By Britney McMaster
I awoke to the banging on the ceiling as Mikey and Joannah ran around the main floor of the house. Sleepily, I rolled out of my bed and staggered towards the bathroom. Walking across the bare concrete of my bathroom floor woke me up enough that I caught myself before I tried to pee standing up. I looked around the room as I sat on the toilet. It was clear that the room was still under construction. There were boxes of tiles in the corner with a can of paint sitting on top of them. The tub was leaning against the wall. It was one of those big Jacuzzi tubs and while I wasn’t exactly a bath person, I was excited to be getting that in my new bathroom.
I finished up and washed my hands before heading back into my room. Washing my hands reminded me that I needed to do something about these nails. I went over to my vanity and started rummaging through the various cosmetics Mom had bought. After a short search, I came across the nail kit I was looking for. I contemplated cutting them short, but Mom would be sure to notice that. Instead, I cut them down to a more manageable length and then filed down the sharp edges left from the clippers. The nails were still a lot longer than I was used to, but at least now I would be able to use my fingers more normally.
I felt I was modestly dressed in the pajamas I was wearing, but since it was cold in the mornings, I grabbed the bathrobe we had bought and put it on as I went upstairs.
Mom was cleaning up in the kitchen as I walked in. Dad was sitting at the table and was the first to notice me. “Good morning sleepyhead.”
“Morn’n Dad, Mom. What’s for breakfast?”
“That depends on what you’re making yourself,” said Mom.
I let out an audible sigh and started pouring myself some cereal and ignored Mom and Dad while I ate. I could tell they were watching me and it was getting really annoying. Every time I looked up, they would act as if they hadn’t been watching me. I couldn’t really blame them for it though. I was a new person in the house and I’m sure that they weren’t really sure how to deal with me yet.
When Logan came into the kitchen and started making his breakfast, I took that as my opportunity and quickly put my dishes in the sink before leaving the room. I quietly made my way past the stairs and down the hall to Logan’s room.
I walked in the room and headed straight to the things I wanted. First was the computer. I unplugged it from the wall and turned off the projection screen. Next I grabbed my stereo and a bunch of my music. I put my favourite baseball hat on and then picked up the football I had got for Christmas along with my favourite jersey. My arms were pretty full so I quietly exited the room and went down into the basement, where I set up the computer and stereo and put the rest of the stuff in my closet. I kept the hat on as it held my long hair out of my face.
I turned on the computer and cranked up my music. I set about changing the passwords on my email to something Logan wouldn’t guess and changing my profile. I had just finished when Logan came bursting into my room.
“Hey, you ever heard of knocking? What if I was getting changed?” I yelled at him.
“So what?” he replied.
“I’m a girl, Logan. You can’t just bust in her.”
“I don’t care, I want my stuff back,” he said.
“What stuff would that be?”
“You know what I mean. My computer, stereo and that hat you’re wearing. And I’m sure you took some other things, too,” he accused.
“These are my things, too, I don’t have to give anything back!” I shouted at him.
“If you don’t give them back, I’ll take them back.” I stood up and walked up to him. He was a little taller than me and definitely outweighed me.
“Oh yeah? You gonna fight with a girl?” I challenged.
“Just give me back my stuff … NOW!” He tried to grab the hat off my head but I ducked and pushed him back a few steps. “Bitch!” He rushed forward and shoved me back. His hands hit me in the chest and I was surprised at how much it had hurt. I brought my arms up around my breasts as I fell backwards onto the floor.
“You are such a bastard!” Tears were stinging my eyes again and my first impulse was to hit him. But then I got a better idea. I inhaled deeply and smirked at him before yelling, “DAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD!!!”
Within a minute, Mom and Dad rushed into my room. I had let the tears start to flow and Logan was just standing there as he realized what was happening.
“What is going on in here?” Mom shrieked as she came over to my side. I was still hugging my chest, but pried away an arm long enough to point at Logan.
“He … he hit me!” I sobbed.
“I … she … but ... she took my stuff…” he stammered.
“Logan, did you hit your sister?” asked Dad.
“All I did was push her, AFTER she pushed me.”
“He hit me in the chest. He’s not supposed to hit girls.”
“Logan, go to your room!” Dad ordered
“But what about the stuff she took? I want it back,” demanded Logan.
“It’s my stuff, too, Logan.”
“Logan, do as your father told you. We’ll worry about what belongs to who, later,” said Mom.
Logan glared at me before turning and stomping angrily up the stairs.
“Laura, we’ll talk to Logan about his behavior towards you. But you can’t antagonize him like that and expect him not to retaliate, just because you’re a girl. Yes, he’s not supposed to hit girls, but that doesn’t mean you can hit him. Now, are you ok?” Mom asked.
I nodded my head as I stood up.
“We’re going to have to figure out who gets to keep what, as both of you feel you own all of your old things,” said Dad. “I think you’ll get the eCom though, until we can get another one. I don’t want you being out without a way to get a hold of you.”
“Dad, I can take care of myself,” I protested.
“It’s not that I don’t trust you. It’s that I don’t trust the other people out there. It’s not always safe for a young woman. Especially with all these Morfs, thinking they can do whatever they want because they have special powers.” Dad gave me a hug. “Why don’t you go get ready for the day while your mother and I talk with Logan?”
“Logan, your mother and I are very disappointed in your behavior. We understand that you were angry, and since Laura thinks like you do, she’s really going to be able to push your buttons, but that is never an excuse to hit her. Do I make myself clear?” inquired Dad.
I sat there quietly and nodded my head. “Good.”
“Now Honey, we didn’t consider that Laura would take things from your room. That’s our fault for not working that out before you two got to fighting. However, she does have as much claim on those things as you do. I imagine there’s a lot of sentimental value for her in the things in your room. It’s a link to her past, and right now she’s feeling bad because she feels she doesn’t belong in her own life. That is why we asked you to help her.” Can you do that?” Mom hugged me as she asked, "Can you do that?” ”.
I nodded again.
“Now, you’re not going to be punished for hitting her this time, as long as you apologize to your sister and promise it won’t happen again. . Okay?”
“Okay, Mom, I promise.”
I was sitting at my vanity, wrapped in a towel, trying to brush out my wet hair when there was a knock at my bedroom door. It was the same way I usually knocked, so I knew it was Logan. “Just a minute Logan, I’m just getting dressed.” I rushed over to my dresser and pulled on my panties, picked up a bra and dashed into my closet. I wiggled into a pair of jeans, put on the bra and then pulled a thick purple knit sweater over my head. “Okay, you can come in.”
I walked out of my closet as Logan entered my room. Her walked over to my love seat and sat down. “Laura, I … uh… I’m sorry about earlier. If you want to share some of our stuff, then that’s fine with me. I just was angry that you didn’t ask first.” somehow, I knew he was being sincere.
I smiled at him, “Thanks Logan, that means a lot that you’re willing to share with me. This is just really hard for me. Everything is new and different and it’s nice to have something that’s familiar.”
“So what’s it like?”
“What’s what like? I asked.
“Being a girl, what’s it like?”
“Well, I’ve only been a girl for like one day but as far as I can tell, it kind of sucks. I mean, Mom expects me to be her pretty little daughter and to act like a lady. Meanwhile, I have no idea how to do anything like a girl. Long hair is a pain in the ass. So are long nails and I’m not even attempting to figure out makeup.”
“You’re going to have to though, right? I mean all the girls at school wear makeup.”
“Please don’t remind me of school. I am so not looking forward to having to wear that stupid school skirt everyday.”
“It can’t be that bad …”
“I’ve got lots of skirts, you want to wear one?” I offered.
“Hell no! By the way, I can see your bra through that sweater,” he told me.
“Damn it!” I walked over to my dresser and pulled out a white camisole. It only took me a minute to duck into my closet and put it on under the sweater. I walked back over to the loveseat and sat down next to Logan. “Better?”
“Yeah, it’s better. So I doubt we’ll be making it into the advanced gym class after our tests. Unless you’ve noticed some super powers that I haven’t.” I shook my head. “So now that you’re a girl and I’m not fat anymore, you’re going to help me find a girlfriend, right?”
“And just why would I do that?” I laughed.
“Because you want to, I dunno. I’ll help you find a boyfriend,”
I glared at him for that remark.
“Or a girlfriend,” he quickly added. “Whichever one you want.”
“Honestly, I have no desire to be in a relationship right now. I’ve got to get used to just being who I am, first.”
Logan nodded his agreement. “Well, I’m gonna go get a shower. But we should hang out today.”
“Okay.” Logan and I stood up and he left the room. I went back to my vanity and back to work on my hair. I managed to get all the tangles out and then pulled it up into a ponytail. I went back over to my desk and turned on the stereo. I turned up the volume as one of my favourite songs started to play. I fell back onto my bed and lost myself in the music.
The day passed quickly as Logan and I helped Dad work on my bathroom. We managed to get the bathroom painted and the tub hooked up and in place, finishing up just in time for dinner. Jadyn had remembered how many places to set tonight, so I was actually feeling kind of happy for a change.
“So, Laura Kyle called and invited me to go see a movie with the guys tonight,” Logan asked tentatively. “You wanna come with?”
“I dunno …” I was hesitant to face my friends.
“Go on, Laura,” said Mom. “You need to get out of the house and have some fun.”
“But I …”
“Don’t worry, I’ll help you get ready after dinner,” interrupted Mom.
“That’s not what …” I started, but then decided to give up, “Fine, I’ll go.”
Mom rushed me down to my room as soon as we finished dinner, and started going through my closet selecting the clothing she thought I should wear to the movies.
“Mom,” I said, and then waited for her to give me her attention. “I’m not wearing a skirt or a dress tonight. One, its winter and pants will be warmer. And two, I’m going with a bunch of my old guy friends. I want them to see that I’m still the same person on the inside, and wearing a skirt isn’t going to help me accomplish that.”
“That’s fine, Honey, but I want you to at least do something with your hair and maybe a bit of makeup,” replied Mom.
I let out a loud sigh of frustration. “Mom, I am not wearing makeup!”
“You won’t even notice that you’re wearing it and I’ll keep it nice and light. If you think it’s too much when I’m done, then I’ll help you take it off.”
“Alright.” I decided I would keep on the jeans I was already wearing, but Mom insisted I wear a different top. I rejected the first two tops because they showed off my boobs too much. I suggested just wearing a tee shirt and Mom agreed, after I compromised for a like, pink one. Since it was cold out, I figured I just wear a jacket to cover up the top.
“Okay, Laura, hair first, and then makeup.” Mom pointed to the seat at my vanity and I sat down. Not being completely clueless, I pulled out my hair out of its ponytail while Mom plugged in the curling iron we had bought the day before. “Now I want you to pay attention to how I do this, because you’re going to have to learn to do this yourself.” Mom brushed out my hair for a few minutes and then started sectioning off my hair and winding them around the curling iron. She didn’t curl all my hair, but once she was done and brushed my hair out again, it had soft waves all over.
“Okay, now for makeup. You have a really nice complexion, so we’ll skip foundation for now. Now since we want to keep it looking natural, we’re just going to uses some brown tones for your eyes. We’ll start with just a little bit of eyeliner using this pencil.” Having her run the eyeliner across the edge of my eyelid was surprisingly ticklish and I had a hard time keeping my eye open like she wanted me to. Once that was done, she used her finger to smudge the line a bit so that it didn’t stand out as much. Next she put on a few shades of eye shadow. She did one eye at a time so that I could watch. She worked quickly continuing to explain what she was doing.
Mascara was next and was just as ticklish as the eyeliner had been. Mom explained that we were using brown mascara because I was blonde and we were going for a natural look, but that for a more dramatic look I could use black mascara. “Now I’m just going to use a clear gloss on your lips tonight instead of using a lipstick.” She spread on the gloss and then stepped back while I looked in the mirror. The makeup was pretty much unnoticeable, just like Mom had promised and I decided I’d leave it on.
“Laura, we gotta go!” yelled Logan from upstairs.
“I’m coming!” I yelled back. “Thanks for helping me Mom.”
“I wish Dad would’ve let me drive,” I complained.
“You don’t have a license, remember?” Logan replied.
“Technicalities, that’s all that is. So who all is coming?” “Well, Kyle of course, Brandon, Eric, Lance and Jack.” Logan pulled into the theater parking lot and started trying to find a place to park.
“So I’m going to be the only girl there.”
“Some of the guys might have their girlfriends with them. I dunno. Does it really even matter?”
“I feel a little insecure around guys now, okay?”
Logan had to stifle his laughter as he looked over at Laura, who seemed to be hyperventilating. “Laura, calm down. They’re our friends. No one is going to hurt you or make fun of you.”
“Logan, what … what if they hit on me?” she asked nervously.
“Honestly, once they know who you are, I seriously doubt that would happen. Even if it does, all you have to do is tell them you’re not interested. Girls have turned us down in the past, so you know how they do it. You’ll be fine.”
“Just stay with me okay?” He nodded.
“Hey Logan!” shouted Kyle. We already had our tickets and headed over to where the guys were sitting. I noticed right away that there weren’t any girls sitting with the guys. “Hey Logan,” inquired Kyle as we reached the table. “Who’s your girlfriend?”
“Yeah, I thought this was guys night out,” said Lance.
“She’s not my girlfriend. This is my sister. Guys meet Laura. Laura, you know the guys.”
“Logan, what are you on? We all know you don’t have a sister our age,” Brandon stated.
I decided to jump in and get the introductions over with. “We’re twins. We had MORFS and split into two different people with the same memories. For some reason, I ended up as a girl. So you don’t have to act as if I’m a stranger. I remember all of you. Just treat me like you do Logan, and we’ll be cool.”
“That is the strangest Morf I’ve ever heard of, but that’s coming from a guy who has x-ray vision,” remarked Eric.
“Well let’s get our seats before they’re all taken.”
“You guys wanna grab some food?” Logan inquired as we left the theater. All the guys thought it was a great idea. We ended up at the pizza place across from the theater. After we’d ordered our pizza, Kyle started a casual conversation about the movie. I tried to add my opinion but was pretty much ignored. As I looked over at Logan, I realized I was jealous of him. He was talking and telling jokes like he ( I ) always did. However, on the other hand, I was rudely being excluded from the conversation.
When 0ur pizza arrived, that pretty much killed all conversation. As I ate, I realized I was getting depressed again, and fast. I took as long as possible to eat the one slice of pizza I took. Lance was sitting across from me and I’d caught him looking at me a few times and he wasn’t looking me in the eyes. It was creeping me out and I tried to cover myself by crossing my arms.
The pizza disappeared quickly and Brandon, Kyle and Eric went over to play a game of pool. Lance, of course, started talking to Logan again. Once again, I was excluded from the conversation, yet Lance continued to glace over at me while he was talking. It was driving me crazy.
“Hey!” I said, but Lance kept talking as if I hadn’t said a word. I slammed my hand on the table and raised my voice a bit, “Hey!” This time Logan and Lance stopped talking and looked over at me. “I’ve been sitting here the whole time and not once have I been included. Why are all of you ignoring me? I’m just the same as Logan!”
“Because girls are nothing more than something pretty to look at, I could care less how you feel or what you think,” said Lance with a perverted grin on his face as he again looked at my chest.
I was stunned by the blatant remark he had made. As I slid out of the booth and started to walk away, Logan slid out behind me and put his hand on my arm.
Lance stood and walked back into my line of sight. “Oh, is the poor little girl going to run off and cry?” he taunted. Logan stepped between us.
“Lance, you shut your mouth, you bastard! If I ever hear you talk to her like that again …”
“Logan!” I said, as I moved beside him, “I don’t need you to fight my battles!” I turned and look up into Lance’s eyes. He still had that smug look on his face. “And you! You think its funny to try and demean me? You think you’re better than me because I’m a girl?”
“Ooh, you’ve got some guts, babe. What say you and me have a little fun?”
“You know, I’d like that,” I said sweetly as I took a step forward and slammed my knee into his crotch. He bent forward in pain as all boys do and I followed it with an uppercut I the face. He fell to the ground in pain. The aggression I’d felt was quickly replaced with anger, and again my eyes started to water. Pushing past Logan, I ran out of the restaurant. As I went through the door, I heard Lance yelling "I'll get you for this, Bitch!"
I made it to the car and collapsed against the door as I let myself cry out the pain. “All my friends are gone! All I am to them is some strange girl who they don’t know …’
“Laura, are you alright?”
“Just take me home, Logan.”
“What Lance said …”
“I know that’s not how you feel, okay? You don’t have to tell me that or apologize for something you didn’t do.” Logan helped me up and we got in the car. We were silent as he navigated out of the parking lot and headed towards home.
“Well I’m sorry if I did anything to upset you.”
“You should be. I don’t need you protecting me. I’m not some defenseless little girl who need her brother to make anything bad go away.”
“Laura, I …”
“I’m done talking!” I interrupted.
The next morning I awoke just as angry as I had been when I’d gone to bed. I still couldn’t get over how my former friends had treated me. What made me even angrier was that Logan hadn’t done anything to help me feel accepted, but then tried to come to my rescue when Lance said what he did. ‘Why the hell does he think I need him protecting me like that?”
I took my time getting ready before going upstairs. Mom had breakfast ready as I entered the kitchen. I took my plate and sat as far from Logan as I could. I didn’t say a word and neither did he. I could feel how uncomfortable he was. Mom tried to find out how our trip to the movies was, but didn’t press the subject when neither of us answered.
After breakfast, Mom, Dad, Logan and I got in the car and headed to our doctor’s appointments. First on the agenda was to take a DNA sample from Mom and Dad and me and send them off to the lab for a rush paternity test. With that out of the way, Dad led Logan into the waiting room of our regular family doctor, while Mom led me down the hall and into another waiting room.
“Mom, why am I going to a different doctor than Logan?” I asked.
“Laura, as a girl you have different medical needs that our family doctor isn’t specialized in. Dr. Jennings is qualified to perform the required post-MORFS tests for you.”
“You mean, like, tests with my … vagina?”
Mom laughed at question. “Yes, I guess you could say that. Dr. Jennings is an OBGYN. She’s the one you’ll see for any feminine problems.”
“Do I have to have these tests done? I don’t want anyone seeing … those areas.”
“Laura, she’s a doctor. She does this everyday. If it helps you feel better, I’ll come in with you, but you do have to get these tests done.”
“So how’d your physical go?” Logan asked after Mom and Dad had dropped us off at the school.
“It was the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to me before. Let’s just say that I’ll be doing everything I can to avoid future gynecological appointments. I’d gladly take the whole turn and cough deal over having someone stick a speculum in down there.”
“Hey, I know how you feel. Doc Roberts gave me a prostate exam this time. So let’s please not talk about sticking things in anywhere.”
I had to laugh at Logan’s comment and then realized that I was talking to him when I was supposed to be mad at him.
“It’s nice to hear you laugh and to have you talking to me again,” he said as if reading my mind.
“Okay, you’re off the hook for now. Just treat me as an equal is all I’m asking for.”
“I think I can do that. So about last night …”
“Logan, I’m still mad about that. I can’t hang out with guys like that,” I said. “It was pretty obvious that they don’t want me as a friend.”
“That’s not true, what Lance said …”
“Don’t you dare defend him! What he said hurt a lot, Logan. It was rude and sexist and … and… I don’t want to talk about this anymore.” I opened the door to the gym and walked in. “We’re done talking about this, it just makes me mad.”
Logan and I were subjected to all sorts of different physical aptitude tests for over an hour. As they were designed to sort out Morfs that had advanced abilities, the two of us did very poorly. By the time we were done Logan had to practically dragg me out of the gym because I was so tired.
We met Mom and Dad down in the main office, where they were taking care of some paper work. I found a seat and dropped into it, closed my eyes and I guess I fell asleep as a little while later, Mom had to shake me to wake me up. I followed my parents and Logan out to the car.
“Laura, you’re going to have the next two weeks off of school. Every few days you’ll have to go in and write an exam for each of your classes to prove that you’re as educated as Logan. Since you’ll be writing so many of them, you’ll have days off in between exams for you to have some time to study,” Mom told me.
I let out an annoyed groan, which made everyone in the car laugh. “Now we’re going to get the two of you some new school uniforms. So we expect you to behave.”
“Wait,” said Logan. “ Why do I need new uniforms?”
“Son, you have noticed that you’ve lost some weight through MORFS, right?” asked Dad.
“Hey! Don’t refer to me as weight!” I said in mock anger.
“You know that’s not what I meant Laura,” replied Dad. “Logan, you’re thinner now than you were before you put on weight for MORFS, so you needs some new uniforms as much as Laura does.”
When we arrived at the store that sold the school uniforms, Mom led me over to the girl’s section. I followed Mom around as she picked out a few school shirts, two long sleeved blouses and two sweaters. A saleslady came over and took the tops from Mom and hung them up in a changing room for me. While she did that, Mom made her way over to the school skirts. They were essentially a short kilt by design, in a gray and burgundy plaid. The ones on the rack were long enough to come to the knee but they were un-hemmed and most of the girls in school wore them pretty short. As a guy, I had liked seeing those skirts ending at mid thigh on the girls at school, but now the thought of having to wear one to school each day was terrifying.
With all the main parts of a uniform picked out, I was led to the changing room and asked to try on and model everything. I picked the school shirts first. I’d be wearing these most of the time, as they were nothing more than a golf shirt with the school logo embroidered over the left breast. They were as close to boys’ clothes as I was going to get at school. I pulled it on and looked in the mirror. The shirt was snug but I knew it was supposed to fit like that. Like all my new tops, it hugged my waist and emphasized my breasts.
Next I put on the school skirt. It was a little confusing at first. It had two leather straps with buckles at the sides and it took me a few tries to get it put on right. I opened the door and stepped out of the changing room. Mom and the saleslady immediately began fussing over me. I had to stand on a small pedestal while the sales lady pinned up the hem. I complained that it was too short but the saleslady assured Mom that this was how all the girls wore the skirts. With the hem pinned up I was sent back to change tops. When I returned the second time, this time wearing the sweater, I saw that Logan and Dad had joined Mom. Logan was holding a few pairs of pants in his arms.
‘It figures he’d be done shopping already while I have to try everything on for Mom to see,’ I thought as I modeled the sweater. I went back and forth between modeling and the change room before I was able to put my jeans and top back on. The drive home was uneventful and I made myself busy until dinner by putting away my uniform stuff in my closet.
Tuesday morning I awoke and just lay in my bed staring at the pink sheers draped around my bed from the ceiling. ‘Today, I can finally just be myself. Mom and Dad are both back at work and everyone else is at school.’
I eventually got out of bed and showered,. dried myself off and went back into my room. I pulled on a pair of boy short panties in a vain attempt at wearing something similar to boys’ underwear for a change. I pulled out my one pair of jeans that weren’t tight fitting. They were a girls’ wide leg style so they were still obviously girls’ pants, but other than hugging my hips a bit, they were pretty boyish. I debated on whether to wear a bra or not. In the end I decided on a tight sports bra under a loose tee shirt.
I went upstairs and started making myself some eggs for breakfast. There was a note on the counter from Mom:
Don’t spend too much time in front of the TV. Make sure you study for your first exam on Thursday. I also want you to practice doing your makeup and hair in your spare time.
The note quickly made its way to the trash. ‘Like I’m really going to practice wearing makeup.’ I finished making my eggs and sat down in front of the TV to eat them. I flipped channels while I ate. Not much was on and I ended up watching some talk show that had a group of Morfed guests. The first few guests were teens not much older than myself. They all got off lucky compared to me. The next guest really caught my attention.
They showed a picture of him from before MORFS and one of him after. The after shot was completely different looking. His hair was a different colour and his facial features had changed completely. They gave some information on how he had been treated by others due to his Morf and then he made his entrance on to the set. I had the same shocked reaction as the audience. He looked just like his before picture.
He went on to talk to the host about how he looked the way he did. Through years of various surgeries, he had been able to reclaim his old life. He talked about how friends and family who had shunned him had accepted him back. That struck a chord with me. I just wanted acceptance of who I really was. I don’t exactly feel like I did as Logan, but I really don’t feel like a girl either.
The show went to commercial and I sat there thinking about what I really wanted out of life.
“Hey! How’s your sister doing?” asked Kyle who was sitting beside me in math class.
“She acts like she’s doing okay. You know, coping with the Morf and all that. I just have a feeling that she’s not being honest with us about how she really feels about it. Supposedly she thinks the same way I do, but if I had changed into a girl, I would be fighting it all the way.”
“Well she seemed pretty cool the other night. Except after what Lance said.”
“Well don’t expect her to hang out with us anymore,” I said. “She pretty much thinks that all the guys feel the same way that Lance does.”
“You told her what we did to Lance after you two left, right?”
“Kyle, she won’t talk to me about it or let me even explain. She’s still really mad about the whole thing. I barely got her talking to me again,” I stated as I thought back to yesterday. The bell rang and we gathered up our books and out into the hall.
“I guess we just give her time then?” asked Kyle.
“I think that would be best.”
“Hey!” I turned around and found myself face to face with Lance. He had two black eyes and the side of his face was bruised. “Where’s your damn sister?”
“She’s at home, Lance. What the hell do you want anyway?” I asked.
“I wanted to tell that little bitch to …”
I moved forward quickly and pinned him against the lockers that lined the hallways. My hand was on his neck and I squeezed it until he stopped talking. “Nobody calls Laura that. You hear me? If I ever hear that you so much as say her name, I will make you regret it!”
The next guest they had on the show was a specialist in post-MORFS behavior. She was saying that most people are poorly treated after morfing and that most of the time, it wasn’t intended to hurt those people.
“The trend in most parts of the world is to force these children who have morfed to accept that they don’t have a choice in how to live after MORFS. Forcing someone into certain social norms is what doctors counsel parents to do. It’s what MORFS counselors are trained to instruct their patients to do and the government covers up the suicide statistics of recently morfed teens in this country.
“Accepting what MORFS has done to you and accepting someone else’s ideal of how you should live the rest of your life, are completely separate. In some parts of the world, absolute hybrids are sent to live in the wild as an animal. This country put a stop to that practice as being unconstitutional. Yet, just last year you could read in the paper about a fourteen year old who had morfed as a water elemental and been practically chased out of town by his former neighbors who felt it would be best for him if he lived near the ocean. Because of others, this young man is now living homeless along the coast of the Pacific Ocean. How is that any different than what used to happen to hybrids?
“If anyone in the audience or watching at home, is not happy with their life, then change it. You have the right to be happy.”
I turned off the TV and felt the anger surge inside me. I wasn’t sure why I was so angry, but the lady on the show was right. I did have the right to be happy, and I wasn’t happy doing what Mom wanted. I put on a pair of boots, grabbed my eCom and jacket and headed outside.
It was a bright sunny day, and the snow was starting to melt just a bit. The signs that spring was approaching were evident, but it was still cold enough that I fished out my toque and put it on. I walked towards the nearest business area that I could find. ‘That lady was right. I need to accept that I’m a girl. But I don’t have to be the kind of girl Mom wants me to be. I’ll be the kind of woman I want to be!’
I arrived at the shopping center a few blocks from our house and made a beeline for the salon. They had a sign in the window that said “walk-ins welcome” and they didn’t look too busy, so I pulled open the door and stepped up to the front desk. A disturbingly bubbly girl of about eighteen quickly greeted me.
“Hi, how can I help you today?”
“I was wondering if you had any openings for a cut and I want to get these nail extensions removed,” I said, flashing my nails at her.
“But those look good on you. Why do you want them removed?” she asked.
“I want them off because I don’t like them. My mom made me get them. So do you have any openings, or not?” I questioned as I felt the anger returning. I knew I was being a bit bitchy, but it felt good.
My face hurt from the punches but I was beyond feeling pain at that point. The rage I felt was too strong for me to worry about how much I hurt. He took another swing. With my recent weight loss I was definitely outmatched for size, but it also meant that I was faster than he was. I easily dodged the punch and hit him in the back of the neck with my elbow. He went down … hard. I crouched down beside him and asked, “Who’s the bitch now, Lance?” I turned and quickly ran off with Kyle and Eric before any teachers showed up and we got in trouble.
“So what style did you want to go with today?” asked Becky, the stylist.
“I don’t really have a style in mind,” I said. “I just want something shorter and easy to take care of.”
“Personally, I think you have lovely hair, but we’ll go short if that’s what you want. I think we can find something that will work.” She held a lock of my hair between her fingers, about halfway between my jaw and my shoulders. “I’m thinking we’ll leave it about this long. What do you think?”
“Yeah, that looks good. Remember, just something that’s easy to style, ok?”
“If that’s what you want. You should still be able to do a lot with it this length but I’ll layer it a bit so that you just have to blow dry it and it will be in place. So why are you insistent on something so no maintenance?”
“If you must know, I just morphed and I’m not used to long hair. I guess you could say I’m a tomboy.” I smiled at that comment. “I’ve never been very feminine, so I just need something that will look okay with out much effort.”
“Hey Logan, looking good,” Lisa said as she walked by our table. I’ve known Lisa for a long time. We’ve shared classes at school since about fourth grade. Unfortunately, we’re more just acquaintances than friends. It seems the only times I get to actually hang out with her is when we have group assignments we have to do together.
“Hey, Lisa,” I said, without thinking. I mentally kicked myself as she turned around and my mind went blank as I took in her beauty. She was waiting for me to say something. ‘Say something Logan, before you make yourself look like an idiot!’ I opened my mouth a few times before I decided to stall for time. “Can I talk to you for a minute? In private?”
“Sure, I guess.” Ignoring the comments of my friends, she put her lunch tray down beside mine and then I followed her around the corner to a secluded spot of the school hallway.
“Lisa, I was wondering if you could do me a favor. We’ve known each other for a while and I feel we get along pretty well. So I was just wondering if you’d like to get together sometime and …”
“Logan, you’re a really nice guy and all but I just got out of a relationship and I’m not ready to date again yet.”
I tried to cover up my disappointment and an idea came to mind to try and redeem myself. “Lisa, you didn’t let me finish. I was wondering if you’d like to get together sometime and hang out with my sister and me. Pretty much everyone knows that I morphed but what he or she doesn’t know yet, is that my body actually split into two people, so now I have a twin sister. She thinks and acts the same way I do, but she doesn’t really have any friends, and so I was hoping maybe the two of you could hang out a bit so that when she starts school she doesn’t have to go through the whole ‘new kid’ phase.”
“Well now I feel like an idiot jumping the gun like that. I think it’s really sweet of you to be worried about your sister though. I’d love to meet her,” responded Lisa.
“Cool, you wanna get together tomorrow night then?”
“Sure, I’ll come by your place after school.”
I was really pleased with the way my hair looked. Because of all the layering, my hair was had almost a jagged look to it as it fell at slightly different lengths. I glanced down at my hands and smiled. Nice normal nails were a huge improvement over those hated extensions. The nail tech had applied a clear topcoat, but I could live with that.
I made it back to the house and headed for my bedroom. I had spent way too much of my savings, but it was worth it. I stood on my bed and unhooked the pink sheers that hung around it. They went into a box. I had debated buying new sheets and getting rid of the pink ones, but the silk sheets did feel really nice. Next, I went to my vanity and put all the makeup and accessories in the drawers. In my closet, I moved all my skirts and dresses into the back. I didn’t plan on wearing any of them. The only skirts I kept at the front were my school skirts.
Back in my room, I started putting up the posters that I had bought of my favourite bands.
That is one thing Logan and I both agreed on. My taste in music hadn’t changed, but I had decided on getting my own posters, rather than trying to talk him out of some in what was now his room. I looked around me and decided that it now looked and felt more like MY room.
I sat at my desk and pulled out the books I had been given to read. Tomorrow was my English exam. As I looked at the books I had been given, I was actually glad I had read them the first time. Actually, having done my work in the past was going to keep me from having to read over 600 pages over night. I spent a few hours going over some grammar worksheets before I packed up my schoolwork and decided to go practice playing video games.
Logan was the first to arrive home from school and came into the family room. He dropped onto the couch beside me and picked up the second controller. “You want to play a multiplayer game?”
“Sure.” I exited my game and went to the menu. I scrolled through the hard drive and eventually we decided on a two-person fighter game that we’ve always liked. “You are going down, Logan.”
“I doubt it.” We both selected the same character and waited for the game to load. “By the way, did you do something with your hair?” Logan asked laughingly.
I shoved him playfully with my elbow. “Idiot, you’re so immature!” I said before we both started laughing. The game started and we both concentrated on winning. The problem with playing a game that you’ve played hundreds of times and then playing it against your exact double, is that you both try to do the same moves and no one really wins. Our first two games ended as a draw when the time ran out. On our third game we picked different characters and started to actually have a good game. We were both laughing and horsing around when Mom got home with the rest of the kids in tow.
“What on Earth did you do to your hair?” Mom asked in shock.
“Hello to you, too,” I quipped. Logan dissolved in laughter beside me. “I got it cut today, I didn’t like it long.”
“But we just had it done on Saturday. It looked so nice.”
“Yeah and if I recall, I never got a say in that. So I decided to get MY hair cut how I wanted it. I got rid of those stupid nails, too,” I said as I wiggled my fingers for her to see.
“I see …”
“Mom, what’s the matter? It’s my hair and my nails. Why can’t I choose what do to with them?”
Mom let out a sigh. “You’re right. It is your choice, but it’s just that we spent a lot of money to get your hair and nails done …”
“Well I’m glad you’re more concerned with money than whether I’m happy or not!” I said without emotion. I looked away from Mom and picked the game controller back up. I un-paused the game and started to play it again.
“Laura, that’s not what I meant. I just meant that …”
“Mom, I’m busy. If you want to spend money on making someone pretty, from now on, spend it on Jadyn,” I stated without looking up. Logan realized a little late that I had started playing again and was trying to stop me from killing him. Mom let out another sigh and left the room. A moment later Logan’s player was killed and I sat back and rubbed the cramps out of my thumbs.
“That was pretty harsh,” said Logan.
“What, with Mom?” I asked. He nodded. “You’re not the one she dragged to a salon for four hours of emasculation on your first morning as a girl.”
“Still, it’s Mom. She’s just trying to do what she thinks is right.”
“Who decided that I want what she thinks is right? I don’t want to look pretty. I don’t want to act girly. I don’t want to wear makeup or skirts. I don’t want to be a girl!”
“But you are a girl, and Mom and Dad just want you to be able to fit in
“I don’t want to fit in. and I’m not stupid, I know I’m a girl. I have no way of changing that. I’ll wear the panties and I’ll wear the bras, I’ll wear girls’ pants and girls’ shirts, but that doesn’t mean I have to dress all pretty and act all cute. If people don’t want to be friends with me because I act more like a boy than a girl, then that’s their problem.”
“Just try to be nicer to Mom.”
“If she lays off on trying to feminize me, then I’ll be nice.”
To Be Continued …
The entire MORFS Universe can be found at http://morfs.nowhere2go.org/Encyclopedia.html