I've always thought that every person had both a boy personality and a girl personality. The girl personality was for when you felt like being sensitive, caring, and girly while the boy personality was for when you felt like being tough, strong, and boyish. I would in fact sometimes change my physical appearance to accommodate which ever personality I felt like at that time. I had medium length hair, either long for a boy or short for a girl, and a rather unisex body. So it was almost too easy for me to be mistaken for a boy or look like a girl. That was the gender I was born as, a girl, though sometimes I just felt like being a boy. It was on such an occasion where I felt like being a boy where I made quite possibly the stupidest mistake to date. I made a friend while being a boy.
I give blood every chance I get and I was walking down the street toward the local red cross to offer up my precious red juices. I had woken up and felt like it was masculine day so I was wearing bagging black skater shorts that I had bought a year old by mistake from the boys' section, a baggy black t-shirt, my black Vans with green lining, and a CIA hat that was pulled over my face. That was the only part of my body that made people question whether I was a boy or not, I had a feminine face. So I usually wore hats to cover it whenever I felt like a boy.
When I walked into the red cross it was quiet like always, there were only two other people in the waiting room. An older woman, about her mid to late thirties and a man about my age. They both looked at me when I entered but it was the man I was paying more attention to. He had floppy brown hair that fell into his crystal blue eyes and a pouty bottom lip. Although he was sitting I knew he was tall because his long legs were sprawled out in front of him. I hesitated at the doorway for a second before continuing on walking, pulling the bill of my hat lower over my eyes.
"Ah, Ben, are you here to give blood?" Susan winked, she was behind the counter today and knew about my strange ideas of personality. We had spent many an afternoon discussing ideas and eating cookies after she had taken blood from me.
"Hey Susan, yeah I'm here to give blood." I smirked, while flicking my hair into my eyes on purpose so I could sneak a glance at the man again.
Susan raised an eyebrow when she saw the gesture but followed my eyes to the man, a knowing smirk come onto her red painted lips. "If you could sit next to the other man, Tom, we'll get right to you." She winked at me while I ducked my head low to cover the blush.
'So his name is Tom, nice to know.' I thought in my head as I quietly walked over to the seat next to his.
Tom instantly smiled at me when I sat down, he extended a paw towards me. "I'm Tom," He introduced himself.
I smirked and clasped his hand. "Ben," I answered in a voice lower then was actually comfortable.
"So you're here to give blood too? Yeah, I just love needles being jabbed into my arm and people taking my blood, it's awesome." Tom said sarcastically, I snickered.
"But you know, you save three lives with each pint." I answered, my voice still uncomfortably low. I wasn't sure why I was doing this since usually I just let people wonder which gender I was.
"Je- Ben!" Susan said, I looked quickly at her. She had started to say my real name instead of my boy name. She cleared her throat with an apologetic look. "Ben, we're ready for you."
I stood without looking at Tom and walked stiffly to where Susan was standing. "Je-Ben?" I whispered, she just shrugged.
"Maybe if you stayed one gender or used a unisex name, then maybe people wouldn't mess up and call you Je-Ben." She whispered back as I laid down on the reclining chair.
"No, boy personality equals Ben, girl personality equals Jennifer." I whispered back as she started rubbing my arm with anti-septic.
"Fine, it's your life." She answered while tying a cord tight around my arm. I just relaxed back as she stabbed my arm and left me while the bag started filling. I closed my eyes since it was a strange sensation to have your blood pulled out of your body.
I must have dozed off because I heard voice that sounded far away and quiet. "Did he fall asleep?" Tom asked, I rolled my head towards his voice.
"I think so, but he falls asleep a lot." Susan answered, if I had been awake I would have rolled my eyes at her. "Ben, Ben sweetie." She was shaking my shoulder but I only grunted at her. "We're all done, you can go home whenever you're ready." Her voice was sweet and high, similar to the way that someone would speak to a child.
"Okay," I murmured, I tried to roll off of the chair but my legs slipped out from under me. I wondered what the ground would feel like when my face slapped against it but I felt two arms catch me. "Wow, Sue, you've gotten strong." I muttered but looking at the dark, manly arm hair and I soon realized that this was not Susan.
"How about I take you home, okay Ben?" Tom asked, instead of saying anything I raised a thumb to him. I heard him chuckle deep in his chest and I shivered, though that might have been from the blood loss at least that was what I was going to blame it on.
For some reason I thought that he'd let me walk out but he obviously had other plans. He decided I should be carried though not in the bridal style, lady-like manor. Instead I was thrown over his shoulder like a rag doll with my ass for everyone to see. But strangely I didn't protest instead I just grunted, as that seemed to be the only thing I was able to do.
I think I passed out for a little bit because the next thing I knew I was in a strange passenger seat staring out a clean wind shield. "You don't even know where I live." I muttered darkly, rolling my head to stare out the passenger window where the sun wasn't so bright.
"That's why you should tell me or else I'll have to take you home with me." Tom answered, I raised an eyebrow. He sounded like he was flirting, but that was impossible because he thought I was a boy.
I growled my address which was only a few blocks from the red cross. "Hey, we only live a few blocks away from each other." Tom exclaimed.
"So then why did you drive the four blocks to the red cross?" I asked, my eyes focusing a little better. I looked at Tom and as he was driving I took in his appearance which was really quite a remarkable one.
Tom laughed, "Because I'm lazy and obviously I have to help you out." I felt the terrible urge to giggle at that, so I did. Tom frowned at me, "Maybe they took more then a pint on accident…"
"That's impossible." I answered looking back out the window. I watched as my neighbor's house from across the street pulled into view. "Thanks for the ride," I said quietly as I opened the door and fell out, literally. "Damn it…" I hissed to the pavement.
"Here, let me help you buddy." Tom said as he turned off the car and came around to me.
"Swell," I said sarcastically. I was once more thrown over his shoulder and carted like a sack of potatoes into my own house. The second we crossed the threshold into my house I could smell my mother's garden and the soil she used.
"Your house smells like a garden," Tom said to me, I rolled my eyes even though he couldn't see it.
"My parents are hippies," I muttered even though that was the under statement of the century. They were the most liberal people known to man, they were cool with anything under the sun as long as nothing natural was hurt. They were even fine with my gender personality thing I had going on., in fact they aided in it.
"Ben, honey, are you home?" I heard my mother asking. She knew I was a boy today because she saw me leave the house like this.
"Yeah, ma." I answered weakly.
"Honey, you sound terribly weak." She answered in her same airy tone. I always wondered if they just smoked pot so much when they were teenagers that they now just have a permanent high.
"He'll be fine." Tom answered for me, "He just needs some food in him." Tom set me down so that I was leaning heavily against him.
"Oh, hello darling!" My mom said happily. "Stay for dinner!" I glared at her instantly from under my hat.
"Oh… Um… Alright." He answered slowly. I rolled my eyes at both of them as I stumbled to the couch, flopping down unceremoniously. I flicked my head towards a chair while curling onto my side.
Tom sat down uncomfortably as my mom came practically dancing out of the kitchen in her many layered skirt and bright gypsy clothes.
"I'm Ben and Jennifer's mom, Aggie." She told him joyfully.
"Oh do you have a sister?" Tom asked me, I looked quickly at my mom.
"Yes!" I answered faster then I should have.
"Will I get to meet her today?" Tom asked, though he looked at me suspiciously.
"No, she's at a friend's house." I answered slowly, leaning back when I felt a wave of nausea come over me.
"That's too bad, how old is she?" Tom inquired politely.
"18, just like me, we're twins." I answered, looking at him again.
"That's awesome, I have two brothers but they're both older then me." Tom said while accepting a cookie that my mother offered him.
I snickered when he took a bite out of it and tried to keep the disgust off his face. Mother never was one for making sweets, in fact she pretty much just failed at cooking all the time. "So how old are you?" I asked and looked at my mom to see if her face even flickered in doubt or surprise. But she just kept smiling happily as if nothing was wrong with the fact that a boy I barely knew was in her house, eating her food.
"I'm 19, just turned it last week." He grinned at me and I felt my heart melt.
"Well happy birthday." I answered before trying to stand again.
"Wait, you shouldn't be trying to get up yet. You're still pretty weak." Tom said as his finger tips brushed my arm. That barest touch sent a shock through my arm which caused me to jerk back in surprise, ending up back on the couch.
"I'm cool, just let me do my own thing." I half snarled at him, he looked slightly shocked but he nodded and let me try to hold myself up on unstable legs. It was as if he expected me to fall because he somehow managed to catch me when I dropped.
"Damn it," I hissed, pulling away from him when he rested me back on the couch.
"It's cool, most people react this way to losing blood. You'll be fine." Tom told me while sitting next to me.
"What are you, a doctor?" I growled, half wondering if he actually was a doctor.
"Hopefully some day, I just finished my freshmen year of college." Tom answered and I rolled my eyes.
"Of course you did." I answered glumly. My mom danced off back to the kitchen and I leaned closer to Tom. "You may not want to stay for dinner, it's pretty much always terrible." I whispered to him.
"Yeah the cookies were a bit… strange. What kind were they?" Tom asked rubbing his tongue against the roof of his mouth.
"Carrot chip." I answered, feeling disgusted.
"Carrot… Chip…?" He asked blinking at me, I nodded. He looked disgusted and I shared his feeling. "Okay, well I think I'll just sneak out now then." I nodded again.
"That would be best," I answered while he stood. I realized I was eye level with his hips, and then I thought about what was by his hips then I just mentally slapped myself.
"I'll see you around, Ben." He said before slipping out of the room.
"Bye," I muttered as I heard the door close.
My mom appeared in the door way, "Is your friend not staying for dinner?" I threw my hat at the general direction of the table.
"Nope, he had a peace rally to go to." I lied as I stumbled towards the table then towards my room. "I'm going to sleep for awhile."
"Okay dear!" My mother answered cheerfully before returning once more to the kitchen.
My room had always been dark, the walls were painted a forest green and the single bulb was blue. It was a mixture of girl and boy, there were bras and boxers thrown all over the room. Pink sheets and black bedding on the bed with white gauze mosquito netting around it. I always loved my room, it was my haven and own artistic domain. I hadn't even bothered to remove my clothes and just fell into bed, instantly asleep when my head hit the pillow.
"Darling, Tom is here for you. I'll just let him in." My mom said from outside my door, I waved at her but then her words sunk in.
"Fuck!" I screamed, throwing my girl clothes into my closet and anything else that may look suspicious. "Why the hell do I have a Hello Kitty lunch box?" I asked myself as I threw it in there as well.
"Hey man, what are you doing?" Tom asked from behind me as I slammed my closet shut.
"Getting rid of porn," I snapped sarcastically before going to sit on my bed. "I thought you wouldn't be coming back to this whack job house twice in one day."
Tom raised an eyebrow at me, "It's been a day." He then laughed, "Don't tell me you've been sleeping all this time!" He slapped my back and I shrugged. I sleep a lot after all.
"Probably, but what's up?" I asked, rubbing my eyes and trying to smooth down my hair because I had just noticed I didn't have a hat on.
"Nothing, just wondering if you wanted to chill with me and some of my friends." Tom asked as he stood and looked at a drawing I had tacked up. It was of an angel laughing and playing with a kitten. "Did you do this?" He asked looking closely at the picture. I shrugged and didn't answer. "It's good," He said before turning back to me. "Change your shirt, we're leaving."
I grunted at him and started to pull up the corner of my shirt before stopping. Even though my body wasn't particularly curvy I still didn't have a concave chest in fact just the opposite. But while pretending to be a boy I just wrapped my chest with a particularly large Ace-Bandage looking thing.
"Eh… could you turn around?" I asked lamely and mentally slapped myself. Tom raised an eyebrow but did what I asked. I snatched up a shirt and switched then faster then was probably healthy. I also grabbed a different hat, this time just a plain black one and tap Tom's right shoulder while moving past him on his left. "Let's go." I said as I stride past him. "Mom! I'm leaving, be back soon… ish!" I yelled before walking out of the house, not even bothering to look over my shoulder to see if he was following.
Tom's car was sitting in front of my house and for the first time I actually looked at it. It was a beat up black Cadillac that looked like it had seen better days. Tom came up behind me and unlocked the doors then we both climbed in.
"So where are we going?" I asked, not even trying to think of how weird this was or how possibly dangerous this was.
"To my buddy Rick's house. I was heading that way when I passed your house and figured you might want to come. Rick's cool, I think you'll like him." Tom told me as he started his car and pulled away from the curb.
"Okay," I answered, not knowing what else to say. "So, do you have a girlfriend?" I asked after several uncomfortable minutes.
"Well, sort of." Tom answered and I unusually felt my stomach sink. "We dated in high school and I went away to WSU for the year. But she stayed here so I don't really know what's going on with that." I nodded, looking out the window while trying not to look happy.
"So what about you, do you have a girlfriend?" Tom asked as he turned right, not using his signal. A certain pet peeve of mine.
"No," I answered brushing my bangs out of my eyes only to have them fall right back where they had been.
"Why's that? You're a… handsome… enough fellow and I mean that in a strictly non-gay sort of way." Tom said quickly. I snickered at his unease.
"I don't know, I just never felt any connect with any girl. Or at least not a big enough one to start dating one." I lied, though the truth was because I was a girl.
"Yeah, I get it." Tom answered as he stopped in front of a squat white house. He got out of the car and I followed his lead. He walked around to the side and I stayed close to him like a lost puppy. Tom opened a side door and walked in like he owned the place while I hesitated at the entrance only to scamper across the floor to catch up with him.
"Rick!" Tom shouted.
"In the living room!" A man shouted back.
We walked into a room that had once been decent. It probably had white walls, a tan carpet, and moderately sized. But having college aged men living there had definitely taken away some of its polish. There were dirty curtains over the windows so it made the room look dark along with the carpet looking like it had at least an inch layer of dirt and dust on it with mud mixed in there as well. There were pop cans, beer cans, pizza boxes, and old plates with rotting food around the entire room that gave it a horrible pungent smell. I decided I didn't like this room, it made me want to go take a shower… or three.
"Hey Tom," A larger man said from the couch as he pressed animatedly at a controller. Something blew up on the screen and he cheered. "Have a seat, who's your friend?" He asked in the same sentence though didn't bother looking at me. I frowned at the rudeness.
"Hey Rick, this is Ben. Ben, this is Rick." Tom introduced us as he pushed a pile of laundry onto the floor so that he would have a place to sit. I perched myself on the arm rest nearest to Tom only because I had the strangest fear that something was growing in one of the left over plates and would attack me soon. It was simply planning it's next move.
"Hi," I said shortly though Rick didn't seem to notice my tartness.
"How's it going?" Rick asked, still never taking his eyes off the screen.
"Completely awesome." I answered shortly, Tom grinned at me while I tried not to look disgusted. I don't think it worked very well.
"Hey Rick, are some of the other guys coming over?" Tom asked after a second of silence.
"Indeed, in fact, they should be here any minute." Rick answered while something else blew up on the screen. He swore this time and shut off the game, and for the first time looked at me. "Why do you look so sour?" He asked me.
I figured that say his house disgusted me would be a bit rude so I answered, "Bad soy milk." He looked at me like I was a lunatic, not that I blamed him.
"Sure," He answer though a loud shout drowned him out. "In the living room!" He yelled so loudly that I jumped. Loud noises always bothered me, loud people just annoyed me.
I glanced over at the door way that Tom and I had gone through to see three men walking through and a woman. One of the men was on top of the other one, giving a piggy back ride while the last man looked amused and the woman looked annoyed.
The two men in the piggy back ride were twins, I noticed quickly, they were even dressed the exact same. A blue t-shirt under a black zip up hoodie and slightly worn jeans tucked over black converse. The outfit was tasteful without being fabulously gay, I was betting they were at least bisexual since straight men never dressed that well. The man who had looked amused by their childish antics looked like he was probably as straight as a circle as well, though is outfit screamed his sexuality a little louder then the twins. He had a green and blue t-shirt with a tight perfectly matched green jacket over that. His pants were fashionably torn and his blue shoes were meticulously clean. Looking at him made me want to say with a lisp, "You look fabulous." But I resisted with all my will power.
The three men dropped into various stops, each avoiding sitting in food or other nasty little surprises. That was when I remember the woman, she looked about ready to vomit by the way she held her nose so high in the air. She was wearing a short butter yellow skirt with a blue tank top on her skinny body. Looking at her made me wonder if she had eaten today and made me want to throw a sandwich at her just to make sure she didn't pass out from lack of food.
"Rick, your house seriously needs to be cleaned." She snapped in a whiney high pitched voice. I flinched at the volume and pitch.
"Whenever you want to do it, baby." Rick said sweetly to her but the look in his eye said other wise.
She began to pout until her gleaming brown eyes rested on Tom. "Oh! Tom! I didn't know you would be here." She smiled and started to dance over to him until she saw me giving her the evil eye. "And who are you?" She asked snidely.
I gave her a grim smile but didn't answer. "This is Ben, he's cool." Tom said for me while she looked me up and down. I watched the way that Tom reacted to her and a curious idea came to me. One that I felt I would ask Tom about in private.
"Hi Ben, I'm Asher." One of the twins said cheerfully.
"And I'm Felix." The other twin said just as happily.
"And you're cute." The third, unknown man said to me. A blush raised in my cheeks and I ducked my head low. "I'm Angelito by the way."
"And my dear god, you do look fabulous." I answered quickly. Even though Angelito had hit on me within the first three seconds of meeting me, I liked him. He was an interesting person from the looks of him.
He chuckled him, "Why thank you." He answered, I was starting to think he broke my gay-dar.
"Well I'm Annette," She pushed her bleach blonde hair out of her eyes. "But everyone calls me Nettie." She informed with a superior tone.
"Or wicked witch from down south depending on who you're talking to." Rick added, I snickered while Asher, Felix, and Angelito laughed uproariously.
"Oh, ha, ha." Nettie said annoyingly. I resisted the urge to curl my lip at her, she was even more disgusting then Rick's house. Which I had somehow grown accustom to even though I was still sitting on the arm rest waiting for the rotting food to attack. "You're all so funny. Tom, are you going to let them talk to me like that?" She pouted, she was going for the kicked puppy look though I was hoping just to kick her and call it good.
Tom looked suddenly uncomfortable, "Guys be nicer but Nettie don't be so sensitive." He said after a few seconds of hesitation.
Angelito's lip curled as he looked Nettie up and down though he didn't say anything to her instead he looked at me. "So, Ben, what's your story?" He asked looking sincerely interested.
I shrugged, "I have old hippy parents and a twin sister. Just graduated high school but beyond that I don't really have a story." I answered remembering that I told Tom that I had a sister.
"Ew, hippies? Do they, like, bathe every day?" Nettie asked with a scrunched nose.
"It's actually bad for your hair to wash it every day and to put chemicals like bleach in it." I growled, seriously wanting to reach out and smack her. "Besides, how are hippies gross? They're organic love children who just want to smoke pot and be happy."
"They don't bathe," Nettie answered and I rolled my eyes at her.
"You're just a close minded pain in the ass, seriously hippies are probably the best kind of people to be and to associate with." I answered, resisting the urge to punch her in the face.
"Whatever," She dismissed me with a wave of her hand. I wanted to grab that hand and rip off all her stupid fake nails. "Are we actually going to do something or are we just going to hang around this heck hole all day?" She asked, though I raised my eyebrow at her use of the word 'heck'. It seemed so childish and stupid.
"Heck hole?" Either Asher or Felix asked.
"I think hell hole is the phrase you are looking for." The other finished.
She wrinkled her nose at them, "I don't believe in using profanity." She answered her hand doing this strange waving thing.
"Then you shouldn't use a term that would usually have profanity in it. If you change an old phrase like that it just makes you look stupid." I growled more under my breath more then anything though loud enough to have her hear.
"Well excuse me, I just don't like the way those words sound. Do you have a problem with that?" She asked me snidely.
I glared at her, "Yes. I do. I also have a problem with you. Do you honestly think that being a mega-bitch is completely necessary? How can you be around guys and still act like a Prima Donna? I don't understand why Barbie would want to play with the boys instead of her toys." I snapped, though falling back in a weird habit where whenever I become angry I start to rhyme.
"Mega-bitch? Prima Donna? Barbie? I just met you and already you think you know me?" Nettie hissed, her voice raising higher in pitch. I was betting that soon only dogs would be able to hear her.
"You looked at me like I was a piece of unwashed underwear the first second you stepped into this room. Why would I have any reason to not be judgmental when you didn't spare me in your obvious distain?" I asked calmly, not wanting to sound like a freaking poet.
"You look all scruffy and unwashed, what was I supposed to think?" She asked flipping her nasty hair around like a whip.
"You were supposed to wait and see what I'm really like similar to the way normal human beings have a tendency to wait to see what the person's like instead of instantly writing them off. Or accept me as I am like the guys did. Isn't it possible that someone is a good person without wearing the latest fashions and trendiest clothes?" I asked.
Nettie rolled her eyes at me, my words completely going in one ear and out the other. Or just bouncing off of the pound of make-up she had on her face. "Whatever, are we leaving or not?"
I could have screamed at her stupidity, instead I amused myself by pulling at the couch bits. "Yeah, we were going to St. Michael's actually." Tom said, pulling himself to his feet. The others stood as well and I climbed off the arm rest last.
St. Michaels was a local hang out for the higher class of college students, and I didn't feel like being looked at like a hermit at the moment. "Uh, I don't think I'll go. I'm feeling kind of tired, you know from the blood loss, so I think I'll just go home." I said, not really to anyone.
"Are you sure?" Tom asked me, I nodded while avoiding looking at Nettie's grin. "I'll take you home then."
"I can walk, it's not that far." I said quickly, though in truth it was a fair distance.
"Nah, it's cool." Tom answered, dragging his keys out of his pockets. "I'll catch up with you guys later."
Tom steered me through the house as Angelito shouted out, "Nice to meet you, Ben!"
Then Asher and Felix yelled in unison, "Maybe we'll drop by your house soon!"
I didn't answer as I walked through the door and to Tom's car. He unlocked the doors and I climbed in, shutting the door slightly harder then necessary.
Tom started the car and I asked coldly. "Nettie was the weird ex, not ex girlfriend, huh?" I half asked, half stated. Tom looked slightly uncomfortable but then nodded. "She's gross." I said moodily.
Tom chuckled, "You just don't know her very well. She's actually a kinder person once you get to know her."
I curled my lip. "I don't think I want to get to know her personally." I answered quietly.
The drive home seemed faster then the drive there and in no time at all we had pulled up to my house and I was climbing out of the car.
"Thanks for the ride," I said formally while opening and starting to close the door quickly.
"Yeah, any time. We should hang out more." Tom said, leaning over and looking out the window at me.
I hesitated in closing the door, before nodding. "Yeah, your friends are cool." I answered before closing the door and walking into my house without glancing back. Through the hemp curtain I saw Tom's car pull away after I had closed the door.
"Mom!" I yelled, walking through the house and into her green house area.
"Yes dear." She said cheerfully, her entire front covered in earth.
"I'm being a girl for the rest of the day and if I'm ever obnoxious or wear heels, slap me." I told her firmly before turning on my heel and storming out of the room.