Chapter 1 – The Last Meal
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I had managed to doze off in my sociology lecture for but a second, but that second was all it took for Professor Sappho (Yes, Really, I’m not joking, that’s her actual legal name. Chose it herself the dork. Cassandra Sappho.) to notice.

“Peter, please, if your other lectures are leaving you with so much work you don’t get any sleep, don’t come to class and instead sleep in.” What had made this more awkward was the fact I was one of the remaining 8 people who actually showed up to her History lectures. So the remaining 7 first years all stared at me. 

“Sorry, Professor.” I fixed my posture and got back to taking notes. I wasn’t being left with not enough time to sleep from required reading or essays or such. What kept me up last night was my downstairs neighbor noisily shuffling stuff around. Usually he was quiet and reserved and barely left. I can’t let my mind drift like this, I need to shift my focus back to the lecture. It was the last one of the year, then I had a month to sit at home and write the finals for all my classes, and then a summer of staying indoors not doing anything, because god forbid the last 50 years of trying to fix climate change would contribute to the people of Chertovice not melting during summer. 

The rest of the class breezed by shortly thereafter.

“Right, students, you know the drill, you’ve got a month to write your essay, any historical period you want, just focus on a topic that isn’t much addressed from that time.” Professor Sappho began cleaning up her desk.

“Like, for example, I haven’t gotten anyone writing about the medieval lesbian nuns, or the Scythian trans women making estrogen for themselves back then.” The Professor clapped to get our attention.

“Now shoo, outta my house, my wife will be here in five minutes and she’s been begging me for a lecture hall banging for weeks now.” Oh oof, Professor... TMI, TM-Fucking-I. I shot outta that lecture hall like a bat out of hell with a bullet in its ass. The Prof and her wife were adorable, but I didn’t wanna ruin their together time.

 

Walking home was kind of a struggle. I’d never learned to drive or got a license, and I didn’t quite feel like risking buses or such. Despite the general quiet of the city, weird stuff still tended to happen. Like a specific bus that people would get on but then never get off, and if you caught sight of the bus driving by you could see the lost people just sitting there. Or a door that seemed to move from place to place. Really weird rumors. Next thing you know, people are gonna claim the Ninja Turtles moved from New York to Chertovice in their old age.

My nostrils were hit with an all too familiar smell. The diner across from my apartment building. The Question. Why The Question? Clark and Olivia had never told me. As if carried by the smell, I walked through the doors. The waitress currently standing behind the counter piped up.

“Heya Pete, done for today?” 

“Yeah, done for today.” I couldn’t deny Olivia’s inherent cuteness, her red hair cut into a bob and tied back with a bow to keep it out of her face, her freckles reminding me of constellations. And, well, the broken nose she got while defending herself against an assault was still really charming. 

“Sweet. You want the usual then?” I nodded at her, as she leaned back to yell into the kitchen. “Clark! Pete’s usual!” 

“So that’ll be a Succubus’ Cock, no cheese, veggie chilli instead of beef, no Cum,” called back the burly man from inside the kitchen, Olivia’s face contorting into a frustrated grimace, as she dragged her hand across it. 

“Clark, I told you about the damn names!” She turned to face the kitchen now; I could hear sizzling from within, most likely the sausage split lengthwise getting griddled. 

“And I told you they give the food character and make them memorable! Who the hell is gonna order a Sloppy Joe with Chicken Sausage and Pickled Hot Peppers with a splash of in-house hot sauce?!” Another sizzle, different smell, toasting the submarine roll. 

“Regular people, Clark! Regular people!!!” I snorted at their usual antics. “Oh don’t you start too, Pete, don’t encourage him. I am amazed the mind of a man as ace as him could come up with such lewd things.” There was a ring behind Olivia, as Clark rang the bell and plopped down my sandwich on the counter. 

“To go as usual, and eh, what the hell, throw in a coffee for him on me, looks like he could use it. Rough night?” Clark might be lewd and loud, but his eyes were those of a person ready to sit you down and feed you after you had been starving for a week. Definitely why his cooking was so delicious, despite the name. 

“Yeah, downstairs neighbor decided to start redecorating or something at 2 am and kept at it for three hours.” I rubbed my eyes and sighed as Olivia prepared me a cup of coffee to go. 

“Soy milk and two sugars.” She handed me my order and I put down the cash for it. 

“You mean that greasy long haired dude who dresses like a goth wizard from the side of an old dude’s van?” Clark asked, and I nodded. “Funny thing is, he walked in about half an hour ago, weirdest order ever. I almost told him to go to a grocery store to get it, but hey, not my place to judge.” He shrugged and turned around to return to his work. 

“Clark, you literally have a sandwich out of Kraft singles and Wonder Bread that you cover in gold and call The Lannister to shit on rich people.” Olivia shot back and sighed, as I chuckled one last time and made my way outside and across the street. The apartment building I was in had the weirdest construction. Technically it was two buildings, but they shared a basement and had bridges between them on the top floor. I had no clue why they’d do something like that, but hey, I live here, I own my apartment and don’t have to pay for stuff. Adieu Landlord Class, nobody has missed you since you got axed in 2035. 

When I walked past Greasy Wizard Dude’s Apartment (I never actually found out his name, haven’t been able to connect the mailbox in the lobby with him, it just has the number on it with no name) I heard a sound of chalk. Writing with it. I just shrugged it off; he was probably drawing a Human Transmutation Circle from Fullmetal Alchemist to show off to his greasy wizard friends or something... Up the stairs and into my abode I went. One big-ass room, a kitchen with a bar in one corner, the door to the bathroom in another, my bed and desk and chair all scrunched up close by so I could comfortably watch stuff on my computer while laying in bed. Who needs a TV nowadays, anyways? Just a big screen that takes up space, and I don’t have much of that, I said while crossing the twenty feet of empty space between the door and my ‘bedroom’. I liked having the room for future stuff. Like, maybe i’d start exercising to get more in shape and would need all that extra space! Okay no, that was a lie, I felt too awkward about the idea. I don’t really want to bulk up or anything. And I was never a fan of sports to begin with. I shook my head and plopped down on my desk chair, setting down the lovely meal Clark had cooked for me. Sausage snap was there, the greasy goodness from the veggie chilli, the acidity from the peppers. The reason I didn’t get any ‘cum’ is because Clark made a hot sauce out of horseradish, hot peppers, garlic and ginger, and it was way too powerful for me. 

I wolfed down the sandwich and chugged the coffee in a heartbeat while catching up on my feed and rewatching old cartoons. The 2018 She-Ra was still a delight after all these years! And after dinner and checking the time, I figured I should try getting some proper sleep. With that in mind, I made my way to the bathroom for a quick shower, avoiding looking in the mirror for now. I’d already shaved in the morning and I didn’t like looking at my face. Undress, enter shower, shower with my eyes closed and not looking down. Do YOU want to get soapy water in your eyes? I sure didn’t. Finish up, wipe myself clean and then make my way to bed. I started dozing off the moment my head hit the pillow. But weirdly enough, the thought that kept flashing through my head for the past several months did so again. ‘Maybe I’ll wake up as a girl tomorrow.’ 

What kind of guy thinks that before falling asleep?

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