Being Joanna by Sasha Nexus
Summary:

George's time in Toronto comes to a tragic close but instead of meeting his maker, he meets Dr Erica who knows her true name, Joanna.  In this fanfic sequel to the CTV series 'Being Erica', Can Dr Erica also be the only gender therapist that Joanna will ever need?


Categories: Fiction Characters: None
Age Group: Adult 26-55
Categories: Age Regression
Genre: Adventure
Keywords: None
Story Universe: None
Challenges: None
Series: None
Chapters: 5 Completed: No Word count: 28968 Read: 33517 Published: 25 Jun 2012 Updated: 15 Jul 2014

1. George by Sasha Nexus

2. Regret - DDT by Sasha Nexus

3. Regret - NHS by Sasha Nexus

4. Regret ~ SUZY by Sasha Nexus

5. Interlude ~ CAMP by Sasha Nexus

George by Sasha Nexus
Author's Notes:

A  Fanfic of 'Being Erica' The CBC TV series that concluded 12/2011

Can George trust Naadiah, who he has just met, enough to forsake a weekend being Joanna at Dragon*Con to go to Toronto with the promise that he could transition for good and always be Joanna?

George

 

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author of this story. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any previously copyrighted material. No copyright infringement is intended. .

 


Many people have few regrets, me, I have tons. By the way the name my parents stuck me with is George Thomas Wolfe. Horrible, right? They really must have wanted a boy. What they got was me and I’m not a boy but I play one on TV (when it’s my 15 minutes of fame, right?) and unfortunately every day of my life. But the name that I really want to be called is Joanna. One reason that it’s infrequent for me to be called Joanna is that it is infrequent that I have a female gender presentation and I’m being Joanna..

I’m the one who seemed to peak in high school. While I would never have been voted most likely to succeed, I could have if only I had made the right choices. It seems that what ever was best for me, I always did the opposite. I went to a prestigious college after high school and flunked out. I had chances to get my life going right after that but I seemed to keep sabotaging myself.

After I flunked out of college, I went to work at a retail pharmacy. I still work there as a merchandise manager or a glorified stock clerk. I know the entire store and have even been trained in house as a pharmacy assistant but I’ve always been passed up for even assistant manager much less manager.

With a less demanding job, longevity gave me plenty of paid time off and free time that I could depend on. While I could be filling for relief in at almost any counter in the store, even cosmetician, there were few times that anything urgent happened in my job. My free time was plentiful and dependable.

There’s no easy way to say this. I’m a Trekkie. Being somewhat of an ‘alien’ myself I really connected with their 'infinite diversity in infinite combinations philosophy. That brought me to science fiction Conventions and the fan club tables. After considering the possibility of joining a fan club over a period of three years of conventions, I finally joined one of the Starfleet International ships in Atlanta, the USS Pleiades.

There were a couple of things that I like about being a member of the USS Pleiades. First was that it was named for the Seven Sisters . And second, the captain of the USS Pleiades was a transwoman named Tina. She knew that even though I was too timid to permanently transition that I like to cross dress on Halloween and conventions. She’s okay with that and so are the rest of the USS Pleiades crew.

The big convention in Atlanta each year is Dragon*Con and our club booked a couple of motel rooms for us to stay in during the convention. However a glitch in booking meant that for this year we were going to stay at a hotel at the airport. We had transportation to the convention figured out without driving downtown since we could get a shuttle to get us to the airport and from the airport We could take MARTA’s rapid rail to the Peachtree Center station where the convention was being held.

I’d gotten dropped off at a MARTA Station and ridden MARTA to the airport. I had to wait for Tina or Nadine to arrive so I took a seat in the Delta area to wait for a call to find out where to meet them to go over to the motel. I’d not been there long with my luggage along side me including a feminine pink suitcase where Joanna’s clothes were packed. An attractive woman came from the direction of the MARTA station with short black hair dressed professionally all in white and came right to the bench where I was seated.

”May I sit here with you? My name is Naadiah.””

”Yes, of course Naadiah. My name is George, George Thomas Wolfe.”

”I’m waiting for a call from my partner. She’s supposed to be meeting me here and we are going to be flying back to Toronto together. “

”That’s great. I’m also waiting for a call from the Captain of the USS Pleiades.”

”I’m hoping you mean the president of the fan club where you are a member.”

“Yeah, her name is Tina and she’s great. Our ship is going to be staying together at a motel at the Airport and riding MARTA to Dragon*Con each day.”

On cue Naadiah’s phone rang. “Excuse me please while I take this.”

I was quiet while she talked softly into her phone. While I did not overhear much, I could tell that the news wasn’t good by the way that Naadiah was frowning. She finished with a smile and then turned back to me.

”That was my partner. An emergency has come up and she won’t be able to meet me here. I was looking forward to spending my time with her today.”

”How long before your flight?”

”Eight hours. Perhaps we might spend some of that together?”

”I’d like that, Naadiah. At least until I have to go to my motel. I certainly will look forward to getting rid of my luggage..”

”I’d imagine that you have some interesting stories behind your luggage, especially that pink suitcase.”

”That suitcase contains clothes for my alter ego Joanna. I’m a transwoman so I need chances for female gender expression. This is a good time for me between Dragon*Con, Halloween and the transgender convention, Southern Comfort. I’ve never been strong enough to just let Joanna out permanently so these times have been what kept me same but as time goes on it’s not enough.”

”Why do you think that you can’t make the breakthrough of letting go of your male persona?”

”Choices that I’ve made and that have been made for me all have made me a coward to deal with something even as important to my life as this. What people think about me is way too important to me . Survival by attempting to blend in by avoiding those who will use violence towards someone different. In America, my birth condition isn’t taken seriously in medicine and the treatment we need is only available to those who can pay full price for it without insurance.”.

< p>”Can you tell me about some of those choices?”

”From early childhood, I knew that I was different but it wasn’t until puberty when my body rebelled against my mind and openly started displaying male characteristics that it dawned on me that the difference was that I was really a girl and everyone was trying to cast me in the role of a boy. I could have expressed those differences but I learned to get along by going along with the role that they had picked out for me. Instead of being true to who I was, I covered it up so that I could avoid ridicule and persecution at home and at school.”

”And if you had a chance to do it over?”

”I would have told them and got it over. I may have had to go further undercover like what happened later but I would have at least had some chance before I’d faked it for so long to let them know from an earlier age that it was real.”

”Go on.”

”I learned in Junior High Biology how puberty worked and that there were others like me who had taken charge of their life and through hormone replacement and surgery became the people they were inside on the outside. I was too afraid to initiate telling my parents about who I truly was for fear of their reaction. Daddy reacted violently when ever I would slip and my girl self showed. It was easier to put it off than to face it and the consequences.”

”So this would have been another chance to tell them earlier instead of your covering up being revealed. Next?”

”The summer before Junior High, I had earned spending money cutting grass and walked alone to the store 2 miles away and bought a shirt dress and put it on under my male clothes and walked home. I made the mistake of washing the dress in the washing machine and my mother discovered it. I tried to explain that I was really a girl and a girl was entitled to wear a dress. When Daddy came home he yelled at me for my ‘perversion’, forbid me to do it again and then gave me a beating on my behind with his belt. I wanted to have better explained the realness of being trans to my parents when they caught me and that not dressing as a woman would not solve anything but make me search for other outlets but I just kept quiet.”

”So a different tact, go after their reaction rather than their disapproval to mitigate the effect. What else?”

”There were times when my own problems and discomforts led me not to use my female perspective on how girls react to things. I didn’t want to have a relationship with a girl since I was a girl myself. What I failed to consider is that the non macho way I conducted myself made me very safe boyfriend material for a girl who was doubting her own self. I wish that I would have talked with Dee Dee, the Junior High cheerleader, instead of about her in expressing my discomfort of being the object ofher public attention by saying hurtful things publicly”

”What you really would have liked was for her to see beyond the façade and still want you to be her girlfriend. Next?”

”I would have liked to take the chance to have come out as Joanna to my Grandmother the summer I spent in the lawnmower shop with my Grandfather in Brunswick. I’ll never get the chance now since all my grandparents died a few years ago.”

“That must be really tough to never be able to show her who you really are inside. What else?”

”I wish I could have made better use of confessing being trans to my HS counselor so that I could have been helped. I know that they could do only so much without getting my parents okay but I would have like to stretch to the edge what help that they could have given me.

”You see yourself as not taking full advantage of the limited help that you received, but one must be ready to act on that help and we can’t do that until we are ready to take even bolder steps. Go on?”

”I’m ashamed of having taken the hard bible thumping line with a girl wanting to be chaplain for a club. It was all about Dad’s voice in my head quoting that scripture about women being silent in church. That’s nonsense of course and when properly interpreted it was clear that Paul was giving that as an example instead of a hard and fast law. In the giving the example itself he was breaking a hard and fast law where the women could not be present in church at all. Above all I should have support Beth knowing I was really a girl too.”

”Definitely! Next?”

”I had a chance to blow the lid of the secrecy about my being female, when I was discovered buying a dress by an unknown sibling. I should have told both of my brothers no matter which of them was the one to see me the truth in the open. Keeping secrets has poisoned our family (keeping it in the family) and it has become a wedge that broke us farther and farther apart.”

”Secrets like that have been known as symptoms of a dysfunction. They let shame multiply and become a great obstacle to healing the hurts that lie within. Is there more?”

”I wish that I would have moved out of my parents house once I had a job so that I would not have had that commitment to keep things under cover. Without the having to do things in secret I could have pursued being whole.”

”Just making the hard decision to leave the security of being in with your parents would have signaled that you were ready to do other things that were difficult for you to do. Others?”

”The time that I spent away from home in college where they were not going to immediately report me to my parent that I was truant or skipping class. I should have realized that completing college would have given me options to have escaped my parents influence for good. With that escape from bondage, I could have the means to deal with the trans issue for real instead of hiding it in fantasy. Instead I skipped class just rebelling against what I was supposed to be doing.

”Any other regrets about what you did in college?”

'I wish that I would have only used the computer in my school work and not let it interfere with College. When I learned to program, I loved to play games and I loved to program games. Then I met Richmond who was a games programmer for the Textile Engineering’s programs they let High School students play to get them interested in Textile Engineering instead of a prestigious major like EE.

”But that wasn’t all?”

”I spent as much time I should have been in class programming games as I was off wondering about aimlessly in search of knowledge a gender therapist would have at her disposal. If only I would have chosen to go to class instead of skipping class to do research being trans on my own instead of getting a gender therapist.

”But you did find counsel of a sort?”

”I would have liked to have chosen a real therapist in college instead of ’Suzy the Psychic'. She was sympathetic and could see into my inner being to know and accept me as a female. But she had problems of her own and she just was not equipped to aid me in my journey towards wholeness. She was just a detour on that road.

”Was there anything else during College?”

”I wish that I would have never gotten involved with Mags romantically. I guess what I really wanted was to as a girl be a girlfriend. I was never attracted to her sexually but I got really attached by our closeness. It was only on false pretense that courting her would first throw others including my parents off by my appearing to take the role expected of a male and in the back of my mind I held out some hope that it might cure me being a transgirl even though now I know that that’s not possible.”

”But that was not the end of it?”

”Eventually, she figured out that our relationship was not real, even though she did not reveal me as being really a girl too and she broke up with me. Instead of learning that I should not court a girl on false pretence I got involved with Thea on the rebound from my breakup from Mags. I finally had her end it too when I confessed to her that I felt like I was a former transgirl and that I had been cured. She dropped me as a result of my confession. I know now that it was a false confession since I know now that no one ever gets over being a transwoman.

”Anything else?”

”I wish that I had confessed sooner to my pharmacist friend about my desire to take hormones and to pursue getting help to transition from that point. Instead of destroying the out of date hormone samples in the stockroom, I self medicated knowing that even with their not having full potency the drugs still worked only a little weaker than their printed strengths. It was the best of times since it terminated my already suspended male puberty and sent me into a female puberty. I had all the signs but I ran out of my supply so my changes stopped.

”That must have been distressing for you but even the strain of stopping suddenly did not get you to publicly seek the means to transition?”

”Not to this day. I have to express myself but if I do so in ways like Dragon*Con, it’s been enough so that I have not reached the crisis that I understand is coming where I won’t be able to live a lie. By waiting till then a lot of people in my situation just commit suicide. I’d like a chance to make it easier for me to do the right thing without doing it in front of so many disapproving eyes.”

”George / Joanna Wolfe, would you like to change your life? In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity. – Albert Einstein “

”Yes. Yes I really would, Naadiah. But how can I do that?”

”You admit that you are in a dead end job which you could pick up the equivalent anywhere. Your birth family shuns you. You have some nice acquaintances but no real friends. And where you are now with the people who do know you, you are too afraid to transition. Even if you were to transition the medical system makes it very difficult to get the full treatment you’ll need to lead a normal life. So drop everything and come with me to Toronto. I’ll get my partner’s ticket issued for you. You can get a passport with a same day ticket, before the flight. I’ll help you in Toronto get a job and a place to stay. All you have to do is let go of your life here”.

”What if I get to Toronto and even with the change of venue and promise of medical support, I still can’t transition?”

”Even allowing your self to hit rock bottom in the attempt will be progress instead of playing it safe. Here in Atlanta, the phoenix rising from the ashes is a symbol you are familiar. In Toronto if all else fails you could be that phoenix, Joanna.”

”So it is to be a fresh start?. Leave now with just what I have packed? Leave Dragon*Con behind, quit my job, cancel my room agreement, have someone do a yard sale and sell or donate all my stuff? Isn’t that a bit extreme?”

”How are you going to face your challenges, with having an easy escape?”

”Naadiah, I’ll do it. I’ll call Tina to tell her, I won’t be attending Dragon*Con. Maybe Tina will agree to help me sell my stuff out of the room I have been renting and sell my car. I’ll call and tell my house mate that I’m moving out immediately. I’ll call and tell my work that I’m quitting.”

”Right, George. I feel that everything I need to get the ticket changed is on your ID. Please let me borrow it?”

”Of course.” I pulled out my wallet, extracted my ID, and handed it to Naadiah.

”Thank you, George. While you watch our luggage, I’m going to see about getting this other ticket changed into your name . Once that is done we can check our luggage and see about getting you the documents you’ll need in order to get through security and on the plane with me.”

”Okay, Naadiah. Thanks.”

Naadiah left to go to the Delta service counter and I got out my phone and began to make some calls. The toughest one would be to Tina who came the closest I had of having a friend.

”Hi Tina, this is George. I’m not going to attend Dragon*Con and instead I’m going to fly to Toronto with this lady that I just met, Naadiah for free. She’s promised to help me get a job and a place to stay there. With no one there knowing me and being able to become eligible for medical help the only obstacle to my transitioning will be me.”

”Are you sure you can trust her, Jo Jo? Are you ready to just up and go like that?”

”For the first time in my life, I believe that I really am ready. Listen, come and meet her and talk with her. If you get a bad vibe off her then I’ll cut my losses and stay, if you don’t will you sell or donate my stuff here in my room and sell my car and send me the money?”

”I’d hate for you to quit your job and cancel your room anyway but you’ll have Dragon*Con to get them back or find others. Okay, I’ll meet her and if I get the same vibe from her that you do then I’ll gladly sell your stuff and send you the proceeds.”

”Thanks so much Tina, you are a true sister to me. We may be in the International Terminal by the time that you get here. Just call either when you get here or if you can’t make it within the next 4 hours. I’ll hold up going through security till then.”

”Okay, Jo Jo. Checking on you won’t take long and I have to be at the airport anyway to get to the motel. I’ll be able to be there long before your deadline but I’m not sure when yet. I’ll call you when I get to the airport. Bye Bye.”

”Bye Tina, thanks.”

The call to my house mate and to my boss both went thru quicker without any questions. They both understood that picking up and moving to Canada was a big adventure. They both let me have a Dragon*Con cooling off period before the terminations became final. They both asked for an email after Labor Day weekend letting them know if I really went thru with it to finalize the terminations.

Naadiah came walking up and handed a ticket to Toronto in my name and my ID to me. She smiled back as she saw the grin on my face as I accepted them from her. She also gave me some print outs of instructions for International flights.

”Here are your ticket and ID, George. You might like to scan this document for what you’ll need to do to get thru security. Of your luggage, anything that can’t be shipped on the plane , we can mail to my address in Toronto. You’ll want to select what you want as a carry on and repack it with the things you’ll need for the flight and your first day. If you don’t have a personal item pack like in the regulations we can buy one for you in one of the airport shops and throw away what you packed for yourself for the weekend.”

”That’s a lot to do, I’d best get started getting me sorted”

”Great George! Once we get our bags checked here, we’ll need to go to the International Terminal to get your passport sorted.”

”Okay, Naadiah, thanks.”

.

I went through the documents and found that my trek items which I wanted to hold onto would pass luggage inspection. I had to dispose of my personal items and either get some at the airport or once we landed in Toronto. I had one bag which was carry on sixe which I repacked with the things I wanted for the trip and the next day. I let Naadiah know I was ready and we both took our luggage to be checked.

”How did you do, George in finishing up things here?”

”I resigned my job, canceled my room and canceled me going to Dragon*Con. Tina has agreed to help me sell my belongings and car but she wants to meet you first. I guess she is a better friend than I thought since she is both happy for me and concerned for me. It would help her to meet you so she can feel more confident that I’m doing the right thing.”

”I’m glad to meet your friend, George. We’d better get going to the International Terminal to get the paperwork out of the way.”

We did everything that was needed for me to get on the plane with Naadiah. In the beginning I feel that we both were confused about what was required. I was assured by the official we met that what resulted was sufficient. I might have to do more paperwork in Toronto should I decide to overstay the terms of my paperwork but that was something that could be worked out.

Tina phoned when she arrived and she followed my directions to the place that we would be waiting for her in the International Terminal. After a little while she was walking up and I began to introduce her to Naadiah.

”Naadiah this is my trek friend, Tina. Tina this is my new friend, Naadiah.”

”Naadiah, I’m delighted to meet you. Jo Jo doesn’t open up often and I’m really glad that she’s found a receptive friend in you. “

”Likewise, Tina. Joanna thinks very highly of you even to deferring to your request to get to know me. Of course it is a proper request since I’ve only just met Joanna but I assure her that all I want to do is give her a chance for her to catch that dream that she’s been chasing her entire life. But it is only a chance, and the result that she has is up to what she puts into it. I pledge to facilitate what ever efforts she makes as well as making sure that she has a roof over her head and the means to support herself.”

”There is a very truthful aspect to you, Naadiah. I like that you don’t give guarantees since life doesn’t have any guarantees. Jo Jo has mucked up the rest of the chances that she’s been given so I hope she’s ready to grab hold of this one with both hands and hold on!”

”I am, Tina. I really am running to something instead of running away from my failures.“

There is a difference between running to something and running away from something. And the only way one knows the difference is what one does when they arrive.”

”Okay, Naadiah. I trust you with Jo Jo. You may not guarantee results but you seem to have her best interest at heart.”

”Thank you Tina for being such a good friend to Joanna.”

”Jo Jo, what do you want me to do?”

”Please Tina, take my house and car keys. If you could sell or donate the contents of my room and sell my car, I would love you forever. Oh right, I already do. Anyway, once you’ve done that, please email me at [email protected] I’ll let you know what do to send me the funds. I will have set up a paypal account or something.”

”Okay sweetie, I’ll do it.”

Tina took my keys and I felt like she had lifted a burden from me. She smothered me in a hug and broke it with a kiss on my cheek

”Jo Jo, and Naadiah, I’d love to wait with you to see you off but I have loads to do with the convention and the room. Jo Jo, do me proud! Take care of her Naadiah. Second star to the right and straight on till morning.”

Somehow we had ended up at the beginning to the security check point so Naadiah went thru first. I looked back at a smiling Tina waving to me and then turned to follow Naadiah into the unknown country (for me at least).

End Notes:

 


Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author of this story. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any previously copyrighted material. No copyright infringement is intended. .

 


Regret - DDT by Sasha Nexus

Being Joanna
A Being Erica (CTV Series completed 12/2011) Fanfic

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author of this story.. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any previously copyrighted material. No copyright infringement is intended. .

She told me that it was just after Dr Sarsh had gotten her first patient that she began having what she called the 'birth pangs' that she recieved before getting a new patient.  In this case the new patient was me. Like a mother who had carried several children to term, her pains witn me were not as severe as Sarah, her first.  That was good becasue instead of it taking days before I had hit bottom, it was minutes.

I found myself waking up in a hospital bed.  Every thing was pretty fuzzy but I knew that I must have done something desparate since my arms were strapped down.  I remembered something about running away and ending up in Toronto where I had purged every last trace of who I am.  From the way my stomach felt, I must have done the desparate thing I promised that I would never do. Before any other hospital staff came in to check on me, she walked in.  A cute brunette in a sundress like thw one I admired before what ever happened.  It seems that I had blanked out the rest.  She smiled at me and spoke in a soft voice that had an air of authority

"I'm Dr Erica and you are George Thomas Wolfe.  I'm here to help you."

"You can't help me.  I'm beyond help, being the lowest of the low. How could you know what I need?"

She came over and held my hand and whispered in my ear.

" Joanna, I know what you need and you are not beyond my help."

She placed a card in my hand which I read to myself.  Dr Erica, the only therapist that you'll ever need,  Results guaranteed.  I made a leap of faith knowing that Dr Erica was something special and that the therapy that she practiced was not ordinary.  I saw her turn to leave

"Please Wait! I feel okay.  I want to start now."

"Ordinarily, I would let you come to my office on your own after you finished here.  However, I can see that you really want to start so let's go to my office now."

She called me  Joanna!  I pictured myself in my most satisfied moment.  All dolled up as best I could without gender affirming treatment.   She took my hand and the world began to spin.  When it stopped instead of lying strapped in bed in a hospital gown, I was all dolled up the way I had imagined myself sitting in a chair in what must have been Dr Erica's office.

" Joanna, do you feel alright?"

"I feel fine, Dr Erica.  Thank you for the instant makeover.  This isn't any ordinary therapy that you do is it?  I'm glad that I'm going to be your patient, Dr Erica"

"No, this isn't any ordinary therapy.  The confidenciality goes beyond the substance of what we do here but the circumstances as well.  Is that something that you feel that you can handle?"

"Yes, I can do that!   I imagine that you already know that I can keep a secret."

"All too well. All of our lives are the sum of our decisions and those of others we accept that make choices for us. So we start with you making a list of regrets but these must only come from actions that you yourself took or failed to take in the past.  Sometimes even doing the right thing may lead to unintended consequenses if groundwork has not been laid. Any questions?'

"So it would not help to write down that I regret that I was not born female.  If I were then I would not be me.  I could write that I regret not revealing to my Mother sooner that I'm a girl inside and hope that doing so would have allowed her to realize who I really am."

"You've got the idea.  I'm going to give you some time to think about what you want to add to your list.  It's your list so you don't have to finalize it before we start but I'd like to have enough itmes on it so I can pick and choose what I feel you are ready to confront.  It should be mostly complete but you may have the chance to add to it later."

"Okay, Dr Erica. Thank you for giving me this chance.  I'll get right to it."

"Remember, think of specific incidents right now where you regret the decision you made and not generalities where you really did not have a chance to act in the way that you might have liked to do."

"Gotcha Dr Erica.  Thanks."

True to her word, Dr Erica disappeared behind one of the doors in the front of her office,  I had not had a real chance to look around but my attention was to the notebook that Dr Erica handed to me with the heading:  Joanna aka  George Thomas Wolfe. 
 
At first it was all about becoming whole as my plans formed about how I would tackle the task.  I discarded that approach as not embracing the wholeness of my life.  Sure being trans was a big part of my life woes but it was not the total answer.  Somehow I knew that just putting one regret down that I wasn't born a whole woman may fix something but I would not be the beneficiary.  Who ever came out of fixing my birth circumstances would not be me.  But bringing my life into balance by being the best me that I could be was the kind of wholeness that I could achieve in my life by maing good decisions in the future and learning from those in the past.  So I decided to go back thru my life to those decision points where my path could have been altered by my own actions.  So I started listing regrets

'To not have taken the poison and instead chosen to change my life by finding a gender therapist'

What I had hoped for in my heart was that I had not taken too much and that I would be saved, after I realized the true consequences of my decision.  Could it be that this regret was already answered by my being alive to be Dr Erica's patient?

'To have never gotten involved romantically with Thea since it was on false pretence that courting her would enable me to cure being trans as a replacement for Mags when she left me.'

'To have never gotten involved with Mags romantically since it was only on false pretense that courting her would cure me being trans.'

'To have taken the chance when I was discovered buying a dress by an unknown sibling to tell all to them instead of it being a wedge that broke us farther and farther apart.'

'To have moved out of my parents house once I had a job so that I could pursue being whole.'

'To have confessed sooner to my pharacist friend about my desire to take hormones and to pursue getting help to transition from that point.'

'To have completed college instead of skipping class and flunking out by reizing that chosing college was my means to deal with the trans issue. 

'To have only used the computer in my school work and not let it interfere with College and spcifically not get involved with Richmond and TEGAMES'

'To have chosen to go to class instead of skipping class to do research being trans. '

'To have chosen a real therapist in college instead of Suzy the Psychic'

'To have made better use of confessing being trans to my HS councelor so that I could have been helped without inerfering in my school work.'

'To not have taken the hard bible thumping line with a girl wanting to be chaplain for a club and support her knowing I was really a girl too'

'To have better explained the realness of being trans to my parents when they caught me and that not dressing as a woman would not solve anything but make me search for other outlets'

'To have talked with her instead of about her in expressing my discomfort of being the object of a jr high cheerleaders attention by saying hurtful things publiclly'

There were other things that I could write but these felt like enough to start out with to me so I closed my book and placed it on Dr Erica's side of the desk.  Then I wondered, how was I going to let her know that I was finished.  Then I giggled, a woman who was able to teleport me into her office out of a hospital bed would be sure to come back when called.

"Dr Erica, I've finished my list of regrets for now."

And Dr Erica came back thru the same door that she left.

"That was smart of you to call me Joanna. Ler's take a look at your list.  Well we can come back to the first one later.  Thank you for not stacking the deck with gender identity regrets.  That is part of what we will work on but it is not the whole story.  Even so you've left out whole aspects to your life.  Hopefully you'll trust me enough to add the rest as we go along.  I don't usually do quotes but this one seems appropriate. 

'For everything there is a beginning.' Captaain Spock in Trek II"

"Tell me about Dee Dee Tailor in Jr High and how she reacted to George,  Joanna.  You wrote: ' 'To have talked with her instead of about her in expressing my discomfort of being the object of a jr high cheerleaders attention by saying hurtful things publiclly'"

"Jr High was a decision point for me.  I always knew I was differnt but with the girls gong thru puberty and me not blossoming.  It was 7th grade biology that taught me about hormones and that made me realize that I could be a whole female.  It was also the time that boys were taking girls by the waist and walking them down the hallways.  I was a bright student and participated heavily in class.  Dee Dee picked me to try to get close to by broadcasting it to the class.  My come back was 'DDT is poison' "

"And what would you do differently if you had it to do over again?" 

"If I had it to go again, I would try to talk to her in private and find out why she was so public in expressing that she wanted to be close to me. I'd try to explain that my admiration was not romantic attraction.  She didn't seek revenge for my slight so maybe I could let her in a little and that would resolve it."

"Okay, let's find out."

The room spun and all of a sudden Dr Erica's office was gone.  In it's place was the bus pavillion of Nash Jr High which does not exist now.  I guessed it was no longer now but I wasn't ready for the next thing since I looked down to see me as a 12 year old.  I did the only thing that any reasnable person who was shifted in time by twenty something years.  I collapsed and passed out.

"You should have seen my reaction the first time I went back in time with my therapist.  I'm sorry  Joanna.  You can speak freely right now.  I'm the school nurse for today and we are alone.  I meant for you to see me as the bus attendant and get you aside to explain things but you figured it out too quickly and you passed out.  It is real.  You are back in time.  What you do now will replace what you did before and when you finish and come back to the present all memories will be of the new history you create."

"My goodness.  So I'm really back inn time and today is the day that Dee Dee surprised me."

"Yes. Joanna, I can't take an active role.  It's not permited.  So it's all you.  We can talk about your experience in my office when you finish. Do you want to see what you look like?"

"Yes! I would not have believed this if you had told me but I'm a believer now."

Dr Erika helped me doen from the exam table.  In the full length mirror on the wall, I saw a 12 year old George staring back at me.  Dr Erika smiled at me and handed me a hall pass.

"Your homeroom teacher knows what happened so you wont be counted absent or late.  This pass clears you okay to finish the day as well as gets you in homeroom.  Have a nice day, George."   

I smiled at her and hurried off to my home room.  I remembered it all and had no problem getting there.  I handed the pass to the teacher and took my seat in class.  It was clear from my classmates reaction that no word had gotten back to them of me passing out.  It was starting out just the way I remembered the day.  Even though I was vocal in class, I really had no close friends.  I wondered if that was about to change. First class after lunch was English so that's when things would be interesting.  The time leading up to it was a chance for me to get back in the flow of being a Jr High student.

It was interesting to observe the reactions that others had to silent me.  I wondered if being so smart in class made me as hard to approach as the beautiful girl.  That got me to thinking but I didn't want to change things lest I something I did would make Dee Dee put off her declaration in class. Finally Lunch was over and it was time for English. I guess I was a little too focused on my thoughts since I ran right into Dee Dee Tailor in the hall.  I scrambled to pick up her books. I stopped her with a look not of embarassment but purpose.

"Dee Dee, I really need a friend right now.  There is something I would like to share with you.  It's really private and I'd like to do it without attracting a lot of attention."

"George, I knew you were the kind of boy who could really be a friend.  I've been looking for a way to break the ice with you but you are too quiet for your own good mostly.  Why don't we go in together and ask Mrs Richards for an extra credit assignment we can do together."

"Maybe we could get a library pass and do some research on Medieval culture?  We have the Canterbury Tales and the Tempest coming up.  We could do a report to the class with some background on how people lived back then and how they are not unlike us, only the technology is different?"

"That's brilliant, George.  I know a table out of sight and hearing of the librarian.  We can get some work done and you can share what you wanted with me."

"I love it when a plan comes together!"

"A-Team? ,,, Well at least it wasn't a Trek reference.  Let me do the talking and you can join in when I start piching the medieval culture topic? Okay?"

"Okay, Lead the way Dee Dee!"

I followed Dee Dee into the class room and back to the back of class where Mrs Richards had her desk.  Dee Dee had explained our request  noting the medieval books coming up.  At the right time I chimed in about how much the class could learn by a presentation on Medieval culture.  She agreed with us, giving us both winks which led me to believe that we were now a couple.  Even though even Dee Dee would not have that idea after my news, I thought it not wise to correct my teacher. Dee Dee smiled and took the hall and library passes, Mrs Richards offered up.

I took the outline of what our teacher expected for an in class presentation of our report.  For the 2 of us this would be an easy A especially since I had been involved with the SCA in my now future life. We went to the library and excitedly stopped by the card catalog to find the dewey decimal for medieval culture.   After being surprised by the library's selection we brought a couple of the better ones to the table that Dee Dee led me to and we sat down.

"What is this that you wanted to share with me, George?"

"Dee Dee, I want to apologize for all the attention that I've directed in your direction.  You are a very stunning, beautiful and intelegent young woman.  You are a wonderful role model. On the inside from birth, I've been female forced unsuccessfully to try to live life as a boy like Renee' Richards.  I'd love to be your friend but I'm never really going to be anyone's boyfriend."

I could not help it since I said that all in one breath not stoping to breath leat I not get it all out. I lisnened with anticipation after I drew in one big gasp of air.

"Dear one, of course I'll be your friend.  I can see it in your eyes now.  Its real.  Everything you told me is real. I can see you just want to melt right now but you have an inner strength and patience. I'll keep your secret and you can keep my family's secret."

I nodded and looked into those hazel eyes of hers, I wanted to weep and hug for comfort but I had to play the male so that any casual observer would not get close enough to overhear us.

"Uh huh.  Goodness!  You are really taking this well.  Does that have anything to do with your family's secret?"

"I had what others thought of as my older brother only she really was my older sister.  I did not know for sure.  None of us even thought of the possiblity that she was a transwoman.  We found out too late when she dressed herself up one last time and then told the world goodbye.  We were too late to save her but I want you to have the chance she did not have."

"Oh Dee Dee, I am so sorry for your loss.  What can I do?"

"We are going to help you live like my sister should have been able to live.  I'm sure my Daddy will agree to help too.  Do you have a girl name?  My sister had one."

"It's Joanna."

"Well Joanna, girfriends tell secrets and I've got to tell you what I had planned for George if my girlfriend Joanna had not run into me today.  I was going to profess my love for him in front of the whole class.  I'm glad I didn't do that now.  I thought George was cute smart and safe.  If he were my boyfriend then not only would I be left alone, I could help him with his case of terminal shyness."

"I'm glad that you didn't do that to George.  He still thinks that girls have cooties.  He might have said something in the spur of the moment that would be regretted for life"

"Well initially, maybe being my boyfriend could help George with his cover.  Joanna, Sorry Sweetie but you dont make a very convincing boy.  And we will need a cover to be together now since I am going to help you.  We can talk more when you come over to my house after school to work on our project.  Call home and clear it with your Momma and my Daddy can take you home afterward. You'll be going on my bus with me after school, #11-32.  Okay?"

"Okay,  I think I have a quarter for the payphone at the Gym.  I'm sure it will be okay Dee Dee.  I guess we should do a little work now so we are not so behind on the project."

"Good Idea!  It's going to be fun doing this project with you, even though when we present it, you'll be pretending to be George."

We kept quiet event though I could not contain myself for the joy of finally having someone understand and accept me just the way I was. I was so happy and kept sneeking looks at Dee Dee.  To an outsider, I guess they would call us a couple, but I was sure I now had another girl for a best friend. 

Somehow, the extra confidence confused the bullies at Jr High and they left me alone.  School was a joy in my afternoon classes.  I made it to the Gym in between classes and used the pay phone.  Momma gave me permission to go home on Dee Dee's bus and have Mr Tailor bring me back home by 9:30 pm.  I felt the joy that I had found a friend and that she was a girl that I wanted to spend an afternoon with even for a school project.  I found Dee Dee and lined up with her when it was dismissal time and we rode her bus to her house.  On coming in the door, we had decided that we would tell her mother everything.

"Momma, This is George and we have a project for english together that we would like to work on.  Can Daddy give him a ride home? And, Oh yeah when we were talking, I found out that George is like Chelsea and her girl name is Joanna."

"Is this true, Joanna?"

"Yes ma'am.  I've always been female on the inside but my body doesn't match so I have to prentend to be George to make them happy but for me not so much.  I ran into Dee Dee, literally and we got to talking and we set up the project.  I sensed that she felt the attention I was paying her only for me it was as my role model.  She is beautiful in every way.  Me,  not being such good pretending to be a boy, still deals with girls like they have cooties.  Dee Dee said she was planning on doing something in class to make it easy for us to be a couple since that's what she senced I wanted.  After I told her the truth. She told me about her sister and that you all found out too late to help her.  I am so sorry for your loss, Mrs Tailor."

"Please call me Janet.  Dee Dee, you did the right thing bringing her home.  I want to help, you Joanna and I'm sure Dee Dee's Daddy will want to help too and he's a Doctor.  The important thing is that you have a hope and a future and people who love you.  If you need to talk, we'll be here to help.  For your part, young lady, please let us in and let us help you.  I don't every want you to feel like things are hopeless."

I was finally in private so I broke down and cried like the girl that I was.  Soon I was comforted in a group hug of girls of which I was one too.  Janet sent us upstairs to Dee Dee's room to work on our project aided by my medieval knowledge and the books we had on the subject from the library.  With the outline to work from we filled it in with topical material.  We had a plan of action and we divided it up among us on the specific things we wanted to present in our report.  We also planned to have some visual aids and wear garb for our report.  I wanted to waar a ladies gown like we were going to make for Dee Dee but I would have to settle for Medieval men's garb for appearance sake.

When Dr Tailor got home, after we sat down to a wonderful dinner, I was questioned again about my life as Joanna.
Due to the death of his Daughter, Dr Tailor had become an expert about transgirls.  He suggested a full exam for me in his home clinic which we all did together.  Then we sat down in the living room to discuss his findings.

"Joanna, basically, I've fouund that you have a normal boy's body even though we know you are a girl.  That is good since we can begin doing things to help you medically.  According to the Standards of Care Doccument for transgirls, We have to wait till you are 18 for anything permanent.  But we can give you hormone blockers so that you wont go thru male puberty which you have not started yet.  That way you'll just have to have a girl's puberty like any other girl who's had a hysterectomy.  What I will be asking of you for this is that you get regular checkups from me and also for you to attend therapy sessions I will set up for you.  So you'll have less questions, I'll become your doctor for everything else too.  Is this something that you would like?"

"Oh yes! thank you very much Dr Tailor.  I am a lucky girl to have all of you caring about me."

We joined together in a group hug.  Dr Tailor filled in the details of the plans he had to help me.  He decided that it would be safer for me to get the hormone blockers in a weekly shot.  He gave me my first that evening.  I had a sore bottom but I could not help to smile to know that I would never have to go thru puberty as a male.

I thought that maybe I was having a reaction to the shot since a wave of dizzyness wafted over me.  Of course I wasn't ready to identify what was really the problem.  When the room stopped spinning, I was no longer with the Tailor's.  I was back in Dr Erica's office.  Only I was not quite the same person I was before.

"Wow! Dr Erica what happened to me?"

"You tell me, Joanna.  What did you just with your day back at Nash Jr High.  You told me you had a regret that you called Dee Dee a nasty name when she surprised you with a public display of affection."

"I litterally ran into Dee Dee before the class and asked for her help and started a project with her so I could explain why it wasn't a good idea to do that to me in class."

"And what was the result of your discussion?"

"I outed myself as a transgirl and not only did Dee Dee get it but she and her family started helping me.  I had not known about Dee Dee's sister committing suicide.  I guess that's what I tried to do before I ended up in the hospital.  I recognize the outfit I am wearing now as the only female outfit I owned.  I was so much a coward to go against my parents that even after I was 18 I didn't get any help. I look like an ordinary woman in this even though I can tell I am still pre-op."

"What would a course of hormone blockers thru high School added to the HRT that you aquired shortly afterward eresult in?"

"A body like I have now.  What happened So that I ended up back at the same place with only the one female outfit?  How could I have forgotten how much love I was shown."

"Even though you did well thru High School with the aid of the Tailor's, eventually Dee Dee did find a worthy boy to date and you couldn't be in public the girlfriend you really were.  You grew apart going to different colleges.  She went away and you stayed home and commuted to campus.  What was the last straw for your friendship was that Even with all the help you could not stand up for yourself in the open and live as Joanna which prevented you from legal HRT and SRS.  Dee Dee could not forgive you for that fearing that you would leave her like Chelsea did.  Pushing you out of her life hurt less and you let her go since she had already done so much for you."

"And she was right.  I ended up right back here."

"Little steps, Joanna.  What do you want to do in the here and now?"

"I want to be Joanna openly.  I want to get the medical help I need to do that successfully.  I want to do something with the rest of my life.  I want to learn how to do that, Dr Erica."

"Well with that chosen, the hospital already thinks of you that way.  When they brought you in you were presenting as a woman, in those clothes, so they have you on record as 'Joanna Doe' since you had no ID. Your decision to befriend Dee Dee as a child gave you the gift of avoiding male puberty.  You are a very attractive woman, Joanna already so that should jumpstart your transiton.  The hospital will direct you to resources to help with transiton too."

"I wish I had become an outward girl and not worried Dee Dee so much when I turned 18.  Can I add to my regrets, Dr Erica."

"In this case, yes.  It was present before in your life but since there was not a big external struggle, you missed it then.  Here is your list."

I took my list from Dr Erica and added at the bottom.  'I regret that I did not become openly female at 18 and get the help I needed for a congruent life lived for real instead of hiding it in fantssy.' I realized that my relationship with Dee Dee was something that I would have to work on separately even if I became an outward girl to avoid us losing touch completely as we had done in College.

"So what comes next?"

"Your present life comes next.  If you make the same effort inn the present that you did in the past, then you'll have less regrets to deal with in the future."

"That is ..."

I felt a wave of dizzyness pass over me as the room spun.  When it stopped I was no longer dressed in the skirt suit which I saw hanging in the closet of my hospital room.  Instead of an icky hospital gown, thiss time I was dressed in a pink frilly night gown as I sat up on the bed.  It was as though no time had passed between the time that Dr Erica pulled me out to her office and her putting me back in bed as if by magic.

"...totally awesome, Dr Erica"

"I believe that this is your attending physician coming into the room now. Dr Denton."

I started to giggle at the name but when I looked up into the Dr's face it was Dee Dee.  A bit older looking very much like her Momma now, but still Dee Dee.  At the same moment, Dee Dee recognized that she had not Joanna Doe but Joanna Wolfe.  The clipboard dropped on the bed and we embraced like the 2 very dear friends that we were. 

"Joanna, Its been too long.  I'm very glad to see you even under the circumstances.  I'm not here to say, 'I Told You So!'  I'm your Doctor and I want to give you the best of care."

"Dee Dee!  I am so glad to see you too!  I want to make the most of this second chance and be the woman that I was meant to be.  I am so sorry for disappointing and worrying you so long ago."

"I'm glad to hear that, Joanna.  That will make your recovery so much easier since we will have a plan so you don't end up back here.  Who is your friend, Joanna?"

"This is my therapist, Dr Erica.  I can talk freely with her already so we have that covered."

"I'm Dr Denice Desire Tailor Denton.  Please call me Dee Dee.  I feel so embarassed being called Dr Denton mostly since the kids don't get the joke and I feel so old."

"Please call me Erica, Dee Dee.  Joanna is a special woman and I look forward to working with you to get and keep her healthy."

"What are the chances that both of us would end up in Toronto at the same time after growitg up near Atlanta Georgia?"

"I don't care about the odds, I am so glad you are here."

"Me, Too Joanna.  I'm glad that we will have plenty of time to catch up.  Now I would like for Dr Erica to fill me in on your case while I do the paperwork to identify you.  What am I going to find when I look up your ID?"

"I qualified as a immigrant Canadian citizen and I'm enrolled in National Health or what ever they call it all under my male name, George Wolfe.  Could we do a deed poll or what ever they call it here to change my name legally to Joanna."

"I believe we can take care of all that and more for you before we are done.  The hospital staff will continue to call you and treat you as Joanna by Dr's orders.  Promise me even though you are excited that you will try to get some sleep.  You need it and I would like for you to be refreshed for when I get back with the preliminaries out of the way and we can start doing some productive things to help you."

"I promise, Dee Dee.  Thank you for coming back into my life.  I look forward to our next session, Dr Erika.  I love the way we connect."

"Bye Joanna.  See you soon."

I watched as they both left together.  All of a sudden I was tired and I went into a peaceful sleep.

End Notes:

 

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author of this story.. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any previously copyrighted material. No copyright infringement is intended. .

Regret - NHS by Sasha Nexus
Being Joanna
A Being Erica Fanfic

Regret 2 NHS

Under the medical care of Dr Dee Dee (I couldn't call her Dr Denton with a straight face) and the encouragement of Dr Erica, I made steady progress toward being released from the hospital. I had obviously regained my strength so I had been transfered to the psych floor until such time as I had conviced them that I was not a danger to myself or others and also that I had some means of sustaining myself outside the hospital. I had not been back to Dr Erica's office since my trek to meet Dee Dee in the past. Instead she used space at the hospital to talk with me which is where Dr Erica and I found ourselves now.

"We need to facilitate your departure from the hospital, Joanna. Having these chats while enjoyable in real time instead of in my office is eating into my personal and mundane professional life."

"What is it that you do mundanely, Dr Erica?"

"I am managing partner of the fiction division of 50 / 50 Press. We do e publishing."

"Fiction! Dr Erica, I have several manuscripts of compelling transgender fiction that are copyrighted but not published anywhere. I checked just before my unfortunate circunstances and they still are on my Google Files account. Perhaps if we could find a way to publish them, I would have an income which would enable me to start my new life."

"I don't trust myself to evaluate your fiction since I am biased in your favor. It wouldn't help you or 50/50 for us to publish you and the material not be comercial. I'm going to send Brent Kennedy from our office to meet with you and to evaluate your work. Please give him total access to your manuscripts and I will promise to safeguard your rights. I trust Brent and you should too, after all he's married to my partner, Mrs. Julianne Kennedy. "

"Thank you Dr Erica. "

"Hi Brent, this is Erica. I'd like for you to evaluate the fiction manuscripts of Joanna Wolfe for possible publishing by 50 / 50 press. She's a transwoman and her take on life may be something that is comercial."

"She's recovering in the hospital from an unfortunate suicide attempt that she regrets and now she's committed to her new life. She's in the psych ward room 2102 phone 555-2102"

"I've been counceling her so I don't feel unbiased to evaluate her but I will be very interested to see if you feel like her work is saleable. I'll request that she starts a new work for evaluation so we can see if her style has changed after the experiance."

"Thank you, Brent. Good bye."

"Brent will be in touch with you soon for an evaluation. I'd like for you to email copies to him at [email protected] Also I would like for you to start something new so we can see how your style has changed and email him as well. He'll not only evaluate the concepts and writing but also decide if you re writing under editorial direction would improve the manuscripts."

"Thank you so much, Dr Erica."

"If we are to have another professional relationship, you might like to go ahead with the deed poll to change your name legally. I've got my brother in law, Lenin Crosby, coming to help you out with that pro bono. He agrees with me that he'd like to help you get started with your new life. And that was even before we decided that you might be a potential client of 50 / 50 Press."

"That's wonderful Dr Erica, thank you. I've decided that I would like for my middle name to be Ruth. My Aunt said that was what my mother was going to name me if they had known I was a girl. My Mother still wont talk to me about it. So I'll be Joanna Ruth Wolfe."

There was a knock at the door right about then. Dr Erica got up to answer it as she finished talking to me.

"That's a wonderful choice, Joanna. That must be Lenin now. I'll let him in and let myself out so you two can get the paperwork done."

"Hi Lenin. This is Joanna Ruth Wolfe. Thank you for coming. I'll leave you two to go over the details of her name change."

"You are welcome Erica. Hi Joanna. I'm Lenin Let's get started"

We went thru the legal paperwork and before long I understood what was expected and we had the papers ready for filing. I was very pleased that legally that I would be not only Joanna legally but recognized as female on paperwork with Dr Dee Dee's letter. My birth certificate however was governed by Georgia law and they would not allow me to change that other than alter the name until I had Gender Affirming Surgery.

I worked on a new story like Dr Erika had requested and waited with anticipation of Brent Kennedy to come to see me. I also multi tasked on my writing breaks to find an apartment with the aid of another of Dr Erika's friends, Jenny Zalen. We were holding off committing pending my possible publishing contract. if that materialized, I would be ready. With satisfying the trifecta of being of sound mind, having a job and a place to live, I could be released from the hospital and go on with my new life.

Finally I found myself face to face with Brent in the room where Dr Erika met with me. He had evaluated the manuscripts and seemed excited by them. He asked me some questions about them and the manuscript that I had just written including where I planned to go with it to bring it to completion. At the conclusion of our meeting, he set up another one with him, Erika, Julianne and me via video conference. He told me that it was possible after that I might be offered a contract.

Cutting to the chase, I was offered a contract with enough of an advance to get me set up living in an apartment that Jenny was able to help me find. Dr Dee Dee was able to get me released when my name change went thru and I was able to sign the contract with 50/50 press .

FInally I was home in a sublet furnished apartment, buzy both finishing writing my new book but also working with Brent to revise the earlier maunuscripts to bring them up to the level we all knew I was capable of now.

Interesting enough, Dr Dee Dee was both a Gynecologist and a Endocrinologist. It did not surprise me that she carried a great many trans patients since she had such a burning desire to follow in her father's footsteps and help people like her departed sister. She became my primary care doctor.

Based on Dr Dee Dee's remembrance of all of our Joanna time in Jr High and High School, Dr Erica came to Dr Dee Dee's office with a letter giving permission for HRT. She used the time travel thing on herself to become a board certified therapist as an online student. Not only was she able to help me better but it helped in her personal life. It explained to her friends and co-workers her obvious talent for helping others in her life. I had already had medical monitoring and supply of the male hormone blockers that I had been getting on the internet before. Now I would be starting HRT for the second time in my life. This time for good. Dr Dee Dee gave me my first shot of estradiol and all was right in that corner of my world.

I wanted so much to succeed that I worked so hard on my physical transition with Dr Dee Dee and my professional growth with Brent as my editor. I saw Erika Strange, as the head of 50 / 50 Press's fiction division but not as Dr Erika except for mundane monitoring of my mental state at Dr Dee Dee's office. Even though I was taking good care of those aspects of my life which seemed the most urgent for my well being, I was beginning to see that Dr Erika was right when I had left out whole catagories of things when I listed my regrets.

My one window out of that focused world was Goblins. Brent and I would take a whole day regularly to work on editing issues at 50 50 press and when it was time for a meal or a break we went out to Goblins who rented out 50 /50's office space.
Goblins was an upscale bar, coffee house and restaurant all rolled up into one run by a lovable gay married couple, the big lovable outgoing teddy bear Ivan and his husband a compact and introspecive Dave.

Before when I had been in Goblins it had been with Brent. Ivan had made sure that we were at a quiet table and were not disturbed each time. Only this evening, we finished up early since Brent was taking Julienne out for a romantic dinner. I didn't feel like cooking, so I found a table with a view of the stage and ordered my dinner. Ivan came over and smiled at me.

"May I join you or are you expecting someone to meet you here?"

"Sure Ivan, I just realized that while I know a lot of people, they are mostly professional relationships. I guess I've been too busy to let others into my life."

"Girlfriend you just said a mouthful. I'd like to be your friend and not just the guy who makes the best mochachino in Toronto. You are the first transgirl to frequent Goblins even though Dave and I try to make it a welcoming place."

"Oh goodness, you read me? I want to take a more public accessability once the book comes out, not as an activist mind you, more like an example of how normal we mostly are. I just wanted a little time to try to learn to fit in before I have to share my life. What were my cue's?"

"Nothing you did, Joanna or failed to do. You are a perfect lady and you are lucky enough to not have any male puberty issues to overcome. It's in your eyes. Something showes when you have been rejected as dead from your family. I've seen that look on too many of my friends in the comunity at large but prticularly hits transgirls like you hard."

"Losing my family has caused a hole in my life. I picked up and ran away to try to get away from their shame for me. I left behind those who helped me early on in life since I let religious chains keep me from my true journey then and parted from them. It's only after my near suicide that I finally renewed ties with them through Dr Dee Dee."

"You'll have to make your own peace with God. The legalists, like those who would turn their back on their own child, have their own agenda. You'll want to decide if you are willing to be bound by their own chains."

"You are right, Ivan. I guess you did see me wince when I saw you kissing Dave. Just since I was raised that way is no reason to hurt a friend. I do count you as a friend. Please forgive me."

"Of course, girlfriend. You really need to find a way to forgive yourself and get loose from those chains. When you are ready, I can clue you in o the social sceen for the community here in Toronto. You really need to form some friendships with some other girls like you. Just let me know when you are ready and I'll help."

"Thanks Ivan. Know now that I'm letting loose from that particular hang up of mine here and now. I love you guyes and a girl in a glass house like needs all her friends. You are right that I need to work on the whole mess and I am going to make that a priority."

"You go girl! Loosten up and have some fun tonight!"

Ivan got back to tending to other customers and I got up to tend to things in the little girl's room. But I never got there. Instead I walked into Dr Erika's office.

"That door is a bathroom. Feel free to tend to things before we start."

"Thank you Dr. Erica. I'm glad you know the value to a woman to have access to a bathroom when she needs one."

I took care of things in there and was much more relaxed as I joined Dr Erica at her desk.

"How are you settling in to your new life, Joanna?"

"Medically and professionally I seem to be doing well. But you know that already. I seem to be letting old ideas about religion hold me back. I can't do anything be about my family rejecting me but I don't want that to hold me back from being friendly and making friends."

"Ivan is right that you ought to be around other transwomen. Since you are presently the only transwoman I have for a patient, we need to find another outlet other than group sessions for you to be around others like you."

"You are right of course but I'm not as comfortable as I would like to be in social situations."

"Tell me about the National Honor Society State chaplain election that a girl in your high school was seeking. You wrote: 'To not have taken the hard bible thumping line with a girl wanting to be chaplain for a club and support her knowing I was really a girl too' "

"That was Beth Howard, a senior girl that I hardly knew as a sophmore. I was running in those circles a little since as a freshman, I lucked into being a student council repesentative by being the next highest vote getter when one freshman left school at mid term. At the end of my freshman year, I ran for Student Council Treasurer and used the nick name the senior jocks had for me "Georgy the Gritz Gobler". My campaign slogan was that I would not be Gobling Gritz, that I would be serving you. It worked so well that instead of being a laughing stock, I became kind of a mascot for the seniors. I defeated a rising senior girl to win election. I also was the face of the elections being the only one pictured sharing the front page with a picture of the Lt. Gov. of our state who spoke at our school. Instead of showing understanding for the girl who wanted to being Chaplain, I spouted bible verses like my Dad used to put down women instead of understanding the true meaning of what the bible was teaching."

"And if you had to do it again?"

"If I had it to do again, I would support her in spite of being questioned by my Dad and to explain to him that ai did not feel legalism was being true to the bible's teachings."

"Let's find out. Make sure you make allowances for the change that you introduced earlier."

The room started spinning but when it stopped, I was George again. A different George since I still had not gone thru male puberty with a few hints of female charactoristics that I covered up with elastic and the way I dressed. I stopped and looked on the clock in the hall way and discovered that I had about a half hour before home room. I was about to head for Nr Shefield's room when I had a nudge on my right shoulder with a feminine finger. I turned around and saw Dee Dee.

"You were so smart to get permission to go to the home rooms to collect student council dues as Treasurer, George. It makes it easier for you to sneek out to be you know who. Here's the key to the secret dressing room. Break a leg, Jo."

Dee Dee, as she put the key in my hand which I held on to tightly, looked around and then snuck me a quick hug, turned me towards the gym, patted my fanny and sent me on my way. Fortunatly on the way I took a slight detout when I saw Dr Erika in a janitorial uniform cleaning an empty classroom.

"George, you having Dee Dee as a 'sister from another mother' had changed your Jr High experiance since you as George acted the role of Dee Dee's boyfriend in public while she and her parents made some Joanna time for you in private. They actually moved into a new development in the Campbell High School district out of the Wills High District so you both could continue to go to the same school. But you couldn't be her boyfriend in High School. Besides not being believed, Dee Dee needed to be free to have a real boyfriend."

"I remember now and I know what this key goes to that she slipped me. Dee Dee had nailed down the freshman spot on the Panther's cheerleading squad when she tried out. Durring Joanna time she drilled me on another cheerleading part that I found out when I was able to do it in costume was for the departing secret mascot's replacement. Her parents rented a profesional type Pink Panther costume for me to do the tryouts in and I won the part as secret mascot. This key is to the dressing room where the costume is stored where I'll change and then join the cheerleading squad for the pep rally for first period."

"You get to hang out with Dee Dee as part of the cheerleading squad. You did it all last year as a freshman and now you are back this fall as a sophmore to do it again."

"Thanks for the heads up! I gotto go find my head and the rest of me."

I giggled and moved on to my destination which I already knew about except the first time around, I had no clue that particular door would be so significant to me now. I arrived at the secret room, let myself in and got changed and then bounced out as the Campbell Panthers Mascot into the hall way where the rest of the squad waited including Dee Dee.

It was really fun to cheer for the team and perform for the students. All too soon the pep rally was over. The cheerleaders covered for me as I disapeared back into the secret room to get changed into ordinary George. In keeping with the status that the Senior Jocks had confirmed on me as a sort of mascot, I was accepted into the cheerleader's clique as if protecting me from the Jock's teasing. It was one cover upon another so that no one would suspect the geeky guy that hung with the cheerleaders was actually on the squad.

The rest of the school day went kind of normal for the role I had now. I was a protected person since the jocks had made it known that I was under their protection and only they had the right to tease me. I also stood out since I was the improbable Student Council Treasurer. My surprise was when I was motioned over to a table of senior girls by none other than Beth Howard and indicated that I should sit by her.

"Hi George. Thanks for sitting with us so I could talk to you. I know that your Father is a big stickler for a strict interpretation of what the bible says. I'm going to run into people like him running for Georgia NHS Chaplain. Dee Dee says that you are the smartest and most compationate person that she knows. Do you have any clues on how I could talk to them since you have witnessed what they are capable of from close up."

"At first look what they say makes a lot of sence to someone who's head has been filled with that. Being so hung up on things not to do, they have earned the label, as legalists."

"So they are the kind of people who feel better about themselves by pushing another person down. They have a lip service to the grace of God but they feel better about what they do and don't do concerning themselves."

"They don't realize that by judging others, they reveal what kind of person that they are in reality. 'Judge not that you be not judged'"

"So what about the verses from Paul's epistles that they use to put women down?"

"Remember that when interpreting the scripture, it's more than just the literal words. You also have to consider the context of the writing as well as the times that they were written. Remember in the early church, women were not allowed to participate at all or even be present when the believers gathered to worship. While Paul's rules seem very restrictive to women takeing part in worship and leading, these were radical steps designed to give women their first voice in the church. He realized that in going from no participation or presence in worship to becoming a part of worship, things needed to be done in steps so that the people could adjust to what was right. By the same token someone reading those scriptures today should interpret them that we should be eaqually radical in integrating women into worship as Paul directed to the early church in his time."

"That's a very refreshing insight from a man, George. Have you talked to your Father about the way you feel about this?"

"No, but I intend to do so. I hope that I can do it in a manner where it's less likely that he'll interpret it as directed as disrespect towards him instead of a different religious view."

"Good luck with that, George. I see that you don't have all the answers either but you are very knowledgable about the bible. I hope he listens and doesn't shut you down."

I spent an enjoyable lunch with Beth and her senior friends. Actually Beth's conversation with me was overheard by the others at the table since we made no attempt to make it secret. It started an interesting conversation among the girls about not only how women were treated in the church but also in society at large. I learned that male privalege was something very real by the experiances of the girls being slighted as compared to their brothers and other male aquantances. By the time that they were thru, I could see how being looked on by the senior jocks as I had, that even I had some aspects of male privalege withdrawn from me.

The next topic of discussion was this year's chearleading squad after the new members had been integrated into the mix. We spent the rest of the lunch period praising the new mascot that with only one year on the squad, was surpassing in dance the one before.

I guessed that no matter how good that I was in following the routines that there would be variances from what the last person in the suit did. It made me feel good to know that my skill was appreciated. I hoped my poker face was good enoough to let them see that joy on my face since it would be difficult to explain away.

The rest of the school day proceeded normally. I had Dee Dee in all of my afternoon classes and we got to talk before and after class in the cheerleader clique where I orbited at the edge. I was close enough to chime in but far enough away for my supposed status as protected.

Finally I got to go to the National Honor Society meeting after school. I could freely participate in activities since I was close enough to walk home. Most of the time my parents didn't know exactly what club I was in but that
I was staying after school for a club. That's how I was able to participate in cheerleader practice without letting them know exactly what I was doing. I took my place as part of the general membership. I was an officer in a lot of clubs but not this one. When the time in the meeting came up for new buisness, we were told of Beth's desire to run for state chaplain. In order to do so, it required a motion by the club to place her in nomination at the state meeting. Beth's friend Jill made the motion and I raised my hand and was called on to second the nomination. I was so pleased that our club was sending Beth as our nominee for State Chaplain. This time I had taken a stand that I could be proud of taking. I expected that soon I would be asked to account for my actions by my father. I felt like I could express what I needed to say. Once I had done that, I could leave behind the nonsence like my reaction to Ivan and Dave.

The next evening passed quietly enough. As active as the rumor mill was, I did not expect it to catch up with me that night and I was right. However, in my first period class, something happened that rocked my world. In front of the whole class, before he started on history, our teacher and head football Coach Sturdivant, asked me to be the team statistion. I would attend practices and all games in the press box taking stats for the team. I accepted of course. I could not decline since that would have revealed me as the Team Mascot. Dee Dee was in the class and heard the whole thing. After class we found a safe place to talk about it.

"Oh Jo! I am so sorry. Somehow I feel this is better for you in the long run. This way you can retire as mascot without anyone knowing. You'll still be part of the clique as a part of the football team. You can still cheer us when we score after you record the details."

"Well it will make things less complicated."

I had forgotten it but the Coach asked me in just the same way the first time around. Of course then there was no conflict since I wasn't part of the cheerleader squad.

"I'll get the costume laundred and break things to the rest of the squad. We'll need to recruit and train a new mascot as soon as we can. In the meantime we can do without like we have done in the past. Later on the squad will get together with you to give you the proper send off that each mascot has gotten."

"Thanks for looking after me Dee Dee and seeing to this."

At home I had to break it to my Father about joining the football team as Statistician. It was a pleasent chat and he was truly happy for me. I think that the good news took the edge off him questioning me over him hearing that I nominated a female for NHS Chaplain. I was able to voice my concerns in a manner consistant with him not feeling that I was disrespecting him. While he wasn't too pleased to hear my view differed from his, instead of dismissing it out of hand and sticking to the party line, he told me that he would study it. I hoped that study would help him be a little less judgmental in his dealings with others and especially me.

Not as surprising, I ended up spinning in my head and winding back in Dr Erika's office.

"Are you satisfied with what happened, Joanna?"

"Yes, Dr Erica. I know that just taking one stand for grace and understanding was not enough to solve things. I have begun both here and then looking at things in different ways. I feel that Kirk's son David might have been addressing me in Star Trek II instead of Kirk: 'They are good words, that's what ideas are made of. You should listen to them.' I have listened and I plan on continuing to listen to them and allow myself to change."

"But that is only half of why you are here, Joanna."

"Another regret?"

"You had so many friends in High School even being the geek and even more so being a 'Peter Pan'. What you have been doing is important, Joanna but your new life won't be complete without letting in more than the professionals who want to help you but ordinary people. People have so much to share with you if you'll only let them in."

"I guess that if I want to be open as a Transwomen, I should be comfortable enough to associate with them. And they do have things to share with me since I haven't been openly a woman for long no matter how I look."

"You have my blessing to go meet the people that Ivan knows. And to loosten up and let other people into your life as well. Don't judge everyone's reaction by your parents. You are a good person and they are the exceptions."

"Thanks Dr Erika. Guess my bathroom break is over, huh?"

"See ya, Joanna"

I walked back thru the door I originally had stepped thru to enter Dr Erika's office. I came back and found Ivan and smiled at him.

"Ivan, I place myself in your hands."

"It's about time, Girlfriend. know Dave and I feel you are family and we see how you love both of us individually and together. You've got to let the mundanes in but also give room for family so you can have a family of choice."

"You are right, Ivan. I've been so into my own issues that I haven't given a chance to let anyone that I don't already know in."

"For tonight what I would like for you to do is to eat, drink and get tp knpw some nf the best people in the world who also frequent Goblins. And I want you to try at least on song since we are doing Karioke tonght. Don't worry about getting home tonight since I'll be your designated driver."

"Thank you Ivan for caring so much for me."

"You are so welcome, Girlfriend."

I did as directed and had a wonderful time. I didn't get plastered but I had a nice buzz going that helped me to relax. I met a whole lot of wonderful people. A young soulful singer named Kai sang something otherworldly that touched my soul which seemed very much before it's time. At one point Dave, Ivan and I planed out a day to introduce me to the community including me finishing up at an open Transgender Support group, that I was looking forward to joining.

Finally my number came up and as I looked out in the croud I saw Dr Erika and her Dr hubby. I sang for all I was worth, Ariel's theme from Disney's Little Mermaid, "Part of your world." I must have done well since the emotion that I sang with was witnesed on many of their faces including Dr Erica. The applause at the end was intoxicating. I wish I could say that I found a special gentleman but I wasn't ready for that. The result was better as I was welcomed to a table of women when they found I was sitting alone. I made several new friends that night but no better than the girlfriends who accepted me as one of them.

I was glad that I listened to Ivan but even more that I got a 2 for 1 regret handled both of Ivan and Dave and also of Beth of the NHS. And to top it off, I could have a good time with new friends. Who knew?
End Notes:

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author of this story. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any previously copyrighted material. No copyright infringement is intended.

Regret ~ SUZY by Sasha Nexus
Author's Notes:

A Fanfic of 'Being Erica' The CBC TV series that concluded 12/2011

Can writer Joanna's regret about Suzy the Psychic help her win 'Ellen DeGeneres' Next Top Model* and make a good impression on her TG Fiction book tour?

SUZY

 Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author of this story. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any previously copyrighted material. No copyright infringement is intended. .

 


When you are a writer for a living, as I finally was, thinking about things was part of my stock in trade. I cursed the necessity for secrecy surrounding this time travel therapy. What a great story I could write if only I could reveal what was going on with me. Of course I would write it as fiction since it would never be believed if I held it out as the truth that it was actually.

I took my first trip back and time and found that being receptive and kind to Dee Dee instead of mocking her yielded a true friend to me in Junior High. The result of that friendship in Junior High was gaining her father for a Doctor who prescribed male puberty preventing hormones thru age 18. When you add together that I never went thru male puberty with the female hormones I scored in college it resulted in the woman’s body I was now blessed.

While that trip back in time was powerful, It had not gotten to the core of why even with a body like this, I had never transitioned openly. As my body had gotten more and more lovely, it took a lot more effort to maintain the illusion of my appearing male. I borrowed every trick in the book from my FTM brothers. I would have made it much easier on myself if I had just let things take their course and be the woman outwardly that I was inwardly.

What I had gotten was the perfect outlet for my true self since underneath the drab disguise of pseudo-masculinity was a babe. All I had to do was uncover her to enjoy her even if I didn’t dress up. All thru Junior High and High School, I had friends who kept my secret and Joanna got to be out with them. I kept it all covered up from my parents who had freaked when Joanna showed up that day. I had to even more closely imprison Joanna in the closet.

After my second trip back in time, I managed to purge myself of the influence my parent’s bigotry had rubbed off on me. But when it came to standing up for myself and being my true self, I just could not do it. All I had to do was accept the scholarship that my new friend Beth had gotten for me and went off to Harvard with Dee Dee as Joanna. Yet I still chose to stay at home and in the closet.

I was beginning to understand what Dr. Erica was trying to tell me that I had left out whole aspects of my life with my secret focus that if only I had transitioned sooner then all would be well in my life. Instead of thriving with a mostly female body, I had to work even harder to keep the true me covered up not only mentally but physically as well. In order to straighten out my life with the right decisions, I would have to find a way to instead of hiding my challenges, deal with them out in the open. When I was able to stand up for myself then a fully transitioned Joanna would result since that is who I really am.

At least in the present things were going okay in my new life as Joanna. I was meeting in the secret TG support group that I had been given an introduction. What had really spurred my recounting of my story so far was that even though I was easily the most blessed physically, my confidence out in public with the girls from the group was lacking.

If I had some self confidence then to a casual observer, they would assume I had to be the girlfriend of one of the group and could not be part of it. Instead the incongruity was jarring as it was obvious in spite of how appearances were that I was very much a part of the group. Imagine my surprise when some of the girls who didn’t pass nearly as well as I did not want to be around me. Someone explained that with all the attention I was drawing to myself, those small flaws in the girls around me were enough with the senses made aware to have them clocked as well as me.

”Earth to Joanna! You’ve been studying that menu so intently like it’s the text book for some course that you have to pass or get left back. I know you must know that menu better than I do and I’m an owner here at Goblin’s. What gives girlfriend?”

”Sorry, Brent. Sorry, Ivan. I was thinking that I’ve made so much progress but there is so much more that is left for me to get right. Ivan, I’ll have the special with an Arnold Palmer.”

”So a penny for them. Okay a whole dollar!”

I don’t know that I’m ready to be out in public with the girls. It’s not that I mind being with them, I love being with them. It’s just that I’m so nervous that I get clocked and so do some of the girls with me who would not be clocked ordinarily.

”Ordinarily, I would not meddle and let you find your own way in your own time, Joanna but we have that book tour coming up. Selling yourself sells books.”

”What do you have in mind, Brent?

”If this emotional crisis has been taken care of in adolescence, then your mother would have had any number of options to allow you to naturally overcome your shyness.”

”Little things like classes in Ballet, Piano, Singing or Acting. Maybe, she would have even get you involved in a girl’s sport like Figure Skating, Gymnastics, Cheerleading or Beauty Pageants. Right, Brent?”

”That’s right, Ivan. We don’t have time for those so I have just the crash course that you need, Joanna.”

”I’m almost afraid to even ask. What might that be, Brent?”

”Break out your highest stiletto heels, Joanna. I’m sending you to Spoke’s Model School.”

”Really? Not Charm School?”

”That’s so nineteenth century! The arrangements are all made. They have your measurements so you don’t even have to pack. The next two weeks you are going to spend in total immersion as a model. The limo will pick you up here and take you to the agency as soon as you finish your lunch here. Ivan, told me that you had to have one last good meal before becoming a starving model.”

”I accept, not that either of you were going to give me any choice. The writing is at a good place right now and even I can see that I need this.”

I drew them both into a group hug as I continued to speak, “Thank you both, my wonderful friends. I wonder what this will be like, hopefully I’ll find the strength to see this through to the end.”

”Girlfriend, you’ll be surprised what you can do if only you can put all thoughts of not doing it out of your mind.” said Ivan with a grin as he left us to get out orders.

Before long, Ivan came back with both mine and Brent’s lunches and we began to eat them. It was good that I was eating since I had an excuse for another thinking session. Since I really didn’t have much of girlhood, I really had no clue what this modeling boot camp had in store for me. From the tight lipped smiles on both Brent and Ivan’s faces, I saw that they were holding something back for a surprise.

I just hoped that I would be up to whatever it was. Even more I wanted to do well so they both would be proud of me. It felt good having someone proud of me again. I missed so much that approval from my parents ever since I came out to them even though I put it back in the closet things were never the same for us.

”Joanna, I’ve fudged a couple of things for your stay so that we can keep the story of you being TG out of the mainstream media till we are ready to hit with your first book. Your personal dresser for your stay is being employed by 50 50 Press. She has signed a confidentiality agreement not to disclose your status.”

“What’s her name, Brent?”

“Her name is Rita Martinez and she’ll arrive in the limo and assist with your clothing change prior to arriving at your destination, Rita will abide by the rules in place there unless they would interfere with maintaining your secrecy. Rita is a SFX makeup artist and you will be wearing a special makeup allowing you to be just like the other girls even nude.”

”Wow, you don’t ever do things by half measures, Brent! Thank you so much for making this as authentic as possible for me. I’m sure that I will learn a lot.”

I had finished up lunch and nodded to Brent that I was ready to go. Brent escourted me outside where a large white stretch limo was pulling up to the curb as we approached. Brent opened the door for me and I tucked myself inside.

”Thank you, Brent!”

”Good luck, Joanna!”

Brent closed the door for me and the limo left as I turned to see a very well put together young Latina in the seat beside me.

”Hi you must be Miss Martinez, I’m Joanna. I’m glad to be able to work with you for the next two weeks.”

”Hi Joanna, please call me Rita. We have to get your outfit changed before we arrive. Just put yourself in my hands and I’ll make this as easy as possible for you.”

”Thanks Rita. I’m all yours.”

Rita closed off the back of the limo and made the glass one way so we had privacy as she had me take off everything. She had her full SFX kit which was needed since she used an appliance to make my groin fit in with the rest of the beautiful female me. Not only was she expert in doing the makeup both places. My lips looked luscious. She was more than a pro getting me dressed in the car with the most excellent lingerie and gown. All the accessories were added including what she said were my training pumps which were only two inch spike heels.

”You’ll be going up a half inch a day till you get to the sky scraper heels. The School realizes that any sensible woman would not be caught dead in model height heels. They find that there are less injuries that way as long as all of the heels used are pre broke in properly.”

”That will help even though I’m sure that most of these women will have learned how to handle heels when they were girls. While a refresher to them, this will be a challenge for me. One that I am eager to meet and enjoy learning.”

”With the way you look now, Joanna, no one would guess that till recently you were a tomboy.”

”I hope to keep it that way. Thanks, Rita.”

The sign in the Archway of the entrance to the mansion that we pulled into to the driveway, read “Ellen’s Next Top Model”. Greeting the arrivals at the door was none other than Ellen DeGeneres. Our driver stopped the limo at the red carpet when it was our turn. He expertly opened the door for me and helped both Rita and I out of the car. Just as the other pairs had done, we walked side by side and were greeted by Ellen at the door.

Just inside, Rita was diverted to a side room where the other dressers were enjoying refreshments while I followed the line into the large central room. The room was spacious and dominated by a large chandelier and with spiral staircases leading from the wings up to a balcony overlooking from the second floor.

I made small talk with the women there, learning their names and a bit about them. There was a pageant feel to this as we were on display being filmed with cameras from Ellen’s show. Well I was there to find out how to deal with being on camera and I had to agree that the immersion was very effective. Soon I learned to not make my awareness of the cameras stop me and even use the coverage for my advantage.

Ellen entered after the last girl had had a chance to mingle and called us to attention. There was this beautiful blonde girl in a long baby blue gown that was a match for my own caped wonder that had ended up in the middle of us all as we turned to face Ellen.

”I am very pleased to be here and help you all to learn first hand what it is like to be a model for TV cameras. Portions of your stay here will be broadcast and cameras will be almost everywhere. Unlike that 13 week competition of similar name, We’ll crown our winner in only two weeks. The eliminated models will continue with the separate training and one will have a chance to join the finalists. Daily segments will be a part of the Ellen show each day for the two weeks of ‘Ellen’s Next Top Model’ As I call your name, please come forward and receive your Ellen broach which will identify you as still in the running. And we’ll start with Joanna.”

I felt that I did well as the first one to come forward, greet Ellen, have her assistant pin the broach on me and then turn back to join the other contestants. One by one the others repeated the same tasks until last of all the woman in the dress which matched mine in color was called up, Stacy.

Knowing just what clumsiness was possible in a gown, the worst case scenario occurred with her as she stepped on her hem and tore her skirt off leaving her legs bare which were revealed to be artificial. They looked more like metal poles than legs. The group seemed to be divided, with some in shock and doing nothing, others began immediately to make fun of the woman being bold with their taunts.

I alone went into action, covering the space between us as gracefully as I could, walking with a purpose. As I walked, I removed the cape tied at my back and re oriented it in front of me. When I got to her, I formed my cape into a wrap skirt which covered her up. I gave her a hug and started walking her off into one of the side rooms. Before we could get there Ellen told everyone, “Freeze!”

I had no intention of freezing but one of Ellen’s production assistants took my place at Stacy’s side and led her into the side room we had almost reached. With Stacy taken care and I ending up facing Ellen, I froze with the others.

”Joanna, I am so very sorry for what I have to do next.”

Ellen turned right toward me and smiled that pififul smile that she does right before she pushes the trap door button on ‘Know or Go’.

”Joanna, your broach represents your life in the competion. Where is your broach?”

”Ellen, I used my Ellen broach to secure my cape into a skirt for Stacy. I gave it to Stacy.

Joanna, I have to ask you to leave. Please exit via the doors you came in at and you’ll be told what happens next. I am so sorry to see you go.

With as much class as I could muster on the outside, I did as I was told and gracefully walked out to the door where I had come in. Just below the surface was a multitude of emotions waiting to get out. I could not see why I was being punished for doing the right thing while those who had made fun of Stacy got off scot free. I left the cameras behind as the mudroom doors closed behind me. But the door to the outside was not an ordinary door for me and I ended up in Dr Erica’s office.

”Don’t worry, Joanna. You’re safe here. You’ve been thru quite an ordeal so I thought you might like a chance to compose yourself.”

”Thank you Dr. Erica. I had such hopes for this after Brent and 50 50 went to the trouble to set this up. Now I know why he and Ivan were holding back, Ellen! Wow, I’m such a fan!”

”And how do you feel about the way that Ellen made you leave?”

”I was a little angry and a lot hurt that I was punished for doing the right thing. Stacy needed my help and all I was doing was doing what I would have wanted someone to do any time I was in the same situation being outed.”

”Did you do more than it was absolutely necessary to get things righted?”

”I guess. That production assistant that took over for me when Ellen called out was walking beside us most of the way over. I guess that the cape was fully secured with the ties and the broach that came with the cape. It was melodramatic for me to put that added protection on Stacy.”

”That’s a pattern for you. You get all tied up in helping someone that it ceases to be the good thing in the beginning but becomes twisted up in co-dependency. Helping is good, Joanna, but you have to learn when it is too much. Giving them the dignity to overcome their challenges and become stronger in the process.”

”Is it really a pattern for me, Dr Erica?”

”Joanna, you wrote: Tell me about how everything started between you and Suzy.”

”Well I did not meet her as Suzy. She was my new teacher for Spanish, Miss Adams. Mrs. Watson did so well getting students to fall for Spanish in the Junior High survey class when we had a quarter each of Spanish, French and Italian that she could no longer teach both at the Junior High and High School and meet all the demand. Miss Adams who I later knew as Suzy started teaching Spanish there and she taught me all three years of Spanish I took in High School.”

”What made Miss Adams stand out for you as a teacher?”

”She ran her class room in such a new age style. Our class was immersive so everything was done in Spanish. Sometimes instead of doing the class work from the book like normal, she let us have a free day doing anything we liked just as long as we all spoke Spanish. Those goof off days made us work harder and learn more difficult vocabulary so we would have the words to communicate those topics all over the place that we ended up discussing.”

”When did she become known as ‘Suzy the Psychic’?”

During one of our goof off days, the topic turned to things psychic. I’m pretty sure she steered the conversation in that direction. She revealed some of the things that had happened to her which led to her coming to rely on her psychic talent being real. At another day she told us that she was going to do a talk show on WSB AM (The voice of the south) Radio in primetime and she was going to be billed as Suzy the Psychic. The broadcast was a hit and became a regular event on WSB radio.

”How did you and Suzy bond as people?”

”It was when I had Spanish last period and all the bus folks had left while I was waiting for final dismissal to go to an after school club. I was just fooling around and Joanna was visible more than George. I managed to gracefully place my back under the surface of the desk while I was still sitting in it. I picked up an item that dropped and before twisting back. Mrs. Watson had entered the class visiting with Suzy. Suzy turned to Mrs Watson and declared “La Tortuga!” I instantly bonded with Suzy since she had recognized me with a female reference. I kinda forgot that all turtles are referred to as feminine in the abstract in Spanish.”

”So when Suzy’s radio show became popular and the religious right began a crusade against Suzy what did you do?”

”I organized a campaign to not just keep Suzy teaching Spanish, I raised funds which powered a counter organization which began to crusade against the crusaders. It wasn’t enough to show the truth and let justice prevail. It got to the point that they could not even do the legitimate activities since they were so hamstrung with being punished.”

”And did it end there?”

”Instead of getting a gender therapist like I should have in college, I supported Suzy in her counseling practice. I could have made progress even if it were too late for me to follow Dee Dee to Harvard. Suzy could have done fine on her own but instead she made a living off of people following my example to give her preferential treatment. ”

”:And if you had eased off in both places?”

”We ended up smothering her light in kindness. She never got strong enough to withstand adversity. There came a time when everyone forgot about her and she became lost in obscurity. Her light should still be burning bright to light the way for others but it’s gone out and who knows where she is now.”

”And if you could go back now?”

”I’d try to find the resolution in High School that we also help by letting people show they are strong enough to stand on their own once the playing field is evened. “

”Let’s find out!”

The room spun around as the temperature dropped and suddenly I wasn’t in Dr Erica’s Office anymore. I was in Senorita Adam’s classroom and my back was under the writing surface of my desk. I looked up and Senora Watson entered the class. Senorita Adams pointed me and spoke.

”Ella es Juana La Tortuga!”(She is Joanna the Turtle)

As they giggled at the observation, I gracefully slid back upright in my chair and smiled at them both but especially at Suzy. Senora Watson looked at me and asked.

“Tu no eres Jorge, Tu eres Juana. Es verdad?”(You aren’t George, You are Joanna. True?)

”Es verdad! Es verdad pero necesitamos no digamosla hablar de Juana.”( True, but let's say we need not talk about Joanna.)

”Este esta escondido. No hablamos sobre este. Verdad?” (This is hidden. We do not talk about this. Truth?)

”Es Verdad! Gracias, Senora Y Senorita.” (It is Truth! Thank you, Mrs and Miss.)

“Senorita Adams, como lo sabes?” (Miss Adams, how did you know?)

”Vamos a hablar de ella más tarde.” (We are going to talk about her later.)

I could see that they were both sincere in keeping my secret. I already knew how Miss Adams learned about Joanna, She’s psychic as if I needed any further proof. The announcement releasing the walking students came soon after and I was off into the hall. I paused in earshot outside the door which I left open to see what Mrs. Watson might say to Miss Adams after I left.

”Suzy you really are psychic. That poor child! As the Georgia Educational Association liaison, I have news. The dolts on the Board of Education are in an uproar. Instead of being thankful for good publicity about students really learning from a unique teacher, they are ready to burn you as a witch. Our contract is ironclad so they can not sensor your freedom of speech in the media and have agreed that your contract to be an on air personality for WSB Radio is valid. However they say that they are accumulating evidence of a breach of the morality clause based on the innuendo.”

”They are hoping I will voluntarily terminate my contract midterm in lieu of them acting against me formally. I won’t do it. That will give them just what they need to blackball me in GA and any where else they are narrow minded. I do a lot of good teaching and I don’t want to give that up.”

”Hang in there, Suzy…”

”I sensed someone behind me and I turned and bumped directly into Dr Erica. I wasn’t sure who she was supposed to be but she grabbed me by the shoulder and led me down the hall away from the open door around a corner. We only stopped when she was able to direct me into an empty class room and closed the door. It was only then that I realized that she was dressed as a lunch lady .”

”Hi Dr Erica. Why are you dressed as a lunch lady?”

”Dee Dee needs to fill you in on the change of plans and she’s down in the cafeteria volunteering with the cheerleaders preparing for a donated dinner for the less fortunate. I think it may have something to do with Jenna being on a flight to Germany with her Mom, who has an emergency assignment as a nurse at the hospital at Ramstein AFB.”

”But Jenna is the Pink Panther Mascot. Oh! Lead on!”

I was glad I had Dr Erica or ‘Blanche the lunch lady’ to lead me through the hall ways to the cafeteria and into the Kitchen where we found Dee Dee. Dee Dee thanked Blanche who went to the back to work on something while she led me the larder room which she closed and locked behind us. She seemed worried and gave me a hug of greeting.

”Jenna’s gone to Ramstein AFB and we don’t have a Pink Panther for tonight. This is our last event for the school year. I know this is short notice, but can you fill in tonight to help us meet and greet our guests and do the entertainment routines with us?”

”Of course I will, Dee Dee. I take it the normal cover up routine is in place for me for tonight as the secret mascot?”

”Got you covered, Jo Jo. Lucky it’s Friday because your parents think you are going to a weekend church camp. You are really going to spend a Joanna weekend with me afterward. What’s on your mind, Jo Jo? I can tell its more than this.”

”Two things. One is that the Board of Education is going to crucify Miss Adams over that psychic gig she has at WSB radio and try to get her banned from teaching.”

”What’s your take on what we should do?”

”The trouble is the misinformation and trying her in the media. If we can get a group of leaders who will lend voice and money to the effort of getting the truth out. This would not be out for revenge or to smear the flunks who want to witch hunt a good teacher. Revenge and fighting the battle for her would both harm her in the end and we want to help.”

”I’m proud of you, Jo Jo. I know that Mother and Daddy would want to help so we can discuss it with them this weekend. What’s the other thing?”

”Suzy the psychic, our Miss Adams, really is psychic. She sensed that I am Joanna and she confronted me with it while Mrs. Watson was there to tell her about the Board witch hunt. I admitted it so they both know and they both say they will keep my secret.”

”I think they will. Okay as before you need to be Joanna under the costume so I’d like you to go ahead and go to the secret room and get ready. Momma brought over what you’ll need to change into and left it in this carry-on . Take it and go get ready then come back here. You can take the greeting duty for the early arrivers while we change into our uniforms for tonight.”

”Okay, I’m off.”

I took the carry-on that Dee Dee had indicated and exited the larder and the kitchen. I made my way down the hall. Eventually I found myself in front of the secret door and standing beside it none other than Miss Adams.

”Aren’t you going to invite me in where we can have a private chat?”

”How do you know about that?”

”Hello! Psychic here but more than that Teacher here.”

”Duh! Of course, just let me get this.”

After checking that we were unobserved, I opened the secret door and let both of us in with my bag and then closed it behind us and turned on the lights.

”Joanna, after what you overheard in the hall after you left, I felt that our discussion should be sooner rather than later. Thank you for what you intend to do. I sense that your heart is truly in the right place and that the people you will lead can get the truth out where I can’t right now due to the media spin.”

”Wow you are really good Miss Adams. I’m sorry for listening at the door. I wasn’t trying to pry into your challenge. I’ve had others to disappoint me after I disclosed being Joanna to them. I’ve heard of things like what I’m planning helping with hysteria with someone in the TG community doing good and I wanted that for you.”

”When we are alone, please call me Suzy, On the subject of you being Joanna, I’d like to give you a reading now. I know that you have not asked for one but I want to do this for you. After this, I’d like for you to leave that aspect of counseling out of our relationship. After this is over and you are an adult we can renew a closer friendship.”

”Why Suzy?”

”They would bring you into the media circus with me and that would take you away from the path that you are on and that you could be on and into a permanent media spectacle. “

”The media can be a force for good or not so good. How long did you have in mind? I would like to be ready in my costume to help greet the guests of the dinner tonight.

”Not long and I will help you into your costume so you’ll be able to be ready with my help about the same time as if you were doing it alone.”

”You are coming to a crossroads in your life when you become an adult. In order to truly be Joanna, you must make a leap of faith to trust that you have friends and family of choice who will help you not to stumble as you take your first steps into the light.”

”Do your best to make it possible for you to make that leap of faith by putting in place your network of family of choice and friends. While the best network can’t make the right decision for you, they can be there to catch you when you fall.”

”Forgive the transgressions of those family who should support you but work against you. Do this not for them but for yourself so that you can cope with them leaving you on your own to meet this challenge. Ballast is to discard when the time is right to propel you upward to greater heights.”

”Do your best to help others in their journeys even with different challenges. Find something you want to share and teach it to others.”

”Change is difficult but it is so necessary. While it may seem to be a female behavior to stay at your parent’s home as an adult, that resistance to change leads to defeat. Strike out on your own to give you the freedom to follow your destiny.”

”Put in place the safety net that you will need as an adult while you are still a child. That way the future won’t seem as scary if you have prepared for it.”

While Suzy was talking with me, she was helping me first become Joanna again and then into the costume. I hung on her every word so we truly did multitask this conversation with my getting ready. When we had finished, we paused our chat while we both looked at me to see if I passed muster.

”You look great Miss Pink Panther. My work is done here. As much as I would like to help you, I can’t take the function away from a real gender therapist and you need to hire a real one as soon as you turn 18. “

”That’s what I see I need to do now too, Suzy. I’ll make the preparations before I turn 18 so that I’ll be ready to make the right decision.”

”That’s all I can ask, Joanna. Dr Erica is doing good things for you so help her help you.”

”Are you a Doctor like Dr. Erica?”

”We are in different aspects but I know of her work mostly through you. You should go now. I’ll tidy up and see myself out.”

”Thank you for everything, Suzy. Bye for now.”

As I went back thru the secret door, instead of going out into the school, I went into Dr Erica’s office but thankfully I was dressed as I had been when I originally arrived in the office.

”Dr Erica, Suzy sends her regards. She’s a big fan of your work.”

”She should be. You see that things started out just like before when you intervened but when things started getting rough for Suzy, You was a true friend behind the scenes. you led the effort that evened the playing field. Suzy became stronger thru the adversity and she parlayed her success on the Radio into a foundation that supported excellence in teaching with thinking outside the box. Her being Suzy the Psychic became a footnote when she became known as Suzy the Visionary”.

”What about the Dunderheads on the witch hunt?”

”The community showed the Dunderheads so much compassion in Suzy’s name that they flew, not drove out of town, hoping to find a remote corner for them to practice their hate speech where people did not know their playbook.”

”It was such a relief to me that I was through with the hating and revenge since it only harmed me in the end and harmed the person that I was trying to protect. While I have left that co-dependency behind, have others remained? Did I make the right choice to go to Harvard with Dee Dee?”

”Not yet Joanna. You still part with Dee Dee and go to Georgia Tech. However, just one meeting with Suzy after graduating High School leads you to get into Gender Therapy in College even though you still stayed stealth. Instead of flunking out of Tech, you get your EE degree and end up going back to get a Masters and Doctorate as well.”

“So I'm Dr. Wolfe, PHD now? That’s better but still living a lie. I guess I still have some co-dependencies left that have held me back from making the right choice. Could I think about what Suzy said to me and then perhaps add a regret later?”

“That seems like a wise choice, Joanna and that would be fine. Are you ready to face what awaits you as you leave my office and finally make it out the front door of the mansion?”

”I’ve learned that sometimes you have to go it alone to do the right thing and as long as your motivation is not revenge or punishment that things do come out right in the end even if it takes a long time to get there. Even though I am impatient at times, It is important to know I’m on the right road if I make the right choices in my life. I’m ready.”

Dr Erica came from behind the desk and gave me a hug. I composed myself and walked out the door into the light which in this case was the exterior of the mansion. Another assistant from the Ellen show gave me a hug.

”So sorry sweetie. The dramatics were for TV but you passed the test. Stacy was acting a part we asked her to play. She’s not really shy at all about showing her metal limbs and she likes to prove that its about her ability not her disability. Of course given the fact that she acted as though exposing her limbs upset her in order to give an occasion to anyone shallow enough to deride her for her appearance meant that your reaction was exemplary. I’m to take you to a green room where you’ll know what is going on inside and be prepped with Stacy to be ready for your big entrance.”

I’ll look forward to meeting the real Stacy. Lead on!”

We went thru a side door thru a maze then into the room where makeup artists were standing by to make us look our best. Stacy was already there and was being made up. I was taken to the chair beside Stacy’s. I gave Rita a quick hug and then got into the chair where she did her magic with me. Stacy was in a stunning gown which did not cover up her amazing metal limbs.

”Hi Stacy, I understand you were playing a role. I really admire the person that Georgia just told me that you really are. I hope that I did not offend you.”

”Not at all Joanna. I am flattered that you were so taken in by my acting role. I have to admit that even knowing who I am now that if someone presented in the same way then I would have had to have reacted in the same way. Not all of us so challenged have the same gifts that I have but perhaps more will find them through me.”

”Ladies, you can see on the monitors that Ellen has called forward each of contestants who derided Stacy and took their broaches and passed them thru to the second chance competition. In a moment you two will be queued to walk out as Ellen announces you both as the Winners of this competition and both having an exemption from elimination at the next test.”

”Stacy and I stood hand in hand at the door to the green room which was open and we could hear what was going on for ourselves. We both had our Ellen broaches pinned to our gowns.”

”While we could not reward being abusive to a participant and those who did paid the price by entering the losers bracket, We also could not reward those who just stood by and did nothing when someone was in need. While the rules are important, the exceptions we make show our humanity. For that reason, both Joanna and Stacy are awarded the winners of this challenge and will have immunity from elimination in the next challenge. I’d like you to meet again, Joanna and Stacy.”

We walked out and joined Ellen on her right side with Stacy being closest to Ellen.

”We asked Stacy to play a role for this challenge that is not how she is in real life but how many who have this challenge actually are at present. In reality Stacy does not shy away from exposing her legs and she revels in the ability they give her. We asked her to place herself in a position that was not true to her being and did amazing. Congrats Stacy, you are in line to become Ellen’s next top model. One of your perks for passing the test is that you get a special tutor for the next test, Please welcome Stacy’s tutor, super model, Tyra Banks.”

Tyra came out being her usual fierce self and joined Stacy. Tyra lifted Stacy’s arm into the air as a victor’s salute. She took her place between Ellen and Stacy where room had been made for her.

”We’ll have more later from Tyra including an interview letting us know all about her next project. But for now, Tyra and Stacy will be going where they will have a chance to get acquainted. Thank you Tyra and Stacy.”

Tyra and Stacy walked off to applause. Stacy seemed giddy with her luck in being able to spend time with Tyra. Next came my turn as I closed up the gap and stood at Ellen’s right hand.

”Next we have Joanna who was the only one of the girls who tried to help Stacy as she portrayed distress at having her limbs exposed. Not only did you comfort her but you also were very crafty in making a skirt out of your cape which matched and looked great but also held on in place. She had to undergo a second test of her composure under duress when we claimed she was eliminated from the competition due to her removing her broach to use in securing the cape as a skirt. Joanna passed that test with flying colors and obviously we made an exception to the broach rule when using it helped another girl. Joanna, you too have won this test and have immunity from elimination at the next test. You too have the services of a Super Model coach through the next test. Please welcome super model, Linda Evangelista!”

Linda came out every bit as proud and an even louder reception than Tyra. Linda is still Canada’s number one super model. I was a very happy camper as she took her place between Ellen and I and she raised my hand in the air as a winner’s gesture. Ellen gave Linda a stage cheek kiss as she greeted her.

”We’ll have more later with Linda as we all are longing to catch up with what she has been doing lately as she is interviewed later. For now. Linda and Joanna will be going off to be acquainted but we’ll see more of both of them later.”

We walked off to an even greater applause than Tyra and Stacy got and I was giddy just to be in Linda’s presence. As we neared the door that should take us into privacy to let us know each other, I could not help but wonder if it were to be a real door or a magic door that might take me anywhere. Only time would tell.

End Notes:

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author of this story. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any previously copyrighted material. No copyright infringement is intended. .

Interlude ~ CAMP by Sasha Nexus
Author's Notes:

 

Being Joanna:
Interlude One
CAMP

 

A 14 Chapter Fanfic of 'Being Erica'
The CBC TV series that concluded 12/2011

 

By Sasha Zarya Nexus

 

What will happen when Dr. Erica fails to show up for a scheduled appointment and Dr Naadiah takes her place?
Will Joanna be able to cash in on George's new history as a former astronaut to win a birth on ISS?

 

 


 

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author of this story. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any previously copyrighted material. No copyright infringement is intended. .

 

 

 


 

Dr Erica told me that it was just after Dr Sarah had gotten her first patient that she began having them. Dr Erica called them 'birth pangs' which she received before getting a new patient. In this case the new patient was me. Like a mother who had carried several children to term, her pains with me were not as severe as Sarah, her first. That was good because instead of it taking days before I had hit bottom, it was minutes.

 

We had gotten together in her office at 50/50 press after I had won 'Ellen's Next Top Model' and we were scrambling to get the final touches on the Book Tour before the final taped segment aired on 'Ellen' We were actually still doing 'live' segments for Ellen's show on stunts not involving eliminations. Those of us who were currently in the winners bracket were on call on Thursdays for the live looks while the taped segments were airing on Tuesdays for the winners bracket and Wednesdays for the loser's bracket. For me going all the way in the competition, it just meant that we had to schedule in a break in the book tour for travel to the Mansion for Thursday's live shot.

 

Part of it was that I had to catch up that there was this whole new segment to my life that was suddenly very relevant to be addressed in the book tour that I was a Doctor of Electrical Engineering & Bionics Engineer on sabbatical from the Canadian Space Agency's Robotics program.

 

In this present timeline, extreme burnout from putting everything into my career to avoid addressing my gender identity was aided from pressure of being in the public eye as a STS-123 Space Shuttle astronaut, who helped bring DEXTRE to the ISS. My astronaut status was still active at the CSA and I was in line for a 6 month flight on the ISS. The pressure to be George was even greater than it was at NASA since I was an even greater treasure to be a Canadian Astronaut who actually flew in space.

 

Being a role model as an astronaut added to the melt down from not transitioning that resulted in me being in that hospital room when Dr. Erica had come to save me. In the present, now. my TG writing career was less about just earning money since I had a job I could go back to and resources from having earned a good living all of this life and more about Joanna building her life and separate identity from the guy in drab. I as Joanna could go back to Bionics at some point but only after I had matured enough to make that career my own instead of 'his' career.

 

"I think that we have made good progress towards making the adjustments in the book tour we needed to make with your Ellen commitments."

 

"I've got another monkey wrench for the Book Tour. After finding out that I won Ellen's Next Top Model, I had to tell the CSA about my transition, about winning the contest, and my book. If this was NASA then I would never get another ride to space and they would find a way to quietly terminate me. But with the CSA, my being a minority would play well nationally. Without congress to get in the way, the US President would love to aid a milestone for a famous minority. They want me back at HQ ASAP for meetings with the top to determine my future. "

 

"You should do that quickly. You should drop everything and go and we'll cover for you with Ellen and the Book Tour. I'll help you with transportation after we finish. We need to know their attitude so we can know how to play your astronaut celebrity when it is revealed."

 

"I'll text them that I will be on my way soon. I have an apartment near the CSA HQ in Saint Hubert, Quebec. so I won't need to take a lot. Guess I'll have to do some shopping to give my wardrobe there a makeover!"

 

"That will be even better! Brent says that the Ellen show has agreed to add a look in segment to reveal your past to their audience after the book release. A full segment about your life story and promoting the book and a chance for further book promotion with the interview segment after you've been crowned Next Top Model."

 

"What perks afterward can I expect?"

 

"With the positive response to you, they will pick up your option for more segments on the show. We also expect a modeling contract to be revealed as one of the prizes for your win and we'll make sure any contract you sign has a delay for public service as well. You are going to be a busy girl."

 

"Can you imagine me doing my Ellen Top Model segments from space aboard the ISS? In the beginning I knew that by publicly publishing my TG fiction, I would attract some attention due to my status. Now we get that in spades from the very beginning. Not only should it help book sales but I will have the chance to do some good for people who are really hurting. I have a question but I'm not sure if this is the right venue for it, Erica"

 

"I think we've made sufficient progress with this till more of the details become known. Let's take a break."

 

As I suspected, Goblins was not on the other side of the door we walked through but instead was Dr. Erica's office.

 

"Here we are, Joanna. You can ask some short questions when we are alone but I sensed you had something more intensive brewing."

 

"Is the success that we are on the cusp of having both you and I, going to impede either your or my ability to function in this venue?"

 

"While not everyone's mundane life in this venue has to be an overwhelming public success the nature of this therapy allows people to fulfill their full potential and huge public success is a component to that. We've had prominent people before be Doctors and that of itself is not a dis-qualifier. Keeping the secrecy is more of a challenge but to such people, they thrive on challenges to have gotten to that success. We both should be okay in this process."

 

"That makes sense and it is a relief to me that where we are headed won't make either of us give this up. I have another request. I was wondering if I could for my own reference, work from my list and do a "Life Story so far" So much of my life has changed that it is difficult for me to keep sorted what has and hasn't happened in the now. The knowledge is there if I think about it but knowing to think about it is a challenge."

 

"I'll let you make some notes for yourself based on the list. We can even keep them in the same notebook. Just let me know when you would like to do so and I can give you some time with the list. What brought this on besides being confused?"

 

"I guess you can blame the new engineer training in me. Even with my female brain the discipline of Engineering tends to promote looking at the world in a certain structured way. While the engineer in me, likes more structure, the writer in me is much more open to thinking outside the box instead of pushing things in nice boxes for safe keeping. I'm sure that once I apply a little order as an exercise that tendency will be satisfied and I can get back to real world thinking. It is nice to once the brain storming is over to be able to apply some discipline to accomplish something."

 

"This was always a part of you. It will be a challenge to satisfy both aspects of your nature but you are just the person to do that."

 

"Dr. Erica, I know that the time travel is for resolving regrets but with my life changing so radically when my gender presentation is correct even if it is temporary. I feel like I have missed out on experiencing large chunks of time that never happened first go around since I never presented as other than George."

 

"Is there any time like that which you would particularly like to relive?"

 

"The summer I spent in Summer Camp in CA with Dee Dee that the last alteration got me off the fence and I was actually willing to try."

 

"The STS-123 mission so I would be able to experience being an astronaut instead of just remembering it."

 

"What I have just heard is that you expressed two regrets. Would you like to add them to the list?"

 

"Of course. Would I be able to re-live the whole summer?"

 

"Don't you think you've got enough irons in the fire that taking a 3 month vacation from your mundane life would be a bit much right now? However you could get a sample of what life was like for you at Summer Camp with Dee Dee."

 

"Okay." I wrote two items: I regret not being able to experience the first time around what it was like for me to spend that summer at Camp after my freshman year of High School with Dee Dee. I regret not being able to experience the STS-123 flight into space aboard the shuttle to the ISS.

 

Just then the text response came back: Meeting will commence after your arrival. Security is expecting you and will re-issue your ID. God Speed!

 

"They are ready for me, Dr. Erica. I'll get my Security ID exchanged and go right into a meeting with them. With them moving this quickly it will either be really good or really bad."

 

"Let's hope it's good. Through that door will be your apartment in Quebec. Good luck Joanna."

 

As I went through the door I was indeed in my apartment in Quebec. I picked up my CSA ID and my keys and this time the door led to the outside where I got into my car and drove off. It was not long before I came to the security gate and I showed my ID to the guard on duty.

 

"Dr. Wolfe, you may drive right through and you are approved to park in VIP parking. Please anticipate a delay in security at main building where they will re-issue your ID. They will direct you to your meeting following that."

 

"Thank you."

 

The gate opened and I pulled my car into one of the VIP spaces directly in front of the building entrance. I slid out of the car onto my heels and stood up ready to enter the building after closing and locking the door. I came to the security station just inside the front door and showed my ID.

 

"Thank you Dr Wolfe. If you'll come this way, we'll get your new ID ready."

 

I followed him to a small room behind the security station where a backdrop was ready for picture taking and they had the computer and printing facility to make the ID. After they had taken my picture, they were immediately able to produce the ID since it appeared my information was already entered. They mounted my new ID on a lanyard which I placed around my neck and swept my hair out from underneath it. I got directions to the conference room and made my way there. As I went through the door, I was directed to a chair at the table.

 

"Greetings, Dr Wolfe, Joanna, Thank you for coming so promptly after your text. While we would have preferred some prior notice, we can forgive you for the circumstances of your suicide and your enthusiasm for your recovery when you finally made the decision to transition. Seeing you here allows me to see and agree with what they saw of your beauty, poise and character. But your international publicity on Ellen means that we must address the situation immediately. We have the choices to either embrace you or repudiate you. But before we go on, I have two questions for you: Does Dr Joanna Wolfe wish to stay in the CSA and be a role model for transwomen and transmen? Does Dr Joanna Wolfe wish to accept a ride into space for a six month assignment aboard ISS?"

 

"Gentlemen and Ladies, yes to both questions. I knew when I transitioned that with my high profile past, I would be cast as a role model and I am ready to be one. More than anything, I would like to go back into space, this time as a CSA astronaut."

 

"Very good. You realize that as a CSA Astronaut that you would need to defer to our publicity office for future contracts and commitments. We will provide time and coordinate their publicity with ours for your television, modeling and writing careers. We feel that those aspects of your appeal will allow us to reach audiences which need to be reached for the CSA. Are you willing to comply with this subject to acceptance of the other parties involved?"

 

"Yes, I will. I have signed contracts with my publisher and with the Ellen show which may need to be reviewed but I believe both of them have a national service clause. I expect a modeling contract to be a prize in the contest that I won so we would have to negotiate with them before I sign it."

 

"Are you prepared to accept an early surgery date for GRS? We would provide a waiver for RLT (With winning the contest, it is apparent that you have met that requirement.) and expedite you to a place on the top of the waiting list. It is desirable to us that you be fully female when you are on orbit. Since the surgery has a recovery time involved, you'll need to have fully recovered before we send you to NASA for your training for the mission."

 

"Yes, I'd love to speed up my surgery. I am 100% committed to it and I would do it today were it available that soon. I agree that it would be better to be fully transitioned prior to training."

 

"Very good. The timing is right that the next increment training is in progress where the crew to go before you is finishing their training. With the commitments and your down time you'll do only online classes remotely. When your increment starts it's intensive training for the mission you'll join them onsite at NASA and your other commitments minimized to remote broadcasts with which we will assiat. Then of course you'll have the six months in space followed by the ordinary debriefing and re-adjustment time. We offer you formally a seat on that increment for a tour aboard the ISS. Do you accept?"

 

"Yes, I accept. Thank you so much for giving me this chance."

 

"Thank you, Joanna. We expect great things out of you for both the CSA and for Canada. Would you like to add anything from the astronaut office?"

 

"I'd also like to express my appreciation at your accepting this journey to the ISS. We had been holding this seat for you, and we are glad not to have to pass it to someone less qualified. It greatly upset us to find out of your distress during your sabbatical and we are glad that you have made a full recovery. We will be in touch with you to schedule an announcement here and in Houston with your increment crew of your assignment to the increment."

 

"I'll be in touch with the astronaut office and be available at your pleasure. Thank you."

 

"I guess we can cut this short since this breaking news pulled us all away from other things. Again congratulations Dr. Joanna Wolfe. This meeting is dismissed."

 

While some left rapidly, others stayed around and began grouping in the area where I stood. I exchanged greetings with all of them and I got the vibe that they all were excited about what kind of public face and attention that I could bring to the CSA. Even those who did not immediately rush out had places to be so when the last group of brass excused themselves for a private chat, I exited through the door and found myself in Dr Erica's office.

 

Well it was a doctor's office but it wasn't Dr Erica's office. This one was very blindingly bright white very sparse modern and utilitarian. But seated behind the modern stark white desk was Naadiah, that is Dr. Naadiah.

 

"Dr. Naadiah, I am so sorry that I threw away the home and job that you helped me to get then. But in the now, I had the job offer from CSA, but the ticket and place came from you. Even so it ended up the same with my meltdown and I'm still sorry. This is so confusing! It did happen then, even if that life doesn't have a direct connection with this one. Help?"

 

"Please sit down, Joanna. I'm here to help. You have nothing to fear."

 

I saw a very comfortable white plush chair in front of her desk. I’m not so sure it went with the decor so I’m guessing she brought it here especially for me. I was still going to voice my misgivings about seeing her like this but I could tell she still had my best interests at heart.

 

”¯Is Dr Erica okay? Not that seeing you isn't nice but she kinda promised me something. Is that it? Did she overstep her bounds as a Doctor? Please stop me before my imagination comes up with something else, Dr Naadiah.”¯

 

”¯Dr. Erica is fine and neither she nor you are in trouble. Dr Erica mostly plays things by the rules these days. When she feels like she has bent the rules mostly she has made the right call. Dr. Erica is my best and you are lucky to have her. Dr. Erica had an emergency where she had to be there for one of her patients for a prolonged time. She felt and I agree that with your special circumstances it’s vital for you to go on that regret you just added to part of a summer camp for female MD aspirants.”¯

 

”¯That’s good news. So you will act as my Doctor for this regret? Is this kind of fill in something that I should expect a lot from this therapy?”¯

 

”¯Ordinarily, you’ll only see me if something has happened to throw the therapy drastically off track . Delays happen and all things being equal you might have just waited for Dr. Erica to see you before you got to this particular regret. However Dr Erica felt that both of us were avoiding reconnecting. You were part of our therapy so I could have called you to my office any number of times. I knew where you were through Dr. Erica so I could have visited you mundanely as the good friend that I profess to be should have done. You knew where I lived and could have called and come over yourself.”¯

 

”¯I’m sorry for being silly, Naadiah. I know I've been busy but you make time for friends especially if you let one down like I did. Please forgive me and I forgive you..”¯

 

”¯Jo Jo please forgive me too and I forgive you, too. I really felt like you could do well in Toronto. It seems a focus in so many of your timelines. I felt that if all else failed, I would stack the deck in your favor and get you into Dr Erica’s neighborhood. So tell me about this regret that you had.”¯

 

”¯Well you know, my time line changed again after I helped Suzy the psychic in a less selfish way. I guess that gave me the courage to accept Dee Dee and her parent’s offer to cover for me so I could be Joanna for the entire summer after my freshman year at high school. Originally the regret was that I spent a large chunk of my childhood as a girl but never got to live through it first hand.”¯

 

”¯And now what have you discovered that attracted you to that time instead of one of the many other times that Dee Dee made girl time for you, sometimes for several days at a time?”¯

 

With the remote location where there wasn't any chance for any of what I did to get back to out me back home, I regret that I didn't go for it with a cute boy that I had met during the co-educational medical classes that we took with the boys. There were structured times for girl-boy socials and I missed out on them since I chose not to do so. I wish I had gone for it and saw how well I could socialize with boys. I don’t even have a clue how to do that now that I’m about to be out in the open with my status.”¯

 

”¯How experienced was Dee Dee with boys before that summer?”¯

 

”¯Not very experienced. All through junior high we pretended to be boyfriend and girlfriend. She didn't really do a lot of dating as a freshman and at the summer camp, she was too busy with me to date there. I guess watching out for me kept her out of trouble as well.”¯

 

”¯And what would you change?”¯

 

”¯I’d be more open to the date that Jeff and his friend Rick asked us on but be prepared for trouble in case both Dee Dee’s and my inexperience with boys led to trouble.”¯

 

”¯Good luck, Joanna!”¯

 

The now familiar spinning started and all of a sudden I was face to face again with a teen Dee Dee.

 

”¯You got to be loose, Joanna.”¯

 

”¯I’m loose, I’m loose. What if they don’t like this dress?”¯

 

”¯You’ll do fine. Just quit pulling at it.”¯

 

And I did quit pulling at the neckline and hemline of my red sun dress. Dee Dee looked like a dream in her LBD with the patent black 3 inch heels. Mine were red but only 2 inch. but I wobbled on them a little. Dee Dee was carrying a matching very small clutch while I had a normal sized purse. “

 

”¯Do you think they will know my secret?”¯

 

”¯There is no way that they will know your secret. First you've been almost too careful changing. Except for the three days a month where my parents are visiting and your cover is that you are indisposed on your period, you have an undetectable appliance over your privates and are wearing breast forms. You are just like any other teen girl here,”¯

 

”¯Sorry, Dee Dee. I guess that sometimes I’m a little too paranoid for my own good. Let’s get out there and have some fun. And if that cute Jeff and his friend Rick asks us out, I’m going for it!”¯

 

”¯You go girl! And I guess I’m glad that you are prepared for everything.”¯

 

She said that last while tapping on my purse. Dee Dee said it was far fetched that anyone at the mixer would have rohypnol but she still wanted me to test any drinks that we got with the cocktail napkin test strips in my purse. We both loaded up in the tram that would take us to the shared classroom and activity area between the camps. There would be a dance in the gym and a teen canteen serving food. We were all due back to our rooms by midnight. Since it was due to start at 8 pm we had an entire evening to enjoy.

 

”¯So do you know what you would do if one of those napkins did turn colors?”¯

 

”¯I’d have my taser in my lap before I tested it, just in case.”¯

 

”¯Did you bring the flashlight stun gun that Daddy got for me too?”¯

 

”¯Yeah. I bet it is small enough to fit in your clutch.”¯

 

”¯I've changed my mind. I’ll carry it. I’m a little nervous too but it should be okay Jo Jo.”¯

 

I handed Dee Dee the stun gun and it did fit in her purse. She handed me a couple of tampons and a pad.

 

”¯I’ll stay close enough for you to borrow these back from me if you have the need. Enough of this light conversation, here we are at the dance.”¯

 

Jeff and Rick were waiting for us at the dance. We started right away dancing three dances, well four counting the slow dance where Jeff held me tight. I didn't freak out and in fact I even enjoyed being held close to him.

 

We found one of the tables on the side and sat down. Both Jeff and Rick acted like perfect gentlemen and brought us our drinks. I felt a little foolish when the first napkins came back negative.

 

We all agreed once we’d finished our drinks that after Dee Dee and I came back from the rest room that we’d all go back out on the dance floor. We did what we needed and met at the mirror freshening our makeup afterward.

 

”¯Well what’s the verdict, Jo Jo? Did we pick a couple of rapist?”¯

 

”¯Of course not. They are both complete gentlemen. “

 

”¯Did you check out the size of Jeff’s hands? You know what they say about the size of a guy’s hands relative to that special part. I know that I felt that Rick was very happy to see me on that slow dance.”¯

 

I stood there too stunned to say anything. I wanted to respond to Dee Dee but nothing would come out.

 

”¯A bit TMI for you, Jo Jo? Well get used to it, cause we girls get straight to the point of it. Come on, let’s get back to the boys.”¯

 

”¯Okay, Dee Dee, I’m ready.”¯

 

The boys were a bit more frisky with us during the next dances. Even so I enjoyed the new sensations and didn't put on the breaks. They crossed the line for a prude but not for a normal girl. Instead of leading us back to our table once we had finished the set of dances, they had a proposal for us.

 

”¯Girls you gotta come. We may not have a chance like this again. We found a place where the cameras don’t cover. We can neck a bit without being caught. Sound like fun?

 

”¯Yeah, I guess. Where did you send Rick ?”¯

 

”¯He’s going to get us some drinks. He’ll meet us there with them.”¯

 

I noticed that Jeff was now carrying a blanket which looked large enough for the four of us to lay on our backs and look at the stars. We reached our destination and Jeff and I spread out the blanket and it looked like a king sized one. As Dee Dee and I got down to lay on the blanket, Rick came up with our drinks which each had an umbrella on it.

 

“Here’s your drinks, girls. Enjoy!”¯

 

”¯Alright you two, let’s get this party started. Come join us on the blanket. Woo hoo!”¯

 

”¯Rick you nerd. Where are our drinks? Girls I guess you’ll have to start the party without us. I’ll go with Rick to make sure we bring back enough for all of us to enjoy.”¯

 

”¯Okay but you two hurry back. I really want to party!”¯

 

I waited till they were out of sight and I got out the napkin and dunk it into my drink. It turned color.

 

”¯By George!”¯ I spoke with a louder voice to get Dee Dee’s attention and with a whisper. “Quick dump your drink.”¯

 

Dee Dee was wide eyed and tongue tied as she saw the test reaction on my drink duplicated on hers. We both quickly dumped our drinks out. We didn't want to chance running in the dark when we didn't know exactly where we were. Instead we decided to pretend to be suggestible vixen and lure them in close enough to use my taser and her stun gun on them. Since we didn't know where we were, we both dialed 911 on our cells and left them active with the volume muted and microphones on.

 

When they got back, we just twirled the bra’s we had taken off and tried to show off our cleavage and legs so they would waste no time getting down on the blanket on us. Rick was down within arms reach of Dee Dee first and she stunned him out cold with her stun gun. Jeff seeing what had happened to Rick stayed out of my reach but the Taser darts stuck him anyway and he too was out cold.

 

”¯Now we run!”¯

 

We both kicked off our heels and ran for all we were worth. Dee Dee had her Bluetooth in and she was talking to the police dispatcher. A couple of guys had heard our screams and we ended up running into their arms. Security from the dance caught up and made sure we were alright. We pointed the way back to where Jeff and Rick were still out cold. They retrieved my phone which had been taking video from the moment that Rick had arrived with our drinks and was still running when they found it. I gave them the test napkins from the 2 drinks and the cups which still had enough of the liquid left in them to test again.

 

In all of it the two young men stayed by us who we found out were named Tom and Harry. Even though it wasn't a planned date, they way they stayed with us and treated us was about the best medicine either of us had to get over that experience. Unfortunately my period was to begin tomorrow with the arrival of Dee Dee’s parents so we had to push back an actual date until the next social which both of us could not wait for it to get here.

 

As luck would have it, Dee Dee made it back to our shared room before me. She took off suddenly which was why she made it there first. As I opened the door to cross the threshold, I found that I was not in our room at all but back in Dr. Erica’s office.

 

”¯Hi Joanna. Welcome back. I’m sorry that I wasn't available for your departure. How did you get on with Dr. Naadiah.”¯

 

”¯She never stopped being my friend no matter what happened with me. While I already had the job to accept, her ticket and place to stay encouraged me to take it. And then I had my meltdown and give up what she tried to give me. It came out the same even if the details changed a bit. We did well. Thank you for getting us back together.”¯

 

”¯You will be pleased to know that Dee Dee took a happy medium of watching out for herself and advising her female patients which resulted in several lives being turned for the better. But looking out for Dee Dee was not in the way you originally expressed the regret to me. What changed your mind?”¯

 

”¯Dr Naadiah asked me to consider more than just myself as I relived this. It was my agreement this time that put both of us in danger. I guess Dee Dee was inexperienced too due to protecting me so that she did not sense any problem. But it was natural for me to do exactly what I did and put together the Batgirl dating utility purse complete with date rape prevention kit. “

 

”¯And what will you take from this?”¯

 

”¯That not all guys are bad. Our date with Tom and Harry afterward was pretty nice. That I was really inexperienced with dating as George and even more as Joanna. I feel that I need to really explore how to make good choices in dating but maybe I ought to wait till I have fully digested this one before adding the dating regrets that I should add.”¯

 

”¯Anything else?”¯

 

”¯That even if ‘be prepared’ is not the girl scout motto, it’s this girl’s motto. I just hope that I never am in a situation to have to use what I've provided like that again.”¯

 

”¯Joanna, I’m glad to be of help. I feel that the best way I can help right now is to give you a ride home. Be well, Joanna.”¯

 

As I exited through the door that Dr Erica offered to me, I was not sure what I would find on the other side but what ever it was, it would be interesting! This time it was indeed home where I collapsed on the couch and quickly picked up my pink Ibook. It was interesting that I picked out exactly the same one even though the money came from my bank account instead of belongings that Tina had sold for me. I was reminded that I wanted to write Tina and tell her my news.

 

Dear Tina,

 

Thank you for your last email reply. It's always good to hear from you. Girl, do I have news for you! I'm going back to space! The CSA has offered me a seat on the upcoming flight to the ISS. CSA is going to announce up here at HQ and then I'm going to be in a media event in Houston where I'll meet the cosmonaut and other astronaut on my increment.

 

Tina, if you can take the time off, I want you to be my guest in Houston for the announcement and spend the day with me. If you can get the next couple of days off, I'll have your ticket waiting for you at the Delta counter, You'll just have to write me back with your acceptance and your info so I can set it up. I can get you in at the facility that the astronaut's families are lodged and catered to, because you are one of my family of choice.

 

Tina, I love you so much for your encouragement then and now to live up to my potential and being Joanna. You gave me the confidence that Naadiah wasn't a stalker or worse. You made my goodbyes for the gang at Dragon*Con and let them know I had to cancel my appearance for work. You went to my quarters at Huntsville and packed up my belongings and sent them to me in Toronto, You returned my rental car for me and tied up all the loose ends that I had left hanging when I dropped everything to go to Toronto.

 

Now I would like you to take your place at my side as the sister that you are to me. You've done so much for me and I'd like to do this for you. Please say yes.

 

All my hopes,

 

Joanna

End Notes:

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