Holiday short stories, p.7
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       Holiday Short Stories, p.7

           Jayne Amanda Maynes
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say, look at the fool, just who do they think they are? Yes every year the same thing as the year before, nothing but worry that someone else might think badly of me for doing what was right for me.

  This year wasn't going to be about what others thought was right or wrong, it was going to be about what I knew was right or wrong. I couldn't live in the dark any longer I had to move into the light and whatever others thought, was their thought, not mine, and I didn't have to accept it anymore then they had to accept what I thought. I was living for me now there wasn't anyone else who mattered in this as they couldn't see the suffering I was doing each year this continued. Would they suffer from what I had to do? No, but they would say they were, to try stopping me. How could they suffer if I became a better person by being the me I felt I was? Yes it might be embarrassing for them at first, but it would be even more so for me as everyone I knew would likely turn away from me to keep the embarrassment from reaching them.

  December thirty-first right around the corner and I still hadn't done anything to prepare for the coming year. Was Halloween so far gone already? It seems as though it was just last night and now I need to get everything ready so Halloween can come again, but this time not in October, this time in January and lasting for the rest of my life (hopefully).

  I'm self employed so the job is not an issue unless my customers don't want to work with me because they think I'm too weird or something. I doubt that will be the case since I have done a better job for them then anyone they had previously, (or so they've said). Living arrangements aren't a problem, I own my home and the taxes and everything are paid for the next year. Finances should be okay, I've looked into what it costs, and set aside double that in preparation for what's to come just as a precaution so I wouldn't be caught with something I didn't expect coming up. Everything was ready except one small thing. I didn't have a clue how to go about getting the clothes I would need. Did I dare just go in and look though what the stores had on their racks, maybe try things on so I would get the size right? What would they think of me asking if this went with that, and did they have it in my size?

  Yes I had everything ready, everything that is except me, I was still worried what other might think, and that stopped me from keeping my resolution ever year before now, and it seemed this year was going to be no exception, I didn't want to look foolish trying on clothes that were for the gender opposite the one everyone supposed me to be. Then there was the matter of letting everyone know I didn't want to be referred to by the name they all knew, but by the name I had chosen, because it felt more comfortable to me to use that name now. This wasn't the internet where everyone tried to be someone they weren't hoping to make some kind of connection. This was real life I was scared, and hated that I had gone this far already, as I now knew I had so much farther to go in realizing the dream that plagued me for so many years. How was it such a seemingly small thing could terrorize me so badly? Weren't there others who had already set the standard, proving that we have the right to be who we see in the mirror?

  If only the dreams would stop, and things would go how they should be. I didn't ask to be the way I am, and I didn't ask to be perceived as something I'm not. Why is it now so hard for me to accept I can't carry on the illusion any longer. I couldn't fool myself into believing what I've presented to the world is nothing but a shell of a person who was so lost to self, it was a wonder they functioned in life at all. All I wanted now was to live the life I knew was right, to continue in the manner I have gone in the past would be to make a lie out of everything that was my life thus far. No, it wasn't a lie before it was survival and I did what I had to do to survive. I didn't know who I was then, but to carry on in that would necessitate lying to myself just to protect others from knowing the real me, the me I felt every time I looked in the mirror, every time I took a shower and got dressed.

  I sat there thinking of all the times I had gone to those stores with some woman, and helped them find just the right outfit. I knew how to shop I was just terrified to shop alone, and this time let it be known it was for me, not the me they would see standing there, but the me that would be there once the purchase was made and I wore the clothes more and more.

  I feared being found out to be something I wasn't, but hadn't stopped to think I would never be me if I didn't take the chance. I still had the clothes I had worn on Halloween, the clothes that won me first place in the church Halloween contest. Everyone said how much they liked it, and when I came in they weren't sure at first who I was. They said I really looked like a woman, and the way I acted they weren't sure until I was named best drag costume. Best drag costume? I hated that prize and the title that came with it. Couldn't they see it wasn't a costume it was me being who I really am? The thirty-first just around the corner and I had sworn I was going to be me starting on the first and nothing could stop me this time. Nothing because there was nothing left that mattered, but me being me.

  I got out the clothes and started getting ready to go shopping, so many things I needed if I was going to do this, and so little time before the deadline I set was here. Sure there were the after Christmas sales, along with all the people returning things and shopping trying to save a little more before the prices went back up. I slipped on the panties and bra looking in the mirror trying to hook the bra and found it was near impossible. I slipped on the dress I knew was too short along with the wig that wasn't the right color. As I slipped on the stockings, I relished the feel of silk sliding over my freshly shaved legs knowing it was a feeling I wanted to feel more and more. I waited to put on the shoes until after I had the make-up on, knowing I was going to be making some moves that could have proven deadly if I had the heels on at the time. I already transferred everything from my wallet to the one I bought telling the clerk it was for my sister, and she would just die to get it as she loved that brand, I didn't mean to lie, many times I pretended to be my sister when I had gone out looking for things that might fit. I told them that she was my twin and we were about the same size. The clerk would then suggest a size so I would get it thinking they knew better than I did. Yes they knew better, they knew my sister was about half my size so suggested things that really would fit her, not me.

  When I bought this outfit I did so telling the truth, that it was going to be a Halloween costume and they helped me get it so it really did fit me this time. They even helped me match things that would go with it in the way of purses, shoes, and jewelery. When I got home with the outfit I wanted to cry wishing it could have always been so easy. Why were they so accepting of a man dressing for Halloween, yet if they dressed that way any other time they were perverts and lost to sin? It didn't make any sense to me, I didn't remember judging anyone that way, so why was I afraid everyone would judge me that way. I slipped on my heels and was ready to leave and found I had forgotten to put my keys in my purse. Was I that scared I couldn't do this? Was I bound to forget such small things so easily? I wanted to be me, but the fear of others was so strong I wasn't sure I could do it.

  I again checked to be sure I had everything this time, and again headed out the door. I sat in the car with the key in the ignition staring out the windshield thinking maybe just maybe I could do this. I turned the key and listened for the engine to start hoping it wouldn't, but sure it would. As I backed out of the drive I realized I wasn't use to having hair as long as the wig I was wearing, and found I was constantly pulling it out of my face so I could see better. I thought about how many times I had seen my sister sitting in the car with her legs together, even as she drove, and struggled to do the same only to find a few minutes later I was having to close them again.

  Was it really so hard a thing making sure I sat with my legs together? Did I not learn that when I was practicing all those times I dressed up for Halloween? I pulled into the parking lot of the mall and sat there not really sure I wanted this after all. Everyone was sure to know I was a man wearing a dress, they would all likely stare and once I was past, point and make rude comments. Was it really wo
rth all the hassle, just to feel like me?

  I entered the mall and didn't hear anyone say anything, I even had some guy open the door and call me ma'am. Did I pass that well? Surely not, but I thanked him and went on my way to one of the stores I had seen some very nice looking dresses and several skirts. I started going through the racks and came across a dress I was sure was my size and would look great. The clerk asked if I wanted to try it on just to be sure of the size and look. She helped me pick out a couple other outfits, then showed me to the women dressing room saying if I needed help with anything to let her know. I thanked her and assured her I could handle things just fine. I tried on everything and found I had no idea if any of it looked decent so stepped out and the clerk whistled and said I looked hot.

  I looked hot! Was that a complement, or the fact I had sweat running down my cheeks. She came over and asked if I had a boyfriend, or if I was gay and had a girlfriend. I looked at her and said I didn't have either. She winked and said if I wanted she would be more then happy to take me out and show me
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