Thanks to the Knee Doctor for editing my work.
There is no sex in this story. Sorry.
I was confused for most of my life. It was a sexual thing. As I was growing up I found that I was not turned on, or excited by pictures of beautiful naked women. All of my friends would go nuts looking at the blonde, blue- eyed "Barbie dolls" in the girlie magazines. I would go along with them because I figured it was what I was expected to do but inside I just did not understand what all the excitement was about. High school proved to be really confusing because I ended up dating some of the same type of girls that were in the magazines and found that the real life version was just as boring as the pin ups.
My name is John Terrell. When I hit eighteen I began to believe that I had this problem because I was gay. After a horrible weekend in San Francisco. I found out that was not it. Gay sex and porn proved to be just as numbing as "Barbie" sex and porn.
Now, I was not a virgin. I was a good looking guy and had no trouble getting dates. I was able to get stimulated enough to do the dirty deed with several cheerleader types but I can't say I enjoyed it. I was beginning to think I was going to end up as a monk at some far off remote monastery when something clicked.
Although none of the guys, or my self, was gay, we decided to go to the "city by the bay" for the annual Gay Pride Parade. We were trying to kill time and felt it would be a lot of fun, not to razz or pick on the gays, but rather,to enjoy some of the celebration they were putting on. This was the first step in my awakening. Leading off the parade was a group called "Dykes on Bikes". All of a sudden I saw the most beautiful collection of females passing in front of my eyes. It wasn't the Harleys or the leathers it was the warm bodies that turned me on. They were hard, tanned, and muscular. As odd as it may seem, I was actually getting aroused just watching them go by. Of course I didn't say anything to the other guys about it. Most of the dykes had a pretty little lipstick lesbian sitting behind them, enjoying the vibration of the big bikes. I knew I had made a major discovery but now I was worried that I might be a lesbian in a man's body.
That foolish idea was quickly discarded because I realized that not only did I want to satisfy them the same way their girl friends did, I also wanted to screw them. It was then that I realized I might not be any better off than I was. Where was I going to find a dyke lesbian that would want to have sex with me?
We enjoyed the rest of the parade and the rest of the day. Toward the evening we stopped by a dyke bar and at my insistence, we all went in. We were completely out of place and they let us know it, but not before I fell in love with two or three of them. They wore denim vests with the sleeves cut off. On the back was printed "Scotty's B Team." All I could think of was that I would love to meet the "A Team". The trip home was great. I felt that at last, I had some sort of future to look forward to if only I could find it, or her.
`Going through high school I had my own lawn service business. I was pretty good at it and by the time I finished school I had figured out that I could make a living doing it. I lived with my parents for a few years while I was getting the business started. I finally was able to buy a property with a house and steel out building that was zoned commercial. In no time at all I had a crew of six full time employees and eight temporary employees. During the winter, when the need for mowing was less, the temps all went back home to Guadalajara. The rest of us spent the time on pruning jobs and equipment upkeep. I made a good living and I was content except for my gender sexual identity problem.
To compensate for my sexual frustration I had taken up skydiving. There were several good fields in the Northern California area and I had no trouble getting certified and gained lots of experience. To make things more interesting I completed a smoke jumpers course that was held near Reno. My business could run without me so I was almost always available. Each year I would get called several times and we would fly to a remote Western U.S. area to fight fires. We got paid for it but I enjoyed the excitement more than the money. For two weeks every summer I would go to Reno and help with the training and certification of the new jumpers.
The Roseville, California fire department had a big enough parking lot that all of the trainees could leave their cars during the two week training period. I left my truck there so I could ride up on the bus. Eighteen guys showed up and all of them appeared up to the task. As they were stowing their gear, one of them caught my eye. He was clean shaven, about five foot eight and had a barrel chest and large arms. Something didn't seem right and I figured it out when I got an erection. This was an all male group. Training of female smoke jumpers was done in Colorado. The policy was to have no mixed gender classes to avoid problems and it worked well for us.
Billy Maxfield was going to try and get through the male only smoke jumpers course. I knew right away that no matter how good she was, without my help she would never make it. She sat alone, looking out the window, for the entire ride over Donner Pass. She was trying to be friendly and at the same time not draw too much attention to herself. I memorized her face during the trip. Dark heavy eyebrows, that had never been plucked, and deep set brown eyes. She had a strong chin line and a wide mouth with chiseled lips. Her nose had a small bump in it but fit the rest of her face perfectly. Her hands were coarse with short nails and obviously had been used for manual labor. She appeared to have muscles where real girls did not. It was fairly easy for her to pass as a man. It appears that I was able to detect her because of some weird dyke radar that I had developed. By the time the bus arrived at Camp Roosevelt I had fallen in love with Billy Maxfield.
Clayton Burns was running the training session. It was held in an old conservation corps work camp. There were twenty or so, two man cabins just big enough for two beds. A central mess hall also contained the office and training rooms. It the middle of the camp was a community shower and latrines. That would be a problem for Billy. The training would be hard and sweaty. Daily showers would be the minimum. Trainees had a choice of doubling up or having a cabin by themselves. As expected, Billy requested a cabin by her self.
"John, are you going to bunk with me or by yourself?" Clayton and I usually shared one of the nicer cabins.
"Clay, I think I am going to stay with one of the new guys this time. Is that OK?"
"Sure. I don't see why not. What brought this on?"
"Nothing special. Just wanted to do something different."
"Hey, I got three guys going solo. Which one do you want to team up with?"
"Can you stick me in with Billy Maxfield?"
"No problem. Why him?"
"I have this strange feeling he might need a little extra encouragement."
"What the hell are you doing here?"
Billy Maxfield did not appreciate me coming into the cabin. She just started to put her stuff in the footlocker when I walked in.
"Looks like we are going to be rooming together."
"No way. I asked for and got a cabin by myself. There are plenty of cabins available, go get your own."
A paused a bit and looked at her. "No thanks. I like this one."
"OK. I'll get another one."
"I don't think you want to do that."
"I assume you came here because you want to complete the course and get certified, right?"
"Yes. So what?"
"You won't get through the first three days without my help."
"Bullshit. I am qualified, smart enough and can meet all the physical requirements. I can pass without your help."
I sat down on the bed and looked at her. She was determined and fearless. She did not take her eyes off of me. I motioned for her to sit on her bed facing me. She sat like a man would and glared defiantly into my face.
"Have you seen the shower arrangements?"
Suddenly her face softened. She looked at her feet and then her eyes sort of darted around the room as if she was looking for something she knew she would not find. She didn't answer.
"If we stay together I can help you with the shower problem and any other similar situations that pop up."
Billy flung her arms out to her side and fell back onto the bed.
"Shit, shit, shit."
"It was bound to happen sooner or later. At least with me you have a chance."
She bounded up and glared. "And what do you get out of this?"
"Not a damn thing. I just want to see you get through the course."
"Are you some sort of sex pervert or something?"
"No. But what did you have in mind?"
"Don't be funny. This is not something to laugh about. I want this and I am serious. I don't appreciate being blackmailed so I can stay here."
" No blackmail. I don't want anything. I won't even peek at you in the shower. I'll give you all the privacy you need or want. I just don't want you entertaining any of the guys in our cabin while I am out."
That brought a small smile to her face. "I know you want something. I'll figure it out."
Training started early the next day. The mornings were usually set up for classroom work and the afternoons for field exercises. Breakfast and lunch were usually at a specific time and the evening meals were a little more casual, which worked to our advantage. After the field exercises the guys were anxious to get back, shower and hit the mess hall. Everybody always had a good appetite. Billy and I hung back until all the guys finished their showers and were eating supper before it was our turn. The common practice was to wear a bathrobe between the showers and the cabins. We always walked together and acted as normal as possible. The shower area and latrines were separate so I would wait outside the shower till Billy got done, making sure she wasn't interrupted. She showered very quickly and then went back to the cabin alone so I could wash up. By the time I got back she was dried off and dressed. She waited on the porch for me to dress and then we went to eat. We used to get teased about always being late to eat but no one ever thought any further about it.
Billy wore boxer shorts and a heavy tee shirt around the room. She became more comfortable with me after a few days but I never saw her naked. I tried not to peek or invade her privacy in any fashion. If she had boobs, they weren't much. That was ok with me.
There were a few close calls but by the end of the two weeks we had it down pat. Billy had no trouble with the rest of her training. We did six jumps during the two weeks and she was better than most of the guys. She got great grades on all her tests and exercises. We never discussed the sexual orientation problem again and went on day to day as if everything was normal.
Saturday was graduation. Friday afternoon became a problem.
"John, I am trying to get the certificates together and I am having a problem with the information on Maxfield." Clay was speaking to me without looking away from the computer. He had a pile of graduation certifications set on the corner of the desk but was concentrating on the last one.
"Whenever I try to put the data together it keeps coming up that his social security number belongs to a female. I can't figure it out. Any ideas John?"
"Just go with it. He completed all the course requirements, didn't he? I don't think you want to deny him his certification because of a social security screw up."
"That's not the point John. Everything seems to indicate that Billy Maxfield is a female and that won't fly."
"If Billy Maxfield is a female why did you let her complete the course?"
"Hell John, if he is a girl nobody knew it. You bunk with him. Is he a girl?"
"Yes Clay. Billy Maxfield is a female. I knew it from the first day."
"What the hell. Why didn't you say something right away so we could stop it?"
"She's a good jumper Clay. She did well on the tests and exercises. It would have been a shame to not even give her a chance."
"Damn it. Now what do I do?"
"Who said that the course was only for men?"
"What do you mean?"
"Who made the rule that is was a men only thing?"
"OK that's easy enough. Change it."
"You're a son of a bitch John. Have you been screwing her the last two weeks?"
"On my honor Clay. I never touched her. I just wanted to keep her safe."
"OK damn it. I'll make it up as a female. Now get the hell out of here."
I stopped as I was walking out the door. "One more thing Clay. Could you hold off on that certificate until tomorrow morning?"
"You don't want to know."
Billy was sitting on the porch in front of the cabin with a cooler. She waited until I sat down beside her and then took two beers out. She didn't say anything, just smiled.
"Are you happy about finishing?"
"Yes, but I don't really want to leave."
"Do you have a family to get back to?"
"No. My mom and dad live in Grass Valley but I have my own place in Sacramento."
"What do you do there? For a living I mean?"
Billy looked at me and laughed. "Hell John, I'm the Keebler elf. Didn't you recognize me?"
"What does that mean?"
"I stock grocery store shelves with Keebler cookies and crackers. Been doing it for a few years now. I do my job and nobody bothers me. I make enough to get by and I have no work related worries."
"Sounds like a comfortable situation. Is it your life's ambition?"
"Yah, right, just what every girl dreams of. What do you do John, when you are not protecting innocent maidens?"
"I have a landscaping business."
"You mean you mow lawns?"
"Well, yes if you want to put it that way."
"You are a little old for that aren't you?"
"Well I have fourteen other guys who actually do the mowing. I sort of just answer the phone and hand out pay checks."
We both had a little laugh at that and she got out two more beers.
"John, it's the last day and I am curious. How come you never hit on me?'
I put on my serious face. It was a hard question and I wanted to get the answer just right. "Billy, things could have gone four ways. If I didn't hit on you and you were ok with that we could remain friends and that would be good. If I didn't hit on you and you got upset we would no longer be friends but at least it wouldn't be because I did something dumb. If I hit on you and you got mad then we would never be friends again and I would feel bad. If I hit on you and you said yes I am afraid we would have gotten ourselves in big trouble. I didn't know what to do so I didn't do anything."
"I got a fifth possibility. How about if you hit on me and that makes me feel wanted and desired and then I turn you down but still stay friends. "
"Well I am afraid that would make me feel like I wasn't good enough for you and I would not want to be your friend any more."
"Boy we sure are a pair of idiots John." She got out two more beers.
"John, are you gay?"
"No I am not. Are you?"
"No. I thought for a while I might be but it didn't work out. I don't even like girls. I don't think there is a category for me. I have never had a date, didn't get to go to my prom and I am a twenty two year old virgin.
"Do you want to have children?"
"Yes, but the way things are going I don't think that is ever going to happen. Hell I just got done living with a guy for two weeks and couldn't even get a kiss."
Well that got a laugh from both of us. I leaned over and kissed her on the cheek.
"That's not a kiss." She said it with a smile on her face.
I made a decision at that point. "Billy do you have your birth certificate here?"
"Yes, just incase I might need it."
"Go in and get it and meet at the dining room in five minutes. Bring you wallet and stuff with you."
She gave me a funny look as I walked down to see Clayton.
Two hours later Billy and I were married. We spent the night in the honeymoon suite at Harrahs and I finally got to see her naked. The next morning Clayton gave out the certificates and hers said Billy Terrell. The big surprise was that all the guys going through the course knew what was going on and kept it a secret. Clay was the only one who didn't known.
Epilogue: Its has been six years since I met and married my special girl. We went to three forest fires together, one in Idaho and two in Montana. On the last one I shattered my knee on the jump so we decided to quit. We have two boys and a girl. The oldest is ready to start school so Billy has let her hair grow and started to wear a little, very little, makeup. She felt it was important for her to look a little more traditional so that the kids would not be embarrassed. She bought a few dresses, even a little black one. She wears it with a push bra and thinks it's a hoot. I am one lucky guy.