20 – Separating
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20
Separating

“I can’t believe this is happening,” I said, in tears at this point.

“I’m sorry about all this too,” Mom said, sighing.

“I didn’t think it would go this far because of me,” I said.

“It’s not your fault dear,” Mom said, shaking her head, “but let’s talk about this when we get home.”

I picked up my phone to try and distract myself only to see several frantic texts from Ryan inquiring about where I was. I quickly texted back that I had to do something with my mom, and that I wouldn’t be available for the next few hours. I didn’t quite want to reveal what happened just yet. He responded with a worried okay, and to text him back later. The rest of the car ride passed in a rather awkward silence.

We pulled into my house’s garage, and Mom and I got out of the car. I walked inside the house, which felt quite desolate and quiet without Dad’s presence.The familiar background noise of the sports channel running on the television wasn’t there, which felt especially odd. We walked into the living room to see Daniel already sitting on the couch, staring off into the distance. He saw me and immediately shifted his body to face me.

“Sorry I wasn’t able to show up to your event, Julie,” Daniel said, burying his face in his hands. “Mom suddenly dropped the news on me and I needed some time to process everything.”

“It’s okay,” I said somberly. “I don’t think I would’ve been able to enjoy the event if I had known.”

“I’m glad you understand,” he said, sighing. “I’m the one who convinced her to tell you after the event, she was just going to drop the news on you. But I wanted you to enjoy the event at least.”

“Thanks for that,” I said, taking a seat next to Daniel. “But now I guess we have to talk about all this.”

We waited a few seconds for Mom to take a seat. She opened her mouth to say something before closing it again. She thought for a few seconds before finally speaking. “While you two were at school today, we had an argument,” Mom said, shifting in her seat. “It escalated by a lot, and we decided our views on how to raise our child were far too different.”

“So I guess it’s all my fault,” I said, wiping a tear from my eye. “I never meant for all this to happen.”

“No, no, it’s not your fault dear,” Mom said, biting her lip. “It was bound to happen eventually, he always forced masculinity on you, which clearly made you uncomfortable. Having you come out as a girl and him still not accepting it was the nail in the coffin.”

“I, still, I didn’t want to break the family apart,” I said, hugging my knees to my chest.

“Please don’t blame this on yourself, Julie,” my mom said, her eyes also welling up with tears.

“It’s just so hard not to,” I said, looking to the side.

“Your dad, well, we weren’t going to be able to reach a resolution where we all stayed together,” Mom said, sighing. “There just wasn’t a way he would be accepting of you, and I couldn’t live with someone who wouldn’t accept our daughter for who she is.”

“I guess,” I said, biting my lip. “I just wish things could’ve worked out.”

“I wish that things could’ve worked out perfectly too dear,” Mom said, putting a hand on my leg. “But sometimes things just don’t go like that, and your dad just wouldn’t change.”

“I’m still so shook up,” Daniel said, shaking his head as he tried to compose himself. “But don’t blame yourself Julie, none of this is your fault. It’s dad’s fault for being stubborn and forcing his ideas of masculinity on you.”

“I mean, but still,” I said, not knowing where I was going with this sentence. I just blamed myself for everything that happened, but I also knew that Mom and Daniel had a point.

“Well, for some good news, I’ve booked an appointment to get you hormones tomorrow,” Mom said, looking at her phone. “I heard from Ryan’s parents how much you wanted it, so I found a place near us that offers it.”

“That’s a relief,” I said, trying to forget about what was happening between Mom and Dad for a while. “Thanks, Mom.”

“Of course,” she said.

***

I heard a knock at the door. I was already on my way to the kitchen for the water, so I walked over to it. “Ryan?” I said, opening the front door to see my boyfriend. “What are you doing here?”

“Well, I decided to bring you your stuff, since you said you’d be sleeping here tonight,” he said, holding up my backpack. “Figured you still needed to do your homework and everything.”

“Oh, I didn’t even think of that,” I said, taking my backpack. “Thanks.”

“Can I come in?” he asked, flashing me a lopsided grin. “Would hate to have to go back right away.”

“Oh, yeah, of course,” I said, opening the front door wide for him to enter. “Come in.”

“Who is it?” my mom asked, walking down the stairs to see Ryan. “Oh, Ryan, welcome.”

“Hello Mrs. Parker,” he said, waving.

“I’ll get you two something to drink while you talk,” she said, making her way to the kitchen.

“So, what’s going on?” Ryan asked, taking a seat on the dining room table.

“I guess you could tell something was wrong, huh?” I said, taking a seat next to him. “My mom and dad are separating because of me.”

“Because of you?” he asked, raising his eyebrows. “Because of you being transgender?”

“Yeah, they realized they had too many differences because of me and now they’re probably divorcing soon,” I said, looking down at the floor. Tears didn’t even come out of my eyes anymore, I guess I had cried too much today.

“You can’t blame yourself for that,” Ryan said, putting his hand on top of mine.

“I know I shouldn’t, but I just can’t not blame myself,” I replied, biting my lip.

“I get it, but you can’t blame yourself for your mom and dad's choice to separate,” he said, sighing. “You’re just being who you really are, it’s not your fault your dad was transphobic.”

“I guess that’s true,” I said, still not really convinced by his words.

“Here’s some tea,” Mom said, putting down both cups on the table.

“Thanks, Mom,” I said, forcing myself to smile weakly.

“Of course,” she said. “I’ll leave you two to chat now.”

“I was really worried when you just left after the open house,” Ryan said, shaking his head. “Let me know next time, okay?”

“I will, sorry, everything was just so sudden,” I said, looking down at the floor. “I just had that news dumped on me and everything was just a blur after that.”

“It’s okay,” he said, stroking my cheeks. ”At least you’ll be able to get on HRT now, right? With your dad gone and everything.”

“Oh yeah,” I said, perking up a little at the mention of HRT. “My mom’s taking me tomorrow.”

“That’s good,” he said, smiling. He was genuinely happy for me, knowing just how big of a step this was for me. “I’m relieved you’re finally getting on it.”

“Me too,” I said. “I’m so excited for the changes, like breast growth and the emotions and everything, it’ll be so good.”

“It will be so good,” he said, chuckling at my enthusiasm. “I’m always here for you, so just let me know whenever you need me, okay?”

“Okay,” I said, nodding. I couldn’t help but smile, happy to have such a supportive boyfriend. “Thanks, Ryan.”

“Of course,” he responded, his signature lopsided grin on his face.

***

“Hi Daniel, can we talk?” I asked, slightly opening his room’s door.

“Yeah, come in,” he said, patting his bed to tell me to take a seat. I did, sitting down on the bed and sighing.

“How do you feel about what’s happening?” I asked. “I mean, about how Mom and Dad are separating.”

“I mean, of course I was surprised,” he said, scratching the back of his head. “I know Dad had his issues, but we were still quite close. I have mixed feelings, to say the least.”

“Yeah I get it,” I said, looking down at the floor. “You two always did have a good father-son relationship.”

“Yeah, so I know that it was bad of him to do everything he did, but I still feel a little hollow at the fact that Mom and Dad are separating. He’s still my dad after all. He was the one who got me into football and supported me. The one who was there for me and taught me. Like I know the way he treated you was terrible, but I still can’t help but miss him a little, if you know what I mean.”

“I see, I’m sorry that I’m making you lose Dad,” I said sadly. I did feel guilty, even though Dad and I didn’t have the best relations, I knew Daniel and him were quite close. It felt like I was ripping Dad away from Daniel.

“No, that’s not what I meant at all,” he said, shaking his head. “I’ll miss Dad, but ultimately it’s something that had to happen.”

“Had to happen?” I asked, raising my eyebrows. “What do you mean?”

“I mean, Dad was never going to be supportive of you, let’s make that clear. So it was either you left or Dad left, basically.”

“I guess that makes sense,” I said, holding onto one arm with the other. “How was it without me? Probably better, right?”

“No, not at all,” Daniel said, looking offended that I would even suggest that. “It was actually really tense without you here. Mom and Dad clearly didn’t agree on what to do with you, so it was super awkward between them.”

“Oh, I didn’t know that, I guess I just thought things would be better without me,” I said. I was feeling so insecure and unconfident in myself that I was just voicing all my doubts.

“Don’t say that, Julie,” Daniel said. “We all love you, we are your family. Just because Dad wasn’t supportive, it doesn’t mean that the rest of us want to live without you.”

“I guess you’re right… Thanks, Daniel.”

“Of course, anything for my little sister,” he said.

***

I woke up, stretching. It was a little weird to be back in my room again. I still had to go back to the Morgans’ place one last time to thank them for everything and retrieve my belongings that I had over there. It was the weekend and time for my hormone treatment appointment. I spent the entire day nervous, looking forward to it. I kept on looking at the time, but every second felt like an eternity. I tried to distract myself by playing some goofy web games, but they didn’t help much at all. All the while I was nervous about what I should wear, wanting to make the best first impression possible on the doctor.

“You’re really getting all prepared for this appointment, huh?” Mom asked, laughing as she saw me furiously putting on makeup when time to start getting prepared for the appointment finally arrived.

“I just want to look my best,” I responded, making sure not to mess up my mascara.

“I’m impressed you learned all this without me knowing,” my mom said. “You said you’ve been doing this for several months now?”

“Yup, whenever you all left the house I took the opportunity to dress up,” I said, taking a second to stop applying makeup and smile at her.

“You seem so much happier like this,” Mom said, smiling back.

“Of course,” I responded. “This is who I really am.”

***

“Julie Parker?” a nurse called out. I was a little surprised, expecting to be deadnamed. I guess they used the name I put in the preferred name section, which I was appreciative of.

“That’s you,” Mom said, gently smiling at me. We walked into the doctor’s office.

“Hello,” the doctor said. He was on the older side and coughed a little before looking back up at us. “Julie Parker, you are transgender, yes?”

“Yes. I am,” I squeaked out, a little nervous. I pressed my legs together and put my hands in my lap, trying to appear smaller than I was.

“No need to be nervous, I don’t bite,” the doctor said, chuckling.

“Sorry, I’m just nervous about all this,” I said, cracking a smile at his joke.

“It’s understandable,” he said, nodding. “Anyways, you are here for hormone replacement therapy.”

“Yes, I am,” I replied.

“Well, I just need to know a few things about you first,” he said, pushing his glasses back up. “When did you first start feeling gender dysphoria?”

“When I think about it, I’ve been feeling it for a long time but I just didn’t recognize it,” I said, rubbing my chin as I thought. My heart was pounding but I tried to be as coherent as possible. “I always had a lingering sense of dissatisfaction for some reason unless I was dressed up as a girl, and I didn’t quite know why. Some of my friends introduced me to what being transgender was though, and then I realized just why I felt so upset with my life.”

We went on, with the doctor asking me more questions about my history, gender euphoria, and more. Luckily, the doctor was patient with me so that helped ease my nervousness at least a little bit. Eventually, he nodded and started speaking.

“Ten milligrams of cyproterone acetate and four milligrams of progynova will be a good starting dose,” the doctor said, typing something on his computer. “Pick that up at the pharmacy downstairs, and you’re all set.”

“Thank you so much,” I said, smiling. I couldn’t believe I was finally here, but I was happy that I was.

“Congratulations, Julie,” my Mom said, giving me a tight hug as we stood up to leave.

***

“Ryan, I got my hormones,” I said over the phone.

“I told you not to be nervous,” his muffled voice said. “I’ll be at your place in a few if you don’t mind. Just to celebrate things.”

“Of course I don’t mind,” I laughed. “I’d be glad if you came over to celebrate.”

“Great, I’ll start getting ready,” he said. “Be ready in a few, see you soon. Love you.”

“Love you too,” I said, blushing a little at those words.

“Ryan’s coming over?” my mom asked, glancing at me quickly before focusing on the road again.

“Yeah, he is,” I said, feeling a warm feeling in my tummy.

“You’re lucky to have such a great boyfriend,” she said.

“I really am,” I responded. I couldn’t help but squeal a little at how happy I was about everything.

We arrived home a few minutes later, Ryan was sitting on the porch, waiting for us.

“Julie,” he said, getting up as soon as he saw me. I ran up to him and we embraced in a hug. “You got your pills?”

“They’re right here,” I said, shaking the bag with my hormones in it in front of his face as we separated. “Come on, let’s go in.”

We went inside the house, and I got some water out of the fridge. I took out two of the progynova pills and one of the anti-androgen and exhaled.

“I’m a little nervous now,” I said, chuckling. “I’ve been waiting so long for this, but now that it’s right in front of me, I feel nervous. Weird, huh?”

“It’s not weird at all, take your time,” Ryan said, scratching at his ear. “This is a life-changing moment, of course you’d be nervous.”

“Okay, okay,” I said, taking a few seconds to calm my heart. I then opened my mouth wide and put the pills on my tongue, taking a swig of water and swallowing them all. “That’s it!”

“That is it!” Ryan said, grabbing onto both of my hands. “Congratulations, Julie.”

“Thanks,” I said, blushing as I felt his hands on mine. “I guess I’m really a girl now, huh?”

“You always were, don’t say that,” Ryan said, tousling my hair.

“Hey, don’t mess up my hair, I worked hard on it,” I said, grabbing onto my head. This only prompted Ryan to tousle it more though.

“Stop,” I squeaked out, being assaulted by a tingly feeling in my body.

“Okay, okay, that’s enough,” Ryan said, looking at the mess that my hair now was. “I think I should be a hairstylist. I’m really good at this.”

“No you’re not, I have to fix this all now,” I whined. “This is your fault.”

“Sorry, but I can’t pass up the opportunity to tease my teeny adorable girlfriend.”

“Ahh,” I said, blushing bright red. “You know what, let’s chat upstairs.”

“Oh, sure,” Ryan said, following me as I walked up to the second floor. He walked into my room and immediately looked at my tiger plushie sitting on my pillow. “Oh, hey look, it’s Kitty.”

“It is Kitty,” I said, patting the tiger’s head. “I always keep them on top of my bed, to guard me.”

“I’m sure Kitty would defend you well,” Ryan said, nodding. “Anyways, why’d you decide to come up here?”

“I wanted to talk about coming out at school,” I said. “I think now’s as good of a time as ever, but I don’t know where to start.”

“I’m pretty sure there’s a whole process,” Ryan said, rubbing his chin as he thought. “You should ask the school administration about it first though.”

“I should,” I said, nodding. “I’ll set up an appointment with them on Monday. Then maybe I’ll be able to come out next week?

“Maybe you will,” Ryan said, grinning. “Then you’ll be all done, won’t you.”

“I guess I would be basically all done for now,” I said, happy. “My checklist for transition related stuff would be all filled out.”

“You really speedran things, didn’t you,” Ryan said, chuckling at me.

“Hey!” I said, feigning offense. “You can’t blame me for wanting to do things quickly, I didn’t want to wait forever.”

“Yes, yes, I get it,” he said. “Guess next week will be the final step.”

“I guess it will be,” I said. I hugged onto Ryan before looking up at him and smiling. “Thanks, Ryan.”

“Anything for you,” he responded.

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