Metamorphosis — Chapter 22

| Jul 23, 2018
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[Chapter 1] [Chapter 2] [Chapter 3] [Chapter 4] [Chapter 5] [Chapter 6] [Chapter 7] [Chapter 8] [Chapter 9] [Chapter 10] [Chapter 11] [Chapter 12][Chapter 13][Chapter 14][Chapter 15][Chapter 16][Chapter 17][Chapter 18][Chapter 19][Chapter 20][Chapter 21]


When we first laid eyes on Charlie, Lydia and I wondered how it was possible to pack on that much muscle onto the human body. His head was like a misshapen boulder sitting crooked on top his shoulders. He had a tremendous bottom lip, well-defined marionette lines, a protruding nose, and small beady brown eyes. He wasn’t much to look at to be sure, but his heart was bigger than the universe itself. We would have never had the pleasure of knowing this man, had we not taken that trip to Key West, Florida.

Wait… Key West. We traveled there to get away from the drama. What drama? It was a big deal. Something terrible happened, but I don’t remember what. Anyway, we were in town for the weekend Pride events and must have made a wrong turn somewhere. Lydia and I were drunk out of our minds and she saw a run down bar down a side road. We wanted to drink our problems away; it didn’t matter where.

“You wanna go there?” She blurted, pointing out this little dive bar in the middle of nowhere.

Her long nail grazed my eye as I fell into her finger stumbling and laughing.
“Sch-ure,” I slurred. 

At this time in my life, I was midway into transition. My hair was in that awkward stage of growth in between short and long—impossible to style. Without a ton of money for laser hair removal, I still had a five o’clock shadow on my chin. It wasn’t ideal—but I was much happier as a person than ever before. I had been on hormones for a little over a year, but I still didn’t feel comfortable in public. Unless I was drunk. Inebriated. And I was all the way there that night.

“Looks like a biker bar,” Lydia begun, “Maybe we can find ourselves a big burly man. I like em all big and muscular.”

“I know. Priorities babe. But, I’m not sure about going in there. I can’t pass yet. They will clock me.”

“Fuck em.”

She was so right, but the concept of ‘who gives a shit what you think about me?’ had not grown roots in my mind. The ideal was a seedling planted into a shallow pot. Still, why does it matter what people think of me? Why did I care? I am me. I wanted to live my life and become the best person I could. That’s all.

“Raquel,” Lydia moaned, “I am gonna pee my pants if we don’t go in there.”

“Okay, Okay.” We walked up with our arms locked together, holding each other upright. “Oh my god, Lydia. Look at this guy, he’s a muscle with legs.”

That’s the first time we saw Charlie. Lydia walked up and looked him dead in the eye. He had a permanent frown built onto his face. She poked his chest with one hand and grabbed his shoulder with the other. If you’re wondering what happened next—I fell straight to the ground as soon as she let go. Thump.

“Your friend just fell,” Charlie mumbled.

“What was that darling?” Lydia snickered, when she saw me laying on the floor.

This oversized paw grabbed my waist and hoisted me into the air, back onto my feet. I smiled, as I leaned against his solid chest. That peculiar face glanced down, and it startled me until he spoke in the softest most polite voice I had ever heard.

“Ma’am, you need to drink water. Trust me, you’ll feel a hell of a lot better.”
Still holding on he moved me like a puppet towards the door, opened it and yelled inside. “Roman! Ro! Imma take my break. Gotta help these ladies. They’re stupid drunk.” Another man, half the size of Charlie walked out, nodded, folded his arms and stood there at the door.

“You called me ma’am. That is so sweet. YAS. But honey, you do understand I’m trans? Don’t you? I mean it’s obvious isn’t it,” I stammered.

“You’re in a dress, you have makeup on. I suppose I could tell, but I imagined you would rather me refer to you as ma’am than something you didn’t prefer. Besides, you seem like a cool girl. That’s all that should matter.”

“You see Raquel, there are still gentlemen in this world. Is it safe for us to go in there and use the bathroom? The ladies room?” Lydia quizzed.

“No one’s gonna bother you. You have my word.” Charlie smirked.

There was an angelic glint in his tiny eyes. I knew we could trust his word. Somehow, he made us feel comfortable, accepted, protected. He dragged me as far as the bathroom door, and Lydia and I went about our business without incident. When we emerged, Charlie was sitting at a table alone, with two tall glasses of water awaiting us. Lydia grinned from ear to ear, and we took a seat at the table never noticing a few people in the bar were glaring at us with piercing eyes. We were a little out of place, or were they? It was all perspective in those days.

Charlie sat with hands folded and pointed his thick neck down towards the water, as if to say, ‘drink it.’ As I sipped on it, he began a conversation.

“So where are y’all from?”

“Virginia,” we said in unison. I’m from Virginia! Yes, that’s right! We had left town, but we weren’t alone. The drama wasn’t back home. The terrible thing that happened was in Key West.

“That’s cool. I’m from here. Born here, raised here, live here.”

“Obviously,” Lydia jests, “I mean you work here. What’s your name big boy?” She always had to flirt with everyone.

“Charlie. They call me ‘The Thing’. After that super hero in the Fantastic Four. The one made of stone.”

I shake my head, disgusted, “That’s not very nice, Charlie. Why do you let them do it? I mean you could smash the shit out of anyone who degrades you. Ya know?”

“What will that do, Raquel? I mean, what good would it do for me to use my strength to fight ignorance? It would be a waste, and it’s not who I am.”

“How do you know my name?” I freaked.

“Uh-duh, girl. I only said it five times,” Lydia interjects then returns to sipping on water.

“Actually, she said it once. But she is right, that’s how I knew your name, because this girl said it.”

“This girl’s name is Lydia. And thank you so much for helping us out. We really appreciate it.” Lydia exclaimed. 

“You’re a couple blocks away from the main strip. Where were you two going?”

“We needed to pee!” Lydia screams.

“And, this guy I’ve been sort of dating, said something messed up,” I remembered.

Adam was with us in Key West. It was Adam. He told me something atrocious, unforgivable. Lydia rubbed my back and Charlie moved his chair over towards my side of the table and leaned in.

“What happened?” He whispered.

I folded my hands, dropped my chin to the table, and wept pain soaked tears. It’s all come back—every last bit. This is why I called Charlie—or Guug rather to this world. So many parallels, so many.

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Category: Fiction, Transgender Fun & Entertainment

RaquelRSwann

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Trans Author & Poet. Love my work check more out at https://Raquelswann.wordpress.com / Metamorphosis will be released 1st Qtr 2019!

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