You know what's kind of fucking disturbing? I know that Jacky's recent trip back to the Inn (I guess at the same time Jenn became Paola) is the first in a series of events that is probably going to play havoc with my life as Yuan-wei, but my biggest question is when I became such a goddamn feminist?
I don't think it was in just the past week or so, although I kind of shrugged off the naked text Jacky sent after the change. He was naked and erect, but whatever; I imagine if I'd gotten my dick back after a year as Deirdre, I'd have been pretty excited. Hell, I'd probably be pretty excited if it happened tomorrow. Especially since whoever the last Jacky was, they kept him in good shape, maybe not quite like Benny did as me, but that a high bar. It wasn't like a picture with just a dick, and good on him for still feeling good about his body after the other perspectives he's been getting. I sent him a thumbs-up, meaning congratulations. He asked what I was up to that weekend, I sent a shrug emoji ("I don't know"), and went back to whatever I was doing.
Fast-forward to the weekend, where I'm trying to clean my house and there's a knock on my door. The camera shows its him, so I decide too be mature and talk to him, because all this shit can do a number on you and make you make bad decisions. I buzz him in, not really thinking about what I'm wearing (crop-top, shorts, flip-flops) until he's looking me up and down. I look back a bit - I haven't had many boyfriend's, but I've learned from real girls that there's no shame in trying to see how they've done without you, and also trying to see what some time thinking he'd be stuck as Bingbing has done to his taste in clothes, grooming, etc. Tough to tell.
"So," I say after offering him a beer, "got any secret intel on why Chen-ai decided to pull up stakes and run now, besides the protests?"
"No, fake-me quit the job and deleted everything. Hell, I'm going to have to buy a new laptop when I get home and already got a new phone because he went at them with a hammer. Maybe there's some hardcopy back in Hong Kong, but he seems pretty thorough."
"Fuck. Chen-ai is going to screw me over somehow, I just know it."
"Yeah, but look at the bright side - your new mother probably won't care if we're together or not!"
I stopped, right in the middle of reaching for a bottle in the back of the bottom shelf, then straightened up. "Wait, what? Are you serious?"
"Hey, I get that you broke up with me because of all this weird stuff, and Chen-ai being in the middle is scary. I was mad for a while, but now that I see how it can mess with a person I won't hold it against you."
"You won't hold anything against me? I'm sorry, when all of this went down, which of us told the other person what was going on, and which of us kept quiet about who they really were and fucked their ex's brother for a year?"
You'd think he would have anything to say, but he did. "I was just thrown into all of this and he seemed--"
"Dude, you know what? I don't care why you did it. I'm just not gonna be with someone who did, especially when they're gonna be on the other side of the fucking planet getting into who knows what. I'm sorry, maybe it was just an extreme situation, but we're not going to be like that again."
I put the bottle in my hand on the bar counter between us, not sure what else to do with it. It gave him a reason to step forward. "Well, how about one for the road, just to make sure it's all in working order?"
What. The. Fuck. "Holy shit, are you serious? No! It wasn't my job to make sure you feel like a man when we were together, and it's definitely not now!"
"C'mon, you owe me that much!"
"You want it - look at you, you're totally DTF."
"Are you serious? I didn't really think you were coming - it's just a hot day and I had some sweaty work planned! Plus, how did you spend two years as a girl and not figure out they don't ever owe someone pussy access? Was Max just such an incredible, always-around boyfriend that things never got uncomfortable with anyone?"
His hand tightened on the bottle a little, and I worried that maybe I had pushed it too far, counted too much on him being able to see a woman's point of view and not enough on his brain not having been flooded with this much testosterone for two years, but he relaxed a bit and pulled it toward himself. He took a drink and seemed to calm down a bit.
I exhaled. "I think you should go."
"Yeah. I, uh, just thought maybe things could go back to normal."
I spook my head. "Sorry."
He nodded and went out the door. There wasn't any calling me a bitch or some colorful Cantonese equivalent under his breath, but I still paid attention until he was in his Uber and driving away, and let out a breath I hadn't realized I was holding.
I brought Annette's contacts up on my phone and was starting a text, but decided I wanted to hear her voice, so I hit the call button. She answered, probably figuring this was some sort of emergency, and I told her about Jacky's visit.
"Wow. Are you okay? I haven't had many scary boyfriends, but there's always a guy or two."
"Yeah, it's just... I was l kind of attracted to him because he seemed like me, you know? Same hobbies, told some of the same jokes without prompting, doing the same sort of work, and--"
"Jordo, I love you, but you do realize you were the same sort of asshole, right? Like, I heard you yelling at people while gaming as Deirdre, and who was that girl at the beach you said you were going to hate-fuck if you became yourself or Benny instead of Yuan-wei?"
"Tina Chen. Fuck, I haven't thought about that in years. Shit, was Jacky always like that without me seeing it?"
"I dunno. It's tough to guess how a guy's going to handle being told no. He didn't seem the type."
"Okay, now tell me when I started being the chick that lectures guys on that consent and agency shit? I thought I was the fun bitch!"
She laughed. "Oh, you are, but I've been a good influence!"
"Thanks a lot!"
"You're welcome, and congratulations on reaching the point in the story where, having learned how women want to be treated, you wake up from this weird dream a better man, confusing everyone around you!"
"You're a weirdo, you know that?"
She said she did, and then we started talking about her new job, apartment, boyfriend, and all that.
It got me spending a little more time looking in the mirror after slowing and changing to go out, though. I always say that's still me, just in a sexier package, and even when I'm putting on lipstick or a push-up bra or whatever because I want guys to look at me, I figure that's kind of just biology too, but, shit, how much of the guy inside has changed over the past few years, and what would I be if I was suddenly myself again?