THis is my first story involving this subject. I hope you guys enjoy! Thank you for stopping by and as I always say, comments are not only welcome, but appreciated! Help me become a better writer!
I had just stumbled into a bar, on the corner of 43rd St. and main, depression hitting me at the core of my soul. The consistency of my life had just taken a hard hit. I had gotten used to being invisible and no one really caring whether I lived or died. I was just another piece of cheese in the rat race. My entire being was getting up, eating, working, eating, and sleeping. I had gotten up that particular Monday morning, staring at my lifeless brown eyes surrounded by dark bags of insomnia. I got myself ready to go to work, making sure I put my 'happy face' on, and stepped out the door.
When I got to work, I made sure I hugged everyone, joked and smiled at my students as I worked through the course of the day. The monotony of my day was broken when Bobby came into the teachers' lounge of a local high school I was running voice classes out of. He informed me that Demetrius, a guy I had a massive secret crush on, was extremely shy and wanted to go out on a date with me. I was shocked! Let me describe this fine man. To me he was the pure definition of man: Chocolate brown, 5 foot 7, 32 year old hunk of flexing muscle. He had eyes of black obsidian, with a hint of the young man within him. He rode to school every day on his bike, to keep himself in shape and he was a nerd. Like me! Unlike me, he was sex incarnate!
I couldn't picture him actually liking someone like me. . My hair was always braided and some people said my eyes were dark amber.
I had soft curves around my hips, stomach and arms. Yup, out of shape like no one's business and too comfortable to care. My skin, a light caramel was covered in scars. I had battled with psoriasis for about 15 years it covered at least 30 percent of my body and caused many guys to turn their heads in disgust. I was used to it, having through bouts with emotional and physical abuse from my youth, developed strong shoulders and shields However, \not everyone can be strong all the time.
Bobby pulled me out in the hall, while Demetrius had walked by and the embarrassment began.
"I think you guys are nice people and should at least try to date! You both have so much in common and are too shy! Come on man, do it! Do it for me!"
I was flashed back to when I was in middle school when I was a kid. This same situation was playing out the same way. In my heart, I was already prepared for the outcome.
Bending over, Demetrius whispered, "I'll do it man, I gave my word that I would. It just has to be one date right?"
This guy didn't want me. No guy wanted me. I didn't fit what they wanted. In Demetrius's eyes, I saw the same. Patting my hand on his shoulder, I patted him on the shoulder, smiling to hide my embarrassment
"Listen, I know you gave your word, but if you don't want to, you don't have to. It's okay. I know I'm not your type. If we do it this way, your word is intact and you can go forward in your life." I patted him, smiled and walked away, my heart, once strong enough to deal with this, shattering in pieces.
After I got off of work, I didn't even go home. I drove around in a daze, ending up in this bar called Candy Shop. I was so tired of struggling to make ends meet. I was tired of coming home to an empty house and empty bed. Sitting down at the bar, I ordered a shot of cherry vodka and took it straight. The bartender didn't blink when I said one more. As she walked away, I pulled out my list, placing a check by 'Get drunk' and proceeded to do just that.
The tears were a dead giveaway that something was wrong with this woman beside me. No whimper. Just tear after tear falling down her face, diluting the vodka I had just given her. I had never seen her before and I'm pretty sure she didn't know she was in a gay bar. Indicating that she wanted another shot, I poured, but started to watch her throughout the night. I saw her pull this paper out, mark something down, and then place it in her pants.
It was a dreary Monday night, it wasn't too busy and all my familiars were in. Eventually she staggered to the bathroom, keeping to the wall to not disturb anyone. As she came out, one of my regulars, Melanie reached over and grabbed her, dragging her to the dance floor, rubbing her body all over her. Finally shaken out of her haze, I saw the girl struggle to get out of her grip, but Melanie was one of the trouble makers. She was a stout 5 foot 10, butch and loved breaking in new comers. I had to put a stop to this shit right now. As I walked over, I heard the girl sobbing, whispering 'No' under her breath and Melanie giving her promises of making her feel good, a sly cocky look on her face.
"Let her go, you crazy dyke!" I grabbed the girl's arm, wrenching her out of Melanie's grasp.
"Come on, man, you know she was asking for it! All my women want to be with me!" Melanie reared back and before she could get a punch off, Darien, another one of my regulars, grabbed her and held her.
"You need to back off, Melanie and go find you an actual slut." Darien dragged a furious Melanie off into another part of the bar. I turned to see the girl on her knees, heaving and trying to breathe at the same time.
Asking one of my waiters for help, I got one side and we both carried the now passed out woman into my office. My office acted as a second home so if I was too tired some nights I could stagger in here, so it was pretty furnished. As I told Walter to work on closing for the night, I began to look at this woman. Her face was crusted with snot and tear tracks. Her lip, crusted with blood. It seemed like she wanted to cry so hard she bit on her lip to keep her screams of anguish to herself. I went to the bathroom and washed her down, stripping her down to her camisole and panties. I laid her down on my sleeper sofa and draped a blanket over her.
After closing the bar down, I went back into the office, finished my receipts for the night and shut the lights off. Walking over to the couch where she slept, I stroked my hand over her face. I didn't even know this woman and my heart was breaking over her. Sighing to myself, I walked to my bedroom to get ready to sleep. As I walked by her clothes, I saw a piece of paper on the floor. Opening it, I began to read....
Letter to mom and dad....check. Letter to family.....check. Letter to pastor......check. Get drunk......check. Have sex.......
I stared at the woman on the couch. What was she planning to do once this list was complete?
First thing to learn about getting drunk: Waking up hurts. Especially if there is a light in your face. My mouth tasted like cotton, I felt like the 713 bus forgot something and ran back over me and to top it off, I was hungry. I didn't want to move till I felt the need. Looking down at myself, I didn't recognize this blanket. Or this couch. Or this room. Where the hell was I?
Flashes of last night played like an old movie flick as it showed me the girl grabbing on me, rubbing her drunken ass all over me and someone coming to save me. Who was this person? I saw my clothes over on the chair and began to put them on, trying to figure out where I was. I had some things I needed to get done today so that at the end of the week I'd be finished. Leaving a note, telling whoever it was thank you, I started to sneak out.
"Where do you think you're going?"
I flinched as I turned around and was met with a statuesque beauty: cream colored skin, at least six inches taller than me, fire red hair and deep green eyes full of mystery. She was wrapped in a black kimono style robe and carried herself with such pride that I felt dwarfed in her presence. Trembling, I waited for the blow to land.
"No thank you or anything?" This goddess asked me.
"I tried to leave you a thank you letter on the desk over there. I wanted to thank you, Miss..." I quivered. Second rule of being drunk: Words elude you. Putting two and two together in your head always came up hot dog.
"Davona dear. And be glad you didn't leave. I had my alarm set and the cops would have been on you for sure." I saw her left eyebrow cock upward. I smacked myself in the head. Ouch. Third rule of being drunk: Face palm is a no no.
"I'm sorry, Ma'am. I'm not usually this ditzy. Last night was the first time I got drunk in my life and I guess I shouldn't do it again huh?" Laughing nervously, I was looking for a look of emotion from her. Smile. Frown. Make a funny face something!
Chuckling to herself, she said, "Well next time you come to my bar, come with some friends so when this happens you got help, okay?
I cringed. .
"So, shall we have breakfast before you leave today? I bet you're hungry." Her smile looked like it lit up a room. I didn't want to be any more of a bother than I already was, so I started to tell her no. I say started because she rushed forward, grabbing me by the wrist....ow... and strode over to the kitchen. Man I had to run to keep pace with her long flowing legs.
Siting me down at the table, she began to put some things together. "You need some help? I could probably assist." I wanted to help, but she shook her head.
"You're probably still a little bit dizzy so I want you to relax. Tell me about yourself." Davona said as she put a cup of coffee on.
I told her I was a private music teacher, working with a couple of middle and high schools all through Savannah I had two sisters, a brother and a few nieces and nephews. I was single, no prospects but living life to the fullest. I had to keep some type of facade up.
As she began to beat the eggs, she started by saying that she owned this bar, had only one brother and traveled up to Maine every winter to visit her family. She was single as well and not really looking for anyone. As she put her dish in the oven, she grabbed a cup of coffee and sat down at the table with me.
"What were you doing at my bar? You do realize this is an 'alternative bar' right?" Davona calmly sipped her coffee, waiting for a response from me.
"N-n-n-o...I didn't. I thought that girl was drunk and just grabbed the closest thing to her." I replied, trying to make the trembling stop.
Davona reached towards my hands and squeezed. "Okay honey, calm down. Follow in breath with me."
I focused on her breathing. Inhale three seconds, exhale three. Inhale. Exhale. Eventually the tremors stopped and I could focus again. Davona focused her eyes on me, rubbing my hands the entire time. Like she was trying to read me. Too close. Too close. I slowly released her hands.
"Listen, I thank you for breakfast but really I'm fine. I have some things to do today anyway and I know you do as well." I hurried to the door, waiting on her to disarm the alarm. Davona took a deep breath and got up to honor my request.
"Can I have your number? Maybe we could get together sometime this week?" She asked, cautious to my plight. I quickly jotted it down, anything to get out of the beautiful person's home. She would forget me anyway. They all do.
As Syren left, I glanced down at the paper with her number, holding it close. How long did I have? Then again, maybe it's not for me to save her. Shrugging, I proceeded to finish dressing in my steel gray slacks, soft white blouse and matching pumps. Tying my ruby red hair in a bun, I finished silver hoops and a dragon pendant hovering over my 40 D breasts. A little make up and I'm on my way to meet clients who wanted to rent my club for an up and coming artist's CD release party.
As the lunch meeting went on, my thoughts kept going back to Syren and the note I had found. What did this woman go through to bring her to such a decision? She had family and friends, things that I had always wanted.
I was successful, but I trusted no one. Only a few people knew that I was a pre-op transsexual and had initially started off my life as David.
When my parents found out that I had been dressing up as a girl behind closed doors through high school, they had hit the roof. They had left for a weekend getaway. Since I was seventeen years old, they would call every once now and again to check to see if I was safe. My mom had suddenly gotten ill and cut the trip short. When they came home, they found me with his hair tied back, in brown lace camisole and bikini set, makeup that I had borrowed from my mom and nude stocking feet. When the shock had worn down, my father went in a rage and my poor mom dropped to her knees. Weeping and whispering, she kept saying 'God why my son.' over and over again. My father told me to get my real clothes on and before my father could do anything, I ran past my father to my room to dress and pack.
"David, please. Can we talk about this?" My father's gruff voice spoke from the other side of the door. I remember I was still stuck in fight or flight mode but eventually I calmed down. Later on in the evening, around dinner time, a knock came to the front door. Rev. Oleander from their church came by with a few pamphlets for me.
"Son, I understand that this is a very confusing time for you in life, but I want you to know, God loves you and is here for you. Now if you will start packing, we can get underway." Rev. Oleander had this fake smile that let me know his intentions were not good. You see, Rev. Oleander was known in the community as a 'gay converter'. He spoke of the evils of homosexuality and even had a camp built for counseling the 'confused' and 'corrupt' to correct members of society. A couple of my friends had went to these 'camp sessions' and when they came back were like religious zombies, quoting scripture.
"David, it's for the best dear. We love you very much." My mom and dad sat at the table with check in hand. Looking across their faces, I knew nothing was up for discussion as I went to my room. As I packed solemnly, my head started to spin. I wanted out but had to think. I had at least three hundred dollars saved up and could survive maybe doing jobs on the side. Maybe...just maybe. So I decided to make plans and bide my time.
Once we got to the camp I started seeing people from different walks of life as we were all gathered in one room. Rev. Oleander got up on the podium and began to spew his disdain for the America be knew being desecrated by all who chose not to be heterosexual. He spoke of the effects on the 'traditional American family', claiming that what we were the reason that over fifty percent of American families went through divorce, abuse, suicides and rape, all because we had allowed the Devil to confuse us on who we were. He said it was the church's duty to save us from a burning hell and that he was our savior. I felt such a sick feeling deep in my stomach because of all the shame my choice.
A couple of weeks into our 'rehabilitation', I started to realize some things. They would lecture us daily that our fathers and their lack of time with us was the reason why most guys wanted to change their sexual identity. The classes became a brutal show and tell as we were forced to tell what we had done to end up at this place. As I stood before the group, my reason behind why I was who I was became clear to me for the first time in my then limited life. I dress because it makes me feel beautiful and more assured. Once that settled into my soul that was the extra support I needed to get through.
They tried shock therapy, where they would show the guys gay or tranny porn and if we got erections, we were given a quick jolt. Pavlov's training at its finest. We had to go to confessional once a day where we told our sins to Rev. Oleander and he would look at me as if I was a piece of shit on his shoes. Even with all of this going on, I still held on to who I was. Biding my time....Biding my time.
That time came a week later when as I slept, I heard Rev. Oleander wake up one of my bunk mates and walked with him to the door. The next day I saw Kevin as he walked around the camp. Usually he was happy and chipper, but like all of us, as the weeks went by, became quieter and more withdrawn. Today though, he didn't want to be touched by anyone. Around supper time and roll call was happening, Kevin's name kept being called. He didn't answer. I was approached by one of the counselors and he asked me to follow him back to our room to check on him.
Kevin was there alright.
Suspended from a beam from the ceiling.
Swinging to and fro.
The camp was in an uproar after that. Kevin's dad, that just so happened to be a Senator for Georgia at that time, put all his political weight on this situation and eventually we were all rescued from this 'gay bashing' concentration camp. My mother and father came to pick me up and I couldn't even look at them in the face.
Rev. Oleander was found guilty along with several other counselors for rape, sodomy, and fraud. The FBI had found out that Rev. Oleander was taking tapes of his 'sessions' with select children and keeping them in his private collection and using the monies from the camp to run an illegal sex tape empire. We would get restitution for what we suffered but that was a hell of a lot for me to deal with as I went into my senior year.
I saved the money from the court case and after I graduated from college, I moved to Savannah, Georgia and began to work at the Candy Shop, purchasing it later when the owner decided he wanted to retire. Reflecting back on who I was now, I was still haunted the nights I slept by the shadow of my friend, hanging from his belt noose. I didn't want to see that happen with Syren.
Going back to my apartment, I grabbed my PS 2 and began to play a game I couldn't remember because my thoughts were wrapped up in my body's response to Davona. Maybe that's why I couldn't find anyone. Was I a lesbian? I was raised in church and taught that those who had thoughts like mine burned in eternal fire. No. No. I can't feel this way. She was like this sensual creature, like God had sent this angel of mercy to shine into my poisoned heart. Would she call me? My hope, long forgotten began to inflame in me, as if it was trying to give me a reason to live. My realism and my cynicism were too much. No one could love me. I couldn't love myself.
The next day, I was sitting in one of my favorite Italian bistros, Simple Tastes, working on a solo for one of my students. She was an exceptional seventh grade student, mezzo soprano, beautiful range in voice and she wanted to sing Danza, Danza Fanciulla Gentile by Franchesco Durante. I was working different ways for her to train her voice to jump and stay steady when Davona entered into my life, one more time.
She strutted through the doors of the bistro, this time dressed in an emerald green sundress, cute brown sandals that showed her red painted toenails, glancing around for a seat. Wow, she was a knockout! It wasn't hard to find one since it was dead time, two p.m. I saw her talking to one of the waitresses as she placed her order. There she was again. What the hell is wrong with me? Normal people don't stare at others. Oh god, she saw me! Dip your head and act like you're working hard! Act natural!
I had only seen Syren once and this one I didn't recognize. Her glasses were square framed to match her caramel complexion, dark coal eyes and turned up nose. Her reddish brown braids formed a border around her oval face. She was dressed in a cream colored blouse, sapphire dress slacks and boots. She looked like a scholar. She looked focused on something. I wanted to grab her attention so as I raised my hand to wave, she saw me and dropped her head. Aww. So shy. I decide to ask the waitress to put my order on her table and walked over to see what she was doing.