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Pretend Boy - Girl In An All Boys Boarding School

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“Wait, Marcus! I do t have a penis!” Chloe probably shouldnt have shouted that last bit, considering the ruse she was expected to pull off, but she was panicking. “I dont have a penis! I can’t do this!”

Romance / Humor
D. Rowe
Age Rating:


“Wait! Wait!” Chloe held tight to the open window with her good arm as the van began rolling away. Her too-big shoes dragged on the pavement, the fresh stitches in her good arm strained, and her fingernails dug into the protective rubber in the window trap- clinging for dear life.

“Chloe- what?” Marcus, having dragged her a good ten feet, only stomped on the brake when he realized she wasn’t letting go and that he might do more damage to her. Chloe knew that he did not have time to track down another shady “doctor” to fix what he broke. So Chloe used her fragility to her own advantage and clung tighter.

“Marcus, you can’t just- you’re just gonna leave me here!?” The words came out of her mouth much louder and more panicked than she had intended. At this point, she didn’t care if she looked pathetic-anything to get her back into the safety of the van.

“Look, kid.” He shifted, rather aggressively, into park. His shoulders hunched and the sigh that came out of his mouth was a sound of sheer frustration and exhaustion. The streetlights cast eerie shadows on his face and lit a feeling of unfamiliarity in her gut that made all the tiny hairs on her arms stand on end.

She was suddenly struck with the thought that she didn’t really know the man. Marcus wasn’t even his real name but he’d saved her in the first three minutes of their acquaintance. So she didn’t need to know his real name. Right?

What she was sure of was that the man could fight, fire a gun with precision, track down medical semi-professionals on short notice, and produce oodles of cash whenever he needed it. He was like her fairy godmother- if a fairy godmother could also be a badass cold-blooded mercenary.

“I’m doin’ the best I can here.” Another grunt of frustration as he rubbed at his nose. “None of this shit was part of the plan- your dad, you, this-” He gestured towards the evergreens lining the side of the road. “You’re gonna have to deal with it. I’ll call you when things change.” He shifted into drive and Chloe clung tighter to the window trap.

“Wait, Marcus! I don’t have a penis!” She probably shouldn’t have shouted that last bit, considering the ruse she was expected to pull off, but she was panicking. “I don’t! I can’t do this!”

“Chloe- we’ve been over this. You will be fine! You will be safe here.” He shifted back into park, leaned over the gear shift, and attempted to pry her fingers out of the holes they’d made in the upholstery on the window. “Now get your ass off the van and get in there.”

“No, I won’t be! Marcus!” She adjusted her grip and clung harder to the van of safety.

“Chloe! Stuff a sock in your underwear- you’ll be fine. Now get off! I have to go!”

He huffed in annoyance when he was unable to pry her fingers loose and gave up. Chloe felt a surge of triumph before she watched him use the controls on the driver’s side to roll up the window. She wasn’t strong enough to fight the automatic slide even if she had both arms in working conditions. When it was obvious she was going to lose at this particular game of chicken, Chloe relinquished her hold on the van.

“Just lay low and you’ll be fine.” He rose his voice so as to be heard through the small crack and waved her off. “Keep that phone on ya. I’ll be back to get you.. soon.” He shot her a smile that looked more like a grimace and sped off into the night.

“No, wait!” If she could have run after him, she would have. As it was her feet were too mutilated to do more then hobble awkwardly after him. So Chloe watched him go; panic and anxiety growing the further away he got. His headlights showed nothing but acres of rain drenched green hills and mossy evergreen trees.

She hated it instantly.

The moon was too bright, there were actual stars in the sky, the air smelt pine-y and clean, and there was a certain absence of city noise that disturbed her. She couldn’t hear cars on the highway, horns and car alarms blaring, or people screaming obscenities at each other. Chloe, having only lived in large cities growing up, was unused to being able to see stars and breathing clean air.

What was wrong with a little bit of smog and noise?

Oregon sucked.

Chloe watched the red glow of the taillights until they disappeared behind the first hill. Loneliness and terror sunk its claws into her gut and Chloe had to take a moment to breathe through that before it turned into an all-out panic attack. A recent development Chloe was pretty sure stemmed from her three weeks in captivity. Some kind of PTSD thing she found rather annoying.

She was going to be fine.

Perfectly fine.

Just fucking fine.

“Okay.” It was true. She was going to be fine. This would be a cake-walk compared to where she’d been.

She had two options here.

She could ditch the school and live in the surrounding forest until Marcus came back for her. She had half a bag of skittles in her flannel pocket and a new suitcase full of new things that she could survive on. When the skittles ran out she would scavenge for berries and nuts. She would sleep in hollowed out trees and find a nice pack of animals looking to adopt.

It couldn’t be that hard to live off the land, right? Pilgrims had done it. That kid from Jungle Book had done it.

Why couldn’t she, a born and bred city girl do it too?

Option number two was go to school and pretend to be a male. She could stuff a sock into her underwear, haul her battered self and her luggage into the all-boys boarding school, and settle into life as a pretend boy. She’d have shelter, three square meals a day, and indoor plumbing. All she had to do was pretend to have a certain dangling bit between her legs and stand in front of urinals occasionally.

Both had their pros and cons.

The wilderness option had a few more marks in the cons section, however. Chloe knew exactly two things about the outdoors; the cast of Bambi lived there and one could die of exposure- whatever the hell that was. On top of that rather lackluster knowledge base, the closest she’d come to peeing in the outdoors was a porta-potty on the beach. Did she dig a hole? What was the wildlife equivalent of toilet paper?

But if she fled into the wild she wouldn’t have to pretend to be a male. She wouldn’t have to go to school- she could drop out. The wilderness did not require a diploma or excused absences.

Option numero dos seemed like the easier option and less dying-from-exposure-y. All she had to do was pretend to be a male.

Not too hard.


She already had a jump start on option two. Marcus had hacked all her hair off in a Walmart parking lot two nights ago and bought her a whole new male-inspired wardrobe. The wardrobe consisted of jeans, every color of flannel he could find, an eight-pack of boxer briefs, boring socks, a mix of plain and graphic t-shirts, sweaters, and her very own bulletproof vest. He’d had to make a special stop for the vest as Walmart hadn’t had her size.

She looked the part well enough. Usually, Chloe had a feminine face and wore makeup whenever she went out, but now her hair was buzzed on the sides with only a few inches of length on top and she wore no makeup- not even colored in eyebrows. Chloe could do without concealer and lipstick but not doing her eyebrows was something new. It also helped that she was sporting two black eyes, a broken nose, and an assortment of bruises.

Option two had beds. Real actual beds with pillows and comforters. Chloe had slept in the passenger seat for the past three days and then on a variety of different floors for three weeks before Marcus took her on an impromptu road trip. A bed, the final tick in the pros column for option two.

An all-boys boarding school couldn’t be worse than dying of exposure, right?

Decision made, Chloe straightened, as much as her bruised and battered body would allow, and plucked her new boring male-wallet out of the arm sling she tucked it into and checked the school ID for the thousandth time. Marcus had magically produced it on the second day of their road trip after a few calls and a pitstop at a Burger King in California.

Her own heavily photoshopped face smiled back up at her.

Chloe Marie Sargent was now Melvin Tucker Bentley.

“Okay,” Chloe stood took a deep calming breath and ignored the twinge in her arm and the throbbing of her feet. “You can do this.”

She could do this.

She had no other choice.


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