A Short Story A Day For A Month: Short Story: Lights, Camera, Action!

 

Loretta waited. She was slowly learning that was what you did mostly on a film set. She picked up her book John Irving’s The Hotel New Hampshire and began to read a few pages. Inside she could just about read the words because excitement was bubbling in her. Yes, it wasn’t glamourous and there wasn’t a director there saying in some over exaggerated way, “You ready Loretta? Let’s do this!” Instead there was Joe, a nice middle-aged man just doing his job, a job he was very renowned for. But it was perfect. This was what she had saved for years to go to drama school for, what she had studied for 4 years for and what all her work had led up to, both paid and unpaid. And a nice thought struck her. She was 37 and she had spent her life so far doing what she loved. And even if this big break hadn’t happened then she still would have been happy with her life. But the payment for the movie would be nice to help pay for the Cornflakes for she, her husband Calvin and her two young boys Marcus and Kai all the same.

 

The crew finished setting up the scene. It was to be her first scene in a major film. Probably not the first shown but the first to be filmed. Joe turned around and said,

“Well we’re ready now Loretta. In your own time.”

Loretta smiled, put her book down, fixed her headpiece in place and breathed in and out. Then she stood up and stepped forward to begin this new exciting step in her life.

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A Short Story A Day For A Month: Short Story: Joan & Maisie

 

Joan Malloy and her equally aging cat Maisie were a regular sight walking through the streets of Dun Laoghaire. The tabby cat was always to be found loyally at the feet of the old lady. They would go shopping together with Maisie waiting outside the shops for Joan. On this particular day Maisie waited outside a small grocery shop while Joan purchased some groceries including some treats for Maisie. Soon Joan returned to her loyal companion and fed her some tuna. They walked on together and came to the Church. Always a committed atheist, they bypassed it. Joan often wondered what religion or lack of religion Maisie would be if animals went for all that religion stuff. Maybe poor Maisie secretly yearned to go and have a chat with God but couldn’t say so.

So they continued walking. Joan remembered how she had to keep back that she was an atheist. It hadn’t been socially acceptable in her time in Ireland to say she was anything other than a Catholic. Then again in her time she knew it hadn’t been socially acceptable to say anything. She couldn’t say she was a lesbian either.

When Maisie had finished her second round of tuna, they went down to the promenade. It was a gorgeously sunny day and they had some sandwiches together. Every time Joan went to the promenade she remembered her late girlfriend Gwyn. They had both came here together very often and then in later times with Maisie. Today her thoughts were even stronger on Gwyn because it was five years ago today that she had lost her after Gwyn’s long struggle with cancer.

She began speaking to Gwyn. In a low voice of course. Didn’t want the bypassers thinking she was a crazy old lady. After that she snuggled into Maisie, gave her a long pet and a kiss on the head. And slowly she fell asleep. Forever. She knew she wouldn’t see Gwyn again. It was a romantic and beautiful thought but she knew she wouldn’t. Instead she left behind her wealth of memories and history of her time with Gwyn. And Maisie too.

A Short Story A Day For A Month: Short Story: Say It With Flowers

For four years she had admired him in college lectures. Outside of lectures they weren’t in the same classes. So she wondered if it was a true crush or just almost like he was more interesting because she never heard him speak much. In that time she had two boyfriends and forgot about her art college crush. But she always came back to her crush in the end. All she knew was a scattering of facts: that he was a man, that he was from America, that his name was Edward and that he had dated their professor Ava in year 2 for a few months (allegedly). Today was the final day of college. She thought what the hell? The reason she hadn’t made a move before was because if it went wrong she would have to see him again. And that would be awkward.

Currently he was sitting in front of her looking hot as usual.

She spent ten minutes drawing a bunch of roses – red, yellow, white, orange and pink – into her notepad. A beautiful floral bouquet wrapped in pink with a pink ribbon flowing from the roses. Beside it she wrote,

Edward,

You fancy going for a drink when this ends?

Trisha.

She quietly took the sheet out and passed it to him. She didn’t look in his direction and then he tipped her in the arm and whispered.

“I’d love to.”

 

 

A Short Story A Day For A Month: Short Story: New Chapter

 

The sun was shining. It was a beautiful day. It was perfect.

I waited in the park for my girlfriend Jane to arrive. A man walked by and threw a frisbee for his dog to catch. He seemed a cool dude up until he looked over at me and gave me a sympathetic smile.

Yes mate, it’s a guy in a wheelchair, get over it.

Though I hated to admit it the worse part about these encounters was that I knew that up until my car accident 7 years ago which I had become disabled from that was how I looked at people in wheelchairs too. I felt guilty about that now.

My thoughts were interrupted by my mate Lee coming up to me in his wheelchair. I was glad dog man had gone well by. Lee would probably have outright told him to fuck off.

“Gavin’s just off getting chips. We’re going to feed bread to the ducks and put it up on YouTube … you going to do it today?”

I had first met Lee during physical therapy after my accident. He had been in a motorcycle accident. I learned a lot from him. He’s pansexual and his partner Gavin is non-binary and I hadn’t heard the two terms before so I learned about what the two terms meant. He was a lot more optimistic about his future and gradually I realised that I could be optimistic too. I learned that Gavin was still as in love with him as ever which meant that someone could fall in love with me too. I learned that life could still be fun by our wild nights out. I learned from those nights out that I could still be independent.

“Just don’t film the proposal.”

“Oh Barry, you killjoy! Proposals rack up more views!”, he laughed.

“You propose to Gavin then!”, I laughed.

“The views can wait.”, he grinned.

“I will when the laws change for non-binary people.”, he adds.

“Lee, if Jane says yes, will you be my best man?”

“I’ll get my best man suit ready so because she is definitely going to say yes man.”

Gavin arrives with the chips. They passed a bag to Lee.

Can I see the ring?”, they asked.

I took it from my jacket pocket and opened the box.

“Aw Barry, it’s beautiful. She is going to love it.”

“Thanks Gav.”

I can see Jane in the distance and I quickly stuff the box back in my pocket. Lee and Gavin wish me luck and leave. They head over to eat chips and feed the ducks. Lee flicks on his mobile phone camera.

“Hello YouTube!”, he says.

“Lee here again.”

“And Gavin here.”

I smile. Their media personas are on.

Jane comes over and we kiss. Her blonde hair glistens in sync with the sun’s rays. Her smile is brighter than the sun.

“Jane I met you 3 years ago today. Since then you have made me the happiest man alive.”

I can see the realisation dawning on her face but she doesn’t interrupt me. We had discussed marriage in the past but it had been too early into our relationship at the time for it.

“You showed me that you could love me just as I am and in turn I loved you just as you are. You treated me as a person and not as someone who needed to be cared for or pitied. You are beautiful inside and out and so much fun to be around. When I think of my future it is with you as the central point … obviously I can’t get down on one knee …”

“I’ve always found that tradition corny.”, she grins.

“Will you marry me Jane?”, I smile, taking the box from my pocket and opening it revealing the engagement ring.

“Yes Barry. Yes I will.”, she smiles and we kiss before I place the ring on her finger.

“I’ll get you an engagement ring too soon.”, she grins.

“Let’s go and get a drink Barry to celebrate.”, she adds.

She sits up on my lap and we begin to make our ways to the pub. We pass Lee and Gavin who cheer as we pass. We’ve just made a mini cameo in a YouTube video.

We leave the park to begin this new chapter in our lives.

 

{Sorry I missed a few days. My internet connection was down plus I had a tooth out. But I will catch up on the days I missed in My Short Story A Day For A Month series. Thanks for your patience. :-)}

Poem: She Was/He Was

 

She was fiery,

he was gentle,

they came together.

 

She was harder,

he was softer,

they met in the middle.

 

She was all guns blazing,

he was more serene,

they were each other’s saviour.

 

She was more frightened,

he was more assured,

they felt settled together.

 

She was who he had been waiting for,

he was who she was waiting for,

they found their soulmate.

A Short Story A Day For A Month: Short Story: My Future

 

 

I had been feeling low. I didn’t think many people would understand. Yes my family were ok with my best friend Sophie, who I known since playschool, been a trans woman. But I knew they wouldn’t be ok with me been a trans woman too. It was that weird prejudice thing of ‘everyone’s ok until it’s one of my own’. But at least I had Sophie. I felt I was lucky that way. Some people had no one they could turn to who would understand, who would be supportive, who would still love them.

So I called her and asked her to come over to mine for a coffee. We settled down soon after she arrived and I couldn’t wait to get this all off my chest to someone.

“Soph, I asked you come over here today because I have something important to tell you …”

“Sounds very formal Aaron.”, she smiled.

I had grown used to holding back wincing over the years when someone referred to me as ‘Aaron’. I couldn’t blame anyone though. I had never set them straight on the issue.

I took her hands in mine. It steadied my nerves somewhat. It wasn’t that I feared rejection, simply that saying something out to someone for the first time that means so much to you is always a daunting prospect.

“I’m a trans woman too.”

Because I didn’t fear her response I didn’t feel the need to hesitate. She looked momentarily surprised before wrapping her arms around me in a hug. The tension of holding everything in almost came out in tears. I felt immense relief and also like things would be different in some way for me from here on in and I was apprehensive about that. I hoped I was strong enough for what was to come.

“I’m glad you told me.”, she smiled, warmly.

“Do your family know?”

“Not yet. But I plan to tell them soon. I can’t live this lie anymore. If I don’t do this now I don’t think I ever will … by the way, my name’s Olivia. It’s what my parents were going to call me if I had of been assigned female at birth.”

“It’s nice. It suits you.”

I poured us more coffee. I was on a happy high.

“So when are you planning to start hormones and have your surgeries?”

That wasn’t a question I had expected. Maybe I expected her to ask me if I was going to, not when I was going to.

“I wasn’t going to.”

She places her coffee cup down and raises an eyebrow.

“This isn’t a game you know. This is very real to some of us.”

What was that supposed to mean? It was very real to me.

I’m so shocked by what I’m hearing that I can’t speak so she continues.

“You might see this as a fad but this is my life Aaron.”

“I’m Olivia.”

“I’m not going to insult real trans women by calling you Olivia. You can’t just throw on a few clothes, a bit of make-up, call yourself Olivia and expect everyone to think you are a woman. It’s an insult to all actual women, trans and cis.”

“I’m a valid woman like all of yous’. And it’s quite a bit more to me than throwing on a few clothes, a bit of make-up and calling myself Olivia. It’s how I feel, it’s how I function with ease in myself, it’s how I’m happy. It’s how I don’t feel offended when I think of been referred to as a woman, as Olivia. It’s how I feel like shit every time someone refers to me as a man, as Aaron.”

“I have went through hell. Do you know much I have had to sacrifice to start hormones? To get all the surgeries I needed? Do you know how many times I caught a glimpse of my naked body in the reflection of my bedroom mirror and felt disgusted? Felt gender dysphoria about my body?”

“Sophie, I am not trying to belittle any of that. I seen how you struggled …”

“And yet you want to make a mockery of every trans woman. Don’t you think we get enough of that from cis people like you already?”

“I’m not cis. Look people feel differently. They have to do what they have to do to make themselves happy and comfortable. And for you, that required hormones and all your surgeries and I’m am so so happy for you that it all worked out because I love you and our friendship to pieces. But what I need to make me happy and comfortable is different Sophie. Can’t you understand that?”

She gets up and walks to the door. She turns around at the door.

“You aren’t a woman. You’ll never be a woman. You aren’t trans enough. Heck you aren’t trans at all.”, she says and walks out.

The silence of my flat was awful. I had lost my best friend. I felt an emptiness in my stomach. And rapid fear of the future in my body. Was this how most people were going to react? Was I destined to be incredibly lonely? This spiral escalated in my brain for some time after she left and then I faced a hard realisation …

Sophie was never really my friend.

She was acting like I was the enemy. Like I was the one who had put her through stuffing. Didn’t she remember that I was the first person she told when she was 11? The one who was there for her at numerous appointments? The one who gave her the spare bedroom of my flat to crash in after her family threw her out after she came out to them? The first one who supported her and helped her to not hide away when she feared the reaction of those she met? I supported her and yet she couldn’t support me. She was doing exactly to me what other people had done to her. And worse still she couldn’t even see that that was what she was doing. But I realised I had been seeking her support, not her approval, not her blessing, certainly not her permission.

I am a woman. I am Olivia. I am trans enough. More than any of that, I am me and I thought I meant something to her. I clearly meant nothing. Things were definitely going to be hard and even harder without any support. But I was strong, I would support myself and I would follow my own long ago advice and not hide away. Out in this world there is good people. I would find them. Until then I could handle this. I told myself over and over to convince myself. I would be me. I would be happy, comfortable and at ease been me. No one could or would take that away. My future of been authentic to who I was and how I felt started here.

 

 

Poem: Just A Pansexual

 

 

 

I’m nothing special,

In fact I’m a bit of a bore …

I have always related to that Abba line.

 

So what’s the deal

with all these misconceptions

that ‘cos I’m pansexual

I’m apparently ‘interesting’,

‘exotic’, ‘an exotic zoo animal’,

‘self-absorbed’ ‘promiscuous’,

‘trend-following freak’

with ‘mental issues’?

Is it too much to think

a pansexual might be just like you?

A boring, ordinary everyday girl

with the same mixture

of insecurities and confidence

mingled together

who is just trying to get on in the world

just like you.

Why are you so obsessed with my love life?

Are you seriously bored?

Why are you so obsessed with my sex life?

Are you a pervert?

Why aren’t you more interested in

whether I’m a nice person?

I used to think I was straight

and face almost no negativity,

now a Google search is enough

to realise the frightening truth,

many people hate me overnight.

That seems weird,

I’m the same person.

This fear of something perceived as ‘new’

really can get out of hand,

you have nothing to be frightened of,

I’m actually quite gentle

so there’s no need to be irrational.

But I’m also faced with relief and joy

that the majority are not like you,

filled with bitterness

and scared of any kind of difference,

shutting out anyone who doesn’t conform

to your robotic formula

but there is many of you,

a good few too many,

maybe it’s the times

but let’s not use that as an excuse,

the times and context have been used as an excuse

too often in history.

I’m not some immoral monster,

I’m just a human being,

there’s still time to save yourself

from the hate and fear absorbing you,

to stop yourself from been an immoral monster.

Every heart can change

but it has to want to

and if doesn’t want to,

there’s not much hope.

 

Whatever you think

and you are entitled to think what you like,

it changes nothing,

I’m here,

I’m happy

and I’m staying.

And if you can’t get over your problems and issues,

you’ll be here,

you’ll be happy,

and you’ll be staying

but you’ll also be staying bitter

and I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.