Part 16 – A Light in the Dark

I wandered upstairs and found Megan lying face up on her bed staring up at the ceiling. She didn’t even glance at me as I entered the room. Either she caught a flash of me out of the corner of her eye or the sound of my movements had announced my presence.

“I’m jealous of you and Allison. For as long as I can remember I’ve known I was twisted and that one day at the drop of the hat I’d change with only a fraction of a second warning. It scares me that one day I might open my eyes and have lost who and what I am, but sometimes I wish it would be over so I can move on with my life.”

I said nothing, instead I sat down on the corner of her bed and she turned to look at me. “Don’t be,” I said, brushing the hair out of my eyes. “I’m looking like this for the rest of my life. Being a girl is weird, but it doesn’t hold a candle to being blue. Wherever I go people can tell on sight, I’m twisted. You can still turn out looking normal. I’d do anything for that.”

“There are worse fates,” Megan said with a shudder. She hopped out of bed and walked to the doorway. She paused glancing out the door before closing it behind her.

Megan put her arms around my waist and drew me close before pecking me on the lips. “Jim, I want you to consider something. It might not be a bad idea if you chose a new name. Something a little more feminine. You will get a lot of odd looks if you keep going by Jim.”

I wasn’t quite sure what to say to that. The tattered remains of my masculinity wanted nothing to do with it, but a part of me understood that I’d have to, eventually. It was like giving in and proclaiming to the world I had accepted that I was no longer a man. It was a little ridiculous considering my twist, but a part of me worried that if I took a new name, I’d be losing some irreparable part of myself.

Perhaps, I’d already lost that part of myself or perhaps it was so insignificant it didn’t matter at all. Could I be masculine in a body that oozed femininity? Then again, perhaps it didn’t matter. I was whoever I decided to be regardless of what gender. What mattered was the sort of person I was and that was one thing I was able to control.

“You’re right,” I said. “It’s silly of me to go around calling myself Jim, when it doesn’t fit so well anymore.

She beamed back at me. She seemed just a little too pleased by my pronouncement, but I knew Megan. This was her way of helping me cope. “Great! You have anything in mind?”

I shook my head. “No, I haven’t, but I’m guessing you have.”

“I have a few suggestions,” she admitted her cheeks burning red as she averted her eyes.

“Well, all right, let’s hear them.”

“Well, I sort of liked Rebecca, you could go by Becky or even Becca if you liked.”

I shook my head and pursed my lips. Rebecca just didn’t seem like a good fit. “No.”

“What about Sarah or Anna? Oh, I have it,” she said snapping her fingers. “Haylee.”

“No,” I shook my head again.

She listed off names, one after the other, some of which were unusual. Either, Megan had an amazing memory for names or she’d put a lot more consideration into it than she was putting on. After she repeated each name, I shook my head, and she moved on to the next. I plopped down on the bed and lost interest.

She continued to list off names, and I half listened, shaking my head after each one. Then she said one that seemed to grab at me and I sat bolt upright in bed glanced toward her.

“Wait, that last one, say it again.”

A hint of a smile touched the corner of her lips. “Calista.”

“Calista,” I said trying it out.

“Calista Rumsfield,” I paused upon hearing my mother’s surname leave my lips and scowled. I didn’t want to be a Rumsfield anymore. I met Megan’s gaze, pursed my lips, and a smile touched the corners of my lips. “Calista Turow.”

Megan smiled. “I believe we found a match.”

I hesitated as I stared back at Megan. Did I want to be using that moniker for the rest of my life? It was a little more feminine than I would like, but for whatever reason the name seemed to resonate with me. I nodded and let out a long sigh. “Calista will do.”

Megan squealed and threw her arms around me. Though she seemed quite thrilled about the whole thing, I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about it. A part of me understood it was for the better. “Calista, a beautiful name for a beautiful girl.”

It was a cheesy line, but what can I say? I’m a sucker for a pretty girl. We kissed, and my heart thumped in my chest. Did this mean, we were an item now? Before I asked she dragged me out of the bedroom to announce to everyone the “great news”. I would have rather stayed in there with her.

About an hour later, Mr. Hails received the first call. The only reason any of us had any clue he’d gotten an obscene call in the first place was that we’d heard him yelling and came running into the room to see what the commotion was all about. We found him in the kitchen, his face had turned bright scarlet and he gritted his teeth before slipping his mobile back into his pocket. He wouldn’t say who had called or even what they said, but if the looks he gave us were any sign, I wasn’t sure I wanted to know.

“Dad,” Megan said. “What’s going on.”

“No one leave the house by themselves.”

“Dad.” Megan repeated her voice coming out just a tad whiney.

“Don’t press this, Megan. Just do as I say,” he said and for the first time I remembered, he looked a little scared. That settled it, I really didn’t want to know what they’d said on the phone.

She nodded and glanced at me her eyes telling me more than words ever could. She was scared, and I didn’t blame her. Mr. Hails seemed pretty shaken, and he wasn’t the sort to let a phone call get under his skin. There was at least one case he’d worked on where someone had threatened him and he hadn’t let that stop him from doing his job.

“Girls,” he said looking from Allison, Megan and to me. “I want you to pack your bags just in case we have to leave town in a hurry. I don’t think we’ll be sticking around much longer.”

A cold shiver trickled its way down my spine and I swallowed hard. I didn’t argue when he told us to go pack. Neither did Megan nor Allison. I had everything packed away already, but Megan had a whole lifetime of things to pick through.

Under her direction, I grabbed clothes from the dresser for her to pick through. It became clear she put a lot more time and thought into what she wore than she put on when she picked at the clothes I’d laid out for her. She grabbed a suitcase from the basement and dumped her top picks inside.

Allison popped her head in the doorway and scowled at the two of us. It didn’t take her longer to bark out orders and even less time for Megan to blow a fuse. “Would you shut the fuck up, for once in your God damned life!? Jesus, can you ever turn it off?”

“I’m just trying to help!” Allison glared back at her cousin, placing both hands on her hips.

“No one asked you to!”

Allison gritted her teeth, let out a high-pitched scream, and stormed out of the room.

Megan collapsed into my arms, back first so my boobs pressed up against her back and I stood there holding her in my arms not sure what to do.

“Calista, I’m scared,” she said grabbing a hold of my wrist so tight she started pinching the skin on my arm.

Though I wasn’t accustomed to my new name, it sounded sort of nice coming from Megan. I know she was scared shitless, but it felt good holding her in my arms. I thought I could bear being called Calista and everything that came with it if it meant having Megan in my life.

“Me too,” I said putting my head on her shoulder.

Megan’s hold loosened, and she turned around inside my arms so we were standing there breast to breast. “There’s one good thing. I got rid of Allison.”

I chuckled, my laughter coming out as much more of a giggle than I intended. “Yeah, thanks for that.”

“My pleasure,” Megan smiled back at me.

We locked gazes and our lips grew closer until they locked. Megan’s tongue slithered inside my mouth, exploring every nook and cranny. When we broke for air, we didn’t pull away, but held each other. It was nice having someone to hold close. It sounded girly, but it made me feel safe. For the first time since my change I thought no matter what went wrong everything would turn out all right.

We made our way over to the bed and collapsed still holding one another. We didn’t fool around or anything. I couldn’t speak for Megan, but I was content just laying there. I drifted off to sleep lost to Megan’s warm embrace.