by Jane Brunton
This is the story of my secret romance that began in high school and spanned more than three decades. If I’d had my older sister’s confidence, her lovely hair, narrow waist, burgeoning hips and breasts I would have told Randy how I felt back then. Instead I studied my older sister and copied her every move, dreaming of the day I would be woman enough to approach him.
My sister and I have always been best friends, sharing deep secrets and desires. She taught me feminine wiles and how to apply nail polish and makeup. She encouraged me to let my hair grow long like hers.
“But I still don’t have breasts!” I would lament.
“Hey! When you get a job you can buy some!”
I joined the cheerleading squad to be close to Randy. Tall, blonde, green-eyed captain of the football team he had plenty of girls lusting after him. He gave me questioning glances that made me blush and fantasize he felt something for me too. On Graduation day at Creemore high he asked,
“Hey! Terry! Will I see ya at the goodbye party at the restaurant?”
“Um…Sure! See ya.”
The restaurant was filled with kids whooping it up. Randy didn’t notice me when I arrived and he didn’t notice me when I left. I cursed my awkward shyness that made me lose what could be my last opportunity.
I went to University, studied Medicine, specialized in Plastic Surgery and became partner in a clinic. Randy took a different path and I didn’t see him again for a long time.
So here I was, pulling in a decent wage at the clinic and saving most of what I earned. I remembered what my sister said about my lack of breasts, “You can buy yourself some” and I thought Why not? I know the best surgeons in town.
I talked to my partner at the clinic.
“You don’t have much to work with, Terry. I’d like to consult with other surgeons.”
The advice, from specialists with experience in what I needed, was to phase the surgeries in. The delicate skin on my chest could be carefully stretched until implants could be inserted. They would start on this and other enhancements immediately.
Between surgeries I hid my growing and painful breasts under my lab coat. When I came in after a prolonged absence with a pressure bandage around my head and jaw one of the nursing staff said, “Terry! What happened?” I called a quick meeting and explained my goal to them. They were touched by my secret romance and how I was trying to make it reality.
After the surgeries were complete and wounds healed I checked the mirror. The resemblance to my sister was remarkable. In spite of intensive work to soften my jaw line, brow and to tuck my ears closer to my head the scars were practically invisible. My waist looked narrower thanks to hip implants and a Brazilian butt lift. My sister now envied ME!
“Look at you girl! You DID buy some breasts and a couple of other things too. You’re one hot mama! And hey…you don’t even have to change your name.”
My sister and I giggled that we could go to public washrooms together now.
“You didn’t tell me how restful it is to pee sitting down,” I teased, so incredibly pleased that the sex reassignment surgery was successful beyond all I hoped for.
My sister guessed my secret desire when I was 12 and she caught me trying on her bra with some Kleenex for padding. After high school she majored in Psychology with a minor in gender issues so she grasped that inside I was female and wanted my outside to match. She was with me every step of the journey, sharing pain and joy.
When our parents expressed their suspicions she smoothed the way; educating and convincing the extended family too. There were some who distanced themselves but the people that mattered accepted the new improved me and even threw me a Coming out Party.
There remained one more step to complete the dream. Friends had told me that Randy’s marriage ended in divorce and he was back in town, adjusting to being single. I found him in the phone book and dialed with a trembling finger. His deep voice was more gravelly than I remembered but still so familiar.
“Is this Randy Tugnutt that went to Creemore? It’s Terry Sheehy…Cheerleading?…Mr. Simmons class for math?”
“Hey! Terry. How they hangin’ guy? I remember ya. Still got that girly voice eh?
We arranged to meet and catch up at the place we’d last seen each other decades ago. Things had come full circle. I hung up and called my sister.
“I did it!”
“I’m going to meet Randy! I’m so nervous. I wonder what he’ll think.”
“Do you want me to come with you?”
“No! I’ll be fine,” I lied. For the first time I wondered if he would get angry when I told him.
Wednesday came. The hands on the clock dragged themselves reluctantly to 5 p.m. I closed the door to my office and changed into my new outfit. Makeup hid all traces of the shy man I’d been.
I emerged from the clinic in a slinky wrap dress and 4 inch heels. I almost tripped over the janitor who grabbed my arm to steady me. Without my unisex work clothes he did not recognize me. He gave me an appreciative once over and thrust his hips forward; one hand lingering near his crotch. Haha…He’ll freak when he realizes who I am…and who I was.
What will I do if Randy freaks out too? I practiced what I’d say to him as I drove to the restaurant and nabbed a parking spot near the entrance. I was glad as I was still a little wobbly in heels.
I opened the door, stood for a moment and let my eyes adjust to the gloom. It wasn’t just me who had changed. The high school hangout was now a bar. It smelled of stale beer and sweat, the rugs were stained and draft beer replaced the soft drinks.
I sat and looked around; mostly boozy older men, telling jokes, joshing about who was paying for the next round. Some played pool.
I looked for the firm tush and washboard abs that made me fall in love with Randy. There were none to be found in this establishment.
Maybe he stood me up.
Oh wait, is that him at the bar? The mannerisms were familiar. I studied the man awhile but he seemed a sad parody of the Randy I had known. His soft posterior flowed over the edge of the bar stool. His six pack abs had been ravaged by too many two fours. The few strands left of his hair struggled to make a touchdown on the other side of his bald pate.
But when I saw the flash of his high school ring, now choking the life out of a pudgy finger, I knew it was him. Tears sprang to my eyes. This is not the man of my dreams. I should leave…but no…I have to be sure… speak to him at least.
I dabbed at my eyes, walked over, sat down and ordered a single malt scotch, straight up. I knocked it back and when the warmth hit me I had the courage to touch his arm.
He swung around on the stool and the still green eyes, one on either side of a purple-veined nose, looked me up and down. There was no glimmer of recognition as he leaned close and slurred,
“The one and only. What can I do ya for?”
His breath was foul. There wasn’t enough scotch in Scotland to make me tell him who I was.
“I’m sorry. I thought you were someone else.”
“I can be anybody you wamme ta be, baby.” Patting his knee he winked, “Siddown. We’ll talk about the first thing that comes up.”
As I walked across the room to the door I thought I heard him say, “Nice ass.” I turned and whispered, “Goodbye Randy.”
We’d both changed. I felt hollow without my dream. The Randy I knew had died. I couldn’t be with the man he was now. It was best if he never knew what I’d gone through to try.
I’d accomplished one thing though. I was a woman. And there was time to dream another dream.