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Theresa — Chapter 52

| Jul 12, 2010
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Theresa graphicThe Story So Far (TGF subscribers can read earlier installments): Terri (Theresa) is a post-op transsexual and aspiring actress in her twenties. Her early teen years are related in Juliet (the first volume of this trilogy) and her late teen years are presented in the second volume, Barbara. She has a boyfriend (Eddie Roberts) and she’s the biological father of a daughter, Jessica. Eddie has proposed marriage and Terri has accepted his proposal. Eddie’s parents, who know Terri’s history, seem to have become reconciled to the marriage. The wedding date has been set for May 25th and preparations are under way.

“You’re leaving me!” I said. “I’m being deserted in my time of need!”

“That’s right,” Eddie said. “I’ve got to go back to work, thank God. You’ll just have to pick out your wedding gown without me.”

“I would anyway,” I observed.

“See? My work here is done. I must make my heroic journey to the west, but I’ll return to claim my bride on May 25th.”

“What if your flight’s delayed? I knew I should have kept that extra bridegroom.”

“Fear not, my love. I will be here.” He pecked me on the cheek.

“If you can’t do better than that, your bride may not be here to be claimed.”

“Oops.” He did better than that so many times that I had to push him out the door so he wouldn’t miss his flight.

***

“I have some good news,” Eddie said. He’d arrived safely in Los Angeles and, as promised, had called to tell me this.

“You’ve got a new project on the East coast?”

“No; not that good. I ran into the apartment manager in the lobby, and I told her I was getting married and would need a larger apartment. She said a three-bedroom would be coming available on the first of May, and I grabbed it. Jessie can have her own room, and we’ll have a guest room besides.”

“Wonderful! I guess that settles the question of our coast of residence.”

“I guess it does, for now. I’d like to give it a try and see what happens. I really do love my job, you know. I’m making almost enough to support us, and I think you’re going to find some great opportunities in movies and television out here.

***

When I called Eddie 24 hours later, I too had some news to report. I’d found a church that had a time slot available for a wedding on the afternoon of May 25th. They also had a meeting space large enough for a wedding reception for 150 guests, and they highly recommended a nearby caterer. I had an appointment to talk with the caterer in two days.

“150 guests? I thought your mother said that 100 was the absolute maximum.”

“She did ““ but she talked to Dad, and he said he was doing pretty well and could pay half the costs.”

“I guess Amy and Alice will have to stay single for ten or twenty more years.”

“It looks that way. Well, if I can make a small fortune in Hollywood, I can help when the next wedding comes along.”

“More like a large fortune.”

“And tomorrow Chris and I are going to look at wedding gowns. I wonder if I could still get an employee discount at Sutter and Lansdowne? If not, I may need another fortune!”

***

Guess what? I found a wedding gown! I didn’t keep my vow to get a knee-length gown, but this one was so perfectly beautiful! I just couldn’t resist it. Well, it wasn’t yards and yards of material and I didn’t need an attendant or two to manage my train, because I didn’t have a train, but it would probably take my mother and all four of my attendants to button me up. It wasn’t the first gown I tried on at Sutter and Lansdowne, but it was the first one I truly loved.

It was a little on the expensive side, too. I was afraid I was going to have to settle for second or third choice. I repeated my little joke about getting an employee discount. “Of course,” Chris said. She disappeared behind a “Staff Only” door and found a manager who knew both of us ““ and all of a sudden that gown experienced a severe price reduction that made it not quite unaffordable.

“I didn’t realize how brilliant I was to choose you for my maid of honor,” I said to Chris.

“It was nothing ““ all in the day’s work for Supermaid of Honor. Now, I hope I can do the same thing with the attendants’ gowns.”

***

weddingAs the months rapidly flowed from the future to the past and May 25th loomed ever closer, it was interesting to watch people mellowing out ““ Eddie’s parents, Mr. & Mrs. Norris, Brad. Brad? Where did he come from, you ask. Well, my sister Amy was between boyfriends again and I wanted her to be a happy bridesmaid, so I introduced her to Brad. I thought they’d like each other, and indeed they did.

And then came the morning that I woke up to the realization that it was my wedding day. I awarded myself ten more minutes in bed to review my happy memories of the wedding rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner. With two of my ten minutes still ahead of me, I heard the doorbell chime, and then I heard Chris’s voice and I realized that I’d better get up before she charged into my bedroom and hauled me out of bed.

The wedding was wonderful, and so was the reception, and everyone seemed to have a marvelous time. I know Eddie and I did. It all began to make sense when I started down the aisle on Dad’s arm. We were following Jessie, our 4 1/2-year-old leader, who was all business and completely free of jitters, and my heart leapt with joy when I saw Eddie waiting for me at the altar.

I was so happy to see so many of my old friends again. There was a small delegation from Greendale ““ John and Lisa Tulley and my pals Ann Lamontagne and Valerie Olson. I’d last seen them about a year ago, when I’d invited them to visit me and see one of my Avon West plays — an invitation I’d owed them for years. Fortunately, after we’d caught up with each other in a marathon girl-gab session, they understood how complicated my post-Littlefield life had been and forgave me for my lapses.

My four dear friends from Scyros College — Cornelia van Zandt, Pam Durkin, Arab Cohen, and Jeri Mason Dalton — were all in attendance. They were all aware of my court-ordered (but temporary) maleness, happily now behind me. Arab had attended my wedding to Sandy, but she’d said nothing about it to the others until Sandy wrote to each of them a few months later to tell them about my secret identity at Scyros, as well as about the Paul debacle and her pregnancy. They knew about Jessie, too, but they didn’t know about Sandy’s death until I’d written to each of them, a month before sending out their wedding invitations, to bring them up to date. We decided we’d have to have a girls-only reunion as soon as I grew tired of my husband — or perhaps sooner, since I was growing fonder of him every minute.

Cornie was married, of course, as planned, to the only acceptable young man in her home town. Their two-year-old son was incompatible with weddings, so he was at home in the capable hands of his nanny. Her husband seemed nice enough and a bit more down to earth than Cornie. Pam and Arab were still single and in no great rush to find their soulmates. Jeri had been the difficult one to get to my wedding. When I wrote to her, I said that I was going to invite the entire Dalton clan and that I’d be nice to Phil if he came, but I really wanted to see her and Stan. Phil had thought that was reasonable, so he’d stayed home to baby-sit their daughter. I was delighted that Jeri could come but Stan was the one I really wanted to see. I think she realized that and was happy to bring him with her.

I’d invited friends from Avon West and Sutter and Lansdowne too (I’m glad Mother allocated a few more guest slots to me). I’d also invited Josie and Bernie from La Chevalier ““ she’d given me lots of the best advice I’d had from anyone. She’d told me they’d come, but I was still surprised (but happy) to see them at the reception. Bernie was dapper in a well-tailored suit and Josie was gorgeous, tastefully gowned, wigged, and made up. She laughed to see my jaw drop when I figured out who she was. “I decided not to come in my work clothes, dearie,” she said.

And everyone said they’d come and visit us in California. “Oh, that would be wonderful,” I said to each and every one of our 150 potential house guests. “I must send you our address.” In another year or two, maybe.

To say something needless to say, Jessie had a marvelous time. Who wouldn’t, with half-a-dozen grandparents to dote on her?

***

Eddie and I spent our first night as husband and wife in a small but comfortable New York City hotel, not far from the theatre district. He was gentle and loving, attentive and inventive, with incredible stamina. At last he was spent and he drifted off to sleep, leaving me in tears. I must have sobbed too loudly, because he was suddenly awake again. “Terri! What’s the matter? Is something wrong?”

“No, darling ““ everything’s right, just wonderfully right.”

“But you’re crying!”

“Because I’m so happy — and especially happy that I kept myself for you and this day.”

ALMOST, BUT NOT QUITE, AN EPILOGUE *

What a crazy dream to have on my wedding night — at least, I think it was a dream. In my dream, I was high on a mountain, with billowy clouds and a sparkling blue sea spread out below me. I was in the presence of Zeus and Hera, both of whom told me they were waiting for my answer to their question: As one who had now experienced the act of love from both sides, was the greater pleasure given to the male or the female?

Great Zeus; Great Hera. Thank you for asking. In pre-feminist times, the answer would have been much easier. In those days, the act of love (when all went well, and all didn’t always go well in this highly regulated activity) took place within the sanctity of marriage. As a woman, you’d have the joy of knowing that you would continue to survive — housed, fed, clothed, and protected. A man would feel the pleasure of responsibility and all the pains and burdens that went with it.

Nowadays, things are somewhat different. Both parties have responsibilities and neither can feel assured of security. In these times, the act of love, when all goes well — and all doesn’t always go well in this most unnatural of natural acts — when all goes well, love gives pleasure to both participants. There is the pleasure of giving to your beloved and the pleasure of receiving a gift; both experience these pleasures. There is the joy and warmth of being loved; both share in this. For the woman, there is one more pleasure ““ that of receiving a well-loved guest, like the pleasure of entertaining a dear friend in your home.

What do you mean, I’m nattering on too much? All right, put down that thunderbolt: I’ll get to the point. The greater pleasure — the much greater pleasure, Great Ones, just as Tiresias told you four thousand years ago — is given to the woman.

No, Great Hera! Don’t even think about blinding me. I’ll have ten lawyers on your tail in a New York minute. Isn’t love blind enough?

To Be Concluded

* See Chapter 22 for a condensation of the Tiresias myth.


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Category: Fiction

Hebe

About the Author ()

One of TGF's longest running authors, Hebe has been writing for TGF since the 1990s. With a focus on TG fiction she also has covered mythic crossdressing and recently has reported on TG events.

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