My apologies for the long absence! I was gone for a while with no internet. It was glorious to be away from everything for a few days. But now I’m back. Cheryl Meyer’s story Without Jane will be included with the next 3 stories. Thanks for being patient with me!
Today’s story idea comes from Julie Weber. In the last contest, Julie came up with the idea for the VERY popular story Starting Over. Here’s her idea (and this one is making me sweat a little)…
Character: Luke and handsome 16 year old
Setting: North Dakota, November, 2011
Conflict: Although he’s been raised a boy, he identifies himself as transgender. He plans on announcing his true struggle and identity to his family on Christmas
Luke’s Journal–November 30, 2011
Nobody knows what it’s like being me. Well, at least nobody I ever met. Not out here in the boonies. Maybe if I could get myself to California or New York I’d find somebody who thinks like I do. Somebody who sees the world like I do.
I was born a boy. And my parents made sure I knew it. Blue walls in my bedroom. Always getting trucks and baseball mitts for presents. My dad taking me out hunting all the time.
“Man Time” he calls it. “Time for boys to be boys.”
He’s always taking me to the barber shop. Getting my hair buzzed down to nothing. Talking sports with the other men in our small town, drinking beer while I have a soda.
“Luke’s a shy kid,” he tells his friends. “He likes sports fine. He just don’t talk much.”
The men all laugh and smack me hard on my back.
“I bet he ain’t too shy with the girls,” they say. “Good lookin’ boy like that must have the girls fallin’ all over themselves.”
When they say those things, when they joke about the girls, all I want to do is scream. Because something’s wrong with me. I should like the girls. I should want to touch them, smell them, be near them, look at them. But all I want is to be one of them. And it confuses me. It scares me. Because there’s nobody that I can tell.
I wish I was born a girl. I said it. It’s true. And I can’t undo the thought. No matter how hard I pray or how many football games I watch I can’t seem to get that thought out of my head.
When my parents are gone I peek into my mom’s closet. I don’t put any of her dresses on. I don’t even try on the shoes. I seen some guy doing that on T.V. and it was weird. I just look at the colors and touch the silky material. And I wish so bad that I could have been born to wear those clothes.
At school I act tough and get in fights. I check out the girls just so my friends don’t ask questions. Sometimes I tell dirty jokes so I’ll fit in. But, really, I’m not like those guys. Not even a little.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I don’t like any of the guys at school. Not like that. I don’t even know who I like. Sometimes it feels like that part of me’s turned down. Like the volume is off. I’m just all confused. So I don’t have time to think about who’s cute or hot or anything.
So, sometimes, I just wish I’d be done living. Not that I’d hurt myself. But that I’d just disappear, I guess. It’s a weird thing to think. And I’m sure if my parents knew I thought that they’d put me in the crazy house or something.
Sometimes I think I need to tell my mom. Christmas is coming. It isn’t the right time. I know that. But I have to tell her soon.
What’ll I tell her? That I wish I was a girl? That I want to go shopping with her? That I don’t want to be called Luke? That I feel like God messed up big time on me?
She’s gonna cry. My dad’s gonna get mad. And then what? Are they going to let me get the surgery? Right.
Luke’s Journal–December 4, 2011
I hate my life. No really. I do.
Sometimes I’m so stupid and just not careful. I made a huge mistake. I looked up some stuff on my computer. Well, not my computer. The family computer. My dad saw it.
“What the hell’s this?” he yelled from the dining room. “Luke!”
I walked in and there he was, staring at a blog about transgender stuff.
“It wasn’t me,” I said. I couldn’t help it. I lied.
“The hell it wasn’t,” he said. “Who could it have been? Your mother? Me? The only other person living in this house is you.”
“I was just curious.”
“You know where fags go, right? They don’t make it into heaven, that’s for damn sure.”
He stood up and looked at me. A year ago he would have been looking down at me. Now he had to look up.
“I hate who I am,” I said. “I don’t want to be a man.”
“Then what?” He looked so confused. “You want to be a girl?”
I couldn’t say anything. I couldn’t even think.
“This doesn’t happen in our family,” he said. “Didn’t I do enough for you?”
“It’s not about you.”
“Then what is this about?”
“I don’t know.”
And then I walked out of the room. He didn’t follow me. I guess he knew I needed to be alone.
Lord. He knows my secret. I don’t want him to know. I never wanted that.
All I can think of to do is make myself disappear. My hunting rifle’s in my closet. There’s a box of ammo in my top drawer. It would be so easy.
Luke’s Journal–December 20, 2011
My parents have me put up in this place. It’s kind of like rehab, kind of like boarding school. I don’t know what you’d call it.
I have to talk to a counselor a couple times a day. It’s okay. We just talk about the identity thing. Like what I could do when I feel confused. How I can relieve my stress without putting a rifle in my mouth.
It’s a good thing my dad broke my door down that day.
I was ready to be done. The gun was loaded and cocked and ready to fire. The only problem was I couldn’t figure out how to pull the trigger. My arms weren’t long enough.
But he shoved the door in with his shoulder. Who would have known he was so strong? It surprised me so much that I let the rifle fall on the floor.
“What? Luke? No. What were you…” he said.
He took two steps toward me.
“I’m sorry, Dad.” It was all I could think of. “You must hate me so bad.”
“Never, son. No. Never.”
He grabbed me and held me. I never saw him cry before. It really surprised me. I didn’t think men could cry. But he did.
“Son, I love you,” he said over and over. “Everything’s gonna be okay. We’ll work this out.”
Part of working “it” out was this place. It isn’t all that bad.
I still don’t understand who I am. I don’t know if I ever will. But I do know one thing. And this is the thing that matters most.
My dad loves me.
And he will fight for me.
Even if I don’t end up being the son he planned on.