It was bad enough that Alex’s father would not accept him for who is was, but it was almost as bad in school. Most of Alex’s classmates accepted him for who he was, but not everybody. One of those classmates was Carrie, Alex’s childhood bully.
When Alex and Jen ate lunch in the cafeteria, Carrie approached them.
“Hey, Alex,” I have a question,” Carrie said. “Are you straight, bi, or gay?”
“I’m straight,” Alex said.
“So, you like guys?”
“No, I like girls.”
“Leave us alone, Carrie,” Jen said.
“Why don’t you make me?”
Jen got up from her seat. “Get out of our faces,” she said.
“Okay, find your chill,” Carrie said.
Carrie slowly backed away from Jen and Alex.
“Bitch,” Alex said, referring to Carrie.
“Never mind her,” Jen said. “The prom is coming up. Are you going with anybody?”
“No. Who would want to go with a special snowflake like me? What about you?”
“I’m hoping Tom would ask me out.”
“Why don’t you ask him out?”
“I’ll ask Tom to the prom if you ask somebody out.”
“Have any suggestions?”
“You can try one of those teen dating apps.”
Late that night, Alex went to the kitchen and Steve was there.
“Sup?” Alex asked.
“This is it,” Steve said.
“Can I talk to you about something?”
“I’m sick of Dad not accepting me for who I am.”
“Who cares what he thinks?”
“I have to hear his bullshit every day, and Mom expects me to just ignore him.”
“Dad has criticized and ridiculed me about everything since I was a child. I’ll never treat my kids that way.”
“Yeah, you’ll make a great father someday.”
“Like, in nine months.”
“Yup. Mom and Dad are going to freak, even though Shelly and I are married. Then again, Shelly and I are freaking out. We can’t afford a kid. We can’t even afford an apartment together. That’s why we keep going back and forth between living here and living Shelly’s mother’s house.”
“You and Shelly will figure something out.”
The following Monday, Alex ate lunch with Jen.
“Did you ask Tom to the prom?” Alex said.
“Yeah,” Jen said. “He said yes.”
“What about you?”
“I gave a teen dating app a try.”
“I was talking to somebody.”
“Who? Give me the deets!”
“Her name is Selena. We just click.”
“Does she know that you’re transgender?”
“No. I’m not going to tell her yet.”
“What does she look like?”
“She has blonde hair and she has a swimmer’s body. But she doesn’t show her face in any of her pics.”
“Sounds like a butter face to me.”
“Maybe. But I really like this girl. I might even ask her to the prom.”
“I hope it works out for ya.”
A few days later, Alex spoke with Selena on FaceTime, except Selena didn’t show her face. She pointed her phone at her breasts, not that Alex was complaining.
“Are you going to show your face?” Alex asked.
“I’d rather not,” Selena said.
“Because I like to create an aura of mystery.”
“Well, it’s working. But what’s the real reason?”
“I have body dysmorphic disorder. I hate my face so much, it has affected my life. When I look in the mirror, I see a disfigured girl.”
“What do you do when you go outside or at school?”
“I’m 19. I graduated high school last year.”
“Does this mean you don’t want to meet me in person sometime?”
“I don’t know. Maybe.”
Selena didn’t show her face on camera, and she wasn’t sure whether to meet Alex or not. With all of that in mind, Alex decided to tell Selena the truth about himself. It’s not he had anything to lose.
“I have something to tell you,” Alex said. “I’m transgender.”
“So, you want to be a girl?” Selena asked.
“No, I was born a girl. But I’m a man trapped inside a woman’s body.”
“I see. I’m okay with that.”
“Really. Maybe we can hang out sometime, after all. Want to go to the park on Saturday?”
“Yeah. I’d love you.”
Unfortunately, Selena never contact Alex in a few days.
“So, she ghosted you, huh?” Jen said.
“Yup,” Alex said.
“She’s not worth it, then.”
A few days later, Steve and Shelly told Larry and Martha the news.
“You two can’t afford a baby!” Martha screamed.
“Your mother’s right, Steve,” Larry said. “You can’t afford childcare, you can’t afford to feed your baby, you can’t afford diapers, and you can’t afford to buy a house. And don’t even think about getting an apartment. That’s no place for a baby.”
“Okay, how did you two manage to buy a house?”
“Your father and I worked 2 jobs each,” Martha said.
“That’s what Shelly and I will do then,” Steve said. “It will be hard, but we can do it. Anyway, we’re going over to Shelly’s house. We’re going to break the news to her mother and her brother.”
“Good luck with that,” Larry said.
Steve and Shelly headed to the bus stop.
“That was easier than I thought,” Shelly said.
When Shelly arrived at her house with Steve, they told Michael that they were going to have a baby.
“Mom is going to freak out, even though you two have been married for two years,” Michael said.
“I know,” Shelly said. “But we have to tell her.”
“Well, she’s working until midnight.”
“We can tell her tomorrow,” Steve said.
“No, I’ll tell her tonight. I just want to get it over with.”
“If you say so.”
When Steve went home, his parents changed their tune from earlier that day.
“How the fuck could you get Shelly pregnant?!” Martha screamed.
“You don’t have the mental capacity to take care of yourself, let alone a baby!” Larry said. Tomorrow, you will tell Shelly to get an abortion,” Larry said.
“What did you say?” Steve asked in a surly voice. “You want me to tell my wife what she can and cannot do with her body? Are you out of your fucking mind?”
“You’re not going to have a child! I forbid it!”
“Who do you think you are, telling me what to do?”
“I’m your father! You show me respect.”
“I’ll show you respect when you earn it!”
“You were an ungrateful kid and you’re ungrateful adult.”
“Kids ain’t supposed to be grateful. They’re supposed to eat your food and break your heart, you selfish dick.”
Larry slapped Steve in the face, and Steve slapped him back. Larry tried to punch Steve in the face, but he blocked it. Steve counteracted with a punch of his own, giving Larry a bloody nose.
“Get out of my face!” Larry yelled. “Don’t you ever come back!”
Without any hesitation, Steve left the house.
As Steve walked down the street, he was about to send Shelly a text message to explain what happened. However, he didn’t want to cause Shelly any stress. So, he had decided to put his phone away.