I'm the Girl

I was holding a large black bag; the bag was made of slippery material with a Velcro snap. The box was hot to touch, but my hands have become used to its warmth. From within the bag, aromas of cheese, grease, and marinara sauce escaped and filled my nostrils. On the top of the bag, it read Pizza Hut in red letters.

I parked my blue scooter, a seated motorbike to be exact. I walked up to the small family home in New York. It was a small townhouse. The front was made of worn red bricks, the roof and window ornaments were a vibrant green. There was no front yard, and the house connected to a street full of replicas. I walked up the small cement stairs and before knocking the front door, I checked the order to be sure it was the right number. I nodded to myself in agreement. And I ran the doorbell.

An older man opened the door. He looked to be about 50. He wore a white tee with black pants. He had creases and wrinkles, and bags under his eyes from a hard day at work. Behind him I could hear the squeals of younger kids, maybe around 10 years old. He looked tired and worn out, and I knew why. I saw a glimpse of the mother behind, attending to a screeching baby.

He looked down at me, his glare moved to the bag and his mouth began to water.

I was wearing a black polo with Pizza Hunt embroidered on the right, and I wore a pair of loose pants. My long brown hair was stuffed into a matching ball cap, little bags stuck out and flooded my eyebrows. I am about 5''7', but I weight about 125 lbs. I am tall and lanky, with a pretty boy face. My eyes shined of brown, and my skin color was an olive tone. My nose is small, and my mouth is big. I guess that's what happens when you grow up with Italian in your blood.

"$15.34," I said with a smile as I pulled three medium size pizzas from the bag. "Enjoy your meal sir," I replied automatically. I am used this, I have been working as a delivery boy for the last 6 months, and plus I make decent money.

The man stared down at my white plastic name tag that was on my left. Christopher Newton, it read.

"Hey, boy, don't you work as a busboy down at the Chilies," he asked. "Or the bagger at the Wall-mart?"

I gave a nervous laugh and scratched the back of my head, "Yeah that's me."

The man pulled a crinkled $5 bill out of his pants pocket and handed it to me, "Times are hard son," he said in a fatherly tone. "Thank you sir," I said enthusiastically. The man gave me a nod and then took the pizza inside.

I strolled down to my scooter and put my large black helmet on. I rolled the money out of my pocket to look, and I immediately stuffed the money into my pocket. I puffed in annoyance, "Why am I everyone's son, can't they tell I am a girl?"

Ch 1: Boarding School?

I ride my scooter back to a small gray colored apartment complex. The area was dirty with graffiti, the areas littered with trash. The apartment was three stories, and looked haunted. The apartment was no mansion. I glanced up at the gloomy apartment; the walls were scoffed and worn. I felt like I entered a time machine and was placed in the 1920's when I see this. With some cash in my pocket I sighed. I felt the heavy weight and the coins jingle in my pocket, today was a productive day. And now tomorrow I repeat the same thing.

I walked up the apartment stairs, and small bugs, trash, and dirt flooded it. The metal railing was black and chipping black paint, the stairs were dark and ominous and looked like the lead to darkness. At the second story I walked to the third room on the right, my finger was tracing the molded walls as I located it. It read 2 3, the zero fell off during the past bazillion years it's been here. I dug into my jean pocket and retrieved a small key. The key was brass and was shaped funny. I unlocked the olive green door and stepped inside.

I was home. The home was a small one room, one bathroom deal. The kitchen and living room crowded together, the furniture was spare only a couple pieces were left. I had more, but I had to pawn them for rent. It was bare and dingy. The electronics in the kitchen were 10 years old, but nevertheless still work. My room was small and only a bed and a closet fill it. The walls were a cream peeling wallpaper and the flooring was wood. This doesn't feel like home, but it is.

Suddenly the door rang. The doorbell gave a dull, off ring.

I shuffled to my front door and slowly opened the front door with a creek. The figure before me was a man in his mid thirties with a shaved head, and a toned body. He was about 6''with blue eyes and a paunchy stomach. He wore a policeman's blue uniform with a gold star. I was relieved to see it was my good friend, Romano.

"Hey Joe," I said enthusiastic voice as I opened the door wide open. Romano gave a small smile and entered.

"If your mother knew you were living in this dump she would kill me," he said as me glanced around the cramped apartment. He dug into his large black leather jacket and pulled out an envelope. He carelessly handed the white letter envelope to me and I stared at him in awe.

"Ever since your mother died a year ago, I've been digging around. I think I might've found where your father is," he said with a stern look in his eyes.

My brown eyes widened, I ripped the envelope opened in seconds in anticipation to stare at its contents.

"For the past year, I have been trying to locate your father. It's been difficult though. Your mother put me on the birth certificate, and we all know that I am not your father. I've only been able to narrow the place where you your real father might be," he said in his low tough voice. Romano is a police detective who has raised me from infancy. He treats me like a daughter in a way, but I also see him as an older brother instead of an uncle.

Ok, here's the deal. When I was born, 18 years ago I never met my father. My mother and her brother, Romano were placed on the birth certificate. Not even Romano knows who my real father is. But last year, on my mother's death bed she told me my father was out there, out in the world. And after she died, I've been on a journey to find him. Of course it's been a fruitless search, until now.

"St. Michael's Academy," I was confused about what this was. "What's this?"

"St. Michael's is a top private male university in California. It's expensive to get in so only wealthy families can afford it. It's a good university, but you see its all men. There's a female branch that's nearby."

I was shaking the slip of paper in my hand. I was shaking in anger, in anticipation, and in disappointment. My brown eyes burned holes in the white letter in shock. Can this be, is this the end of the road. Will my gender be the wall that stops me from meeting my real father?

"I only know your father might be at St. Michaels. It's no guarantee. It's a big risk, too big. Sending you the female branch won't allow you to find him. Supposedly they are pretty strict on the sneaking girl's thing in. And only at special events do the girls visit. You also can't just go run around a large private elite university asking every man if he knew your mother. "

"I'm going," I said in a serious tone as I stared into the paper. My voice was quiet and resolute, my will was strong.

"What," he yelled in utter shock, his mouth dropped and his eyes shaped golf balls. "You can't be serious Chris. You can cry about how much you want to go, but you're a broke girl. And they like rich guys."

I narrowed my glare at him, "We all know that mom saved money, and I know there's the money from grandfather's will. Plus I have been working like mad for something like this!"

His eyes widened in remembrance "I forgot about Nancy's share of dad's money." But his demeanor showed it was not ok.

He rested his hands on his hip, "You affording it don't mean you can go. You can go try the girl's but I doubt you'll find anything."

"I have an idea," I said to Romano. "Let me go. I'll pose as a boy and try to find my dad within the first semester. If I can't find him…I'll leave. It'll be affordable that way and I can leave before anyone finds out."

His mouth dropped, his expression was in utter shock. "You gotta be kidding me, you want me to make false papers and get you in there? You're nuts. I'll be demoted to patrols and you'll get kicked out. You're a girl rooming with guys. Do you understand what will happen if any person finds out! I'm a guy and I can predict what will happen."

I lifted my pointer finger up, "If they find out," I said as-a-matter-of-factly.

"You just saying you won't get caught is not persuading enough! You're going to falsify papers and get into a strict male university. I am against this! NO!"

"This is the only way I can find my father," I yelled as I swung the paper in the air. "This is my only option and I am not going to abandon it!"

Romano looked me over, "Well you do appear boyish." He turned his back turned me and crossed his arms. "This is only because when I find this jerk, I am going to gouge his eyes out!"

I jumped up with glee and hugged Romano, "Thank you. Thank you. Thank you," I yelled.

Romano kept his composure, "You still have to keep your promises!"

And that was 3 months ago. And today…

I'm a student.

Now I was standing in front of St. Michael's Academy in California, and although New York and California belong to the same country, I feel like I entered another world. The gunmetal skies with periodic rains and chilly temperatures now are blue skies with warm weather. The smell of pollution is now a mix of sea salt and roses. The garbage, homeless, and graffiti that flooded the streets are now palm trees, sports cars, and bathing suits galore. And my last home, the small worn apartment is now an enchanted castle.

I stared at the front with awe. I was standing outside the tall black gates, and inside I could see a garden; A garden the size two football fields. Trees, roses, bushes, fountains, signs, and other plants flooded the garden and I could see a stone pathway that led to a stroll around the front of the school. I rubbed my eyes in disbelief.

This is my home.

I looked over at the university. It looked like a white regal castle. The walls were white stone, and details and roofs were a pink. I couldn't tell if I was at Peach's Castle or Hogwarts. My mouth was agape, I can't believe this is the university. I thought this could fit a king. The living quarters were separate castles, and they had different roof colors, red, blue, and green. I could see colored flags sitting on top of the colored roofs, flying in the wind.

I glanced down at myself. I was wearing a pair of jeans and a tee, and in no way did I fit here. My long brown hair was now cut short to a boys cut with long bangs in the front and the back was starting to grow out. My brown eyes looked bigger and brighter with the short hair and my lips still looked proportionally larger. My chin looked more define although it possesses a feminine look. My shoulders were small and broad, and my body shape was thin and scrawny for a guy. And my natural tan helped make myself appear masculine. And in my hand I carry one backpack and an old large suitcase. Even though my chest is naturally pretty flat, I have slimming shirts, vests, and bandages. My closet was turned inside out. My underwear is boxers, all of my clothes are men's and I invested time in learning the men's world. I still looked like the average pretty-boy Jersey kid, but nevertheless I am ready.

The tall black gate suddenly slowly opened automatically. I stepped back in nervousness and confusion.

This is my last chance to bail, my last chance to go home and resume my life as a girl. I can forget all about this now. This is clearly an overwhelming experience. My apartment would even be inadequate for the janitors!

I cautiously stepped inside the gates and glanced around carefully. The gates closed behind me, and I assumed that I unknowingly made my choice, I was going to attend here. I was looking for any sign that directed me to the school office. I didn't see any personnel in the large park like lawn, so I was all alone. The garden was beautiful and I saw benches and lamp posts, meaning it was a great scenic site. I passed by what looked like a bazillion trees and flowers and I saw a white notice board. Yes! I was getting close. And after 10 minutes, I was there. I was at the large castle.

I glanced up; I was at St. Michael's Academy. The castle was larger and more grandiose up close, and I knew what to do. I walked up to the large stone door and I opened the door knob. I opened the door and saw a light.