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Twelve Years After [message #8469] Sat, 08 November 2014 17:26
Schol-R-LEA  is currently offline Schol-R-LEA
Messages: 31
Registered: July 2007
Location: Alpharetta, GA

2010-11-26 1615
I didn't normally go out among the teeming masses on Black Friday for the deals,
but being home for Thanksgiving this year I was was catching up with some old
friends who still lived in town, or who had been visiting home themselves for
the holiday. At the moment, Kim and Pam were showing Jill and myself around
Westmont Mall to see how things had changed, and to get away from family for a
while. We were just coming out of Victoria's Secret when an unfamiliar voice
cried out "Valerie!" in my direction.

I spun around to find myself face to chest with a very tall teenager. I pulled
myself away from the hug, and got a good look at him. He was gangly thin and
even taller than I realized, with long blond hair down his shoulders and a soul
patch on his chin. He had sports glasses on - you know, those goggles some
atheletes who need glasses wear? - and I could see a small stud earring in one
ear. The black ruffled shirt and top hat seemed out of place, but helped me
figure out who it had to be.

"Patrick?" I cried out, surprised to recognize him as much as anything else.

That's when noticed that he had three friends with him, all as tall as he was.
Must be from the team, I figured. I'd heard that Ricky - sorry, Patrick - had
been the star center this year's basketball team, and was known for a certain
eccentricity off the court, of the Gothic persuasion. I wondered if I'd done
something either very wrong or very right.

"Valerie, m'dear, it is wonderful to see you! Last I'd heard you were in
California again," he said with a slight bow.

"Oh, yeah, I'm here for a only a few days. I've been working with the Verres' on
stabilizing morphology changes." I added, pointing to the TF band I was wearing
on my wrist.

He nodded knowingly. "When word of those devices broke, I immediately thought of
you. I'm not surprised you'd want to work on them." He added, "So, how is it to
be a real woman, now?"

"It's... you know, I was surprised. In some ways, it wasn't as different as
you'd expect. By the first time I'd used one, I'd been living as a woman for so
long that it wasn't such a change. But in other ways, it's been a real load
off of my shoulders, as if I were finally a whole person and not just a
patchwork of bits and pieces."

He looked thoughtfully for a moment, then finally said, "Well, I guess it has
to be easier for you, in some ways. I know a lot of people around here would
still wish you ill after the trial, even twelve years later."

I winced at the reminder. The trial against the five jocks who attacked me
in high school had been an ugly, nasty fight that ended up pushing me into
the harsh light of publicity, and was a large part of why I eventually chose to
be 'Valerie' from then on.

[Updated on: Sat, 08 November 2014 18:03]

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