I stirred at the gentle prodding of my breast, creaking an eye open to the sunlight as the room blurred into view. The other eye followed, both blinking in the light before focusing on the source of the continuous prods.
"What do you want?" I croaked, recognizing my annoying little sister. The girl scrunched her face up, in response, her blonde hair bouncing as she poked my breast again.
"Why do you have breasts?" demanded Alice, her blue glittering as she looked into the light.
"'Cause I'm a girl, dimwad," I muttered, wishing the light would stop digging paths to my brain as I blearily crushed my fists into them. My own blonde hair swung uselessly, refusing to offer any cover from the glare as the strands smacked against my chest.
I noticed Alice still staring at me, tears coming to her eyes; probably from staring at the sunlight too long. I refused to pay attention to her, shivering a little as my foot touched the cold wooden boards beneath my bed, and happily stepping onto the papers that covered most of the room. I wondered how they'd gotten there, for a moment, before the distant memory pressed in of dumping my homework the night before. It felt off, somehow, jagged at the edges like it didn't belong in my brain. There wasn't any time to worry about it before Alice darted off, her cute little eyes shedding tears as she ran into the hall.
"Mooooooooooooooooooooooooooooom!" she called, making me wonder for the upteenth time what her lung capacity was. "Lindsey's a girl!"
I sighed, shaking my head at the little demoness and blinking as her image seemed to blur before turning the corner. I shrugged, the feel of my cascading hair somehow odd as it rippled down my shoulders. I bent down, scooping up a paper and noticing the scribbled words, reading them slowly. "I won't do it, I will do it, I won't do it, I will do it, I won't do it
I'm gonna do it
." I broke off, letting the paper slip through my fingers as I absentmindedly began to twirl a strand of hair between my fingers.
I wondered how long I'd been up last night, that I couldn't even remember writing that - all over my still unfinished homework, no less. I wondered a little if I'd gotten drunk, before dismissing the thought with a wave that tugged my strand of hair tight. I yelped in pained surprise, gaping a little as the strand came loose. The blonde hair reached down to my feet.
"Mom!" I called, following Alice's footsteps as the locks swirled around me. "I think something's wrong with me! I've got-"
"Tits?" came a voice, a flash of irritation flooding through me as I recognized my little brother's voice. "A pussy?" asked Jackson. "Big bad bags of fun and a hole to stick them in?"
"Jackson," came my mom's voice, followed by a light thwack that had to be dad's newspaper; she was always stealing it from him. "Don't you talk about your
your brother, like that!"
"Mom?" I asked, confusion stirring in me as I hit the carpet of the living room. I blushed when I felt their eyes on me, the sight of myself in the hall mirror suddenly reminding me that I was dressed only in a thin pink nightgown .
didn't realize that was part of your wardrobe, honey," smiled my mom. Her smile seemed a bit wider than normal, a little bit forced. The worry was reinforced as she wiped a tear from her eye, her shoulder length ginger brown hair swinging.
"What are you talking about, mom?" I asked, cautiously. My blush deepened when I realized I wasn't wearing a bra, the thin fabric sliding against my breasts as I took a step towards her. "You're the one who bought it for me
for my birthday."
She shook her head, wiping another tear from her face. The smile was still there, though, soft and large as she blinked her long eyelashes at me. "No, dear, you bought it for me, remember? You
you said you were going to throw it out for me, when we found out it was too small. I
I always suspected you hadn't really gotten rid of it, but
I know how you didn't like us prying about your clothes
"What are you talking about, mom?" I asked, looking around the room. No one was looking at me, just peering over my shoulder or right to the side. Not even Jackson was making any dirty comments, though he had that same too wide grin as the rest of them. "Guys?" I asked, my gaze skittering to dad. His smile widened a bit more, when I looked to him, but his eyes were shining like Alice's, unshed tears threatening to burst.
A grey blur where my mom had been made me wrench my eyes back, blinking in surprise when I saw her normal pale complexion. I shook my head to clear it, gaze focusing past them and on the mantel as I tried to figure things out. I paused, eyes resting on a picture I didn't remember as I strode forward.
Mom got out of the way, her smile faltering a little bit as I strode past her to pick up the picture. I recognized the frame, oak with inlaid silver mom always used to host her current most precious picture. The drawers were littered with photo albums, all stuffed with past prize winners that hosted pictures I could scarcely recall. This one felt different, though, as I traced my fingers across the glass. The setting was familiar, the local park. I recognized the tree in the background, the branch scraped and broken from when I'd climbed it as a little girl. I almost smiled when I remembered mom's terrified expression, her eyes wide and scared, but my face froze when I skittered over the five of us in the picture. Standing in the middle, where I should have been, was a boy, Alice on his shoulders. Wide shoulders, I noticed, rippling with the muscles I loved, and barely touched by long brown hair. His face had a feminine quality to it; nothing I could mention explicitly, but simply a gleam that said girl to me. Or maybe it's just that it was an almost exact duplicate of mine. "Mom?" I whispered, the frame shaking a little in my hands as I lifted it. "Who's this?"
I watched her reflection coming forward in the glass, but couldn't bring myself to look up. Her smile looked more sad than forced, now, I noticed, but still somehow too big. Like she was trying to hard to make a smile.
"That's you, honey," she whispered, her own hand sliding underneath my arm. I barely noticed as it brushed against my breast, simply watching as her finger tapped the glass, stroking a little. "It was when you first told me that you wanted to be a girl."
The frame fell from my hand, my mother gasping behind me as it bounced against the carpet before resting face down. I shook my head, my hair flying back and forth. "I am a girl, mom," I whispered, staring up at her. A worry gnawed in my stomach as I looked up at them, finally looking at me. Noticing their tear streaked faces, I sorta wished they weren't.
"Of course you're a girl, honey," whispered my mom, dragging my focus to her again. I ignored the blur that came with my sudden head motion, knowing everything would be the same if I looked. "That's
that's what the pill you took did
"Pill?" I asked, confusion breaking into my voice as I looked at their sadly smiling faces.
"The one you had me pick up for you," whispered Jackson. The lack of vulgar words startled me, shaking me almost as much as the vulnerable whimper he made following his statement. "You didn't tell me what it did
I stared at him for a moment, my mouth opening and closing without words. I felt lost, hurt as I stared at all these people telling me I wasn't supposed to be a girl. A squeak came from my throat, the only thing I could manage as I blinked at them all.
"We just wish you'd included us on your decision," came my father's voice, his face framed by soft blond hair as he gave me a tremulous little smile. His deep voice made me want to melt, the strength I'd always relied on cracking as he looked at me. "Maybe if you'd told us what you were going to do, we could have talked it over
figured out another way." He was disappointed, I realized, my knees weakening at the thought of my family looking at me like this. Disappointed by something I'd done. "Maybe we could have kept you awake, limited the memory loss so you wouldn't be so confused by all the changes the pill made to you
"C-changes?" I managed, staring down at my breasts. They felt natural, even after everything that had been said. I tried focusing on rippling muscles instead, breaking out in a blush instead when I realized it turned me on.
"Maybe he didn't mean to do it," came mom's voice. "I found some beer bottles beside him, when I put
when I put her to bed
" Her voice was breaking now, tears gushing down her pale face as she gave me that look of disappointment again. "Maybe he was trying to find the courage to talk to us, and took the pill instead
"Mom," I whispered, the word practically catching in my throat. I stretched my hand out to her, but she looked away without taking it. My fingernails were unpainted, despite the red I'd expected, driving another spike of fear through me as my mother continued. I was supposed to be a girl; I was sure of it.
"Maybe he just forgot that she could tell us about anything," my mom whispered. My resolve broke a little as I stared at her, the tears gushing freely down her face as her smile dissolved into sobs. They seemed to loud, somehow, the features exaggerated as she cried into her hands rather than look at me. She pulled away when I tried to hug her, shuddering as my breast touched her hand and crying even louder.
"It's not too late, though," came dad's voice, heavy with emotion. I wiped a tear away as I looked at him, wondering if my fingers had really always been so delicate. "You can turn back," he continued. "Talk with us about it. Let us help you figure out what you're feeling. Figure things out with us, this time, rather than just driving it away with beer and a pill."
into a boy?" I asked, shivering a little as I stared at the picture frame's back. The world blurred again as I stared at the black back, my eyes drilling into it to the exclusion of all else as if I could see the male form and imagine myself in it.
The feel of another hand on mine broke me out of my reverie, and I looked up, blinking to see Alice prying my fingers open. She shoved something in, closing my hand back up as she looked at me with eyes that trembled. "Please be my brother, again?" she asked, sniffling a little as she let me go.
I looked down at my hand, my fingers uncurling around the shiny blue pill that laid inside before lifting up to the hopeful faces all around me. And then I made my decision.