We Can Work It Out: A MORFS Universe Story
By Terry Volkirch
Chapter 12: Fall, 2035 School started well enough that fall, except I was taking driver's education class. That was not fun for me or my parents. I got my learner's permit so I could drive with an adult. That meant they'd be taking me out for practice drives. They had to take turns so they could manage the stress. I was that bad. I'd no longer be complaining about other bad drivers. At least I had my PE class under control. I'd been around my girlfriends long enough over the summer to be able to handle seeing other girls wearing little to nothing. It was okay as long as I didn't stare. I just concentrated on myself and I muddled through. Handling the locker room was definitely easier than playing sports. We started with coed flag football and I was miserable at first. My jujitsu class helped me with my coordination but I couldn't throw or catch the ball worth a darn. Then I discovered the running back position. Holding the ball under my boobs helped keep them mostly under control, and doing so seemed to allow me to run and evade opposing players very well. They had a very difficult time pulling off one of my flags. I could definitely outrun the girls but I wondered about the boys. The boys should've given me more trouble so I suspected they might be taking it easy on me. I didn't like that at all. I wanted to earn respect, not be given a free pass because of my looks. I suppose I might've changed that by offering a date to the first boy who pulled off a flag, but that would only work once and I'd still be using my looks to my advantage. I'd also be stuck with a date. No, I'd just have to learn to live with it. None of my friends were in PE with me, but Michelle, Adrian and I adjusted our schedules so we could share some other classes. That was great. There were only two problems. One was that Jill was a year behind us and we couldn't share any classes with her. All we could do was eat lunch together. The other was John. He was in Math with Adrian and me. Michelle wasn't as advanced so she couldn't take the class. It would've been nice to have another ally. It was difficult to watch Adrian interact with John and not interfere. I could see my former best friend putting the moves on her and it really bothered me. They used to be only casual friends, but now she was quite pretty and I knew what John was after. He wanted to date her, and she was being extremely receptive. Like they did with me, Michelle and Jill encouraged her to give boys a chance, and she was. John's behavior seemed shallow to me. It wasn't like when he was interested in me. We were best friends. It made sense that he'd want to date a pretty girl with his best friend's interests. Adrian was different. The two of them had no more in common now than when Adrian was a boy. John didn't talk much to him before. John was only showing interest now because she was pretty. He seemed a little too fixated on looks for my taste. So now I faced a moral dilemma. On one hand, I thought it good for Adrian's self-esteem to have a boy show interest in her. It would help her continue to adjust to her new role in society. On the other hand, I felt it my duty to warn her about John's intentions. The only problem with warning Adrian was that I wasn't sure I could do it without coming across as being catty. My intuition warned me that nothing good would come from letting the two of them get together, but my sense of fairness overruled my intuition in this case. She had to learn such things for herself. She had to live her own life. Then, when the inevitable breakup occurred, I'd be there for her. There was one other interesting item in my life. Sasha had been missing from the train station for the first couple weeks, and when she did finally show up, she wasn't looking well. On her first week back, I saw the remnants of a black eye and couldn't help being concerned about her. Whatever was happening kept her mind occupied enough that she didn't harass me, and though I might benefit from her trouble, I still couldn't bring myself to wish harm on her. I'd even help her if I could. No one deserved what I imagined she was going through. * * * School continued to plod on through the shortening days, and after school, the four of us girls got together to talk and shop and dream and talk some more. I didn't get as much time alone with Jill as I liked. That was to be expected though. Adrian and I still had catching up to do on our feminine skills so having the four of us together was a must. The only problems I really had concerned dating. Michelle was still seeing Jamie, Jill was casually dating a boy named Sid from her American History class, and even Adrian started dating. She was dating John of course, leaving me to quietly suffer. I wasn't really as mature about Adrian and John as I liked to think. I was concerned for Adrian but I was upset when they first started dating. I almost considered her to be a traitor. That was before Jill intervened. She was the cool head in the group as usual. She asked me to give the two of them a chance together and she gave Adrian some of the best advice there is: Follow your heart. I fumed about the situation for a good day before Jill's wisdom sunk in. It's a good thing I had her as a friend. I considered talking to Michelle about my dire predictions for Adrian, but I couldn't bring myself to do it. I was afraid I'd be accused of bias. There was too much bad blood between John and me. All I could do was hope I was wrong. Lucky for me, there was one other dating issue that kept my thoughts occupied. I was the only exception to the dating frenzy, and it didn't go unnoticed. Each of my friends contacted me about it privately online. They all expressed concern - for different reasons - and I loved them for it. Chatting online was the only way we could have private conversations. We always did everything together when we went out during the day, but at night, after our homework was finished, we paired up in various combinations to get some quality one-on-one time. We tried larger groups but it was too awkward, and our schedules made it difficult anyway. I also had to accept that the girls wanted time to chat with the boys. Chatting in pairs worked best in all cases. As the days shortened, our protective parents kept us in earlier. Daughters and darkness didn't mix well in their minds. That meant we had less time to spend as a group. I thought it was okay though because it gave me more time to be alone with Jill - when it was our turn to be paired up online that is. Tonight though, I'd be talking with Michelle. I finished my homework and prepared for our chat session. "Computer," I said to activate the power supply. "On." My computer beeped in acknowledgment and started up. As soon as it was ready, I said my password and the computer checked it and my voice print. Then it opened my private account. I told it to start the chat program and sat down for a nice long talk. I wished our parents would allow us to add video but they were paranoid about malicious technopaths tampering with the cameras. We had to be satisfied with voice only. Michelle and I exchanged pleasantries, and talked about school briefly, but it wasn't long before her favorite subject came up. "Jamie's taking me ice skating this weekend," she said. "I wish you had a date so we could go together." "Michelle, you know that won't work." "I know," she whined. "I just hate to think of you being alone while the rest of us are out having fun." "I still have fun, and we all spend plenty of time together. I think I'll be okay." "I hope your lips don't get rusty," she teased. "Ha ha," I said sarcastically. "Maybe I'll practice kissing my hand." Michelle giggled but then quickly turned serious. "I just want you to be ready for Jill when the time comes." "Thanks, but I don't feel right dating boys when I feel nothing for them." "Yeah, but you only dated one. There might be another guy you might like." I sighed but remained patient. Michelle and I had similar conversation a couple times before. I just had to keep trying until she understood. "Look Michelle," I said quietly. "I gave Reggie a fair chance. We dated several times. We kissed a lot. We have several things in common and he's a very nice guy. I even think he's kind of handsome. But there's no spark. I look at other guys now and then too. There's never any spark. The only person I can look at that gets my heart to flutter is Jill." "Jill is dating," Michelle reminded me. "I don't see why you can't too. It's good experience for both you." "Please don't go there," I pleaded. She should know better than to talk about Jill's dating. She knew how much it hurt me. "I'm sorry." "It's okay. I know you mean well. Just remember what Jill said about following your heart. I'm following mine. Okay?" I think I succeeded this time. Michelle was quiet for several seconds. "Okay," she finally said. Over the next several nights, Jill and Adrian added their feelings on the subject of me not dating. Jill was concerned for my happiness. She secretly told me that she considered me to be her best friend out of the group and she urged me to date. She said I couldn't find that special someone if I didn't date. Inside, I laughed until I cried at that sentiment. If she only knew how I felt about her. Then there was Adrian. Adrian was having the time of her life. She knew about the history between John and me so she didn't go into much detail. She just talked about dating in general. Getting free dinners and movies for a kiss was more than fair in her book and she didn't want me to miss out on the benefits. * * * Early October was unusually cold but I was going shopping so I didn't really notice at the time. I was joined by Jill and Adrian too, and we kept ourselves occupied as we hunted for birthday presents for Michelle. Her birthday was on the 12th so we didn't have much time. It took until now to get to the mall without Michelle. That was no easy task. I told my friends about my gift ideas and they both agreed they were perfect. They couldn't help but notice Michelle's lack of a casual wardrobe and her expensive camera habit. With our combined effort, we should have Michelle perfectly dressed for every occasion. I also hoped to host a surprise pajama party for her after her birthday celebration at her house. Michelle's birthday was on a Friday so it'd be perfect. We could stay up late and sleep in on Saturday. I'd often fantasized about what girls did at a pajama party and now I was determined to experience it for myself. I reasoned that Adrian could benefit from it too. Jill thought it was a bit childish but she confessed she hadn't had many pajama parties so she agreed without too much trouble. I think she secretly loved the idea but was too embarrassed to admit it. I talked to Michelle's mother, Gloria. She thought it was cute and told me her daughter had never had a pajama party. She thought it was a great idea so all I had to do was get my parents' approval. "Mom? Got a minute?" I said with my sweetest smile. "Oh oh," she said. "I know that look. What do you want?" Then she laughed. I just pouted. I didn't like being so transparent. I'd have to work on being a little more subtle. "I was hoping to have a pajama party here for Michelle. Her birthday is this Friday so we don't have to worry about getting up early for school. Can we? Please?" My mother shook her head but she smiled. "You've really come a long way, sweetie," she told me. "But okay. You can have the party." "Thanks mom! You're the best!" I hugged her but then I thought to ask about daddy. "Don't worry about your father. I'm sure he can be talked into staying over at Fred's Friday night. Then they'll have more time for working on their project. There's no way he'll want to stay in the house with four teenage girls running wild." We both laughed at that image, especially since it would most likely be true. After the laughter faded, something my mother said finally sunk in: Dad's project. I kept forgetting about that project. I wondered if I should include my friends in my quest to find out what my father does every Saturday. I hoped I could count on their help. I'm sure the four of us could find a way to break through the wall of secrecy. I'd find a way to work in the subject during the party. My dad would be out of the house so it'd be safe to discuss it. In the meantime, I had party preparations to make. * * * Everything was set for the pajama party. I thought of everything. I even talked to Jamie to make sure he didn't have plans with Michelle Friday night. Nothing was going to spoil the party. First though, there was a normal birthday party to celebrate. As I was wrapping presents for the birthday girl, it was obvious that all the boxes contained clothes. I considered disguising the boxes but decided against it. It was getting late and besides, she'd figure out soon enough that all of her gifts were clothes. I didn't want to waste my time so instead I concentrated on decorating the boxes with ribbons, bows and anything else I could think of to put on them. After dabbing glue on a box and sprinkling glitter to spell out her name, I had to laugh at myself. I'm afraid I got a little carried away and ended up spending a lot of time anyway. The four of us girls had dinner with our families and then met after dinner at Michelle's house. I think Michelle was a little disappointed that we weren't together for dinner but she had Jamie over so it couldn't have been too bad. She got to spend some quality time with her boyfriend before us girls took over. I guessed she'd be more upset when Jamie left but I was sure she'd get over it once I sprung my surprise party on her. At least I hoped she would. Adrian, Jill and I weren't too sure how she'd take it. Would she be insulted? Would she think it to be too silly and childish? Maybe she'd just pretend to like it to spare our feelings. I doubted she could pretend the whole night so I was sure we'd find out one way or the other whether she really liked the idea. The birthday party was wonderful, and put everyone in a good mood to start the evening. We began by singing happy birthday and partaking of the essential birthday goodies of cake and ice cream. Then, after we ate our fair share, it was time for the giving of gifts. Michelle either cooed or squealed over each and every article of clothing she received. The rest of us had watched her very carefully over the previous few months to make sure we only bought the things she liked, the things she lingered over but didn't buy because she couldn't afford them. From our friend's reaction, we did a good job. Now for the surprise. Gloria secretly put a pair of Michelle's pajamas and assorted other things in a bag. She handed the bag to me to carry and then started the ball rolling. "Good night, Michelle," Gloria said suddenly, after the gifts had been moved to her daughter's bedroom. "Say good-bye to Jamie and have fun, dear." The look on Michelle's face was priceless. She still had a silly grin on her face but there was some confusion mixed in with it now. I hate to use the analogy but it looked like she was drunk. I'd seen that exact same look on some drunken characters in movies. I wished I had a camera to record the moment, and that's when it hit me. I finally thought of a perfect idea for the pajama party, and just in time. I'd rented a chick flick to watch but that wasn't very creative and I wasn't very happy about it. My two coconspirators had both thought of great ideas. Adrian's was perfect for her. She wanted to do boy impersonations. That promised to be hilarious. I couldn't wait to scratch my butt, belch and sit down with my legs spread apart. I'd never really been like that but I'd seen plenty of other boys do it. Jill's idea was just the opposite. She wanted to do makeovers, something that promised to be practical as well as fun since I could use more experience with makeup. I was envious of the makeover idea and the fact that Jill's parents were much more lenient when it came to makeup. After I turned 16, I was able to add eye liner to my arsenal, but that's all. I was sure I could get away with a full makeover during the party though because my mother was under strict orders to remain scarce. The only time we were to interact was when we needed more snacks. She'd drive to the store, hand off the goodies and then disappear back into her room so we could resume our fun. But first, before I'd have to worry about my mom, we had to start the party. We allowed Michelle and Jamie a quick kiss and then I had Adrian and Jill take a sputtering Michelle outside, where my mother was waiting in the car to ferry us back to party central. I stayed behind to have a quick talk with Gloria about my idea. I had to promise to be extremely careful and ask Michelle for permission once we got to my house, but it was agreed that it'd be fun. I also bagged up as many of Michelle's new clothes as I could. There was going to be a combination fashion show and photo shoot, with the birthday girl as the star model. I packed all of Michelle's gear in the trunk and plopped into the front seat of the car. Then I turned around to give my befuddled friend a serious look. I was up to something of course. She was wedged between Adrian and Jill in the back seat, and once we finally got going, she collected her wits and we all had a grand time deflecting her questions. "What's going on? Where are you taking me?" Michelle asked. "Isn't it obvious?" I managed to say with a straight face. "No!" Michelle shouted back. I nearly lost it then but I continued. "We're kidnapping you. We're from a lost tribe of Amazons and we're taking you to our secret island in the South Pacific. Pink is the color of royalty for our tribe and it's obvious you're our long lost queen. All hail Queen Michelle!" The rest of the gang followed my lead and we all chanted together. Even my mother got into the act. I think we almost lasted 10 seconds before one of us saw Michelle's awestruck face and snickered. That's all it took. The laughter lasted the rest of the way to my house and once again, I thought it was miracle my laughing mother didn't swerve too much and get us into an accident. We got to my house and hustled Michelle inside up to my bedroom. That's when I displayed the mandatory uniform for the remainder of her stay. "You gotta be kidding me!" She squealed when she saw her pajamas - pink satin of course. "Nope," I said. Then I handed them to her and turned to the others. "Okay. Does everyone else have their pajamas?" "Yep!" Adrian and Jill said in unison as they held theirs up. "So do I. Then here goes... last one dressed has to kiss the picture of Greg Benson in my yearbook!" Greg was my girl stalking neighbor. I'd told my friends about him and they all agreed he was creepy. That meant we were all very motivated to get dressed as quickly as possible. I wish I could've sat and watched my friends undress. It would've been a dream come true, but I was too busy to watch. There was no way I'd be the last to get my pajamas on, even though I didn't plan on following through with my threat. I wouldn't make my worst enemy kiss Greg's picture. He'd behaved himself around me but I heard plenty of rumors that he kept up his stalking behavior with other girls. I guess I wasn't his type. Thank goodness. When the dust had settled, Adrian was the last to get dressed. She hung her head and sat heavily on my bed, waiting for her penalty. "Bring it on," she said without much conviction. She really was a good sport. "I was only kidding, Adrian," I told her. "Honest." "Don't ever scare me like that again!" She said with a smile, playfully slapping me on the arm to show me I was forgiven. She was really getting the hang of being a girl. The rest of the evening was still a dream come true. It didn't matter that I didn't see my girlfriends get undressed. We started with the boy impersonations and had to cut it short. We were laughing too hard. Michelle surprised us all by impersonating her boyfriend, Jamie. He apparently had a lot of quirky male mannerisms. Either that or Michelle has a better imagination than I thought. She did an uncanny job. After our laughter died down, we composed ourselves and devoted ourselves to makeovers. Michelle and Adrian paired up. That was natural since they were both close to the same height. That left Jill and me. Jill was a master of makeup as far as I was concerned. She made herself up since I couldn't do much for her. Then she had me copy what she did on myself. I couldn't have a better tutor. She was very patient and she even brought some makeup that better suited my skin, hair and eye color. I was in love all over again. I was doing something I loved with the girl I loved. I wished I could tell her how I felt but I saw no hint of lust in her eyes when she looked at me. I was in the friend zone. Luckily, I shook off the depression that threatened to grip me and got everyone's attention. We'd spent at least a couple hours on makeup. Now it was my turn. "Attention ladies," I said. "It's time for the final makeover. Jill? If you'd be so kind as to do the honors for Michelle. Let's get started." I whispered in Jill's ear, telling her to be heavy on the eye makeup. I wanted Michelle to have a sultry, sexy look. Jill gave me a questioning eyebrow but I didn't budge. I refused to tell her what I had planned. That earned me a cute frown. While Jill was working on Michelle, I got a good look at Adrian. She was stunning. I thought she was pretty before with the little bit of makeup she used, but with a full makeover, she was gorgeous. I had to envy John a little, and I almost wanted to tell Adrian that he didn't deserve her. Somehow I held my tongue. Adrian and I used the time to clean off our own makeup. Then we watched Jill work and both chanted, "We're not worthy". When Jill was done, I retrieved Michelle's camera bag and clothes from the spare bedroom where I'd left them. It was nearly time for a new model to make her debut. My pink haired friend's eyes bulged when she saw me bring in her camera case. I gently set it on the bed along with bags of her new clothes. Then I only had to say one word. "Well?" Michelle was in her first outfit before we got the lens cap off and was soon showing us how to use her camera. It was a good thing Adrian was a quick study with gadgets. The genius in our group had it figured out and was snapping pictures in no time. The photo shoot was a great success, but then the other girls started showing signs of wanting to join in. I had to remind them who's birthday it was. This was Michelle's night. I thought it only fair that she be the only one to have her picture taken. We'd each get a turn on our birthday. There was some good-natured grumbling but everyone agreed it was a good idea. The birthday girl had to have some perks besides the presents. The rest of the evening was purposely designed to help us wind down after a frenzy of activity. I made some microwave popcorn and we settled down to watch the movie I rented. I worried we wouldn't have time to do everything but I worried for nothing. The movie was just the thing to help us settle down so we could actually get some sleep. Jill and Michelle dropped off first. They didn't make it through the movie. I gently woke them up and helped them to my bedroom. My mother got some air mattresses so it wouldn't be uncomfortable sleeping in sleeping bags on the floor, but I let Michelle have my bed anyway. She was the birthday girl and deserved the best of everything. Adrian helped me clean up, giving us time for a little chat. I still had the subject of my dad's project to discuss and she'd be perfect. If anyone could crack the defenses of Fred's Fortress as I took to calling it, she could. The gadget geek in Adrian was intrigued. I could tell. It wasn't clear if her budding inner girl thought it appropriate behavior though. I'd have to work on her because I didn't think I could do it without her help. The way she balked, I didn't think I had a prayer getting help from Jill or Michelle, so it was for the best they were fast asleep. They never need know. I may decide to tease them about it once I had the answer but I didn't think they'd be interested in doing any leg work. * * * Over the next couple days, my girlfriends and I were still riding high from the pajama party. We'd truly bonded that night, and I was convinced we'd all be friends for life - hopefully with something even more than friendship eventually developing between me and one of them. With the way we were feeling, I didn't think anything could bring us down, but I was wrong. As it usually happens, the higher you go, the farther you fall, and the damage of falling from our height could be severe. It was around 1 in the afternoon on Sunday and I was out on one of my power walks. It was a little cool but the sun was shining and I was in a good mood. Then I got a call on my cell phone. I still insisted my phone was for emergencies but my friends and I redefined emergencies. In this case though, it really was an emergency. I read the display. It was Adrian, and I had a bad feeling. "Bobbi!" Adrian wailed. She was so loud I had to hold the phone far from my ear. "What is it? What's wrong?" I had to shout to be heard over the sounds of crying. "John...," I heard. Adrian was in one word mode again. Something was seriously wrong. "Did he hurt you?" I shouted. I was upset now so the higher volume came naturally. "He... he called me... a... freak," she managed to get out between sobs. After squeaking out the last word, she started crying loudly. "What?! Where are you? Tell me where you are and I'll come over right away." Adrian didn't say anything but my phone beeped. I looked at the display and saw a red dot on a small map of the town, along with a distance measurement and a compass reading that pointed me in her direction. She was having trouble talking but her inner geek was showing me her location. I ran to catch the nearest train and used my phone to lead me to my distraught friend. I arrived to find her in a sorry state. Her makeup ran down her face with her tears and she was still crying. She sat on a park bench in a secluded area of a little park. It offered her some privacy at least. As soon as she noticed me sitting next to her, she grabbed me in a fierce hug, and we stayed like that for several minutes, neither of us saying a word. When she finally pulled away, she was all cried out and she was able to tell me everything. Her date with John began very well. They'd gone out for lunch and then went for a walk here in this park. They ended up at the bench we were sitting on, and after a brief conversation, kissed. The kissing got hot and heavy. John's hands wandered to Adrian's small, shapely breasts and she didn't stop him. Emboldened by his success and the privacy of the park bench, his hands moved down to probe the area between her legs. That's when he discovered she was a hermaphrodite. After his initial shock wore off, he started yelling and then left. "So you hadn't told him," I said. "I guess you didn't figure you'd have to so soon." "Yeah. I sort of lost control. I didn't think to stop him from reaching down there." She pointed to her crotch. "It's all my fault." "What?!" I yelped. "That's ridiculous." "I should've stopped him. Now he knows I'm a freak and he'll probably tell the whole school." She started sniffling again. I still had a lot of work ahead of me. "Adrian, you are not a freak." "Yes I am. Everyone else is one or the other. I'm both." She was on the verge of crying again so I distracted her with knowledge, hoping her rational side would help suppress her emotions. I told her about the research I'd done on the Internet, about how there were hermaphrodites or partial hermaphrodites even before MORFS first appeared. Now, thanks to MORFS, it was much more common. There was nothing freakish about it. "I know all that but the numbers don't matter," she said in a small voice. "I'm still a freak." Okay then. She needed more convincing, so I moved to plan B. "Am I a freak?" I suddenly asked her. That got her attention. "No! Of course not." "Well I've been called one... many times... by one person. It didn't matter though. You know why?" I didn't wait for an answer. "Because I have a lot more family and friends who love me. The people who matter most in my life don't think I'm a freak. That means I'm not a freak." "I see where you're going," she said with a little smile. She was pulling up from her nose dive but I didn't stop there. "That's right. Your parents still love you. Jill and Michelle love you. I love you." After I spoke those last three magic words, Adrian's eyes lit up. I did it. I got through to her. Perhaps now I could help her clean up a little. Her mascara stained face was a bit difficult to look at. Following Michelle's example, I normally carried cotton balls and eye makeup remover in my purse, but I didn't have my purse with me. I had to improvise. I told Adrian to stay put while I went to the ladies rest room in the park. I got some wet paper towels and returned to do the best job I could. Luckily it worked. I surveyed my handiwork and smiled. I cleaned her smeared lipstick as well as her mascara and she looked much better. I thought she looked great with makeup, but now I noticed how much her face had feminized over the past several months. Even with only a trace of makeup around her eyes, she was beautiful. Her sandy brown hair was styled in a short bob like mine and it framed her delicate face well. Her eyebrows, nose, chin, everything was small and cute. I could stare at her for hours. Adrian blushed a little from the attention I was giving her, and that made me stare all the more. Her red cheeks looked adorable. Everything she did held my attention. I couldn't look away. Then it happened. Adrian stopped blushing and started moving closer. She scooted closer to me and moved her face towards mine. I stared into her deep green eyes and saw a need, a need that mirrored my own. Everyone needs love. Everyone needs physical contact. So we kept moving our faces closer until our lips touched - and we kissed. Adrian and I became more than friends with that kiss. We were on our way to a secret relationship, because that's the only way it could work in Copely. I didn't mind though. I found someone to love and someone who loved me back. It felt wonderful. Actually, I felt wonderful and awful at the same time, awful because I hadn't told Adrian about Jill. Only Gwen and Michelle knew about my dream girl - and Sandy of course, wherever she was. I felt guilty, like I was betraying Jill somehow. I was being silly of course. Jill was dating boys, not me. She confessed she was having trouble finding a boy she liked but she was trying. I wasn't in the picture, so I decided then to stop thinking. It didn't matter really. Nothing mattered at the moment because I was still kissing Adrian. I stopped thinking and lost myself in the kiss.
To Be Continued...
The entire MORFS Universe can be found at http://morfs.nowhere2go.org/