Thank you so much for the many well-wishes I got. I really do appreciate every last one of them. I tried to post this yesterday, but I'm afraid I gave out a little too soon. I'm doing much, much better today. I actually almost feel like some strength is returning to my body. I've lost more than a bit of weight in the last few weeks - I just wish I could keep it off. I know it will pile right back on now that I can eat again.
Thank you all again!!!
By Karen Singer
Chapter 31 Part 3 of 3
“So how long have you known Mr. Brinkley?” Janice asked as she rinsed some vegetables in the sink.
“Several years now,” Jennifer replied. “I guess I should tell you, Roger and I were… very close not that long ago.”
Janice turned a bit toward her. “Very close?”
Jennifer blushed. “Very!” she replied.
“I see,” Janice said as she turned back to her cooking. “What happened to end it? What did he do to you?”
“Roger? He didn’t do anything. In fact, I broke off our relationship because I was afraid he was about to do something!”
Janice turned back to look at her again momentarily, then turned back to her task.
“I had a pretty good idea that he was getting ready to ask me to marry him,” Jennifer explained.
Janice turned back to her again, and this time, kept looking at her. “And you didn’t want that? It seems to me that a man like Mr. Brinkley would be a very good catch for any woman.”
Jennifer nodded. “Yes, and you don’t know how much I hated doing it, but… I had to break it off… for personal reasons.”
“I see,” Janice replied as she turned back to her work. “So Mr. Brinkley didn’t do anything… wrong then.”
“No, he was great. And… I’m afraid… I still do love him. Somewhat anyway. I don’t know what’s gotten into him now though with those women’s boots and the bra he’s obviously wearing as well. That’s just downright weird! I never would have seen that coming!”
Janice wasn’t sure how to reply to that, so she picked up on something else instead. “You still love him, you said?”
“Well, I at least have some pretty strong feelings for him.”
“And yet, you dumped him,” as you said.
“Yeah, like I said though, it was for personal reasons.”
“Does Mr. Brinkley know those reasons?”
“No! And he doesn’t need to know.”
“I see,” Janice said again as she grabbed a dishtowel to wipe her hands dry. “And now you’re wondering why he’s behaving so… strangely lately.”
“Yeah. It’s not him! I know him! And it’s just… not… him!”
Janice nodded. “Maybe, just as you have personal reasons for not telling him your problems, he has personal reasons for what he does as well.”
“Do you know what’s going on?” Jennifer asked. “You’ve got to know something! You live here with him.”
“Miss White, what I may or may not know is of no consequence. I am merely Mr. Brinkley’s employee. It’s not my place to divulge any of his private concerns. You’ll have to ask him about that yourself.”
Jennifer just shook her head. “I keep asking, and all I get is the silent treatment.” A look of determination crossed her face. “But I’m not going to give up! Something major is going on with him. I don’t know what it is yet, but I’m going to find out what it is! What’s got him acting so… totally weird?”
Roger dreaded dinner. He wasn’t all dolled up as Candy today. Would Janice make him eat from his dog bowl like she always did… with Jennifer there? He prayed that wouldn’t be the case. He came back into the house through the front door and headed straight to his bedroom where he removed the jacket he had been wearing. His breasts were now fully on display. But because of Janice, he could do nothing at all about that. He was sure that Jennifer would bring the subject of them up again during dinner.
As he headed to the bathroom to wash his hands, he wondered for the millionth time what Janice and Jennifer had been discussing while he had been outside working. What had Janice told her about him… or about anything? He dried his hands on a towel and headed to the kitchen to find out. But every footstep was accompanied by dread.
As he entered the kitchen, he saw both Jennifer and Carol sitting at the table that had been fully set. His eyes automatically glanced to the corner where his dog bowl usually was. He saw no sign of it at all and breathed a silent sigh of relief. As was usually the case when Janice cooked, the kitchen smelled good. He did his best to smile and appear… happy. “It smells good in here,” he said, more as a greeting than anything else.
“Doesn’t it?” Jennifer agreed.
“What have you been talking about?” Roger chanced asking as he sat in his usual seat… when he was allowed to sit at the table.
“Oh… just this and that,” Jennifer replied. “I’ve just been telling Mrs. Stokley a bit about how Carol’s latest art project appears to be coming.”
Roger wasn’t buying any of it. It all sounded… too normal… too friendly. And he knew better! But he played the game anyway and opted for the small talk. It was certainly better than talking about the silly breasts sticking out from his chest.
It was the nicest that Roger had talked with her in a while now. Jennifer made particular note of that as they discussed school stuff. Once the food was all on the table, she was about to start eating when Janice herself stopped her.
“If you don’t mind, Miss White, we say grace in this house before we eat.”
“Oh!” Jennifer exclaimed. “Of course.” Grace? But she watched out of the corner of here eye, as Roger bowed his head as well, and listened as Janice thanked God for the food on the table, and the friends in their lives. But her thoughts were mostly on the fact that she doubted that Roger had ever said grace before a meal in his life!
Dinner was over, and Roger realized that it was as wonderful as ever. The one and only thing he liked about Janice Stokley was her cooking. He was quick to note that Jennifer had commented on it a number of times during the meal as well… for which Janice had looked pleased. But now the question was, how could he quickly get rid of Jennifer? And if he didn’t do it soon, he wouldn’t have much time to do anything at all toward becoming Candy – which would land him in the dog cage once again. And he didn’t want that at all!
Before he even got up from the table, he turned to Jennifer. “So… you need to go home and get ready for school tomorrow or something?”
“Nope!” Jennifer replied laughingly. “I’ve got nothing I’ve got to worry about tonight at all.”
Roger wished he could say that, and his worries were piling up the longer that Jennifer stayed. He tried another idea. “Well, I’m afraid I have to go out to the shop and sharpen that chain saw blade. It got more than enough use the last two days and it’s getting pretty dull.”
“Great!” Jennifer exclaimed. “I’ll come out and watch you.”
Once again, Roger wanted to scream.
Fifteen minutes later, Jennifer was perched on the old barstool that Roger kept by the bench in his workshop, watching as Roger took a file to each of the teeth on his saw. “Your Mrs. Stokley seems very nice,” she said. “She’s a great cook too.”
Roger really wished Jennifer would just leave. “Yeah, I’ll give her that, she can really cook!”
“Your house looked nice and clean too,” Jennifer noted.
“Yeah, she does a good job with that too,” Roger agreed without looking up from his work.
“So… what’s really going on Roger?” Jennifer finally asked. “Look, it’s just the two of us out here now. Nobody else from school is around. What the heck is really going on?”
“What do you mean?” Roger asked, somewhat horrified as he now looked up from his work.
Jennifer shook her head incredulously. “I mean… like with the boots, and your breasts. Face it Roger, you haven’t exactly been acting like yourself lately!”
“Don’t ask!” Roger said, purposely turning back to his work. “Please don’t ask.”
“Well I’m asking!” Jennifer demanded as she got up from the stool to get closer to him. “I’m asking right now. And I want an answer!”
“No!” Roger replied angrily. “Don’t ask!”
“I’m asking!” Jennifer stated again. “Now what’s really up with the boots and the breasts? Huh? There’s got to be a reason for it, damn it! What the hell is going on?”
Roger was angry. He didn’t know what to say. He looked over at her, and the words somehow tumbled out of his mouth. “I’m becoming a woman,” he said as he looked away from her again.
But Roger refused to answer.
Jennifer grabbed him, physically turning him around to look at her. “You’re what?” she demanded again.
“I’m… becoming a woman,” Roger said again, although much more sadly. He wasn’t able to look her in the face.
Jennifer shook him a bit to get him to look at her. Then she released him, but she couldn’t look away from his eyes. Sad eyes she realized. Very sad. “Why?” she asked.
“Because… I have to,” was all that Roger was capable of replying.
“What do you mean, you have to?”
“Just… because… I have to. That’s all there is to it,” Roger told her. “Now don’t ask anymore. Please! Just leave me alone!”
“I can’t Roger,” Jennifer replied much more calmly. “I still care about you.”
He looked over at her. “Then why did you leave me like you did?”
“I told you, I had my reasons. It was all me. Not you.”
“And yet you can climb into bed with Stan pretty easily.” Roger was almost as shocked that he had said it as he saw Jennifer was to hear it.
“That’s… not quite the way it is,” she replied. “We’re just… friends.”
“You’re not in bed together?”
“Well… I can’t say we haven’t been.”
Roger shook his head and turned away from her again. “He’s my friend too,” he said as he picked up his file and began scraping at the chain again. “Or at least… he was.”
“He still is, Roger! Damn you! Why can’t you see that? We both just want to help you!”
“Help me how? You can’t help me! Nobody can,” he added more quietly.
“Because… you just can’t. That’s all.”
“That’s not an answer!”
“It’s all I have,” Roger replied, still trying to direct his attention to his task.
Jennifer was silent for a while as she watched him closely. “So tell me about this woman thing,” she said. “What brought that on?”
Roger looked at her, but only briefly. “Don’t ask,” he said before going back to work with his file.
Jennifer was silent for a few minutes more before she asked. “So how far do you intend to go with it?”
“With the woman thing. How far do you intend to go?”
He looked at her again. “As much of a woman as modern science can make me!” he repeated Janice’s demand for him.
Jennifer was a little shocked at how quickly and seriously he had said it. “You mean you intend to go all the way? A complete sex change?”
“As much of a woman as modern science can make me,” Roger repeated again as he turned back to his work.
Jennifer shook her head. “I’m afraid I never saw that coming! I thought I knew you better than that.”
“Well…” But he didn’t bother to add any more.
“So… how far have you gone with this thing?” she asked.
“What do you mean?”
“I mean… is it just the boots and the breasts, or do you wear other things too? Have you been to see a shrink yet?”
Roger sighed inwardly as he purposely kept working in his task. “No doctors… yet. But probably soon.”
Jennifer still couldn’t believe it. She was still having trouble even grasping that he would want anything like this. No matter what he said, she just couldn’t see him wanting to do something like this at all! “So… I guess you wear a bunch of dresses and stuff around the house all the time now? I mean, you obviously aren’t all that concerned with everyone knowing about it… other than at school… since you wear the boots and even show some breasts when you work a job somewhere.”
Roger looked up from his work again. “No,” he said quietly. “Not yet at least.”
“So those boots and the bra are the only clothes you have?”
He shook his head. “I wore a dress to church last week… and the week before too.”
“You what? To church?” Jennifer couldn’t even begin to comprehend that!
Roger smiled as he looked over at her and nodded. “To church.”
“What did they say?”
“Actually, everyone there was very accepting. They’ve been nothing but supportive of me since I started going there.”
Jennifer just shook her head, trying to picture Roger Brinkley wearing a dress – to church. It just wasn’t coming into focus for her. She went back to her earlier question. “So you’ve got a lot of other clothes then?”
He shook his head as he went back to his work. “Just a few things. I was planning on going shopping for more sometime this week.” He looked up and smiled at her again… almost mischievously. “I need a new dress for church. I’ve worn the same one twice in a row now.”
Jennifer was absolutely speechless again for a moment. It almost sounded like he really did want to become a woman. Why hadn’t she ever seen it in him before? She gulped before she was able to say anything at all. “So… you’re going shopping for more clothes this week?”
“Uh- huh,” he replied, still at work.
Jennifer continued to watch him working. Her head was spinning. She didn’t know what in the world to think. And finally, she simply asked. “You want some company?”
Roger looked up quickly. “Company? What do you mean?”
“For shopping. Do you want to go shopping together?”
Roger’s stomach gave a major lurch. “Um…” He shook his head. “Maybe I better not.”
“Oh come on,” Jennifer pushed. “It will be fun. Besides, maybe I can help you with something.”
If Roger thought his stomach felt bad before, it just went from bad to worse. Much, much worse!