By Britney McMaster
The rest of the night was rather strained. Mom and I weren’t talking and that seemed to keep everyone else from talking too. The tension in the air at dinner was only broken by the noise of Joannah rambling on about something. Dad complimented me on my new hairstyle. That earned him the evil eye from Mom and the conversation was quickly dropped. I cleared my plate as quickly as I could and then excused myself from the table.
The rest of my night was a mix of listening to music in my room and studying for tomorrow’s exam. I felt as though I would do well enough on the exam. The material was pretty straight forward stuff. I never had problems passing English class in the past, but studying the material for the exam was just plain boring.
My alarm clock started screaming at me and I opened my eyes to find that I had fallen asleep with my head in the book I was reading. Rolling over, I turned off my alarm and rubbed my eyes. ‘I really don’t want to wear that skirt today.’ I looked over at the small window in my room and could see the snow whipping around outside. ‘And yesterday was such a nice day, too. I’m totally gonna freeze in that damn skirt.’
A sudden pounding on my door nearly gave me a heart attack. “Laura, time to get up!”
“I am up Mom! I DO have an alarm!” I trudged into my bathroom and turned on the water in the shower. I disrobed and stepped into the warm water. As had become my routine, I squirted some of the shower gel onto the little puff thing Mom had given me and worked it into a lather. Closing my eyes, I went to work covering myself with the fruity smelling suds. I rinsed myself off and then opened my eyes to locate my shampoo. I didn’t have to use quite as much as I did before the cut, but even what I used was way more then I ever remembered using as a boy.
Conditioner was a new necessity for me. Without it, my hair would be nothing but a mess of tangles. I enjoyed the water a little longer before I shut it off and stepped out of the shower. I grabbed a fluffy green towel and wrapped it around my hair before drying myself with a second towel.
Back in my room I dressed in a school skirt with the sweater. I pulled out a pair of thick black tights, then stopped, ‘How the hell do I put these on?’ I went over to my door and shouted upstairs. “Mo ... uh … JADYN?”
I heard her skip over to the top of the stairs. “What?”
“Can you come down here? I need your help with something.” I was really surprised that she came downstairs without a fuss. Usually I really had to twist her arm to get her to help me with anything.
“So what do you need, Sis?” she asked as she came into my room.
Then again she treats me completely different now that I’m a girl. “I need some help with these,” I held up the tights. “How do I put these on?”
“Oh, that’s easy. Sit on the edge of the bed and I’ll show you,” she instructed. I did as she said and she proceeded to show me the proper way to wear tights. “How do they feel?”
“Weird, I don’t like them,” I responded. “I wouldn’t be wearing them if it wasn’t so cold outside.”
“Yeah, tights can be a bit itchy. I prefer wearing pantyhose.”
“I prefer wearing pants.”
“Oh, it’s not that bad wearing skirts. You’ll get used to them.”
“I don’t want to get used to them. I’m not into being real girly, okay?”
“I get it, I was just saying, is all.” Jadyn got up and left the room while I slumped into my vanity chair.
I picked up a brush and my hair dryer and was happy when my hair pretty much fell into the style I wanted, just as the stylist had promised. I put down the brush and looked in the mirror at myself. I sat there for nearly ten minutes, just watching myself. ‘So familiar, yet so wrong,’ I thought. I toyed with the idea of putting on some makeup. Mom had made it look pretty natural the other night, but I knew I couldn’t duplicate that look myself. In the end I put a brush and a tube of clear lip gloss into my bag along with my books.
I went upstairs and grabbed a granola bar and a banana for my breakfast. I figured I could eat them on the way to school and stuffed them into the pocket of the jacket I had put on. Regrettably, I pulled on the boots I had worn the other day. I’d have worn the black shoes Mom bought me, but I figured the knee boots would be better for walking in the snow. I pulled my toque on and grabbing my bag, headed out the door.
“Hey Laura,” I yelled. “Wait up.”
“I’m not waiting for you. My legs are freezing,” she yelled back. I started to jog a bit faster towards her. I was panting by the time I got to her.
“Why’d you leave without me?” I asked.
“I didn’t know we had to walk together. Does Mom want us to hold hands all the way there too?” she snapped at me.
“Why are you acting all pissy today?”
“Because I’m wearing a damn skirt and walking through a foot of snow! That’s why!”
“Uh … sorry?”
“It’s not your fault, stupid,” she said playfully slapping me in the head. “I’m just cold is all.”
“So I invited Lisa to hang out with us after school today. I though we could go to the mall or something.”
“Us? You just made plans for me, without asking me?”
“I just figured that since you won’t talk to the guys, that maybe you and Lisa can become friends.”
“You just want that so that I can get her to go on a date with you,” she grinned at me.
“That’s not it at all.”
“Su …ure it isn’t.”
My hands were cramped and my eyes were sore, but I finally finished the exam after a long three hours. Packing up my bag, I headed to the cafeteria to get some lunch. I did my best to just try and ignore everyone around me. I managed to make it to the cafeteria line without incident, but given my luck, it was no surprise when Brian Summers, our school’s so called “lady’s man” got in line right behind me.
I just kept my back to him so that we wouldn’t make eye contact. He was infamous for hitting on almost anyone in a skirt. The only girls he didn’t chase were the ugly ones, and I knew that I didn’t fit in that category. I was almost to the front of the line when Kyle walked past with his food.
“Hey Laura, didn’t know you were starting today. We’re over at the usual table if you want to sit with us,” he said.
“Uh, okay,” was all I could think to say. I hadn’t realized I had turned sideways in the line until Brian stepped into my view.
“So, this is you first day?”
“Something like that.”
“Well if you need someone to show you around …” he grinned at me.
“Brian, I’m not going to sleep with you, ever, so you can stop trying to flirt with me.”
“Do I know you?” he asked confused.
“No, you don’t. But I know you. Now if you try hitting on me one more time, you’re going to find yourself minus one testicle. Got it?”
“Uh huh!” was his quick reply. I spun back around with a huge smile on my face.
I saw Laura exit the cafeteria line with her food and waved her over to sit with us. She looked me in the eye from across the room and then sat at an empty table in the corner.
“What’s the deal with Laura?” asked Kyle. “She’s not still mad is she?”
“I honestly don’t know what’s going on with her. She doesn’t talk to anyone.”
“But she’s you, isn’t she? Shouldn’t you know how she feels and stuff?”
“How would I know how she feels, I’m not the one that turned into a girl.”
“Yeah, but you should be able to imagine what she’s going through. You have the same brain. You think the same.”
“Kyle, I don’t think it works quite like that. We have the same memories, but I doubt we have the same thoughts. Plus, she’s a girl so she’s got like different wiring or whatever. You know, hormones and stuff to deal with.”
I looked back over at Laura’s table and she wasn’t there. Her lunch was still on its tray, sticking out of the top of the garbage can.
I exited the cafeteria line up with my tray of food. I was tempted to go sit with Logan, but he was sitting with the guys. I decided I didn't want a repeat of the other night and sat at an empty table in the corner.
I watched Logan who was across the room at our usual table. He was laughing and goofing around with all my former friends. He saw me watching and waved me over. I ignored him and went back to picking at my lunch.
I couldn’t believe Logan. He was supposed to be my brother but he hardly acts like it. For some reason I expected Logan would come over and sit with me, but he didn’t even make an effort. I shouldn't have got my hopes up. He just waved me over to where he was sitting and apparently that was enough of an effort to include me. Why would I want to sit with those guys after what had happened?
‘Well this has been a great first day.’ I thought sarcastically. I pushed my half eaten lunch into the trash along with the cafeteria tray. I headed out of cafeteria and straight to my new locker, grabbed my coat and hat and started walking home. It had warmed up since this morning but I still felt frozen from the waist down by the time I got home.
Going right to my room, I quickly removed my stupid uniform. A pair of wide leg jeans and a plain black sweater helped me feel better and I headed back upstairs to make myself a mug of hot chocolate.
I was sitting in front of the TV when the phone started ringing. Putting down my mug, I picked up phone. ''Hello?"
''Hey Kiddo, just thought I’d call and see how your first exam went."
"It went fine, Dad. Thanks for calling, though."
"How are you holding up?"
"I’m fine Dad."
"That’s great," he said. '' Now, how about telling me the truth?"
"I don't think I can handle all this Dad," I admitted. "It’s all too much. And I don't have any friends ... I feel like an outsider. Like I'm not wanted.
"Laura, you're not an outsider. You have a family who loves you. And you'll make friends. You just have to open up and let others get to know the real you."
"But the real me is a boy. I can't be the girl everyone wants me to be."
"As I said, just be yourself. I don't expect you to suddenly start acting like your sister. Lots of girls act like boys. I know its going to drive your mother wild, but I don’t care if you act like a tomboy. I just want you to be happy."
"Thanks Dad. I needed to hear someone say that."
"I've got some work I need to get finished before the end of the day."
"Okay Dad. Thanks again for calling."
"If you need to talk, you call me, okay?"
Lisa and I walked the few blocks from school to my house. We talked mostly about Laura, but Lisa repeatedly said how nice it was that I cared so much about my sister. Maybe I could still end up dating her. Especially if she and Laura become friends.
When we got to my house and went in, Laura was sitting on the couch, her feet tucked up underneath her, watching TV. She didn’t even look up as we walked in.
“Laura? I brought Lisa with me.” Laura finally looked up and smiled at us.
“Hi Lisa … err … I’m Laura, Logan’s sister.”
“Hi Laura, it’s nice to meet you.”
“Logan, can I talk to you in private for a moment?”
I dragged Logan into the kitchen while Lisa waited in the family room.
“Why did you bring Lisa here to meet me?”
“I figured you could use a friend, since you won’t hang out with the guys.”
“And the fact that we’ve had a crush on Lisa for like years had nothing to do with it?”
“Really? You’re not trying to play the compassionate brother in front of her so she’ll go out with you?”
“Really. I just thought we could all hang out and you could become friends with her. You seem kinda lonely.”
I turned and left the kitchen, Logan trailing close behind. “Lisa?” She looked up at me. “Wanna come down to my room and we can hang out?”
“Sure.” She followed me to the stairs and Logan followed behind her.
We went down the stairs and I let Lisa into my room before I turned to Logan, who was still standing in the hall. “Sorry, Logan. No boys allowed.” The look on his face was priceless as I closed my bedroom door.
I slowly made my way back upstairs and sat in front of the TV. I couldn’t help but wonder what Laura and Lisa were talking about down there. Did Laura still like Lisa?
I tried to clear my head and simply lose myself in the show on TV.
“So I assume Logan told you about me?”
“That you’re his twin, from MORFS. I have to say, it sounds crazy.”
I grinned at her, “Try living it.”
“Still, I think it’s sweet of him to want to help you make friends”
I laughed out loud at that. “He only asked you over her to meet me because he has a crush on you.”
“Really? He said that?”
“He doesn’t have to, I have all his old memories, and we think quite a bit alike.”
“Really?” she asked, leaning a bit closer to me on the loveseat.
“So do you have a crush on me Laura?” This time she leaned in very close and smiled at me.
“I … uh … I don’t really know. I remember being attracted to you, and I remember having a crush on you, but since I morfed I’ve been really confused, and it’s hard to separate what I remember, and what I feel.”
“Well maybe I can help you separate some of your memories from your feelings.”
“Like this,” she said as she put her hand on the back of my head and pulled me into a kiss.
A part of me shouted, ‘This is what you’ve waited for,’ so I kissed back. At the same time, I couldn’t ignore that I wasn’t feeling anything sexual towards Lisa. She kept the kiss going, even going as far as French kissing me before she broke our lip lock.
“So? How do you feel?”
“It was nice, but I didn’t really feel anything.”
“So you probably like boys then.”
“As gay as that seems to me, yes, I probably do.”
“You’re a girl. It’s not gay to like boys.”
“I know that,” I giggled slightly at the absurdity of our conversation. “It just sounds gay to me.”
Lisa and Laura finally came upstairs from Laura’s bedroom. Both were giggling away like girls often do, which was odd for Laura. Lisa gave Laura a hug and headed for the front door.
“I’ll call you tomorrow,” Laura told Lisa as she left. Laura came into the family room and sat on the other end of the couch.
“Looks like you two got along well,” I said.
Laura smiled. “Yeah, we did. Thanks for inviting her over.”
“Yeah, no problem.”
Studying for my math exam on Friday seemed to occupy less time than it should have. I only had a few days to get ready for the test but I couldn’t keep myself focused. My thoughts kept going back to the kiss I had shared with Lisa. I was constantly haunted by the lack of a reaction I’d had to the kiss.
Lisa had been my dream girl as Logan and being kissed by her had previously just been a fantasy. Actually being kissed, and not feeling the sexual attraction I expected to was like a slap in the face. Every time I thought of it, it left me feeling miserable. I had hoped that my sexuality would be at least a part of my old life I could hold on to, but apparently it wasn’t meant to happen that way.
I often found myself crying for my lost manhood. MORFing would have been so much better had I just started with a blank slate. I would have had to learn everything over again, but being devoid of Logan’s memories would have been worth the sacrifice. However, I was stuck being born at fifteen years old as a boy in a girl’s body.
At least my family usually had the decency to give me the time alone I needed to deal with all of this. I tried to convince myself that since I was a female double of Logan, that since he was a straight male, that I would thus be a straight female … that MORFS had simply aged my fifteen years worth in a week. Had I actually been raised female, then maybe none of this would be a problem.
By Thursday night, I began coming to grips with who I was, how I really felt, and what I wanted out of life. I was also very unprepared for my math exam the next day and ultimately stayed up too late cramming, now that I had averted my identity crisis.
“Uh, I’m here for a math exam?” I said as I walked into the class room.
“Please take a seat. We’re awaiting one other student. Once he arrives, I’ll have you both start.”
I sat there for a few minutes, my head down, until the other student arrived. I glanced up as the door opened. A guy about my old height walked into the room and the teacher directed him towards a desk. I looked over at him, his unusual hair style looked like he had grown icicles on his head, and it drew my attention. He caught me staring at him and gave me a grin. Blushing, I turned away and commenced looking at the top of my desk.
I could feel him watching me and did my best to ignore it. I was saved from his stares as the teacher handed us our tests and we both began the task of trying to get the right answers.
I tried my best to remember what I had studied, but I admit I was distracted. My mind kept wandering back to the moment when Lisa had kissed me. My depression continued to remind me of how much I had wanted that kiss and how I’d ultimately not felt anything when I finally received it. Just one more thing that Logan has taken from me.
Closing my eyes, I took a deep breath and tried to fight back the tears.
I was sitting in my English class, sneaking glances at Lisa when I could. She hadn’t said much to me after to had left Laura’s room the other night other than to excuse herself before leaving. Laura wouldn’t tell me what had happened either. All I knew was that Laura had ended up crying about something. I even tried to be nice. Tried to be her friend, a good brother, and she just snapped at me. ‘Women!’ I thought to myself. It upset me that neither Lisa or Laura would talk to me about what happened. I tried fighting back the tears that were stinging my eyes. The last thing I needed was to be seen crying in class for no reason.
“Time’s up!” announced the teacher as she came and collected our tests. “You can both go study in the library until lunch. I’ll be checking later to make sure you’re there. So no ditching school.”
I packed my stuff and the teacher herded out into the hall and towards the library.
“My name’s Scotty, by the way.”
“Laura,” I said without looking at him.
“My dad just got transferred here for work. So are you new here too?” he asked, stepping in front of me and walking backwards so that I was forced to look at him.
“No. just new to the school, sorta.” We arrived at the library and I found a quiet corner to sit in. Scotty to my displeasure, sat sown beside me.
“So what’s there to do in this town?”
“I dunno, not much.”
“You’re not very talkative are you?”
“It’s not that,” I turned and looked out the window.
“Okay, I think I get it now.”
“Get what?” I turned and looked him in the eyes for the first time. His crystalline irises held my attention.
“I get it. I’m a Morf, you’re a Pure. If you didn’t want to talk with me, you should have said so, not just given me one word answers.”
I actually laughed out loud at that. So much so that the librarian had to tell me to be quiet.
“It’s definitely not that. I’m a Morf too, I just don’t look it. I’m just not one for being social lately.”
“Shhh!” went the librarian. Scotty had a grin plastered on his face.
“Post MORFS stress?”
“Oh, uh yeah. MORFS screwed me over pretty bad.”
“Don’t get me started; I freeze to things without conscious effort. Besides, it doesn’t look like it hit you that hard. I mean, look at you, you’re a very pretty girl …”
“Stop right there.”
“What? I just said you’re pretty, what’s wrong with that?”
I let out a heavy sigh. “Everything is wrong with how I look now. I just don’t look like me anymore.”
“Okay, so you got any powers?”
“Not that I know of. You’re an ice elemental?”
“That’s me. Body temperature of 28 degrees.”
“So now that I’ve got you talking, I was wondering if I could persuade you to show me around town tomorrow. I’ll even take you to dinner, my treat.”
“Uh, yeah. Sure, that sounds fun,” just kinda came out of my mouth. ‘Crap! I think I just got asked on a date! And I said yes! He is kinda cute, though. Oh that’s so gay!’
“Hey! Laura!” I looked around the cafeteria and spotted an empty table near the exit that I could sit at. I was about to head that way when someone tapped me on the shoulder. ‘I hope it’s Scotty,’ I thought as I turned around.
It wasn’t Scotty, it was Lisa, and I felt weird knowing I was a little disappointed it wasn’t my icy new friend. “Hey, Lisa.”
“Oh, so you’re alive. Didn’t you hear me call you?”
“Like just now, when you came out with your food.”
“Oh, sorry,” I apologized. “Laura is still a new name for me. If I’m not paying attention, I don’t really …”
“Oh, no problem. So you wanna have lunch with me?” I was still a bit out of it, and after Lisa cut me off, I simply nodded my head and followed her to a table.
I guess I was daydreaming again, because next thing I noticed Lisa was waving her hand in front of my face. “Girl, you are out of it today. What’s up?”
“I think I agreed to go on a date,” just tumbled out of my mouth.
“What? Really?” I nodded. “With a guy?”
“Well I did a lot of thinking after you came over the other night and I think I’ve come to the conclusion that that’s where my attraction lies. I figure that I’m not a female clone of Logan, I’m more what Logan would have been had he been born a girl. That make sense?”
“I think so. It does to me at least.” Lisa looked down in thought for a moment and then back at me. “It’s like you both have the same attitude and personality but you have a girl’s brain and he has a boy’s brain.”
“Yeah, and both are wired ‘straight,’ but as a girl, that means I like boys.”
“Okay, that makes sense. So who asked you out?”
“He’s new here. We met during out math proficiency exam this morning.”
“Ooh, is he that tall guy, with like the spiky clear hair? Kinda looks like it’s made of crystal?”
“Yeah, that’s him. He’s an ice elemental. His name is Scotty.”
“Cool, I can’t wait to meet your new boyfriend.”
“He’s not my boyfriend!” I argued.
“Not yet,” grinned Lisa.
“Logan, come set the table for dinner,” Mom called. I got up and trudged into the kitchen.
“Why do I have to do it? And why isn’t Laura helping?” I asked as I pushed the kitchen door open.
“Because I’m cooking dinner, that’s why!” said Laura stood up from checking whatever was cooking in the oven.
“You’re cooking? I hope you know what you’re doing.”
“Of course I know what I’m doing. Mom taught me err … is teaching me.” Laura went back to working on dinner, happily humming to herself. I stood there watching her for a few minutes before grabbing some plates and heading into the dining room.
Mom was in there putting a table cloth on the table. “So, is cooking another of your girl lessons for Laura?”
“Logan, I am not making Laura take ‘girl lessons’. I only tried to give her the basics of being a girl, and learning to cook was her idea.”
“So she asked you to show her how to cook?”
“Yes she did. She’s been acting a little different today. Not like her usual self, but I’m not going to say anything about it, and neither should you. She seems very happy, and I don’t want anyone ruining that for her.”
“Okay Mom, got it. Be nice to Laura.”
I was having a great time making dinner for my family. I was excited to have something that I could do that Logan can’t. I suppose he could learn, but as I had no interest in cooking before, when I was him, I doubted he would be able to ruin this for me.
I also kept thinking of Scotty. Was it really a date? Did I want to go on a date? I felt like I did. And I also thought he was pretty handsome. But my brain kept sending the mixed signal that while he was cute, and I liked him, that I was a guy, and that I liked girls. I suppose that was mostly just a memory of liking girls and being a guy, but it didn’t make things easier.
Maybe I could cook dinner for Scotty sometime. Would he like that? Do I want more than one date? Do I want to be his girlfriend? Do I want a boyfriend? Should I tell him I used to be a boy? Was I actually ever a boy, or do I just have Logan’s memories? The questions were coming fast and I didn’t have all the answers. I slid down one of the counters and sat on the kitchen floor crying softly.
“Logan? Why are you crying?” asked Mom. I had been so busy setting the table for dinner that I hadn’t noticed the tears leaking from my eyes.
“I … I don’t know why.” My answer was followed by silence and a strange look from my mother. We both turned towards the kitchen at the sounds of someone else crying. Mom rushed into the kitchen and I followed not far behind.
Laura was sitting on the floor, leaning against the counters with her knees pulled to her chest, quietly crying. I noticed that I too was still crying and wiped my eyes with the back of my hand.
“Honey, what’s the matter?” soothed Mom as she gathered Laura in her arms.
“I don’t know how to live my life!” Laura forced out before returning to crying. “There’s … too many … questions … in my head … and I don’t … have any … of the answers …” she spat out between sobs.
“Shhh … It’s okay,” said Mom. “We’ll work it out together, one thing at a time.”
The timer on the stove went off and Mom looked up at me. I shrugged my shoulders and gave her an ‘I have no idea what to do’ look.
“Laura, sweetie, I’m just going to take your dinner out of the oven so it doesn’t burn and then I’ll be right back and we’ll work this out and get you feeling better, okay?” Laura kept on crying but she did nod her head. Mom got up and went over to the oven while I continued watching my twin cry.
I’m not exactly mister sensitive, but for some reason I couldn’t just stand there any more. I was crying emotionlessly, but really felt like I needed to be held, a strange feeling for me, so I knelt down next to Laura and hugged her.
She opened her eyes and looked at me with a shocked expression. She even stopped crying for a moment and then she hugged my back fiercely and let her tears fall again. She eventually cried herself out and we just sat there on the floor, holding each other.
She finally gave me one last crushing hug, looked me in the eyes and smiled, “Thanks.”
To Be Continued …
The entire MORFS Universe can be found at http://morfs.nowhere2go.org/Encyclopedia.html