By Karen Singer
Chapter 39 Part 2 of 3
It was the middle of the week before Janice heard from Susan Wu again. She was actually becoming somewhat bothered over the issue since she had already delivered exactly what Susan had wanted. Now it was time for Susan to start fulfilling her end of the deal. She picked up one of her burner phones and made the initial call. And that was another thing, she was getting tired of buying burner phones all the time. She appreciated the level of security that the Wu’s insisted on, but this was becoming irksome! Two minutes later, her burner phone rang back. “Hello?”
“Hi Janice. Susan.”
Who else? “Hi Susan,” Janice replied, trying to force herself to sound as nice as possible. “Do you have any information for me?” she asked hopefully. She was surprised by the pause before Susan finally replied.
“Yes!” Susan replied with certainty. “But I’d rather give it to you in person. Are you available sometime this week?”
Janice wasn’t sure if she should be surprised by the request to meet again or not. “I suppose I’m available most anytime you need,” she replied. “I’d like to get what I asked for so I can move forward with things.”
“I understand,” Susan replied.
“The Choo-choo restaurant again?” Janice asked.
“Um… we can if you like. But I was wondering if you were up for a little company at your house instead?”
“You want to come here?”
“Why not? From what I’m told, your home is remote… if a bit small. My security can easily manage the arrangements, and neither of us would be seen anywhere near each other.”
Janice realized that her house did provide the perfect meeting spot for something so clandestine. “Just let me know when you’re coming so I can have some coffee made.”
“I’m guessing your daughter will be in school every afternoon?” Susan asked.
“Of course,” Janice replied. “I’m here by myself every afternoon… up until about four, anyway. After that, we’d be chancing someone coming back.”
“Shall we say… Thursday afternoon at two o’clock then?”
“Sounds just fine,” Janice replied.
“Excellent! I look forward to seeing you then.”
Janice ended the call and started stripping down the burner phone… barely even thinking about what she was doing. Her mind was more focused on the fact that Susan Wu wanted to meet with her again – Thursday afternoon… right here! There was something about that that worried her. But at least Susan had said she had information for her now. Janice was hoping she would have nearly everything… if not everything! Her big worry was only that everything that Susan needed to pass on to her could be sent by a messenger… or provided over the phone. Why come to see her personally?
She was betting it had at least a little bit to do with sixteen point five million dollars!
So… company was coming! She would make sure that the coffee was prepared. And what else? Perhaps she’d do some baking. A freshly made cake or something similar would always be a very good idea.
Roger wasn’t sure if it was a good or bad thing. The shear variety of women’s clothes – of the same type – was more than a bit daunting. But he was now in Walmart staring at an over-abundant variety of types of women’s jeans. On the one hand, all the different styles were nothing but confusing. But on the other hand… he was now staring at a pile of very plain looking women’s jeans… no bright fancy pocket stitching or anything else… except that the jeans had very skinny legs. And he figured that if he had to wear his stupid boots over top of them all the time, maybe those skinny legs on the jeans would be easier to deal with… not to mention a lot more comfortable inside those stupid boots.
He was already in the junior department, his little shopping trip with Jennifer had taught him that much. He didn’t have the hips for the women’s sizes and some of the junior sizes did work fairly well for his… lack of hips. So because of that, he quickly grabbed four pairs of the very plain looking jeans with the skinny legs. Maybe nobody would even realize they were women’s jeans! Maybe.
Since he was there, he found himself three short-sleeved tops that he figured he might be able to do construction work in. Nothing too frilly or fancy that would get caught in his saws or would get ruined too easily. And the best part was, they were cheap!
Armed with more work clothes now that he actually felt somewhat good about, he headed for the checkout counter and home. Since he had hurried, he had plenty of time to get home before his six-o’clock deadline… after which he would be forced to eat from his dog bowl on the floor.
But as he stood in line he started wondering, was tonight at dinner a good time to try out his new voice training? According to the videos he had been watching, he needed to find people that he could practice around – live! The videos had suggested that the reactions and input of others could be a huge help. He wasn’t totally sure about that, but he did need more practice. So should he start trying out his new voice tonight at dinner? Or not?
When he got home, he quickly showed his new purchases to Janice – just so she would know for sure that they were all women’s jeans he had bought. He was glad that she seemed very pleased… and had even declared the skinny legs to be practical – which was just how he had thought of them.
Thirty minutes later, he was fully dressed as Candy again – wig, makeup and all. He didn’t usually say much during dinner. In fact, if he wasn’t asked anything directly, he rarely said anything at all. But if he was going to try out his new voice, then he needed something to talk about. “Um…” his slightly higher pitched voice said after they had all bowed their heads and finished grace, “I think I should be able to finish the Whittaker’s deck this weekend.”
Janice noticed the change in his voice immediately… and so did Carol. Roger wasn’t all that happy to hear Carol start giggling. But he was a bit surprised when Janice quickly put a stop to it. “Stop laughing dear,” Janice told her daughter. “Candy is making a big effort here. We are not going to discourage her.”
“Thanks,” Roger said somewhat shyly… in his new voice.
“So you’ll be finishing up a big project this time,” Janice noted, trying to be polite and prolong the conversation that Roger / Candy was trying to pursue.
Roger nodded. “Yeah, a big project. I’ll be glad to get the final check for it and be able to move on to the next thing.” Roger was somewhat surprised that he had to speak more slowly and carefully than he thought he would. All the little things he had practiced in the privacy of his room didn’t seem to prepare him for maintaining his new voice for the real thing.
“Your bank account desperately needs another big check,” Janice noted. “What will you be doing next?”
“Painting. Rebecca Adkins daughter is redecorating and she’s been waiting for me to finish at the Whittaker’s house.”
“Will you make much money on this one?”
Roger shrugged. “I shouldn’t do too bad.” He cleared his throat. “Excuse me,” he said, “It seems my voice isn’t holding up for too much conversation yet.”
Carol giggled just slightly at that.”
“Maybe not yet,” Janice declared happily, “but I’m sure that if you continue to use it exclusively around here from now on, it will strengthen and get better and more natural sounding very quickly! I’m looking forward now to only hearing you sound more and more like a woman, Candy.”
Use the voice exclusively? That wasn’t Roger’s intention. But he suddenly realized that he would be doing exactly that! Was it because of Janice’s mind-warping training? Most likely. He should have kept his big mouth shut at dinner!
That evening, after Janice and Carol had finished cleaning up the kitchen, Roger was again in his room researching sex transitions. He had learned a lot recently. Tonight he was watching one of the video blogs that he found to be more useful than most. He was interrupted though when Janice came into his room.
“Where are all your work pants?” Janice asked.
“You mean the pants I wear to school? They’re hung up in my closet,” Roger replied… again in his new voice.
“No,” Janice corrected, “I mean the ones you usually wear when you do your handyman work?”
“My new ones are still in the bag here,” Roger told her.
“And your old ones?”
Roger pulled out one of the drawers of his dresser. “Most of them are right here.”
Janice went to his drawer and started pulling out his old jeans – all his old jeans. When she was done, she picked up the entire pile. “Since you have better jeans to wear now, I’ll just throw all these in the trash. I can’t see where you should need these anymore.
Roger was totally shocked to see her carry all his old jeans out of the room. Throwing them into the trash? He was about to be stuck wearing only women’s jeans… whenever he wasn’t actually in school! Could he find a way to wear his school clothes more often? That thought wasn’t looking too likely.
But that night, just after he had put his nightgown on to go to sleep, he was visited by Janice one more time. “Candy, since you’ve made such a large effort lately toward actually becoming Candy, then I think it’s time I allowed you a bit more comfort.” With that, and a smile, she handed him a blanket and a pillow for him to sleep with. “Just be careful not to backslide at all,” Janice cautioned him. “The cage is still there and waiting for you.”
Roger didn’t want to think about the cage. He absolutely hated the darn thing. But he was very, very grateful to be able to sleep with a real pillow – and a blanket! Almost human!