By Karen Singer
Chapter 30 Part 1 of 2
The long hair falling down all around his head felt strange against his face and neck. It wasn’t real hair of course, but the stupid wig looked real enough… at least to him. He shook his head as the all too strange and irritating feeling of the hair bothered him. The realization of the movement he had just made, that he had seen real women doing all too often, bothered him almost as much as the strange feeling of the wig. He was sitting in the back seat of Janice’s car again on the way to church, wearing his dress, his face made up fully, and this time he was wearing a wig on his head. Whenever he looked at the wig, he couldn’t decide if it needed brushing or styling… or if it simply looked the way it was supposed to – with soft curls that seemed to give the hair volume and shape… and make it look all too haphazard – as he had seen on thousands of women in the past. But he wouldn’t know how to style the thing even if he had a brush… which he didn’t!
Up ahead of them… not far off now… was people. All too many people. He was out in public again – as Candy. The only saving grace to the whole thing was the attitude of everyone he had met in the church so far. Understanding and supportive – completely. Understanding, yet none of them understood his real motive for dressing the way he did. None of them knew how he had absolutely no choice in the matter at all. And none of them would ever know. A very defeating thought in itself.
He thought about his makeup this morning… far better than last week. Far better than the crude attempts he had made working on it earlier in the week. Yet far short of the goal he had set for himself… the picture of what he had looked like after the professional makeover he had gotten. Far short! Yet… he did look better. At least Janice had seemed pleased.
And what would his newfound friends think of how he looked today? He had no doubt they would all be excited and pleased for him. As his mind pictured his new friends: Bethany, Cassandra, and Tracy, he thought about not only the way they looked, but the way they behaved… not really overly outrageously drag queens, but certainly not like real women. And how should he behave now when he got there and got out of the car? He just didn’t see himself parading around even remotely as overtly feminine as they acted. And yet, he was supposed to be turning himself into a real woman… or as much as possible – according to Janice. So should he take a cue from them and behave a bit more like them? He wasn’t totally sure if that was a good idea or not. He decided that maybe it would be better to just take things as they came. Besides, he didn’t know where to even begin to act like they did. Especially Bethany!
He stopped thinking as the car pulled into the parking lot of the strip mall where the church was located, but there was still a big feeling of nervousness in the pit of his stomach. And oddly, it quickly passed through his slightly panicked brain that he was wondering what his new friends would think about his “new and improved” look. Did he want their approval? Incredibly, he realized that he did. He guessed it was because he had worked so hard on it all week. He wanted someone other than Janice to notice the effort.
“Candy,” Janice said as she parked the car, “are you planning on finding your friends again?”
Roger’s reply was almost sheepish as he admitted, “I was thinking about it. If you don’t mind that is.”
“I think its wonderful idea!” Janice exclaimed. “Church should be all about finding and making new friends.”
That wasn’t exactly how Roger had always thought about church, but he supposed that it could be a big part of it. A minute later, his purse slung over his shoulder, he was walking far more boldly toward the door of the church than he ever had before, straight toward the usual crowd of people outside. Would they laugh at him? They hadn’t before, but he looked much different today… at least his face did. He searched the crowd, but he didn’t see any of his new friends, so when Janice stopped to talk with someone she knew, he kept going and went directly inside.
He found Tracy and Cassandra in that same back corner where they had talked last week. He saw Cass glance quickly in his direction as “she” was talking with Tracy, but it was only a quick glance. His footsteps stopped right next to the two transvestites who both stopped talking and looked in his direction to see who had walked up.
It was a moment before Tracy muttered. “Oh my God!” Cass said nothing, her jaw was wide open in shock. “Candy!” Tracy exclaimed. “I didn’t even recognize you!”
Roger felt his face turning red. “Do I look okay?” he asked.
“Honey, you look fantastic!” Cass replied. “Love the wig, but your makeup! Who did it for you?”
“I did,” Roger replied embarrassedly. “I’ve been kind of… working on it all week.”
“Fantastic!” Tracy added.
“You look like an entirely different person!” Cass stated.
“Yoo-hoo!” an oddball voice called from the distance.
All three of them turned at the voice, all three of them immediately knowing it was Bethany who had just arrived. And all three of them watched as she hurried over.
“Who’s the newcomer?” Bethany called before she had even gotten to them. And then she suddenly stopped and stared, still a good six feet away. “Candy?”
Roger nodded. “What do you think? Any better?”
Instead of replying, Bethany hurried over and gave Roger a really odd hug… that felt all too weird… yet at the same time, he appreciated. “You look fabulous!” Bethany exclaimed.
“Thanks,” Roger replied.
“Honey, you have made vast improvements over last week! Vast!” Bethany stated as she kept her hands holding Roger, but took half a step back to study the way Roger looked… especially at his face.
Roger didn’t know why he said it, maybe it was just for something to say to the complement. “Um… I’m kind of trying to keep improving the way I look.”
“Well, you’re definitely going in the right direction!” Tracy replied.
Roger swallowed before asking his question. “I’m not sure what I need to do next though. I kind of would like to look a little more… real, if you know what I mean.”
“We’d all like that!” Cassandra said. “I guess the question for you though, is just how real do you want to get?”
“Um… completely!” Roger replied. “I need to change completely to look as much like a woman as possible.”
He wasn’t prepared for the look of seriousness that seemed to descend on all his friends. “Well honey,” Cassandra replied, “There’s wanting to… and then there’s determined… and then there’s absolutely needing it. Which one are you?”
That wasn’t the kind of remark that Roger had ever imagined being asked. And it was a hard question for him to answer. But all his brain could conjure up was that he had absolutely no choice but to turn himself as completely into a woman as he could. Absolutely no choice! As Janice had said, as much of a woman as modern science could make him. “Um… I guess, the answer is probably somewhere between determined… and needing to,” he replied. He just couldn’t tell them that none of that need came from his own wants at all. The looks he got from all three of his friends were even more serious.
Just as the others did, Tracy stared at Roger for a few moments. “You may think you’re that determined,” he said, “but that could all change quickly. I advise you to just try to enjoy it as much as you can instead.”
“Why?” Roger asked.
“Because what you just said, almost sounds more like you’re thinking about a total sex change.”
Roger looked down toward the floor, before bringing his head back up… somewhat. “That’s most likely where I’m heading.” He saw thoughtful nods from both Cass and Tracy.
Tracy craned her neck to look around the room. Finally she spotted who she was looking for. With one finger, extended by a very long fingernail, she pointed to someone in the distance. “See her?”
“Who?” Roger asked.
“The woman just sitting down. The one wearing the orange and white dress. Gorgeous long black hair.”
Roger spotted who he thought Tracy was talking about.
“That’s Carlita. You need to talk to her. And I mean seriously talk to her. She’s transitioning. She hasn’t had the big operation yet… only because I don’t think she can afford it yet. After the service, find her and talk to her!”
“It wouldn’t hurt to do it today if you can,” Cass added.
“Oh hell!” Bethany exclaimed. “As soon as the service is over, I’ll introduce you! You need to meet some of the others here anyway!”
Roger looked again at the woman they had all claimed was in the process of transitioning from a man into a real woman… well, somewhat real. He could only see the back of her head now, but from what little he had seen already, she did look like a woman. But as they all took their seats for the church service to begin, he couldn’t help but wonder why everyone had seemed so insistent on him talking with that… person. Carlita. He supposed though that Carlita would be able to give him far more advice on how to go about things than any of his other friends… who were more obviously just men wearing dresses… just like he was.