Ruby and I are questing together when Kevin plunks down beside us with an Eggo Sandwich. I comment that, the first time I mentioned one of those to Ashanna, she looked at me as if I had two heads.
“Really?” Ruby asks.
“The Rasmussen don’t eat any frozen or pre-made foods.” I comment. “We have a greenhouse at the back of the house where we grow all of our own greens, vegetables and fruit.” I smile. “Occasionally we’ll head to the market for things we can’t grow, like dairy products, but we generally grow everything we eat.”
“I guess that’s the advantages of being vegetarians.” Susan says from the kitchen.
“Emmya will come back from the club, make breakfast, then wake us up. She rests while Luna and I go off to school. She’s usually up and attending the garden or other housework by the time we get home. It means that we’re often up just before sunrise, but it gives time to exercise and finish any homework I had missed the night before. I don’t have a bedtime or curfew, though she will scold me if I can’t get up on time. So I make a point to be fully rested, to not give her any reason to be upset. I love my adopted mother, I want her to be proud of what I do.” I smile.
“You sound like you love her very much.” Susan smiles.
“Emmya believed me when no one else would. She showed me that what I felt was not childish, foolish or crazy. She gave me a new home, a new school, a new reason to believe that life actually mattered. She refused to give up on me, so I will do anything to see her happy.” I say fondly. I look over at Susan. “I was this scraggly scared run-away ready to throw their live away if it meant going back home. She opened up her heart and showed me that I deserved to be loved. I owe her everything for who I am today. I will forever love her for what she has done.” I say with a happy tear.
“I’ve heard the horror stories.” Susan says with a worried tone. “You just think they are too unbelievable to be true.” She gives me a pained look. “A parent should love their child unconditionally, not bully and torture them. I’m happy you were able to find someone to save you. I don’t know what I would do if I lost Kevin.”
“The woman I met yesterday… Martha. What happened to her son?” I ask, playing dumb.
“Martha’s son wanted to transition, he was such an effeminate frail thin boy, always bullied for being too girlie.” Susan sighs. “His running and cycling is the only thing that kept him from being outright beat up.” She says sadly. “Kevin and Ruby were always so much more masculine that him. When Kevin came out as a boy, Simon wanted to come out as a girl. Chris and I could see it, Ruby’s parents could see it. Simon was never male, like Kevin, the poor child was born in the wrong body.”
She’s quiet for a moment. “But Martha and her husband refused to listen, even when Chris and I insisted to at least try counselling.” She takes a deep breath. “Finally their child ran away three months ago, no one has seen or heard from Simon since, but we know he somehow is alive, somewhere…. The Greenwoods were served emancipation papers. Like you Simon found a foster family. Martha was hoping you’d know.”
“I’m the only transgender student in my school.” I tell her. “As a small private school, I’m one of those rare statistics you only hear about. Because I had the support of the school administration, and I knew half of our teachers by name, none of the students dared say anything against me.” I comment. “With Ashanna’s money, I cheated the system. Rather than blockers, they gave me hormones to start. Starting hormones early meant I would never look masculine. Over time I started to look like any other girl going through puberty. I started making friends, no one’s ever mis-gendered me in school. Because of my mother’s connections, I was able to get my operations done years before a standard trans person would. Otherwise, I’d probably be a bit more boyish and have that horrible thing between my legs…” I shiver.
“That’s… unusual.” Susan frowns. “You really hated your male parts?”
“Detested them with a passion, I was never meant to be born with them, before I ran away from home, I actually tried to mutilate myself.” I say firmly. Which isn’t a lie, just that Simon chickened out from actually doing it. “41% of transgender identified teens will attempt suicide before the age of 25, I am one of those statistics, I was just lucky I lived through it.”
“So, as a dire medical situation, they let you replace one puberty for another. I wondered how you got so feminine. You poor dear, no wonder you tried to hide who you were when you got here. The life you lead before being a girl, I can see why you would never want to revisit your past.”
“Thank you for understanding.” I say with a grateful smile.
-= Konrad =- Sweet way of explaining how you look in no way male
-= Simiathlas =- Came to me during my meditation, I felt your mother needed more of an anchor than my smoke screen last night.
“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you all this earlier, it just takes me time to trust someone with anything that’s happened in my life.” I say sadly. “But if Kevin and I are to continue dating, I felt I owed you at least more of an explanation of why I fear my formal life, and why I rather never talk about my past and rather just be seen as the girl I now am. We call it going stealth in the trans community. Abandoning your previous life and start a new one. I would have changed schools in the New Year, but I have all the support that I need where I am. Rose says there are just some last final papers to fill out. I never have been so excited to get an F in my life.” I say with a grin.
Susan and my friends laugh. “After all that you have been through, you still have a sense of humour. You are an incredible girl, I’m glad you and Kevin found each other again. This fall has been so hard on him, it’s so nice to see him happy again.”
“Kevin deserves to be happy.” I give him an affectionate smile. “Loosing friends in the transgender community is hard. Outside of doctors, I only had an online support group. When you see online friends like Sanara disappear, you always hope that it’s cause they have found a better place in life. I know I deleted all of my old profile information. I created new online accounts under my new name. I avoided reaching out to my old friends, for fear that my old life would come back to haunt me. Sanara had been gone for over a month before I found out. My heart reached out to Kevin, he needed to know he wasn’t loosing everyone.” I reach out and we hold hands for a moment. “So I came back to the game to offer him support. I never expected to develop feelings for him.”
“That’s why you wanted to come here? You were developing feelings for my son? You wanted to see if it was not only mutual but if you two were truly compatible, and not just online flirts?” Susan probes.
“I know having a long distance relationship is going to be hard. We’ll only see each other on weekends, but I love your son, more than I every thought I would.” I say looking at her.
“I love you too.” He says leaning against me. “The most amazing girl I could ever imagine meeting, I’m still baffled why you chose me.”
“I go to a private school, believe me when I say that dating boys in my school was not a preferable option.” I say with mild disgust. “Most of all I needed someone who could understand me. Sometimes past memories creep up, my friends don’t get it when I suddenly get paranoid, worried, and curl up in a shell.”
“Does that happen often?” Susan gives me a worried look.
“It’s why I barely slept last night, the meditation of forcing the horrors from my mind worked, but I feel asleep in a lotus position. I think I scarred Chris when he found me sleeping sitting up this morning.” I say bashfully. “We don’t transition because we want to, we do it because we ideally don’t have any choice.” I say sadly. “I’m glad that you are so understanding. Kevin will not face the horrors I have. In some ways I’m jealous. I miss some of my birth family. But his happiness is my happiness, and hopefully we can make each other happy for years to come.” I smile at him lovingly.”
“You are an amazing young lady.” Susan says. “How did you manage to come out like you are?”
“Sanity is overrated.” I grin. “Once you give up on trying to make sense of the world, and just go with the flow, life doesn’t seem so overwhelming anymore.”
Susan smiles and shakes her head. “I look forward to getting to know you better Simia. You are so complex, yet I can still see a glimmer youth and innocence in all the turmoil you keep under the surface.”
Susan leaves us alone to let us game. We move to Kevin’s room so that we can be alone, and so that I can remove this itchy glamour spell.
“You.. Are… incredible… You should become a writer or something. Where did you come up with half of this?!” Kevin says keeping his voice low. We’re staying out of guild voice so that we can talk among ourselves.
“Your mom’s happy now, isn’t she?” I smile.
“Provided you remember half the bull you just spouted.” He warns me. “You come up with any inconsistencies, and this cover of yours is going to shatter.”
“Is it so bad to tell her the truth Simia?” Ruby says with concern.
“Yes, it’s one thing coming out to you and telling you that I transitioned though magic.” I start. “You are my friends, I trust you.”
“And no one would believe us anyway?” Kevin finishes for me.
“Most likely not.” I say sympathetically. “But to tell an adult that magic exists, yeah, no… I’d be breaking every promise I ever made to my family and exposing our community. I can’t afford that. There is no way I could have become a girl in only three months. My cover of having started transition earlier was believable.” I look up at Kevin. “We originally told your mom that we’ve actually known each other for at least 5 years, and that I disappeared a long time ago.”
“Okay…” he frowns.
“I’ve seeded enough consistent nuggets that she’ll believe the consistent ones and discard the others as my paranoia of needing to hide who I was.” I reply
“Rose was right, you should have been a bard.” He shakes his head.
I shush him as I hear Susan come down the hall to use the bathroom. Once she’s done, she pokes her head in to see if we need anything.
“Do you have any berries? Preferably something fresh.” I ask. Ruby smiles, she knows what I want to do. I'd left the grapes at her place.
“I can bring you a bowl of blueberries, they’re still fresh, last batch of the season.” Susan answers.
“Sounds delicious, yes please.” I smile. “Can you bring them in a container, just in case I can’t eat them all before I leave?”
“You? Not able to eat them all? My dear I’ve fed you for enough meals to know you already eat nearly twice as much as my son, I have no idea where you put that all away, you are so thin and petite.” She laughs.
“I’m still growing.” I grin.
“You are hilarious.” Ruby says once she wanders off.
“What!? I’m serious! I’m still growing…. I’m just at the start of my puberty, Lyric figures I’ll grow a centimetre every year or two, though you’ll age every two to three years for everyone one of mine.” I say with conviction.
“How tall will you get?!” Kevin turns in surprise.
“Considering the height of the Laitaurë, my godparents?” he nods “roughly 2 meters.
“How long will that take?” Ruby probes.
“Hmm..” I do the math in my head. “15 years to reach the height I was, several more decades after that for my full height.”
“So, you’ll be a 2 meter tall elf by the age of 40 or so?” he asks and I nod. “Elves mature slowly.” I reply. “Lyric figures it’ll be 50 years or so till my voice starts to drop from the alto I have now.” I suddenly look at the door and hold my hand up.
“Here you go dear.” Susan says walking in.
“Thank you.” I smile and take one of the berries.
We wait till she’s out of earshot again and relax. “That one was close, I wasn’t paying enough attention, she almost heard my last comment.”
“I wish you didn’t have to hide your natural beauty. The human you is attractive, but it pales in comparison to who you really are.” He says sadly.
“Well, I can grow my hair out long enough so that I can hide my ears in a side braid like Lyric does, but my eyes might be a little too unusual for most people to accept easily.” I say apologetically. “As the weather gets warmer, I’m going to hunt for cosplay events that will let me hide in plain sight.”
“That sounds like a great idea!” Ruby grins. “There’s a GamerCon in February is there not?”
“Yeah, for the MMO community, just after our winter carnival” Kevin answers as I work on making some Goodberries.
“Manapiucca” I cast on the container of two dozen blueberries. I smile as 14 of the berries are enchanted. “Who wants a regular berry and who wants a filling one?” I grin.
“I swear, you love that spell too much!” Ruby giggles. “I don’t want to ruin my lunch, regular berries please.”
I pop one of the enchanted berries in my mouth and sigh as my grumbling stomach is satiated. I grab 5 that aren’t and hand them over to her.
“Can we walk you to where you’re going to leave?” Kevin asks as he notices the time. We have less than two hours before I leave.
“If you don’t mind my godmother suddenly showing up.” I reply. “I’m not powerful enough to cast Tree Stride on my own yet. With what you know, she says she’s okay with you seeing her, but only you two.”
“Where is your godmother?” Ruby asks.
“She’s been here the whole time, in the amulet. She’s very upset with me right now with how much I’ve told you, but has conceded it’s too late to try to fix the damage that I’ve done.” I say in a serious tone. “We had a huge debate about it when I revealed myself. It’s bad enough not being able to tell your parents the whole story, it was breaking my heart lying to you two.” I say earnestly. “Specially since it looks like we’ll be dating.”
“You mean dating Kevin?” Ruby corrects me.
“Ruby my dear, we are way too cuddly to just be friends, while Kevin is my boyfriend, can you say you have no feeling for me?” I look at her.
Ruby blushes. “Was it that obvious?” she looks at me bashfully.
“Ruby, we’ve known each other since we were in diapers. We’ve never been able to hold the truth from one another. I’ve always seen you as more than a sister. I was actually a bit heartbroken when you came out queer. The female side of me still wanted you, but - as a boy - I knew you would never want me.”
“So that’s why we connected so well when you came back?” Ruby catches on. “You were finally something that we both wanted?” she says leaning against me. “I’ve been hesitant to kiss you, I didn’t want to make Kevin jealous.”
“Kevin, can you share a girlfriend? I’ll leave it as really close friends if you rather us be an exclusive couple.” I look at him.
Kevin gets up and climbs on to the bed. “Considering you have a girlfriend back home, I’d by a hypocrite to say I won’t share, I already do.” he replies. “Just no kissing around my mom, that would really confuse her.”
“I think I can do that.” Ruby says looking up at me with renewed interest. “Can I ask for a kiss then?”
I look to Kevin for permission, I really want him to be okay with this. He nods and smiles. Ruby and I put her laptops to the side, and she shifts so that she’s looking at me. I can tell she’s nervous, she gently strokes my cheek, soaking in my Elven features. I cup her head and pull her in for a kiss. Like Kevin, the kiss is light, tentative and first. The second more tender, then she moans, wraps her arms around my shoulders and pulls herself against me for a loving embrace.
When we break our kiss, she sighs happily. “Wow, that kiss was amazing.” She says dreamily. She lays across me leaning against my shoulder.
“If that’s how hot we look when we kiss, I can see why Ruby wanted some.” Kevin smiles. He crawls forward for his. And I don’t hesitate to give him a long, loving kiss to know that this hasn’t changed my feelings for him.