"I Hate Mondays"
By Shane Mikhail Medina

This story is fictional, but it deals rather prominently with gender issues, specifically gender
dysphoria, or transgenderism. If things like that bother you...well, that's your problem, isn't it?

I hate Mondays. Not so much because Monday is the beginning of the week after two days of
rest, but more because so many things happen on Mondays.

I saw you for the first time on a Monday, talked to you for the first time on a Monday. Not the
same one, because I was too shy to talk to you at first, but still a Monday. Our first date, our first
kiss, the first time we made love, all Mondays. We moved in together on a Monday. I bought you
a ring on a Monday, proposed on a Monday, you accepted on a Monday. We held our
commitment ceremony on a Monday. Funny how stuff keeps happening. But not everything that
happened on a Monday was good.

I started therapy on a Monday, then had my appointments every Monday after that. I lied to you
for the first time on a Monday, too, when you asked where I was going and I told you a club
meeting, and you asked where this amount of money was going, and I told you my bike insurance
had gone up and not to worry because I was getting a promotion soon anyway.

I got my prescription and my T on a Monday, injected it for the first time that same Monday. I
injected every other Monday after that.

You caught me on a Monday when I forgot to lock the door, sitting on the edge of the bathtub in
my boxers and my binder and a wifebeater, the needle poised above my thigh. You thought it was
drugs at first, I think, but then you realized that I wasn't the kind of person to do stupid things
like that, so you sat beside me and stared at the door while I injected the T. When I was done,
you turned to me and asked me what that was in such a soft voice that I think I nearly cried.

I thought about lying again, but I didn't want to. I told you it was Depo-T and you asked what
that was and I told you it was testosterone and you asked me why was I taking testosterone and I
shrugged and told you because I'm not a girl, I'm a boy.

You wanted to know why I couldn't just go on the way I was, a butch with a femme who loved
her and I told you because of that word, that word her that defines some intangible set of qualities
that I didn't fit because I wasn't a her, a she, a woman, a girl. I was, a him, a boy, a man. You
were quiet for a long, long time after that, and then you stood up and left without a look back. I
think I sat in that bathroom for hours, staring so intently at the empty doorway that when you
came back I nearly fell backwards into the bathtub.

You asked if I loved you and I answered with an absolute yes. You asked if I still wanted to be
with you and again I answered definitely yes. You smiled a sad little smile and came to me,
sitting in my lap and resting your head against my shoulder, one hand curled up in a little fist on
my chest, and I could feel my heart swell with joy when you told me that you loved me too and
that we would figure something out. Those words sat uneasily in my head, but I didn't protest. I
wanted you to stay near me too much to protest.

It was a Monday when my voice started to change perceptibly. I was talking to the cashier at the
grocery store when my voice broke like a teenaged boy's and then settled into a slightly lower
sound. I was overjoyed.

It was a Monday when I first noticed little bits of soft, fine facial hair growing in. I thought I
might die of a joy-induced heart attack. The bigger changes were happening already and since it
had been nearly a year, as soon as I had finished saving up the money, chest reconstruction
surgery was on the way. But the Mondays didn't stop happening.

It was on a Monday that you first came home from work crying. I went to you, tried to hug you,
but you pushed me away and barricaded yourself in the bedroom, leaving the dinner I had made
you to get cold. I threw it out and slept on the couch in my clothes.

You became so withdrawn then and it hurt me so badly because I could see that you were hurting
but you wouldn't tell me anything and you wouldn't let me help you, so all I could do was hover
nervously on the fringes of your life, hoping and praying for some small chance to do something
to make your life a little better.

I left for work earlier than you and came back earlier too, so I took to making you breakfast in the
mornings and I started cleaning the house and cooking dinner in the evenings and looking after
the cats almost religiously. Screw anybody who thinks that means I was going back to my female
self. There's no rule saying men can't cook or clean house.

The breakfasts and dinners were never touched, and I kept sleeping on the couch even after you
stopped locking the bedroom door behind you every night. Things were breaking apart and there
was nothing I could do but keep trying and keep hoping and wait for things to change.

And of course, it was a Monday when my life cracked and shattered like a pane of glass under a

You came home from work just as I was taking the meatloaf out of the oven. Not very original, I
know, but I was never a very creative cook. I had just shaved a little while before hand, and you
told me that I had shaving cream just under my left ear. I nearly dropped the meatloaf on the
floor. It was the first time you'd actually spoken to me in a long time. I set the meatloaf on the
stove and pulled the mitts off, then quickly wiped off the shaving cream.

Then I just stood and looked at you looking at me for a while, the quiet smothering us like a big
wet blanket. Eventually, you averted your eyes and took a seat at the kitchen table. I quickly got
out a plate and a knife and cut a medium-sized piece of meatloaf, serving it up with corn and my
famous butter garlic mashed potatoes. I set the plate in front of you and watched happily as you
tucked into a good meal for the first time in weeks. You ate three plates and I was happier than I
could ever remember being. It seemed like things were looking up.

Finished with your meal, you leaned back in your chair and waited for me to finish cleaning up.
When I was done, you gestured for me to sit down, then asked why I hadn't eaten anything. I
smiled and told you I had eaten a big lunch and wasn't hungry. You just nodded, then were quiet
for a while.

Silly, silly me thinking that this was the part where everything changes for the better and we get
to live happily ever after. No, that doesn't happen on Mondays. No, instead you told me in that
soft little voice that it wasn't working. That you were a lesbian and lesbians don't love men. That
it's sad that you can't even talk about me at work or with your friends because they don't
understand what I am. Then you took off the ring I gave you and handed it quietly back to me. I
sat there, stunned, your wedding ring cutting into my flesh and making me bleed as I closed my
fist around it with all my strength. You just sat there and watched me and, as I searched your
eyes, I saw the pain, the fear, and the resignation in them and knew there was nothing I could do.

Loosening my grip on the ring, I stood up and went into the bathroom. I cleaned and bandaged
my hand, then went into the bedroom and packed my clothing, back into the bathroom to get my
T, my toothbrush, and little things like that. I took a large cardboard box and some newspapers,
then went back into the livingroom and began to pack up all the little things of mine around the
house, moving slowly and carefully because there was something inside of me that was
screaming in a blind rage, and I was afraid it would make me break something. I hated that part
of me.

Within an hour or two, everything of mine was packed away into two boxes, a duffle bag, and a
small backpack. I stood in the living room and looked around the apartment, my eyes gliding
over empty places where my things used to be, looking for anything I might have left.

There. Sitting on top of a bookcase was a cluster of ceramic figures, a pair of cats and an abstract
figure of a woman. The cats, named Shane and Corwyn after myself and my little brother, I
packed away. But as I reached for the woman, named Grace for the first girl who broke my heart,
I paused. I didn't know why, but I felt like I had to leave something of myself behind, something
that would remind you of me and what might have been. Picking her up carefully and cradling
her in my arms, I offered her to you.

I didn't say anything, and neither did you. You just took the statue, holding her in the same way I
had, with a gentle touch and an understanding of her significance. Then I turned, shouldered my
duffle bag and backpack, picked up the boxes, and walked out. I left my key on the coffee table
and never looked back.

I hate Mondays.