take my place. You need her more than I do." Adrian slowly backed out of his locker and looked at me with teary eyes. Then he lunged forward and hugged me. It wasn't the best hug I'd had but he'd learn. He'd have the best teachers and he'd learn. My feminized friend told me that his parents knew about his condition but were in denial about it and what it could mean for his appearance. He even had to teach himself about feminine hygiene. They certainly didn't think he needed a psychologist as he'd never been to one. How wrong they were. We agreed to meet after school and take the train together to see Gwen. I'd talk to her first and eventually tell her about him. I'm not sure how it would work but I hoped she'd be flexible and let him have the remaining time. I didn't really feel like I needed therapy much any more anyway. I'd found Jill and all of my other issues were minor. I was adjusting in leaps and bounds. I only had a few loose ends I wanted to tie up so I figured it didn't matter if my parents paid for the whole session. I'd still tell them about it but I was sure they wouldn't mind. The only problem was what to do about ongoing treatment for my friend. I hoped there'd be some way to get funding for therapy for someone who couldn't afford it. It was plain that Adrian's parents wouldn't pay for it. We went off to our separate classes and I explained everything to Michelle as best I could before science class started. She hugged me too. Apparently I was doing the right thing, but I thought it was the least I could do. I felt somewhat responsible for Adrian's embarrassment after all. He must have felt I knew all about such things after having gone through a gender change. I made a mental note to do a little research on my computer that night. I wouldn't be caught off guard about Adrian's sexuality again. * * * I left Adrian sitting in the little waiting room and hurried in to see Gwen. She was in rare form, but I don't mean that in a good way. She'd tried to find out more about precognitive dreaming and came up empty. She was quite frustrated by it, grumbling that the world of precogs was too vague and shadowy. That was no understatement. I turned Gwen's mood around when I shared my good news about finding Jill. She was very happy to hear it, but I could see the wheels turning in her head. I'd just given her evidence that my encounter with Sandy did predict the future, and now she'd never give up on the idea of finding out more about precogs. I wouldn't be surprised to see her write a paper on precognition someday. I looked forward to it because I'd like to know more about it myself. So now with my psychologist in a better frame of mind, it was time to switch gears. I continued on and told her that I felt like I was outgrowing the need for therapy, and that I had a friend who needed help more than I did. It was time to introduce Adrian. Gwen fussed a little at first, but after explaining the circumstances, she agreed my poor friend needed therapy and called him into her office. She thought I was very generous for giving up my session, and she said the same thing about my parents. Of course I read between the lines. I'd contact my mother about it right away when I got to the lobby. Adrian wanted me to stay but neither Gwen nor I thought that was a good idea. We tried to convince him that it could be easier to bare your soul to a stranger and he reluctantly bowed to the majority. So the therapy finally started. Now I had a phone call to make. My mother was a little upset at first, much as Gwen had been. She changed her tune though as soon as I explained everything. It would only be this once. Then Gwen would find a way to get Adrian more help. I was sure of it. I sat in the lobby and skimmed a magazine to pass the time while I waited for my mother. She agreed to wait until the usual time to pick me up so we could offer my friend a ride home. He might need a ride and an alibi for his parents. I hated to lie but I'd make an exception in this case. We'd say Adrian and I were hanging out together and lost track of time. It wouldn't be a complete lie at least. When Adrian finished his session, he came out looking a little worse for wear. I could tell he'd been crying but at least he had a little smile on his face. Gwen had worked her magic. I gave him a hug and heard the faintest whisper of a thank you in my ear. The healing had begun. I found out later that my intuition had struck again. Gwen would be continuing Adrian's therapy sessions in my time slot. I was very pleased for both Adrian and myself. It meant he'd get the help he needed and I was considered to be in a good state of mental health. I was free - for now. I don't know how it worked out but it did. Every problem could be solved eventually if you really tried and kept at it. That's what I liked to believe anyway. * * * There were only a couple weeks of school left before summer vacation and I couldn't wait. I loved school but I was looking forward to summer. My life had gotten so busy in such a short time. I wanted more free time to get control over everything. I needed to get into a routine. I also needed a break from Sasha. I shouldn't have to see her again until school started again in the fall. That would be wonderful. My life continued on pretty much as it had before. There were the usual ups and downs and I took them all in stride. It sure beat being a boy. Michelle and I continued dating the same boys. I even agreed to see a movie I didn't like, which of course meant more kissing practice. I kept trying to give boys a chance even though I still didn't find them all that attractive. I did enjoy the kisses. They were longer and better, but that was only because I closed my eyes and thought of Jill. My most important goal had yet to be fully realized. I was still waiting for Jill to make the first move and call me, and I planned to use a large part of the summer to get to know her. Actually, thanks to my dreams, I felt like I already knew her fairly well, but it wasn't the same thing. She had to get to know me, and we had to interact. She had other friends and family members I was looking forward to meeting, and her pets, if she had any, were a mystery. I hoped we got along in real life as well as we did in my dreams. I still had some anxiety about it because my dreams hadn't been exactly accurate up to now. Only time would tell. My dream girl didn't make it easy on me. I didn't know what she was thinking. Was she trying to drive me insane? Did she have a cruel streak that didn't show up in my dreams? It was a good thing I had so many distractions because she waited until about an hour after classes ended on the last day of school to call me. Maybe she was busy too. I didn't know. But I'd soon find out. I wanted to find out everything about her. I truly was in love. I spent virtually every free minute thinking of her. It had been a long time since I saw her phone number. I'd forgotten it and didn't recognize it when I saw it on my cell phone display. All I knew was that someone was trying to contact me on my emergency cell phone, and it wasn't my mother. That wasn't a good way to start a conversation with me. "Hello?! Who is this?!" I quickly shouted into my phone. It was a little brash but I was upset that someone was interrupting my daydreams about Jill. "Bobbi? Is something wrong? This is Jill." "Oh! Right! I'm sorry. I normally use this phone for emergencies. I forgot I'd given you my number. It's been quite awhile since we bumped into each other you know." I couldn't help reminding her of how long it had been since we met. The anticipation was rough and so was my tone of voice. I wanted her to feel a little guilty about keeping me waiting. "I'm sorry." She understood and my heart danced. All was immediately forgiven. She didn't need to give me any excuses. She could do no wrong in my book. Even making me wait was good because it made our first phone call all the more special. It was worth the wait.
To Be Continued...
The entire MORFS Universe can be found at http://morfs.nowhere2go.org/