If Only I Had Been Wearing Heels

| May 7, 2018

A Short Story by Cheryl Ann (Cassie) Sanders


“Hey, babe, where ya goin’?”

The detective read me my Miranda rights. And he informed me that the interview room had automatic video recording.

He introduced himself and his partner to the video-recorder and stated the date and time. Then he did the same for me, reading my identification off my driver’s license in his hand.

He asked me to confirm to the video-recorder that the identification stated was, in fact, me and asked if I wanted a lawyer present before I made my statement.

I hesitated a moment before answering the second part of that question; he interjected, “Listen, we got no problem if you want to get a lawyer before we go on, but I got to tell you: we already know this guy, this guy you hit. He’s been a trouble-maker up on Jefferson for a couple of years already.

“Getting into fights, drunk and disorderly, pissing on the sidewalk, accosting the gays going in and out of Cowboy Heaven. One of those gay guys decked him right on the sidewalk outside Cowboy last year. The officers on that case already knew the jerk, so they wrote it up in such a way that the ADA just told us to drop any charges against the gay guy before he was even booked.

“So, tell me, did you ever take one of those self-defense courses or anything like that?”

“No, never. No, I never took one of those.”

“So, I don’t get it,” the detective said. “He was a big guy. How’ja do it. Like that. So fast.”

“Adrenaline, I guess,” I said. “And I did see it on television, more than once. I did see it a couple of times on television: ‘Never try to reason with the guy when it happens. Just try to get away. Or scream. Or, if you can’t get away, than fight back right away. Fight as hard as you can. Don’t think that acting …uh … what’s the word … docile? … compliant? … is going to save you.’

“So, I did that, what they said on TV. I just figured right away: this ain’t going to happen. I ain’t going to let this happen to me. Fuck no.

“So, anyway, I also remembered, from on TV, ya’know, they said look around for something to use as a weapon. So I did. And it was right there, right next to me, leaning on the fence.

“I mean it was leaning on the other side of that picket fence, but sticking up, so the handle was kind of leaning over toward the sidewalk side of the fence. So, I grabbed the handle and flipped it over the fence and directly at him all in one motion.

“The rake hit him right in his face right away. His hands went to the face, but he didn’t fall down or anything, so I swung again, just wild like.

“And I’m not even sure where I hit him. I guess the side of his head or his neck or something. And anyway, he just went down.

“And that’s when I started screaming. I didn’t even scream or anything before. It was only after he was already on the ground that I started screaming and shaking and all.”

“Okay, good. Now, you’ve got to go back and tell us how you knew,” said the detective. “How did you know you had to defend yourself from this guy?”

“Why? How? Of course, I knew. He had already assaulted me before I turned around to face him.

“It’s not like he came up to me to ask for directions or anything like that. He came up from behind me and grabbed my ass with one hand and reached around and grabbed my breast with his other hand. And it wasn’t even my ass really. It was from behind, but up my skirt, up between my legs that he grabbed at me.

“So I spun around, breaking free of him. Inches from him: saw that he was a total stranger, a big guy, with a crazy look in his eyes. I grabbed the rake, and it was all over in, I don’t know, a half a minute.

“And he’s on the ground, and I’m screaming like a crazy person holding a bloody rake in my hands.”

“Okay, good. Now tell me, what were you doing there? Where were you going. Where was your car? You live over on South Cedar, right? That’s almost three miles away.

“Why were you walking down Wright Street at ten o’clock on a Tuesday night? Were you on your way to visit someone? Where was your car?”

“I was walking home from a restaurant on Jefferson.”

“Walking?”

“Yeah, walking.”

“That was kind of abrupt, the way you said that. You got to tell me more about why you were walking home at ten o’clock, more than three miles, maybe almost four from Jefferson to you house.”

“Well, it’s certainly not a bad neighborhood. I’ve lived in Sparta all my life. I don’t think that there are any dangerous neighborhoods at all between Jefferson and my apartment on South Cedar.”

“That doesn’t answer my question.”

“Okay, okay, I was walking home because I had a fight with my boyfriend at the restaurant. I walked right out of the restaurant and left him there even though we had already ordered and the food hadn’t even come yet.

“I was fuming. My boyfriend had picked me up and driven to the restaurant. I guess I could have gotten an Uber back home, but I was pissed and agitated, so I just started walking.”

“And your boyfriend will confirm this if we ask him?” asked the detective.

“Yeah, sure. No doubt. And probably our waiter, too. I wasn’t too quiet as it got heated just before I walked out.”

The detective put my boyfriend’s name, address, and phone number in his flip note pad. And the name of the restaurant.

“So what time was it when you walked out of the restaurant?”

“I don’t know. Probably around 9:30. He didn’t pick me up at my apartment until after his shift, probably around 8:30. So, I don’t know, it was probably around 9:30 when I walked out on him.”

“Do you think the guy you hit followed you from the restaurant, followed you from Jefferson down Wright?”

“I don’t know. Yeah, I guess he could have. As a matter of fact, he might have been the same guy that had called out to me a block or two earlier: something like, ‘Hey, babe, where ya’goin.’ But I never turned around to see that guy. I never do when, you know, someone says something to me on the street.”

“Yeah, always better to just keep walking and not start interacting with jerks,” agreed the detective. “So, you have no idea if it was the same guy or not.”

“Nope.”

“Listen, I’m sorry, but I got to ask you. You’re a beautiful young woman. But I got to tell you we know. When Officer Jonas did that quick search when we got here, to the station house, well, you know. So how long have you been living as a woman?”

I sighed, just a bit, before answering, “Almost three years.”

“And surgery? Are you doing that?”

“Yeah. For sure. Next year, hopefully. Still saving for it. Almost 20 grand altogether at the place I want to go in Colorado.”

“Under a doctor’s care?”

“Yeah, for almost four years. Hormones for the last 35 months.”

“Do you think he knew, the guy you hit? Do you think he knew.”

“Yeah, I do.”

“How?”

“I don’t know how he knew. Almost nobody ever knows anymore. I mean they did at first, but now nobody ever seems to, you know, know. Now, it’s gotten so that it really bothers me, drives me crazy when someone knows. I’ve worked so hard on it, you know.

“But, I guess, it was the way I was walking. I was so upset and angry. Probably if I was wearing heels, it wouldn’t have happened. Heels make you walk right, you know, feminine.

“But I was wearing sandals. And I was walking fast. And I was upset. And you know, detective, what my therapist says: ‘gender is a construct.’ I probably just wasn’t walking the way I’ve learned to walk these last few years. So, that’s how he probably figured it out.”

“But, that’s not what I asked,” said the detective. “I didn’t ask how he knew. I asked how you knew that he knew.”

I started to cry.

“C’mon,” said the detective. “Tell me.”

“Because,” I whispered between my sobs, “because when he stuck his hand up between my legs, he said, “okay, babe, let’s see. What ya’got up there?'”

“So,” said the detective, “what we got here is different possible crimes. It was either a sexual assault or it was a hate crime against a transsexual or maybe a combination of both.”

Before I could respond, the detective’s partner interrupted, “But that’s a question of his crime, not hers, not what she did with the rake.”

“Not necessarily,” answered the detective. “Tell me, Miss, what was the fight with your boyfriend about. When I ask your boyfriend, what will he tell me?”

“He doesn’t want me to have the operation. He likes me the way I am.”

“And that makes you angry, makes you two to have fights?”

“Yes. He has to understand that I can’t keep living this way, like some kind of a halfway freak. I have to be me, my true self.”

“And that jerk who assaulted you? That pissed you off when he grabbed at your genitals and said that shit, You were already upset and that really pissed you off, right?”

“Yeah, sure.”

“That fence. The one next to the sidewalk. That fence is about four feet tall. And the rake was leaning on it from the other side. So, only the top foot or two of the handle could have been reachable from the sidewalk side. So, you were holding the rake from the pretty close to the end of the handle, right?

“But, in your earlier statement, you said you spun out of his grip and turned and hit him all in one motion.

“So, how was it that the teeth of the rake hit his face? That one, that had to be the second swing. He, or you, would have had to have already backed off three or more feet for your swing to hit him in the face with the teeth of the rake.

“Were you crying at the time?”

“Yes.”

“And upset?”

“Yes.”

“And angry at this jerk who had just reached under your skirt to grab your genitals?”

“Yes.”

“At that moment. Three feet apart. You with a rake in your hands. Him already stunned. Did he say anything, again?”

“Yes. He called me ‘a sicko pervert.'”

“So, you hit him again, right?”

I didn’t answer his question.

I asked for a lawyer.

***

Cheryl Ann Sanders was a frequent contributor to Transgender Forum in the past. She has been absent for several years while writing and publishing a (quite successful) straight novel under another name.

Many also know her TG novel A WOMAN’S PASSION written under the name Alan Barrie. It was at one time the bestselling TG novel of all times. Although more than 15 years old, it still sells in dribs and drabs on Amazon.

Still others remember her essay that appeared here several years ago: …AND WHAT I WORE. An “occasional woman” at that time, this was a memoir of a weekend she actually spent as a woman with a man in New York City. That memoir can still be found in our archives. Unfortunately, the photographs that illustrate that archived version have been lost. A safe PDF version with its photographs still intact is available for download here.

Cassie can be reached at [email protected].

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Category: Fiction, Fun & Entertainment

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Cheryl Ann Sanders was a frequent contributor to Transgender Forum in the past. She has been absent for several years while writing and publishing a (quite successful) straight novel under another name.

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