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He undresses, avoiding the mirror. He does not want to see what is not there or what was in fact there. He avoided looking at himself whenever possible for what he saw there never exactly met his expectations. There were tumors on his chest that he knew were not supposed to be there - at first he thought they were weird, why was he growing these things? How could he? Then he thought maybe they were cool in the beginning but then again he realized what they actually meant for them to be there. Before the time he grew these things he had considered himself someone who had no gender and had never taken notice to the idea himself as a child — he then had to choose between two genders. What hurt him the most, however, was the shape one of these growths took, something he knew was supposed to be between his legs.
He could live without that but he felt like it was mocking him. Maybe it was the part he was missing since he was young? Maybe it was the part that decided to grow but late and in the wrong place? He knew that this was not the case, but a part of him felt as if this could be true. That it could be true that his body had messed up somehow — that somehow he gained what it took to be a real man. He knew that he was wrong to think in this manner but part of him could not stop himself — that he was the person he was supposed to be, it just...no, he did not know what he was thinking anymore. He stop his train of thought and looks into the mirror.
He knew he should not have looked. His brown eyes look away quickly as he turns his back on the reflective surface in front of him. It had been this way for as long as he can remember but no one knew. How could he tell the biggest secret of his life to the entire world? How could he possibly tell people so they would understand?
His mother thought the anxiety around his breasts was for the demented shape of the tissue; in fact he was more concerned he had them in the first place. Puberty had tossed him into a world of confusion. He was no longer able to ignore the fact that he was in fact a girl physically. He turns the knob to the shower and hears the rushing of water, it calms him a little. The sound of water always did that for and to him - why he did not know but he was happy it did. Showers were his sanctuary, he was able to be alone and be himself and able to be upset and cry without anyone knowing.
Then again, boys don’t cry, right? He shook his head and turns back to the mirror to only narrow his eyes at himself and think hateful things towards his body, wishing there was nothing but flatness across his chest to appear somewhat like a man. If only he could magically get rid of his breasts — if he could somehow just look like ‘one of the guys’. He could live without the needed part to be a man, he definitely could - that part did not make a man...in his eyes anyways. But these bulges on his chest did not do, could not do. He would never look like he wanted to with these, and quite honestly they are what made him hate his body so much. How could he not hate such unwanted guests on his contour? How? He always wanted to demand an answer to that question or why he was born this way when all he wanted to do was to be who he was. Why did life do this to him? He turned his head away and knelt down to feel the water and to his skin’s pleasure it was warm now.
He pulls the tab up to turn it on to shower mode. He thought this shift in sound was even more soothing than the rough battering of water spewing from the faucet: it was almost like the sound of rain and he loved it. Whenever the sound entered his ears he felt like entering his own little world and it felt safe to him to be there with the running water. Quickly he steps into the shower and lets water caress his skin. The warmth was welcoming and calming. He faces the water and when the water hits his face he closes his eyes tightly. It was in these brief shower moments he could finally close his eyes and shut out the world and not be the failure he thought he was.
Washing his hair, he wonders when he could spend an entire day, looking like who he wanted to be. Who he had always been. When would that day come? Probably never... He thinks to himself and rinses his black hair. Suds drift down his body to the drain and when he opened his eyes he watched the foam as it was being swallowed away by the drain. He watches it carefully. He felt as if he were frozen as if he had begun to realize something and he wanted to somehow freeze frame this moment. He can see himself in this action and he just wished he wasn’t being sucked into a whirlpool too — and just as no one cared about this foam - no one cared if he faded into a black abyss unknown either.
He scrubs his body now. Hard. Mercilessly. Wishing to just get rid of Rose. She was his external skin and how he was perceived by the world. As Rose.
Rose. Rose. Rose.
He wished Rose would disappear in the night . Everyday he would scrub himself raw until he felt ‘clean enough’ to get out of the shower, in a way he guessed he was harming himself - but this body was foreign, so foreign his brain attacked it brutally as if it were a flu virus that had entered him overnight. That is what Rose was to him, a virus he could not get rid of, how sad was that? He knew he was sick, so very sick but yet — he could not open his mouth and let himself become squashed like the beetle he was.
He stood in the spray of water for a little longer. Relishing in the feel of how good it felt to be hit by the water. He felt safe here confined in the shower but he knew time did not allow for him to do this — He had to get to school and fast.
Jumping out of the shower, he did not want to turn it off yet. He needed its sound to fill his head so he would stop focussing on his body. He had to keep his head filled with noise or his mind would take over with thought he did not want to think about and he knew that if he kept thinking things he did not want to - it would end very badly. He turned the knob of the shower to off and he wished that did not mean on for his brain.
Making his way to his room, covering himself, embarrassed that he had to cover the top part of his body. He wishes it was only the bottom, he could only wish though - but it was a luxury that he wanted and could not have...and some people just did not know how lucky they really were. He enters his room which was painted blue and had band posters plastered all over the wall with a string party of lights across the walls that he used for night lights. Dropping his towel he ignored the bouncing of his chest - it was something that was both annoying and embarrassing him. Especially in public — but he could not think of that now. He opened up his closet located in front of the foot of the bed, and looked for a good outfit...well slightly good. He did not particularly care honestly. He just got the first pair of clothes that caught his eyes and he put them on.
It wasn’t a secret he was semi-masculine. He wasn’t overtly masculine as to be considered “butch” because he was somewhere in between and he knew he would care more about his appearance if he just looked different, maybe he would work out more if he had a different body, maybe he would eat better...maybe he would care. He knew he was being foolish but truthfully that was how he felt - he knew his body was his body no matter what it looked like and he should take care of it, but why should he take care of something he did not care for? Why? that often overtook his mind whenever he attempted to workout or make healthy choices, why should he protect a body that was ruining his life from the very beginning of his life.
He sighed, looking for his backpack which ended up somewhere on the opposite of the room from where it had started. He often lost things and misplaced things and did not remember. It p***ed his mother off but he did not care, he always managed to p*** his mother off. She always threw out what he used to bind his chest down, anything he used she found it and tossed it.
He hated that about his mother. She was so hell bent on making him conform to the norm, but he did not want to be considered part of the ‘norm’. He wanted to present himself how he wanted to present himself. Even binding did not help bring his chest down but it helped to not draw attention to them. Especially when he did sports when he was younger - he loathed them with such a passion and played just like any other boy out on the field during gym. He refused to play any sport until his mother forced him to play softball against his will. He did not want to play sports because all he could get was to be on girls teams...when he played harder, faster and better than any other girl - probably because he was not a girl. He wasn’t good at hitting, he never really got the hang of it - he never really go the hang of hitting anything thrown at him - he was good at taking the hits from the ball, both figuratively and literally.
Shaking free of these memories he ignored the way his breast shifted in the bra he had to put on. It subtle shifted when he walked, he hated the feeling of the fat jiggly, he felt like everyone was staring at his chest...he could barely take walking through school without being self-conscious. He had to cover them in someway or he could not function, he hated how they were out there for the world to see.
He walked himself to his car and ignored breakfast - which was pop tart but he did not much feel like eating really. His stomach was too nervous going into school. He had begun starting to come out as male, but he knew no one was taking him too seriously about the matter which totally hurt him, his friends were confused but they really should not be.
He started up the car and began his ride to school, another safe haven for him. He was able to drive away from the home he was forced to live in where his mother did nothing but rag on him and his father did nothing but ignore his masculine behaviors and needs. It was the calm place before he got to school.
Shaking himself he left himself to think about how he didn’t do his math homework the night before. He was far too tired and ended up falling asleep on the couch in the living room and no one woke him except for when they needed to watch TV and it was already eight o’clock. By that time he was just too sleepy to do anything and went straight to bed and slept through the entire night, and for him that was a rarity.
Sighing he pulls into the school’s parking lot and found himself sitting there and wondering when he would finally be able to walk out of the car with his head held high? when could he finally bring himself to hold himself with confidence? When?
The most important question was WHY could he not do such a thing now? As he got out of his car he looked around at the other kids. He saw their bodies, how comfort they were - the boys that is how comfortable they seemed to be in their bodies and the girls who dressed so confidently as their assigned gende and it slightly horrified him that was what his body looked like. That was how he was being perceived. A girl, a big chest filled girl. He wanted to run back into his car and leave - he always felt this way when he looked around at the other kids, when he saw how his body did match those of whom he identified with more, and those he identified with not.
It took him only a few minutes to walk into the school. The bell rang as he was a little late but he did not care to be on time for his math class. All he heard was the stereotypical right-winged opinions and he honestly did not need their views shoved in his face day after day. He just wanted school to be over, but he knew he had at least seven more hours to go until it was done and over with.
He sat down in his classroom. They had a sub. Wonderful. The kids would be all over the place and misbehaving and he hates how immature these people were around him and the sub was probably going to be soft and weak like most of them were - every once in awhile you got the strong ones who took nothing.
He heard the roll call go through the list of names until it came to,
Jack. It’s JACK. I said in my head, annoyed. I reluctantly said, “Here.”
The sub checked him off and handed us work. The class went by as expected and he wanted nothing more than this bell to ring as he finished worksheet after worksheet. Finally, when the bell did ring he was the last one left to file out. He kept his head down and watched his feet hit the ground. He heard the hallway's silence erupt into jibber jabber. It was like waves crashing on the ocean except it wasn’t as calming - the noise grated his nerves.
He found himself in his english class soon after. Sitting down he found his friend Bailey waving at him.
Jack. It’s. Jack. “Hi.” He said through a yawn and sat down and looked around the room, the class’s english teacher was nowhere to found as of yet and he looked at Bailey and smiled, weakly, but it was a smile all the same.
“So what’ve you been up to?”
“Nothing much honestly, just here and there kind of stuff...mostly working on my art work to try and get into art college.”
“That’s great Rose!”
Jack. My name’s Jack. I’M JACK.
“Yeah, I guess.” He said, he was not confident in his abilities at all and he wished he could just make himself better magically - then again he knew if he got rid of the top heavy stuff things might change about his confidence and his attitude towards himself.
The teacher appeared and smiled at Jack and then at the rest of the class. He saw Jack first for he was right beside the door and looked over when he hollered a ‘good morning’ to the class. Only a few answered. Jack did not answer. He didn’t feel like pretending to be happy today. He was much too tired of that for the weak. By friday life has killed me... he sang in his head, smirking to himself as he doodled on his pad of notebook paper in front of him. Jack found himself wondering when he was going to finally just fall apart, but a part of him knew that somehow - he would make it through this.
He felt sad and listened to his teacher go and on about some crap he honestly did not care about, something about Shakespeare, but he did not have the capacity to care right now. He wanted hear his name acknowledged - said aloud. He only looked forward to this class because his teacher understood where he was coming from and most of all recognized him as Jack and not Rose. He knew somehow it just felt too good to be true. His teacher being the only adult caring about him enough to accept him like this was new to Jack.
Even his own mother was rejecting him. His mother knew. She just did not accept him as he was and he knew it. Sure, it hurt him but when he came to class he looked forward to a name that did not remind him of his chest, the way his face was so feminine and seemed beyond fixing... Jack took a breath and looked at his hands, so small and soft - he wished they were big, not small and dainty. Why did he have to be born so feminine. Why?
Jack found himself just waiting to be called upon. It never happened and finally the bell rang. He just wished he could have heard it. He wished he could hear it everyday. His classmates had picked up on it, they seemed confused or not even caring that Rose had suddenly become Jack - it hadn’t been said for them to realize fully what was going on with Jack. Well, their Rose.
He knew he was half and half, he knew he could escape himself but as he walked to his next class he found himself wondering when and where he would finally be able to be himself. When would the time allow him to just be himself? What environment would accept him fully — when could he finally get rid of these things that kept Jack down and Rose up? The last thing he needed to defeat was the brutal truth about himself and the relationship he had with his body. How unmatched they felt. He was half Rose, half Jack. When could he break free finally and soar amongst the confident? When would he be able to sail across the sky and be able to say, he was here and was always going to be here as Jack. He constantly asked these questions in his mind and he really wanted instant gratification, yet, he knew the only person who could give him these answers was himself, but...