How did I revert all the way to teenage girl after three years of supposedly being more mature, better at knowing what I wanted, and even ready to commit to being married? It's like my brain looked at the experiences of my life as Ravi and Benjamin and said, "oh, that's got nothing to do with Annette!"
Maybe I should have just listened to my sorority sisters who were saying it wasn't cool to bail on a fraternity party for something that was "like, gonna be all Chinese guys anyway, and you know what they say about them" (they aren't all racist, but it just takes one to make you want to book the whole house for a couple weeks at the Inn to get them some perspective, especially if the racist one is also one of the ones looking to marry well, and you might want to land yourself a parachute student, chickie). But, no disrespect to them, I've been out paying with them three times in the last couple weeks, and while it was the same sort of baseline fun that comes with beer, dancing, and the guys finding as much reason to dress sexy as the girls, it was kind of a drag, because while some girls would be saying things like "they're just guys" when someone was being a creep, I kind of know better.
But, anyway, I squeeze myself into my Sexy Nurse costume, throw a peacoat on, and avoid the Red Line by taking the 47 to Missy's neighborhood. She's really done a pretty good job with the place for basically working by herself between a dozen other things, and she's bought way better beer than the fraternity probably did. I'm a little amused watching her and Ernesto together, because while I don't think that they'd end up together even if such a thought wouldn't cause Chen-ai to completely blow a gasket, but they give each other shit like people who are together. Minus Chen-ai, maybe we'd be joking about when they finally get together, or maybe not; maybe the one time they had sex was enough to let them figure out they're not really compatible that way.
Anyway, the apartment filed up quickly enough, and I kind of get pressed into helper duty with Ernesto. Still, I spotted Max as soon as he arrived, and ran up to say hi to him in his doctor costume, only to be stopped a little short to see that Bingbing was with him, also dressed in a nurse outfit, but opting for solid white stockings and flats rather than the fishnets and heels I'd gone for. No cleavage, either. Kind of to be expected, since we're all pretty sure she used to be a guy, but even though the were folks all around the apartment less covered than me, I sure felt kind of tacky in that moment. Then she does a "hi, Annette, right?" and it irritates me, because even though I know I technically haven't met this Bingbing, it feels a bit put-on. That's when Missy comes over, looks a little surprised at our matching costumes, but laughs, saying is not like we've got the Wonder Women outnumbered. I drop back toward a keg, get myself another cup of Sam Adams, and let a short theater major be really obvious about talking to my boobs for a bit.
Soon enough, Missy finds me, and comments on our costumes matching, saying that's a fun coincidence. I say it's no coincidence, that Max had told me he was going to come as a doctor, so I ran out and got this slutty thing, thinking that maybe I could tempt him into trying it out this way once, and if he liked it, then maybe we could go from there.
She got real quiet all of a sudden. "What do you mean 'this way'?" She knew, though, and started heading toward the corner where Max and Bingbing were standing, away from the rest of the guests. "You and Annette?" She had her fist up like she was going to do something stupid, so a grabbed her from behind.
Max looked at me. "You didn't tell hi--her?"
"You said you were going to, that you were her brother and she deserved to hear it from you, and if I'd been born a guy I'd understand."
"I... may have said that. Uh, sorry Jordo, I should have told you."
"That you fucked my best friend? I'm letting you stay at my place, trying to help you adjust, and you fuck my best friend behind my back?"
"It wasn't like that!"
"No? What was it like?"
"It was like I fucked him." I felt Missy go kind of limp in my arms as I hissed this into her ear, not really wanting to broadcast the next part. "Aside from how I was the guy at the time, not that that matters, there's no way sleeping with a dude was going to be his idea. I was the one that wanted one last hurrah, and convinced Max it wouldn't be as weird for him later if it was someone who had started out as a girl and would be one again by the time he got his dick back."
She got enough feeling back in her legs to turn around and step away from me. "And it just had to be him, huh? Well, sure, I guess that makes sense." She straightened her costume, suddenly noticed something needing a refill, and went to the other side of the room.
Me, I avoided looking at the guy I'd been planning to seduce, thinking that someone else who knew what the whole Inn thing did to your head, and instead started banging on my temple with a balled up fist. "Stupid, stupid, stupid!"
"No, it's on me. You don't sleep with the girl your brother's for a crush on, no matter how drink and curious you are, even if she's only gonna be a guy for a little while longer and he's committed to being a girl for the long haul. You just don't do it."
Wait, what? "You're being silly; Missy never had a crush on me!"
"Are you kidding? I've read all your entries on the blog, and I was there for some of 'em. She kissed you at that ballgame!"
"And you know how stubborn Jordan is. No way 'Deirdre' puts on her first bra or dress if he's not trying to impress you."
"I was, like, gay!"
"Like that matters for a crush! And then - oh, wow, you know what? I bet he was okay with giving up his life and potentially becoming Benny because he knew you were attracted to the original as yourself! That makes so much more sense than Jordan just giving his life up because of Benny and Kareena!"
"Dude, that's your brother you're talking shit about! Be nice! Besides, our bodies and orientations were in line after that, and one kiss she immediately walked back aside, she never made a move!"
He started counting things off on his fingers. "Maybe she wasn't really confident enough as a girl yet, maybe she figured you wouldn't want to jump into something so fast after having your life stolen, maybe she figured it was up to you to make the first move. Then, when all that's out of the way, you're dating Marybeth and she's seeing Jacky."
"There. She was going out with Jacky. No crush."
"C'mon, Annette, she totally would have left Jacky for Benjamin."
"Bullshit." I down my nearly-full Solo cup, turn around, and clack away on my fuck-me heels. I think I'm going into the bathroom, but wind up in Missy's bedroom instead, and flop down on her bed. I can just reach the door with my toes and kick it closed.
Pretty soon, Missy's in there. "Hey, can I apologize?"
"For what? Acting like you've got any right to tell me and Max who to sleep with or not asking me out when we were single and not both women?"
"Someone's got a high opinion of herself."
"Hey, that would be having a high opinion of who I used to be. But Max makes sense. Why didn't you ever, you know...?"
"I dunno. Probably afraid of fucking it up. I mean, badass bitch I may be, but how do I get through life as a chick without you? It doesn't happen." She turned around and flopped down on her back next to me. "Besides, I liked Marybeth, you seemed happy, and if it's anyone else but Max and you..."
I was about to say something but someone opened the door and was about to say they were low on vodka, only to pull back and try to look up our skirts, leading us to both plant a hand between our legs and yell "in a minute, asshole!" in unison. He quickly backed away and shit the door, and we looked at each other and laughed.
I sat up, a little dizzy - I hadn't really drank like that since being a girl and half Benny's weight, and it always hits me worse when I move after sitting still, no matter what I look like. "Whoa. Well, that's that. No Chang boys for me."
"Hey, if you want to go after Max, don't let me stand in your way. You're seeing your sights low, but it's not like he can do better. Just be aware, he probably fed you all that because he knows he's not half the man you were." She reached a hand out and I pulled her up. "Whoa, I think all that missing vodka is in my brain. Okay if I give you some cash and you make the liquor run?"
"No problem." We went back into the kitchen, did a quick inventory, and then she gave me a couple hundred from her purse. Ernesto came along to help me carry it, and the night air cleared my head a bit. Ernesto and I talked about his and Missy's projects, and he had a lot of nice things to say about my contributions. He's really a sweet guy, but I think I'm going to need a bit time before I can really consider guys where I'd have to hide the whole Inn thing. Maybe when I've been just Annette long enough for my time Ravi and Benjamin to be a weird thing I did when I was younger than such a big part of who I am.
I didn't immediately see Missy when I got in, so I started to go into her bedroom to return the change, but only had the door open a crack when I saw it wasn't Missy in there, but Max, with Bingbing on top of him, sucking out his tonsils while his hands caressed her butt under her dress.
I closed the door and bumped into Missy coming out of the bathroom. "Hey, here's your money, and I'm just going to go home before the T stops running, okay?"
"Uh, sure. We still on for the spooky scavenger hunt?" Some guy Missy knew from some Asian students thing had roped her into some MIT thing for Halloween night, and then me so there'd be two guys and two girls.
"Wouldn't miss it. Beats the heck out of whatever sorority stuff I'd be doing otherwise."
And with that, I left, taking a huge breath or five outside the door. We're gonna have some stuff to tali about tomorrow!