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Jade Box                        by: Genni Smith

 

Nothing was about to upset Amy that night. She was out with a guy she liked, she looked hot, and best of all, her days as a girl were numbered. She and her mother would fly out the day after the play and then it’s bye bye to skirts, heels, hose, periods and sitting down to pee. One more week and it would all be over.

‘Do you want to dance?’ Danny asked after they entered the high school gym and saw the set up for the night.

‘Is this a dance?’ Amy asked with a smile on her face. ‘I would never have agreed if I knew it was a dance.’

‘Okay, let’s go home then,’ the boy said holding her hand and heading for the door.

‘Well you did pay for the tickets.’

‘Yeah and we both look pretty good.’

‘Well one of us does,’ Amy giggled. ‘I just have to… you know.’

‘Good, I need to you know too. Meet you back here when you’re done.’

Amy headed for the girl’s locker rooms and once again found herself on the end of a long line. She didn’t mind that so much, after almost 2 months as a girl it was almost the norm, it was the fact that she found Belinda French standing behind her. As Stuart, Amy had pretty well ignored Belinda even though she had told a friend of a friend that she kind of liked him. Belinda was bad news. Sure, she was pretty but she was the biggest gossipmonger in the school and had a reputation more for making up stories than just spreading stuff she had heard.

Belinda was just starting to get the claws out when Amy heard her. ‘Did you see what Kylie Jensen was wearing?’ She asked another girl who was waiting in line. ‘My god, you’d think a red head with more freckles than face would know better than to wear a green dress. She looks like a blood nose.’

Some other girls around laughed but Amy knew they did so only to make sure they weren’t the next victims of her cattiness.

‘And what about Angela Dobson? You’d think she’d realise you need boobs to try and carry a strapless dress.’ Then her eyes fell on Amy and she was not happy about the lack of response she was getting. ‘Nice petticoat Amy, did you forget the dress?’

‘Did you hear that?’ Amy asked. ‘Must have been my sides splitting. Look Belinda, I’d love to stand here and have a battle of wits, or in your case half wits, with you but I never take on an unarmed person.’

‘Who’s your date tonight Amy?’

‘Danny Simpson.’

Belinda’s eye brows rose and Amy could tell she was trying for the knock out punch. ‘I should have known. I have heard you two are close. Very close.’

‘Are you here with your cousin again or did you Dad pay some one else to ask you?’ Amy shot back as she got closer to the stalls.

‘Is what I heard about the wedding true?’

‘I don’t know, what have you heard?’

‘I heard you fucked Danny in a broom cupboard.’

Amy wanted to smash her lying face in but with the joy of the impending trip running through her she decided to have a little fun. ‘You must have really liked last week Belinda.’

‘Oh, why is that?’

‘Because you are begging to be slapped back into it.’ Amy grimaced, or at least what passed for a grimace. ‘If I even get a sniff of you spreading that story around school I will hit you so hard your grandchildren will hurt.’ The look in Amy’s eyes left the girl in no doubt she meant it. ‘Do you understand what I am saying?’

‘Jeez, I was just repeating what I heard Amy.’ Belinda backed down as gracefully as she could manage.

‘Well you heard wrong,’ Amy snapped as she reached a vacant stall. ‘Broom cupboard indeed. It was in the back of the bridal limo and he was fan-fucking-tastic.’ She tried not to laugh as she went about her business.

‘You took a while,’ Danny said when Amy walked back across the gym to where he was standing.

‘There was a queue as usual,’ she smiled hoping she wouldn’t have to worry about it soon.

‘Can I ask a question?’

‘Sure. Ask away.’

‘Do you have any idea why all the girls are looking at me strangely?’

Amy giggled; the grapevine was working well. She could easily see the story had spread through out the whole gym. ‘Let’s just say you owe me one.’

‘Okay, now what do you say about a dance?’

‘Let’s rock this place.’

-oOOo-

It hadn’t been a bad night as far as school formal dances go. Of course the decorations of the gym were pretty cheesy and most of the music the so-called D.J. played had been recorded before any of the kids were born, but all in all Amy was enjoying herself.

Until she looked over and saw Katie.

She had seen her earlier in the night dancing with quite a few guys and felt a small stab of jealousy with each one but the guy she was dancing with now made Amy’s blood boil.

She was clinging on to Steve, any closer and she’d be sharing his clothes. Although by the look of the pair that was probably what they were aiming for.

‘Will you excuse me for a tick?’ She asked Danny politely.

‘Sure,’ he shrugged. ‘Toilet again?’

‘Nope but it does involve a huge shit.’ She replied heading off across the dance floor.

 

She reached her best friend in record time, grabbed her arm and kept right on going, dragging a bemused Katie along with her. ‘Either you are dancing with Steve or you think he’s on fire and you’re trying to put out the flames by smothering them with your breasts,’ she snapped.

Katie looked around, down and up, anywhere but at Amy’s eyes. ‘We… we talked. He’s really, really sorry about that abortion thing.’

‘Oh that’s all right then. We’ll just go down to the clinic on Monday and see if they can put the kid back in then shall we?’

‘Don’t be like that Amy,’ Katie sniffed.

‘Like what? I am your best friend and friends are supposed to warn each other if they are about to make a mistake.’ Amy stopped and pointed at Steve. ‘He has a neon sign above him with the word mistake 10 feet high.’

‘He’s not that bad,’ Katie said, sounding like she was trying to convince herself more than Amy.

‘Not that bad. Yeah, in the same way Syphilis is not that bad. Just like mad cow disease is not that bad.’

‘He’s all I have Amy. It’s all right for you, you’ve always been popular with the boys. I am not as pretty or as smart as you are.’

‘Bull shit.’ Amy yelled. ‘There are plenty of guys who would love to go out with you and they’d treat you a shit load better than Steven fucking Ellis.’

‘Yeah? Who?’

Amy wanted to say that she wanted to go out with Katie but the time and the gender were all wrong. For the first time in a long time Amy was lost for words.

‘I thought so,’ Katie said. ‘No one. Well I am going back to dance with Steve.’

‘Don’t do it Katie.’

‘Or what?’ The girl challenged.

‘Or you can forget our friendship.’ It came out of her mouth so fast that she didn’t even see it coming, let alone have time to stop it. But it was out now and there was little she could do about it.

Katie had been walking away but when she heard that she turned and looked at Amy with a mixture of sadness and defiance. ‘If that’s what you want’ She said quietly as she continued to walk back to Steve.

Amy wanted to follow her and say it wasn’t what she wanted, it wasn’t what she wanted at all. She wanted to hug her and let her know who she really was but there was no way that was going to happen. She’d just come across as a crackpot claiming to be a guy that no one but herself, her mother and her sister ever knew existed.

‘Are you okay?’ Danny asked from behind her.

‘Nope.’ She replied with tears in her eyes.

‘Hey, what’s up?’ The boy asked as she fell into his arms and cried.

‘I think I just lost my best friend.’

Danny did what any guy his age would do; he hugged the girl tight.

-oOOo-

‘Go and talk to her,’ the boy suggested later that night as the pair danced to a slow song.

‘No.’ Amy said firmly. ‘She’s made her bedfellow, now she can lie with him.’

‘Look, I haven’t been at this school this long but I know Steve is an arse hole. I may not be a girl but I do have eyes. I saw him kissing Cindy what’s her name earlier.’

‘Cindy Acton?’ Amy asked, looking up into Danny’s eyes.

‘I don’t know, blonde chick, big boobs. In our maths class.’

‘That’s her.’

‘Well,’ Danny continued, ‘he was all over her like a rash.’

‘Tonight?’

‘Yep.’

‘Shit.’ Amy said looking back at Katie. ‘We have to do something.’

‘You want me to beat him up?’ Danny grinned. ‘I’d do it for you if you asked.’

Amy thought about it seriously for three or four seconds. ‘No, I think this is one situation where testosterone won’t help.’ She paused to look back at the boy. ‘You’d really beat him up for me?’

‘I’d take on Mike Tyson for you Amy.’ He mumbled as he nibbled her ear.

‘You old romantic, you.’ Amy said, starting to get turned on. ‘Next thing you’ll be saying you love me.’

All of a sudden it was as if the music stopped. Danny took a step back, let go of her small hands and looked at her intently. ‘Whoa. Hold on a tick there.’

‘Did I say something wrong?’ Amy asked. She knew exactly what she said and kicked herself for saying it. She would have run a mile if some girl had said the "L" word to Stuart.

‘I am fifteen years old Amy. Love is a word I use when I am talking about my playstation, my collection of playboys and my skateboard.’

‘But not me?’ Amy asked, feeling a little hurt and not knowing why.

‘Lets just say I am deeply in like with you.’ Danny said sincerely. He took her in his arms again and kissed her. Slowly dancing with her as their lips locked.

It was enough for Amy. She felt wonderful in his embrace.

-oOOo-

Amy didn’t realise how wet she was down there until she went to the bathroom at her house. After the heavy duty kissing the pair had done on the front porch she was so bad that she needed a lot of toilet paper to wipe herself.

It was a strange feeling, not in the least unpleasant, but very different from her normal erection.

‘Nice night?’ Susan asked.

‘Not too bad.’ Amy said. ‘Katie is back with Steve.’

‘Well, you have Danny,’ Jade smiled. ‘You can’t be too greedy dear.’

‘Well what happens when we find the old bag in Hong Kong and I get turned back to normal? I have to deal with Danny as a guy and I don’t know if I can.’

‘Sure you can love. Speaking of the trip though, you’d better come up with a good excuse for going away.’

‘Why? Surely if I get changed back no one will even know I was away.’

‘How do you work that out?’ Jade asked. ‘By the way, your lipstick is all worn off, what have you been doing?’

Amy blushed but decided to ignore the last part of the question. ‘Well if the only reason for going there is to change me back, once I am back there is no reason to be away.’

‘Makes sense to me… Not.’

Susan put her hand on Amy’s shoulder. ‘We have to be realistic honey. We haven’t heard from Mei Ling or Wang since this started and I may not be able to find the old woman again. Even if we do find her there is no guarantee she will turn you back simply because you want her to.’

‘You mean I might be stuck like this?’ Amy asked motioning to her body. ‘No way, that was never part of the deal.’

‘The deal,’ Susan told the girl, ‘was to go to Hong Kong to find Mamma Chow. What happens from there is anybodies guess. Look, don’t worry about it too much, we’ll be there this time next week and then we will do everything we can to find her. Put it this way Amy, it might take her awhile to make another Jade Box and you’ll have to stay that way until she can do it. Just make an excuse for a week off school and I’ll let your principal know.’

‘Okay,’ Amy replied rather glumly. ‘Can I talk to you for a second Jade?’

The two girls’ went to Amy’s bedroom where Jade unzipped her sister and they chatted while the younger girl got undressed.

‘I think I made a big mistake tonight, well two mistakes really.’

‘Like what?’ Jade asked.

‘I asked Danny if he loved me.’

‘What brand of shoe does he wear?’

Amy looked at her sister quizzically. ‘What the hell does that have to do with anything?’

‘I just thought you might have been able to see the brand name written on the soles of his shoes as he ran away from you.’

‘He didn’t.’

‘Well that’s a good start. What happened?’

Amy unknowingly took a deep breath just like her sister and mother. ‘I have no idea,’ she admitted. ‘We were on the dance floor and he was nibbing my ear.’

‘Oh,’ Jade said grinning like a Cheshire cat.

‘Forget it,’ Amy said defensively. ‘I am going to bed now.’

‘Sorry. Go on.’

‘Well I just sort of asked him but I have no idea why.’

‘Don’t worry about it.’ Jade told her. ‘It’s often been said that men play at love to get sex while women play at sex to get love.’

‘Huh? I didn’t fuck him or anything.’

‘No, but I bet you thought about it tonight.’

Amy hated it when her sister was right. ‘No I did not.’ She stated as forcefully as she could.

‘Whatever. Like I said, don’t worry about it Amy. Like it or not you are thinking like a girl.’

‘That’s the problem. I have been thinking more and more like a girl ever since I opened that damn box. I was reading my diary earlier and I can’t see where that girl stops and I start. What happens if I can’t change back? When will I lose Stuart completely?’

‘If that was the case, wouldn’t it be easier if you could lose him?’

‘No. I lived 15 years as Stuart and 2 months as Amy but Stuart is fading into the background. Even if I can never be him again I don’t want to forget him.’

‘I don’t think either mum, you or myself will forget him.’

‘You never liked him did you?’ Amy asked.

‘I couldn’t stand the little prick.’ Jade smiled. ‘He was okay, as brothers go I guess.’

‘You’re talking like he is already dead. What am I saying? He is me, we are the same person just with different packaging.’

‘Do you really believe that?’ Jade asked.

‘Yep. Sure I might know more about girls than I ever thought I would and I might even think like a girl at times but I am a guy and I miss being a guy.’

‘What’s to miss?’

‘A lot.’ Amy sighed. ‘I miss being able to stand up and piss, I miss not having to plan a piss three weeks in advance in case there’s a queue, I miss being able to throw on a pair of short and be considered dressed. I hate the way these hormones seem to control me, my emotions, how much I eat, what I want to eat, every damn thing. Periods I will gladly forgo. I miss just hanging out with my friends and I miss being strong enough to beat the hell out of some one when I want to beat the hell out of them.’

‘Okay,’ Jade said trying a different question. ‘Is being a girl so bad you can’t do it if you have to?’

‘I can do it.’ Amy said. ‘I may not want to do it but the past two months have proved that I can do it.’

‘So either way you will be okay?’

‘I guess I don’t have much choice do I?’

‘Whatever happens, I am here for you. You know that don’t you?’

‘Yeah, I know.’ Amy said hugging her elder sister. ‘But as far as I am concerned I am going to do Romeo and Juliet and then go find Mamma Chow and be turned back into Stuart.’

‘I guess you go back to murdering chords on that guitar of yours?’

‘I expect so.’ Amy nodded

‘And your idiot mates will keep on coming to the house?’

‘Yep.’

‘Gee, it’s a tough choice for me,’ Jade said. ‘I have my so called normal little brother back or I have some one whose clothes I can borrow.’

‘Well luckily for me you don’t have the final choice. I have a feeling that I’d be menstruating for the rest of my life if you did.’

‘Not for the rest of your Life Amy. Just until menopause.’

-oOOo-

‘No rehearsals tonight?’ Jade asked as she entered Amy’s room.

Amy who was in the middle of changing out of her school uniform bridled a little at the lack of privacy she now had. ‘Did you happen to notice that my door was shut?’ She asked as she grabbed a pair of denim shorts and slid them on.

‘Ah ha. Do you know what a shut door means?’

‘I might be naive here but I was kind of hoping it meant that the person on the other side should at least knock and wait to be invited in.’ Amy grumbled.

‘Yeah? Interesting concept.’ Jade nodded. ‘So, no rehearsals tonight?’

‘Hello?’ Amy pretended she was speaking into a microphone. ‘Is this thing on? I was talking about my door Jade and how you should be on the other side of it.’

Jade watched as her sister pulled on an old white sleeveless top. ‘As much as I am enthralled by your door I have other things to worry about. Anyway, I have seen anything you might be hiding.’

‘Is there a point to this visit Jade or are you just enjoying pestering me.’

‘Both.’ Jade smiled. ‘Are you busy tonight?’

‘Nope. For the first time since the start of the term I don’t have homework or rehearsals or work or acting lessons. I plan on hitting the chocolate and the television.’

‘Good. I need you to do me a small favour.’

Amy looked at her older sister suspiciously. ‘I know your small favours Jade. The last time you asked that I ended up fixing your car for four hours’

‘Okay then, can you do me a big favour?’

‘That’s more like it. No.’

‘Oh come on Amy. Look at all the stuff I do for you?’ Jade whined. ‘I have been asked on a date tonight and I was supposed to do something else.’

‘What?’

Jade mumbled something very quietly and added, ‘so if you could do that for me I could go out with Rob to see a movie.’

‘And people say you’re not funny,’ Amy said. ‘I could have sworn you mumbled babysitting then.’

‘I did.’

‘You want to put me in charge of a small child?’

‘Ah… Two small children actually.’ Jade admitted reluctantly. ‘The Ford kids from up the street.’

‘I hate children.’ Amy said. ‘And Beth and Jerry Ford are little pains in the butt.’

‘You were a kid once. Come on Amy, do it for me.’

‘Oh well if it’s for you that’s different. Nope.’

Jade rolled her eyes. ‘Amy.’

‘I hate kids.’ Amy said again

‘You used to like kids, you hung around with them all the time.’

‘I used to pick my nose and eat it too but you grow out of these things.’

‘You’ve grown out of that in a week?’ Jade asked.

‘I like your strategy Jade. Insulting me will really make me want to do it.’

‘I’ll be your best friend.’

‘Jade, as scary as it is, you are close to being my best friend at the moment.’

‘Look, you do this for me and I will drive you anywhere you want to go.’

‘I will do it for money, and I mean a lot of it.’

‘Five dollars?’ Jade asked hopefully.

‘Enjoy your babysitting.’ Amy said, walking to the door.

‘Ten?’

‘You must love kids.’

‘Alright,’ Jade sighed. ‘Twenty.’

‘Plus what ever the Fords are paying.’

‘Okay.’ Jade said. ‘They’re expecting you at seven o’clock.’

-oOOo-

‘Amy. Hi.’ Mrs. Ford said, opening the front door and putting in her earring at the same time. ‘Jade said you’d be filling in for her tonight?’

Amy smiled weakly. ‘Yeah. That’s okay with you isn’t it?’ She was hoping it wouldn’t be and she could go home again. No such luck.

‘That’s fine. I’m glad you could do it. I have a work do to go to and it will not be appreciated if I cancel.’ She turned back to look into the house. ‘Mike. Are you ready?’ She shouted.

‘You’re the one still getting ready.’ Her husband said. ‘Hi Amy. Come on in.’

Amy entered the house slowly. She wasn’t looking forward to her night with Robbie and Beth Ford who were ten and seven respectively. ‘The kids are in the family room playing Nintendo.’ Mrs. Ford explained when she saw Amy’s anxious look. ‘They shouldn’t be any trouble.’ With that she picked up her handbag and headed for the door. ‘Help yourself to some food love. We should be back at around eleven.’

‘Okay.’

‘There’s a list of instructions on the fridge and the emergency numbers are by the phone but don’t ring for an ambulance for anything less than a broken bone.’

‘Is that likely?’ Amy asked.

‘Only on any day with a Y in it.’ The mother smiled and both she and her husband headed out the door.

Amy took a few minutes to have a look around the house before she headed in the direction of the noise.

‘What are you doing here?’ Robbie demanded with a look of disdain on his face when he saw his neighbour.

‘I’m you’re baby sitter.’ Amy said.

‘You’re Jade’s little sister right?’ Beth asked.

‘Yep.’

‘Cool. Jade is a soft touch so she won’t even be a challenge for us.’ Robbie told his sister who just looked at Amy with pity in her eyes.

‘When are they going to pay for a professional?’ The little girl asked shaking her head.

Amy just looked at the two and mumbled. ‘I hate kids’ and then she went out to the kitchen for two reasons. One was to check out the food and the second was to get the list. It all might work out okay. Beth’s bedtime was at eight PM and Robbie’s was at nine. If she could suffer through two hours she’d be free to watch television for the rest of the night. One added bonus was that the Ford’s had cable.

She had just settled on the sofa with a glass of diet coke and some re-heated pizza when the fight began.

‘Amy.’ She heard Beth call. ‘Robbie is hitting me.’

‘Robbie, stop hitting your sister.’ Amy shouted back.

‘Make me.’

‘I really hate kids.’ The older girl grumbled as she got up and headed back to the family room. ‘Robbie, did you ever see the incredible hulk?’

‘Nup.’

‘Well it was about a guy called Bruce Banner and he’d tell everyone not to get him angry. He warned them that people wouldn’t like it if they made him angry.’

‘So?’

‘So, for some reason the made him angry and do you know what happened? His clothes ripped and he turned into this huge green guy and beat the crap out of them.’

‘Oh, I’m really scared.’

‘Okay kid, you get one warning. Don’t make me angry, you wouldn’t like it if I get angry.’ With that Amy left the room and just made it back to the sofa again when the noise hit.

‘Ow.’ Beth screamed. ‘Amy, he’s hitting me again.’

Once again Amy got up and walked back to the family room. ‘Right. That’s it.’

‘What are you going to do?’ The boy grinned up at her. ‘If you hit me I’ll tell Mum and Dad and you won’t get paid.’

As much as she would have liked to have smacked him across the back of the head Amy had a better idea. ‘What game are you playing?’

‘Donkey Kong Country.’

‘I don’t know that game. I tell you what Robbie. I have twenty dollars in my purse. If we play head to head and I loose the twenty is all yours. If I win…’

‘Which you won’t. Girls are useless at Nintendo.’

‘…If I win you go to bed now.’ Amy paused for dramatic effect. ‘Unless of course you’re scared of being beaten by a girl.’

‘Ha. No way.’

‘So it’s a bet?’

‘Yep.’

Amy sat down to play a game she’d played many, many times before. And she wiped the floor with the cocky Robbie. ‘Oh well,’ She said. ‘Goodnight Robbie.’

‘No way, you cheated.’

‘You got beat fair and square kid now get your peejays on and get into bed.’

‘I won’t do it.’

Amy sized the boy up. ‘Oh well. I’ll just give the twenty dollars to Beth for telling every boy in your school you got beaten by a girl.’ She shrugged.

‘Damn, you’re good.’

‘Yep.’ Amy smiled. ‘Now it’s time for both of you to go to bed okay?’

Robbie looked for a way out of it but in the end he had no choice but to go to bed along with his sister. Amy turned out the light in her bedroom once he was in bed. ‘Now, if I hear another peep out of you I’ll have to do something drastic. Got it?’

‘Ah ha.’

‘Good.’ Amy snapped off his light, went to check on Beth and then headed back for the big screen television and channel surfed.

Around ten minutes later there was a knock on the door.

‘Amy? What are you doing here?’ Katie asked.

‘Filling in for Jade. What are you doing here?’

‘Jade asked if I’d fill in for her. I guess I’ll go.’

She was halfway down the driveway when Amy finally said. ‘You can come in if you want.’

‘You sure?’

‘Yeah, come on in. Seeing as how Jade has gone to all of this trouble to set us up we may as well get things sorted out between us.’

Katie entered the house. ‘There’s nothing to work out Amy. I am going out with Steve and you don’t like him. You made it perfectly clear at the dance that I had to choose so I did.’

Amy sighed and looked at her friend. ‘This is silly. I miss you and I want us to be friends again K.J.’

Katie nodded but she had other things on her mind. Only one person called her by her initials but she couldn’t remember who. Her mother would call her Katherine Joan when she was angry but Katie hated her middle name and very few people knew what it was. Who on earth was it that called her K.J.?

‘Stuart.’ She whispered.

‘Sorry?’ Amy asked. ‘What was that?’

To Amy it looked like Katie was confused but at the same time as if some weight had been lifted from her shoulders.

‘Stuart.’ Katie repeated, a little louder. ‘Oh my god you’re Stuart.’

It was as if Amy could hear something inside of her friend snap as the last of Mamma Chow’s spell wore off the girl. ‘Stuart?’

‘You are, aren’t you? What on earth has been going on for the last two months?’

Amy was torn between admitting what Katie already knew so she would have yet another ally on this strange journey she found her self on, and denying it so Katie wouldn’t know the embarrassing predicament she had found herself in. Eventually she told her friend about Susan’s trip to Hong Kong, Mamma Chow and the Jade Box.

‘So you’re really a girl now?’

‘Gee, tough question.’ Amy said looking down at her breasts. ‘I may have to phone a friend.’

‘You really are Stuart. Only he can be such a sarcastic prick.’

‘You’re just saying that to make me feel better.’ Amy grinned.

‘This is too weird.’

‘Hello, I am the one who has spend the last two months with boobs.’

Katie nodded slowly. ‘Ah… so it was you who went with me to the clinic?’

‘Ah ha.’ Amy sighed.

‘And you who saw me get undressed when you spent the night at my house.’

‘It was all me Katie. I have been Amy the whole two months. But I wouldn’t worry about it, I only saw what I have been seeing in my mirror since I changed.’

‘Wow, for a guy you make a great girlfriend.’ Katie said still in shock.

‘Apart from our fight.’

‘Steve. Shit, I forgot all about him. Why on earth am I going out with him anyway?’

‘So now you don’t like him?’ Amy asked. ‘Talk about a change of mind.’

‘I can’t stand the jerk.’

The two girls chatted for about half an hour and slowly Katie came out of her shell. She was very interesting in what Stuart thought of being a girl and what he had or hadn’t done.

They were both in the kitchen a little later when Robbie came out of his room and entered the lounge room. He flicked on the TV and channel surfed.

‘Hey, what are you doing up?’ Amy demanded.

‘I couldn’t sleep.’ The boy shrugged.

Amy turned to Katie. ‘Forgive him, he’s under the delusion that I am as soft as Jade.’

‘Big mistake.’ Katie said shaking her head sadly.

‘Go to bed Robbie.’

‘No. I won’t go. If you make me I will tell mum you hit me and she’ll believe me. You won’t ever be able to baby sit me again.’

‘Is that all it will take? I should have hit you earlier.’

‘St… Amy.’ Katie said. ‘You can’t.’

Amy sighed as if to say, "Damn, I hate it when my creative energy is stifled." ‘Okay then,’ she said. ‘What makes you think your parents will believe you Robbie?’

‘Are you kidding? I can talk my way out of anything.’ The boy boasted.

‘Reminds me of some one I know.’ Katie said looking straight at Amy.

‘Shut up’ Amy told her friend and then winked at her. ‘Anything huh?’

‘Yep. Not like you. You’re just a dumb girl.’

Amy raised her eyebrows and picked up her glass of water then walked into Robbie’s bedroom.

‘What are you doing in here?’ Robbie asked and looked anxious all of a sudden.

‘Giving you one last chance to go to sleep. What do you say little boy?’

‘No way.’ Robbie said resolutely crossing his arms.

‘Oops.’ Amy exclaimed in mock innocence. ‘I dropped my glass right on you bed. I am so sorry.’

A little voice called from the hallway. ‘What’s going on?’

‘Nothing Beth, go back to bed sweetie.’

The little girl arrived in the doorway and looked at the wet patch right in the middle of the mattress. ‘What’s wrong Amy?’

‘Nothing honey. Your brother just had a little accident.’

‘I did not.’ The boy shouted. ‘You spilled your drink.’

‘Okay Robbie.’ Amy smiled quickly at Katie. ‘If it makes you feel better you can try telling your parents that when they get home. We know the truth.’

‘Robbie wet the bed. Robbie wet the bed.’ Beth sang.

‘I did not.’

‘Go back to bed Beth. I’ll make up a bed for Robbie on the couch in your father’s study.’

‘Robbie wet the bed.’ The little girl repeated as she went to her room.

‘Lets see if you can talk your way out of that one Robbie.’ Amy told him. ‘Gee, wetting the bed and being outsmarted by a dumb girl in the one night. You’re having a bad run.’

‘I hate you.’

‘Then my work here is done.’ Amy smiled. ‘So are you going to go to sleep or do I need to get nasty. You play with Tom Barclay a lot don’t you?’

‘Yeah? So?’

‘Maybe I should ring his mother and ask her if you can sleep over there for tonight seeing as how you wet the bed.’

‘You wouldn’t.’

‘Try me.’ Amy said seriously. ‘Of course if you go to sleep in the study I wouldn’t have to do that.’

‘Okay.’ The little boy sighed. ‘You win.’

‘There was never any doubt of that Robbie.’

 ‘That was cruel,’ Katie said after the two girls had made a bed for Robbie.

‘He insulted my current gender,’ Amy smiled. ‘What I did, I did for all women.’

‘Well male or female you are still a crazy bugger.’

‘You are such a sweet talker.’

-oOOo-

Amy entered the house a little after eleven PM and everything was in darkness so she assumed her mother and sister were asleep or that Jade was still out. She saw her mum’s bedroom light was on so she knocked.

‘Yeah?’

‘Only me.’ Amy said.

‘Good, you’re home. How was the babysitting?’

‘You know about that? And you still let me go? People seem to have this strange idea that I can look after children just because my genitals have changed.

‘I didn’t think you could get into too much trouble,’ Susan shrugged. ‘Besides, you’ll have kids of your own one day.’

‘Yeah but will I be the mother or the father?’ Amy asked.

‘Hello, I know that tone of voice. What’s up?’

‘Katie knows.’ Amy said as she sat on her sister bed.

‘Knows what?’

‘About me.’

‘What about you?’

‘Jeez mum, do you need diagrams here? She knows about me being Stuart.’

‘What? How?’

‘Your guess is as good as mine.’ Amy shrugged. ‘I just called her K.J. and she seemed to come out of a trance.’

‘That makes sense I guess.’ Susan said.

‘It does? You want to explain it to me?’

‘Well Katie probably knows you better than anyone other than Jade and myself. Right?’

‘I guess,’ Amy nodded.

‘Okay, so you look at that magic. We already know what it did to you and that was amazing in itself…’

‘Doesn’t feel that good to me,’ Amy mumbled.

‘Do you want my thoughts or not?’ Susan said bluntly. Amy simply stayed quiet so she continued. ‘Now look at every person you ever knew except for Jade and I. That’s a lot of people who had to have reality warped, even your father.’

‘Okay, I see that.’ Amy conceded.

‘So the way I see it is Mamma Chow’s magic didn’t change reality for everyone else. She just sort of made them think that the new reality was the right one.’

‘Makes sense,’ Amy shrugged. ‘What am I saying? None of this makes sense. I am a girl. I have a boyfriend, I am almost used to not seeing urinals in public bathrooms and as scary as it sounds, I am even getting used to skirts. How can any of this make sense?’

‘You’re not making sense.’ Susan smiled. ‘Anyway, I think Katie knew Stuart so well that Mamma Chow’s magic didn’t work as well on her as it might have.’

‘That doesn’t make me feel better mum. What if others start remembering Stuart? I’ll be the town freak.’

‘I don’t think others will ever know Honey. We’ll be in Hong Kong with in the week and then hopefully this whole thing will be over. Look at the bright side of all of this.’

‘There’s a bright side?’

‘Ah ha. You and your sister can actually talk to each other without throwing verbal hand grenades around the room for one. You’ve seen how girls live now so you understand us better and on top of all of that, I haven’t had a single phone call from the school about your bad behaviour since all of this started. I was in the principal’s office so much I had my name on a chair there.’

Amy nodded a bit and looked reflective. ‘Hey mum?’

‘Yes?’

‘Do you think I should go on the pill? I mean in case I don’t get turned back.’

Susan looked up at her daughter and Amy could see all sorts of things flash through her mother’s mind. ‘Um… Ah… Have you? I mean… Is there a reason you would need… contraceptives?’ Susan said, stumbling over the question.

‘No, I just didn’t want you dwelling on any perceived bright side for too long.’ Amy grinned and headed to bed.

-oOOo-

Amy woke the next morning and immediately switched the heater on. The weather had changed overnight and Amy was cold with a capital C. that was one more unexpected side effect of the change, her body temperature went haywire and she found her self affected more by both heat and cold.

As Stuart she seemed to keep pretty even all the way through the year. Jade and her mum complained about the heat but Stuart just assumed they were being over dramatic and the same when the cold weather hit. While he was in shorts and a T-shirt in the middle of winter the female members of the family were shivering through winter and wrapped up like Eskimos.

Not now. Now she had suffered right along with her mum and sister on the hot days and even though it was only early autumn she had already felt colder more times than she normally did all winter.

After a lovely warm shower Amy entered her room and stood in front of the heater a little more. She glanced at her thin summer school dress and decided she didn’t want to wear that all day. Going to her wardrobe she pulled out her winter uniform and, after drying and brushing out her long hair she grabbed a pair of white panties, not even realising they were the same pair she found herself in on the day of her transformation. Then she skilfully put on her bra and buttoned up the white blouse without a problem, despite the buttons being on the wrong side. She glanced at her clock radio and the rifled through her lingerie draw to find a pair of dark blue tights. They were uncomfortable at first but she knew they’d help keep the cold at bay so she took the blue plaid woollen skirt off of the hanger and stepped in to it, zipping and buttoning it up at the back. She was almost relieved when she remembered the tie. The one hangover from her male days. In next to no time she’d tied it into a half Windsor knot and pulled on the navy blue sweater.

It was all much heavier than the lightweight summer dress but she already felt a lot warmer. All that was left to do was to put her hair into a ponytail and tie a navy blue ribbon over the rubber band and put on her jewellery and a touch of lipstick and eye shadow. ‘All done,’ She told her self as she gave one last look in the mirror. She picked up her school bag and just had time to have a slice of wholemeal toast before it was time to meet Katie.

‘My god.’ Katie said. ‘You have no idea how much money I would have paid to see Stuart in a girl’s winter uniform.’

‘I will accept any donations gratefully,’ Amy grumbled. At the same time she was relieved to see Katie was in a winter uniform too. She didn’t know why she should care when she had three days before she flew out to Hong Kong, but she was glad she hadn’t committed some schoolgirl fashion faux pas and worn a summer uniform when every one else was in a winter or vice versa.

The girls started on their walk to school. ‘I still can’t believe you’re in there Stuart.’

‘It’s me alright K.J. but you better get into the habit of calling me Amy.’

‘Amy it is, or should that be Juliet?’ the girl teased.

‘Not you too,’ Amy sighed. ‘I got enough shit from mum and Jade about that. Besides, Danny and I have something planned for Mr. Fisher.’ Amy proceeded to tell Katie what they had planned.

‘Why didn’t you tell me this before?’

‘Because we weren’t talking if you remember.’

‘Oh yeah. Steve.’

‘Yep.’ Amy said, barely disguising the hate she felt for him. ‘What happens between you two now?’

‘I dump the jerk.’ Katie said without a second thought.

They walked a bit further in silence before Katie got a mischievous look in her eyes. ‘It’s kind of strange that the only one who has a boyfriend is a boy as well.’

‘All right.’ Amy grinned. ‘I guess you need to get this out of your system at some stage. Take your best shot.’

‘Amy and Danny sitting in a tree,’ Katie sung. ‘K.I.S.S.I.N.G.’

‘Pretty juvenile.’

‘First comes love, then comes marriage then comes…’

‘Enough all ready.’

‘You and Danny have been getting pretty close.’ Katie said with a broad smile on her face.

‘Yeah, well he’s a nice guy.’

‘And he’s incredibly cute.’

‘I refuse to answer on the grounds that it may incriminate me.’ Amy said resolutely.

‘Come on Amy. You think he’s a hunk too.’

‘Will you shut up about it if I do?’

‘Ah ha.’

‘Okay, the guy is cute. But apart from that he’s a nice guy. If I was Stuart I am sure we’d be friends.’

‘Just not as close friends.’ Katie mumbled.

‘Katie.’

‘Is it true you and he… you know?’

‘Oh, you heard that did you?’ Amy told her friend about Belinda French and the night of the dance.

‘So you told her you did it in the back of the limo?’ Katie asked. ‘God I wish I could have seen her face at the time.’

‘Which one?’

Both girls giggled as they walked on to the school grounds.

-oOOo-

‘Have you seen Steve yet?’ Amy asked Katie as the two girls walked to the gym later that day for a dress rehearsal of Romeo and Juliet.

‘He’s off sick today.’ Katie replied.

‘Nothing trivial I hope.’

‘Knowing my luck it will be V.D. or something like that. How on earth did I sleep with that creep?’

‘I don’t know Katie but I bet he was a double bagger.’

Katie looked at Amy with a blank expression.

‘One bag over his head and one over your’s in case his bag split.’ Amy explained.

‘While we are on the topic, as disgusting as it is, I just want to thank you for helping me when I was pregnant. I doubt I could have done it without you.’

‘No sweat.’

‘You must think I am a big slut.’ Katie said eyes downcast.

‘Not at all. Listen Katie, if there’s one thing this body has taught me it’s that it’s very hard to say no to a guy you like. I didn’t even have all of that nice girl baggage you have to carry but I know there were times when I wanted to do more with Danny than just kiss and times when I had to stop myself from going there and the thought still scares me to death.’

‘I’ve missed you Stu.’

‘I’ve missed being Stu.’ Amy said.

‘But I think I am going to miss Amy more.’

‘I know what you mean.’ Amy sighed.

‘Don’t get me wrong, you’re still my best friend, that will never change. It’s just that I have all of these memories of Amy now and I never really had a close female friend growing up before this. Now I can remember us playing dress up and sleep overs, holidays we both went on with your family or mine, ballet lessons we both took. It was nice.’

‘I don’t remember any of that.’ Amy admitted. ‘But whatever happens I will always remember the last two months and I know I bitch about being a girl but it was almost worth it being your girlfriend.’

‘Are you crying?’ Katie grinned.

‘Fucking female hormones.’

-oOOo-

With the double lesson of English before lunch there was enough time to do a dress rehearsal and all of the people in acting in the play were in costumes, Amy’s being a long, flowing pink dress with an empire waistline and sleeves like bell bottom jeans. The rest of the class, who made up the crew where in their school uniforms and they all sat around on stage in front of a very stressed Mr. Fisher.

‘Now,’ the teacher started. ‘I know this can be a difficult play to put on. For amateurs like you the language can be a major problem and god knows the props aren’t of great quality so things are bound to go wrong. I want you to do your best and forget that the whole school and many of your parents will be watching tomorrow night…’

‘You ever thought about going into motivational speaking?’ Danny, who looked particularly uncomfortable in his tights and codpiece, asked.

‘No.’ Fisher said.

‘Good. Because if you did it for a living you’d starve. Look Mr. Fisher, we get the idea, this is live so if something stuffs up we just have to plough ahead and get the show over.’

‘Who is directing this play Mr. Simpson?’

‘You are sir.’

‘Exactly. Now, if all goes well I have arranged for the production to play in schools all over the city for the next 10 Friday nights…’

Everyone in the room apart from Mr. Fisher let out a long groan with a few boo’s a couple of hisses and one ‘fuck off’ for good measure.

‘I heard that Jamieson.’ Fisher said. ‘Consider yourself lucky that I can’t replace Tybalt or you’d be out of the play so fast your head would spin. Okay everyone, take your places please. Act one, scene one.’

‘You look wonderful Juliet.’ Danny said giving Amy quick peck on the cheek as they passed one another.

‘Love the tights.’ Amy smiled. ‘Is that a codpiece or are you just pleased to see me?’

‘A bit of both babe,’ Danny grinned. ‘See you on the balcony.’

‘I guess so.’

-oOOo-

 

 


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2001 by Genni Smith. All Rights Reserved. These documents (including, without limitation, all articles, text, images, logos, compilation design) may printed for personal use only. No portion of these documents may be stored electronically, distributed electronically, or otherwise made available without express written consent of the copyright holder.