Hectic early days of transformation turned into routine. Life slowed down. My life became a blur of work and home, nothing really seemed important. I was in serious danger of going on autopilot, which is bad news. When you step into someone else's body and life, stagnancy is hard to stave off, because you just don't know what to do.
I had the monkey on my back of attraction to Melanie. I would catch myself glancing her way at dinner, trying to find moments when she wasn't looking to get a glimpse of her face, her body. Wondering, if I was feeling this way about her, what was to stop her from thinking about me? But I was loaded with doubt. It wasn't likely she was there yet, not to mention, her "sister" slash "girlfriend" or whatever you want to think about their relationship, in plain view of the both of us. I couldn't in flinch in Melanie's direction without Tanya being aware. For a few weeks I barely spoke to anyone.
I can see the dining area from my station at work. Every time a pretty woman walks in I look over at her and try to think of her the way I had thought of Melanie. Sometimes I could see it taking shape. the way the blonde in the black dress might flick her hair to the side, or how the hipster girl with the glasses might look naked... and I thought to myself, I have the desire and the opportunity to go talk to any woman out there, if I want to. So what was stopping me?
A hot woman would walk into the store, and I know she's hot... like, guys, I know you have trouble admitting it when one of your own is attractive (and even pretend like you don't know) but women know. One of the guys in the kitchen would give me a nudge, and I'd just shrug like "She's ok," because she wasn't giving me that feeling.
Then the guy eventually asked, "Come on, man. What are you, gay?" And that question bothered me, so I just said "I don't know, maybe," expecting him to keep making fun of me for it.
But he didn't, oddly enough, he just went back to his work and said "Okay, let me know if you figure it out." Canadians!
Then a few weeks later, Melanie must've noticed I was acting weird around her, because she cornered me and kinda called me on it. She came down to the basement while I was playing Mario on the Wii and sat down next to me. I had no choice but to sit and talk with her.
"I just notice you getting really shifty around me, looking in my direction. We never talk, you don't hang around much. What's going on?"
She's got this "girl" thing down. Maybe it was the spell of the Inn putting her in that light for me, but she seemed so sensitive and delicate in her mannerisms I nearly spilled my guts.
But instead, I just kind of stammered out a response along the lines of, "Oh, I've just been giving you guys space, you know. I worry about you guys. I know this wasn't your first choice for how to end up..." I struggled to complete the thought, "It must be taking a real toll on you and her, and I'm not her favourite person, so I thought it'd be safer to just... keep my distance."
"Don't say that," she said, "Tanya thinks very well of you. She just doesn't show it well. She had a lot of anger pointed at you at the beginning, but I told her over and over that you had no more control over this than we did. Now she just wishes she felt like she could talk to you."
It's sad -- I had thought Tanya and I had had a nice moment early on, but I guess she wasn't immediately convinced about me. In faking concern for the two of them (well, it was real but not the real answer to her question) I found out how hard we had to work to bridge the gap between us.
I turned the subject over to two of them. "How are you guys... doing"
"Us?" she smiled that pretty, innocent smile, "There isn't really an 'us' anymore. We're done. Just don't tell her. I don't think she's ready to hear it."
"Well, come on, Max. Let's be honest here. We're not only both girls, but we're sisters, living under their mother's roof. It's been very hard to feel like a couple."
"Do you feel like sisters?"
She laughed, "To be honest, I feel like we're strangers. She still wants to talk to me like I'm a man, but there's this very obvious fact that I'm not. And it's sick, but this whole change has shown me how weak our relationship was. I'm starting to feel like it was always about sex for us. Without that, without planning dates and talking about work, and... and fucking, we don't have a lot of common ground."
"Sounds like you've thought about it."
"Believe me, I'll miss it. I'll miss her, but she's gone. She's not the woman I loved-- thought I loved. And I'm not her man anymore."
"But you say she's not ready to hear it?"
"I don't think so."
"So what does this mean for you?"
"It means..." she sighed. I watched her breasts raise and lower softly. "It means I live my life. This life. And she lives hers. And whatever happens to us, happens."
"And how does it feel you'll be living, at least for a while, as a girl?"
She scrunched her face up with a smile, "I'd rather not talk about it. Is that weird? I mean, I feel really comfortable around you and everything, I just... I'm not ready to dig into it. It's very... one day at a time. I know you used to be a girl, and Tanya's been really good about stuff, but I'm not going to want to start talking about it for a while yet."
"Well, whenever you're ready to talk, I'll be here."
"Thanks," she said, then laughed slightly, "That almost sounded like a come-on!"
I bit my tongue. It almost was.