Cover

A Good Day at the Track

"58...! 59...! 60...!" Coach Bradford called out the times as I ran past.

Right on schedule. One lap down, three to go. Tilden was just where I wanted him, two strides in front of me. Already we had broken away from the rest of field. With 3/4 of the race still in front of us, the real running wouldn't start for a while yet. But in the mile, you don't want to wait too long to make your move.

My name's Jack Lind. I'm a 17-year old high-school senior. I guess you could consider me a pretty ordinary guy, except for one thing: I eat, breathe and sleep track and field. My specialty is the mile run and today I'm trying to do something no high school boy has done in 34 years: run a sub 4-minute mile.

Coach Bradford and I had been plotting this for months. I live in Milford, a quiet little farm town in upstate New York — about halfway between Binghamton and Syracuse. I'd been running cross country and track for my school since the 7th grade, but only in the last couple of seasons had my times improved to the point where a lot of people were starting to take notice.

I finished last year with a personal best of 4:12 for the mile — which had led to a third place performance at the state championships. Over the summer and through the fall cross-country season, my training had become more intense than ever. But what had really made a difference was finally getting my growth spurt. In less than a year I had gained 3 inches in height and my stamina had improved tremendously as well.

Tilden and I passed our coaches to complete the second lap. He was still two strides in front and I was more than content to draft off him for a little longer. Two more laps to go. We had completed the half-mile in just over two minutes, so my goal was still in sight.

Ten days ago, I had run a 4:05. I was racing on a cinder track, with no competition to speak of. I'm not trying to be arrogant; it's just that in the local athletic district of which Milford was a part, I was 30 seconds faster than anyone else.

But it was that performance that had convinced Coach Bradford the time was ripe for my attempt at the 4-minute mile. The first major invitational of the year was Cortland, a larger college town about an hour's drive away. More than 30 schools would be competing. Unlike any of the schools in my district, Cortland boasted a high-performance synthetic track, which would provide a superb surface for a fast time. Also, the stadium was equipped with electronic timing, which was a must for any record to be valid. Stopwatches were not acceptable for the national books.

Plus, Tilden would be there.

Kevin Tilden was the fastest high-school miler in New York. He had won the race for the state title last year, the one where I finished third. He had already improved his personal best of 4:07 earlier this season, which (along with my 4:05) was enough to raise eyebrows of track fans across the country. Quite a number of people were looking forward to this match up.

Tilden and me most of all.

It's very hard for track athletes, particularly middle and long distance runners to achieve their best times unless there is strong competition. Both Tilden and I wanted to use this meet, and each other, to reach new levels of excellence. My coach and I, however, were keeping our plans for the 4-minute barrier to ourselves.

Halfway through the third lap now. I could sense Tilden was slowing a bit — the pace had been torrid. The third lap is the most critical in a mile run. Races were often won or lost during that 400-meter stretch, even though the fans might not realize it. I could accept the slowing pace, and then I could set up a tactical run from here to the end - hanging behind Tilden until the final homestretch, then 'kicking' it on in.

If I settled for that, I might win the race — but I would not break any records. I had to maintain this speed if I wanted to get below four minutes. That meant I would have to move past Tilden now.

So I did. This was not a championship competition, just a mid-season invitational. There was no title on the line. But I really wanted that time! I shifted to a higher gear, ran past Tilden, and moved quickly back to the rail as soon as I was legally ahead (you aren't allowed to cut off other runners when you pass — you need at least two steps).

Tilden was now behind me, which meant he could draft off of me, allowing me to force a path through the air for him. It sounds silly, but drafting is a common technique in many sports, from speed skating to cycling. However, if I could get far enough ahead, then he wouldn't gain any advantage.

The three-lap time — 3:01. That meant I would have to run a 59-second quarter for the last lap to break the barrier. My legs were feeling a little burn, but my lungs were strong, and I concentrated on maintaining a steady stride. Behind me, I could sense Tilden fading as I picked up the speed.

In 1965 Jim Ryun, America's greatest miler, ran a 3:55 as a high-school senior in Kansas. Ryun went on to break the world record for the mile with a 3:51 and also earned an Olympic silver medal in 1972.

In 1966 and 1967, two other high-school athletes broke 4 minutes with times of 3:59 — Tim Danielson and the legendary Marty Liquori. Since then, no high-school boy in the United States had run the mile in under 4 minutes, let alone approached Ryun's record of 3:55.

A stretch of more than 30 years. I was determined beat that streak.

Two hundred meters to go. Tilden had fallen far back, but there were several hundred fans and even some press making a lot of noise, encouraging me. My lungs were burning now and I had to focus on keeping my pace smooth.

Distance running is very psychological. Often, the race is won not by the fastest, but the strongest, the one who can best master his pain when every nerve in his body is crying for relief.

Just like mine were now.

One hundred meters to go. God, it hurt! But everyone was screaming for me, Coach Bradford loudest of all. Believe me, it makes a difference to have that support. I gritted my teeth, swallowed down my stomach, and plunged the final steps over the line. Gasping, my hands on my knees, I raised my eyes to look at the scoreboard clock.

3:59.5.

I'd done it! A huge roar went through the crowd as it sunk in. I was immediately surrounded by a mass of humanity, and nearly knocked off my feet by Coach Bradford. Since he doubles as the football coach and goes in at 6'3, 240 — it was quite an impact. But I managed to keep my feet while I tried to catch my breath.

A feeling of elation swept through me as I realized what I had done. Not only had I just become the fastest high school miler in the country, I was the fastest in the last three decades. And I still had half the season in front of me!

Everyone was talking at once. Tilden came up and congratulated me. He'd come in at 4:04, his best time ever. But I could sense his disappointment — I knew what it felt like, since he'd defeated me the year before. He'd have other chances, though — when we met again at the state championships. I knew he'd be hungry for another try.

But for now, this was my moment. I shook so many hands, I felt like a politician. Gradually, though, the excitement died down, and we moved off the track. It was time for the girl's mile — and Milford had a pretty good runner in that race, Becky Barton. I had a lot of respect for her and the rest of the girl's team — I didn't want all the chaos of my performance to interfere.

Still, while watching Becky run from the stands, I was mobbed by coaches, athletes and fans. In addition, two of the local papers had reporters, trying to get a recap from me. I kept one eye on the track while I described everything that was going on. Next to me, Coach Bradford was reciting how our strategy had been planned. I broke off for a moment to cheer Becky on as she entered the homestretch. Kicking hard, she crossed the line in third place, with a time of 5:13.

A fine time for her — and a new school record for the Milford girls. We all cheered loudly as she smiled up at us. I was still fielding questions, but I yelled out my congratulations to her. She and I, along with all of the distance runners (half-mile, mile and 2-mile) were a close community — a team within a team.

This was common among tracksters. Sprinters, hurdlers, jumpers, throwers — we all rooted for each other, but our events required such different styles of training that we bonded most with those who practiced and competed by our sides. Of course, the fact that Becky and the other girls looked so cute in their tight running briefs didn't hurt either.

It seemed as though my race had generated an infectious energy for all of our competitors. Milford had many top three finishes, along with excellent times and distances. Best of all, Hal Turner, one of my closest friends, won the two-mile in 9:36 — which was sure to be a contending performance at the bigger meets later in the year.

It was a great bus ride home. Needless to say, Coach Bradford was in a very good mood. Everyone was singing, cheering and recounting the stories of the meet. Milford had finished 3rd in the team standings — which was all the more impressive considering many of the schools were two or three times our size. Becky, Hal and the rest of our distance crew traded jokes and basked in the atmosphere of accomplishment.

We arrived back at the Milford high school campus, where my mother was waiting to pick me up. Everyone said a final goodbye and Coach Bradford told us to report for a light workout tomorrow. We still had some small meets before the big competitions at the end of the season, and he wanted our training to peak at the right time.

I got in the old Civic with my mother.

"How did it go?" she asked.

"I did it! I broke 4 minutes!"

"Congratulations."

And that was it. My mother and I definitely had a rocky relationship. She had divorced when I was very young and she'd never remarried. Since I had no siblings, it was just the two of us. Sometimes that makes family even closer. Sometimes not.

In my case, I loved my mother very much, and I knew she loved me back. But we had struggled throughout my teenage years. She worked very hard as an administrative assistant in a local factory, and she had a lot of expectations for me — academic achievement, excellent colleges and so forth.

I made good grades — I was even on the honor society. But I was a notch below the best students in my class. That hardly bothered me, since track was my priority. I was already being recruited by many colleges and I just didn't have the same intensity about studying. My mother felt differently, though. She believed my classes should come first and track a distant second. This frustrated me, of course — she didn't seem to take my running seriously, or appreciate how important it was to me. It was the age-old conflict between the generations: the parents have one vision for their children — the kids have a different one for themselves.

"So how was your English paper?"

"A-"

"What went wrong?"

"Hey, A- is a pretty good grade, Mom."

"Pretty good is not going to get you into the Ivy League."

"But I've already got two Ivy League coaches recruiting me."

"After-school activities are not the stuff of a successful career. I'm glad your hobby is going well for you — but it's no substitute for true academics."

I was too incensed over her dismissal of my running as a 'hobby' to point out that as long as I got in, who cares what criteria were used? When would she ever respect my effort? I finished the ride in silence.

We lived in an old farmhouse about three miles from town. We fixed a quick spaghetti dinner (all distance runners love pasta for 'carbo-loading'). Mom and I made small talk about the office — we avoided school and track. Tired from a long day, and the emotional high of the race, I showered up and hit the sack.

The next morning, I rode the school bus in — the only way I was going to get my own car was to work for it, and I wasn't giving up running for an after-school job at McDonalds. While at my locker before first period, a pair of slender, feminine arms encircled my waist and a warm body, smelling sweetly of soap and lilacs pressed against me. I smiled and turned around, looking into the lovely blue eyes of Sue Wendell, my recently acquired girlfriend.

"Congratulations!" she said — kissing me quickly. Then, not so quickly.

"Thanks, sweetie." nuzzling her neck in return. At least she appreciated what I did.

I still couldn't believe my good fortune. Sue was a very pretty, petite young woman, as close to the ideal All- American girl as one could get. She was a superb student, an excellent field-hockey player, a cheerleader and president of the school class. She was easily the most popular girl in school — but not because she belonged to the right clique. Instead, she... transcended cliques, forming true friendships with jocks, nerds, bangers, Goths and all the rest.

How did she do this? Because she was the most honest person I'd ever met. There was no pretense about her and she never judged people by what category they might be in. To borrow from the film, she was the anti-Heather.

I'd always had a crush on her — along with every other guy in the school. But while I never expected it to come to anything, we had been very good friends for years. Study buddies, school activities and so on. But about two months back, I'd asked her to a movie — I had no ulterior motives, yet something clicked that night. As we said goodbye, I had leaned over to kiss her cheek — she had turned her head and our lips met. We both felt the shock of the unexpected contact, looked at each other, then kissed again. And again.

Turned out there was something there after all. We started dating regularly, and I was very, very happy. I'd never made it past second base with her — which was just fine with me. I was more than satisfied with what I had — and that lack of pressure made us quite comfortable with each other.

There were only a few months to graduation — so I didn't know what kind of future we had — we were content to take it one day at a time. I smiled down at her, delighting in how her light brown hair framed her face. She was wearing a set of the low-riding jeans that had been so popular with girls lately, and I could just glimpse the lace waistband of her panties as I bent to kiss her again.

She laughed and gently pushed me away. "Time for class, Jack — we don't want to be late."

And so began an excellent day of school. I received all kinds of congratulations and slaps on the back. A track athlete, even one who could run a sub-four mile, was not going to be in the same league as a star quarterback or pitcher. This was true for both high-school and the 'real' world. Nevertheless, I had made the local TV news and was featured in the papers — so teachers and students alike were according me a new measure of respect.

Long about lunch, I turned a corner and nearly bumped into Andy Marks. He glared malevolently at me, then he walked away.

The Federation has the Klingons. Bond has Goldfinger. Kerrigan has Harding. And I have Andy Marks.

There's one like him in every school — Marks was an all-around bully and equal opportunity offender. He led a group of similarly challenged twits who delighted in the pain they caused others. Physically, when they could get away with it. Most of the time, they specialized in taunts, pranks and general cruelty. Just like predators stalking a herd — they had a knack for spotting the weak, the outcast, the emotionally vulnerable. Then they would pick, tease and threaten until whatever sick satisfaction they required was fulfilled.

Do I sound bitter? Oh yeah — I had been a regular target of Marks myself, until my senior year. But as I mentioned earlier, I'd picked up several inches in height, and I had become a bit of a jock myself. Once both my size and my status had improved, Marks eased off. Like most bullies, he lacked the courage to face someone who could fight back.

Plus, with Sue Wendell on my arm, I felt damn near invincible.

So he left me alone. I finished classes and went to the locker room to change for practice. Hal was already there - he waited while I got ready.

"You and Sue are looking good together — are you two still as wholesome as ever?"

"A gentleman never tells."

"Which usually means he's not getting any."

"Hey, I've got all I need. Speaking of such things, I've noticed Becky making eyes at you. Any possibilities there?"

Hal grinned. He said nothing, but I knew he had a little thing for Becky Barton. She'd broken up with her last boyfriend a couple of months ago and his interest was definitely piqued. Hal and I were both rather shy with girls, so we spent a lot of time speculating about the female of the species. We'd had some dates and kissed a few ladies in our day, but girls were definitely a mystery to us — more so (we thought) than for most guys.

I finished lacing up my shoes (which seemed a little loose for some odd reason). We hit the track behind the school, where we met up with the rest of the distance running corps. The sprinters were in the weight room, the jumpers and throwers on the runways — so we had the oval to ourselves. Becky and the rest of the girls finished their stretches (always fun to watch), then we began our workout. I noted with amusement that Becky and Hal did the warm-up jog together. They even looked alike, both tall, slender and with dark hair. They were certainly on their way to couplehood.

The centerpiece of my training for the mile was the 400- meter run. Coach Bradford and I had designed a 'ladder' program — where I would run single laps at an increasing pace, trying to build quickness and endurance. Often, I would set myself against a sequence of runners, starting with Hal (whose speed was nearly close to mine), then against the girls -- where a pair of them would run 200- meters each while I did the full 400. This way, we all pushed each other to a higher level of training than we could have achieved on our own.

Today, though, I seemed to be struggling a little. Hal almost beat me for the first 400, and I found myself having to reach a bit deeper in the later stages of the workout. I chalked it up to being tired from last night's race — I'd rest a bit and come back stronger tomorrow.

That night the phone rang while Mom and I were eating dinner. I picked it up — it was a reporter asking about my race. I spent about 10 minutes recounting the event for her - both play-by-play and background. 'Color', the reporter called it. She was very nice and wished me good luck as we finished the conversation.

"So who was that?" my mother asked. "Another local paper?"

"Sports Illustrated."

And I had the satisfaction of seeing Mom's eyes widen in surprise. Even though she tried to conceal it, I could tell she was impressed. Maybe I was finally getting through to her.

"Are they going to do an article on you?"

"Nothing that elaborate. It'll just be a couple of paragraphs in the back of the magazine."

I played it nonchalantly — I didn't want to oversell it. I'd have to break Ryun's record to get a full page with picture, but even so, just to get mentioned in the nation's premier sporting journal was making me feel as though all my effort was paying off.

The next day, though, my practice times were even slower - I felt strong but I couldn't reach my usual speeds. Hal beat me for the first series of 400s and Coach Bradford was a bit concerned. I did a full speed workout mile under the clock — my time was 4:22. Now, I never run as quickly in practice as I do in a race — but I should have been able to get at least 10 seconds faster, even on my own.

A little worried, I went home and did the usual shower- homework-dinner routine.

By the following day it was clear that something was really wrong. My clothes seemed to be fitting a bit oddly — I wondered if I was losing weight. And during practice — my times were slower yet. Not only was I finishing well behind Hal, but in my run against the girls relay, Becky actually matched my pace for the second 200 meters. There was no way a girl runner, however fast, should have been able to keep up with me. Coach Bradford called me over.

"Are there any symptoms at all, Jack?"

"No, Coach. That's the weird part. I feel perfectly fine. No soreness or muscle cramps — and I'm not tired. I just can't seem to get up to my normal speed."

"I think it's time you saw Doc Gilroy. Something's got to be causing this. If you don't have an injury, it might be mono. We've only got four days before our next meet."

The possibility of mono was daunting. The bane of high school athletes, mononucleosis was a blood disorder that completely sapped a teenager of all energy. Someone with mono was in no serious danger as long as they got proper medical treatment. But mono could last for weeks, even months. And kids with mono ended up so exhausted they couldn't even summon the strength to get out of bed, let alone compete in sports. If I had mono, my high school track career was over. So it was with some trepidation that I made an appointment with the doctor.

Despite the town's small size, Milford actually had a pretty respectable medical clinic. Headed up by Doc Gilroy, the staff had a good reputation and was well liked by the community. The Doc, as everyone called him, was a classic version of the country physician, with silver hair, a kind, patient face and a reassuring bedside manner. He poked and prodded at me for a while, making little jokes and asking about my symptoms. I mentioned mono — he said not to jump the gun (an apt track analogy), and drew some blood. The clinic had its own lab and he told me the results would be back the next day.

The following morning, Sue and I chatted before class. I was concentrating very hard not to let my worries about running sour our mood as we made a date for the weekend.

"A movie again?" I asked her — smiling into her blue eyes.

"Sure. We'll rent something from the video store."

"Don't you want to go out?"

Sue was no couch potato — she usually preferred activities for a date — bowling, class parties, dances, etc. Milford was hardly a cosmopolitan hotbed, but there was often something going on. Of course, I had the usual ulterior motive of any teenage boy. There are a lot of quiet rural roads around town...

"Actually, my family's gone until Sunday — they left me behind to housesit for a couple of days — so we'll have the place to ourselves."

She smiled at me impishly, then turned and walked away - while I stood there thunderstruck. Was she implying what I hoped she was?

Of course, I wouldn't presume to know the mind of a girl. Still, maybe she really was ready...

It was with a lighter heart that I went to the clinic for my follow-up appointment. I was surprised to find my mother there — apparently, the doctor had called her in. My elation over Sue faded as we both were escorted into the Doc's office.

Strangely, Doctor Wilson was in his office as well. An attractive, 40-ish woman with short blond hair, she was the town OB/GYN. Why would she be here?

The Doc entered the room. Both had serious looks on their faces, yet they didn't seem to radiate too much tension.

"I take it it's not mono." I said.

"The tests came back negative." he replied.

My mother spoke, a look of fear on her face. "It's not something terminal, is it?"

Doc smiled. "No, nothing like that. Jack is in excellent health. But I'd better let Doctor Wilson explain."

The woman spoke for the first time. "Have you heard of Gender Biomorphism?"

"Sure." I responded. "It's that weird syndrome that turns boys into gir- Oh my GOD!"

I fell back into my chair. I managed to gasp out: "Don't tell me..."

"I'm afraid so, Jack." Dr. Wilson replied. "The tests confirmed it — the transformation is already well underway."

I was in utter shock. I couldn't even begin to grasp this. HIV or cancer would have been less stunning. I'd never even considered this. I was going to be a... a girl? No freaking way! Frozen in place, I felt like I was disconnected from my body. I could hear the conversation continue — but as if from a great distance.

"Are you sure?" my mother asked. "I've not heard of a case around here."

Doctor Wilson replied. "Jack is the first in the entire county. As soon as we got the results from the initial run we rushed them to Syracuse. They verified it independently. Jack is becoming female — same as the others."

The others. Dear Lord. Gender Biomorphism, or GB for short, had been around for several years now. The first cases had been documented in such sterling publications as the National Enquirer and Weekly World News. Gender-bending was long a staple of the supermarket tabloid set. Most folks, including myself, just laughed. But when the Center for Disease Control verified the existence of the phenomenon, everyone took notice. By the time the 60 Minutes crew did their profile, no one was laughing anymore.

I tried to remember what I had heard. Somewhere around 6000 boys across the country had been affected — with a few hundred more each month. There was absolutely no pattern - nothing to track its spread. GB could show up anytime, anywhere. It was just one of its many mysteries. Girls were not affected, only boys changed. And only teenagers seemed to fall victim — there had been no recorded cases in anyone over 18.

My mother had a shocked look on her face. "How... how long does he have?" I realized it was like asking the doctor how much time I had to live. I felt the same way.

"The transition should be complete in about 3 days. As you may know, it's a gradual process until the final stage. The body prepares slowly at first — chromosomal, skeletal, etc. Then, it's like an asymptotic curve — the more dramatic, visible changes happen in just a couple of hours."

Dramatic. Visible. That would mean... breasts.

Among other things.

Oh, God, no.

I felt myself grow dizzy as my breathing increased. The doctors quickly had me lower my head and gave me some water. My hands were shaking — I glanced at my mother. Her face was drained of color, and I wondered if she was feeling faint, too.

After I calmed down, I was ready to continue.

"How?" I asked.

"You mean how did you get it?" Dr Wilson looked at me. I nodded.

She continued. "We don't know. As you may already be aware, GB has defied the best scientific minds on the planet. There is no common vector, no path for us to follow — so there is no way to predict where it strikes next, or why."

"Is there anything that can be done?"

"No. We've tried a variety of responses on other boys - hormone and gene therapies, metabolic rate reductions, and so on. Nothing works, nothing even delays the impact. No matter what the treatment, every boy affected becomes female."

And so I asked the final question. "How female?"

Dr Wilson paused for a moment and looked at me sympathetically. "Completely. In fact, after GB has finished with you, there will be no way for even a doctor to tell you were once a boy."

I sat there in a state of glum amazement. The Doc spoke. "There's no easy way to put it, Jack. I've known you and your Mom for many years so I know how strong you both are. Here's a time when you will need that strength."

He spoke again. "Jack, the reality is this — by Monday you will be a girl."

Silence among all four of us. It was just too bizarre to comprehend.

"So how do we prepare?" my mother finally asked.

"I've already made arrangements for Jack to be enrolled in the Gender Reorientation Seminar up in Syracuse." Dr Wilson replied.

"You mean Girl School?" I snorted derisively.

"That's the colloquial phrase for it — but don't mock it. GRS is a valuable tool in helping you to transition."

I'd read about GRS as well. After it became apparent that GB was not going away, and was impacting an increasingly larger number of boys, many states set up special facilities for those affected. At first, GRS clinics were just isolated places to endure the physical change in private, away from the media and other vultures. Later, more sophisticated support services were added, including psychological counseling and even training in such feminine activities as cosmetics and hair-styling.

Hence the derogatory name: Girl School. And now I would have to attend. I shuddered.

"Will he be in any pain?" Mom asked. She still had a worried look on her face and I was reassured by how much she cared.

"None — although there is considerable disorientation during the final stages, no one has reported anything like pain. Chances are, he'll be asleep during the end."

'The end' — good way to put it.

They continued their conversation for a few more minutes - setting up the details of where and when I would report to GRS. Meanwhile, I just sat there — still unable to get my mind around it all.

In the car, my mother and I were quiet. Both of us remained in a state of shock. There were other emotions at work, too. For me, my shock was mixed with horror. Everything, EVERYTHING, about my life was going to be different. Friends, family, school — hell, even my very voice would... change. And I felt certain it would be a change for the worse. It was just too overwhelming to accept.

Like me, I could sense my mother had other feelings besides shock. As I caught her glancing at me, I could see sympathy, worry and... curiosity. I knew she was thinking the same thing I was.

What kind of girl would I be?

I wasn't sure of the impact of GB on appearance — that is, did the boys affected come out looking like their mothers? I took a long look at Mom while she drove. You know how it is as a teenager — it's next to impossible to judge the attractiveness of one's own parents. I mean, c'mon, who can imagine their folks as real people? They're just Mom and Dad.

So for perhaps the first time in my life, I really looked at Mom, the way a male would stare at a female. And I had to admit — she was pretty. Very pretty. About 5'6". Fine, collar-length, medium brown hair, big blue eyes, smooth skin, full breasts... oh God.

Would I look like that? I remembered overhearing her bridge-club friends complimenting Mom on her attractiveness. Once, Hal had remarked that my mother was a 'babe' — which gave me the creeps. Kind of like when Candace Bergen played Garth's mom on Wayne's World — and was drooled over by Mike Meyers. I'd felt the same way Garth had — she was my mother, not a... a woman!

But now I realized that I might very well end up with a similar appearance. And that really depressed me. I didn't want to imagine myself as a female — but looking at my mother was creating a picture in my mind of what was going to happen to me.

We arrived home — I just sat down on the couch, too overwhelmed to move. Mom sat down next to me and put her arms around me. I let her do so. We didn't hug often — but now I suddenly felt a deep need to be comforted.

She spoke. "Jack, I'm not going to insult you by saying I understand what you are going through. I really can't imagine what it's going to be like. But I want you to know I love you, I'm here for you and I'll help you in every way I can."

"Like taking me bra-shopping?" I said bitterly.

"You know that's not what I meant."

I sighed. "I know, Mom, and really, I am grateful. It's just too much to accept. I can't even begin to cope with this."

"I'll help you — you are my child, whatever your gender, and come what may, I'll accept you for who you are."

"That's sweet, Mom, and I know you mean it. But that's the problem. Just who am I? I mean, being a boy, growing up as a guy — that's all I know. More to the point, that's all I want to know."

"I'll help you to learn. And you may find — if you give it a chance — you might even like it. I enjoyed being a girl and I've loved being a woman even more. There are advantages, you know."

"Like wearing short skirts on hot days?" I said, a bit mockingly.

She chuckled. "That's one of the minor ones. Actually, I've always felt there's a certain kind of... magic with femininity that men miss out on. Of course, I might be biased."

"Gee, do you think?" I muttered.

"Look, Jack, I'm not trying to say things will be the same. We're both realists. Your life will change. Our life together will change — but it doesn't have to be a nightmare. There are worse fates that being an attractive young lady."

Maybe she was right. I mean, how bad could becoming a girl really be? Sure, I'd need some new clothes and new running shoes and...

Oh no. Running.

And suddenly it came crashing down on me. Now I knew why my workout times had been getting worse.

I was turning into a girl. And girls are slower than boys. A lot slower...

That meant that I, too, would be slo... oh God. I sprinted for my room and fired up my computer.

I'd long since memorized the high school, national and world records for men's track and field. I could tell you the history of who had been the world's fastest miler for the last century. I was nearly as expert on all the other events, too, from the 100-meter dash to the javelin throw. Track was practically a religion for me — I'd been running competitively since I was 11. Just like other kids poured over NFL and NBA stats, I studied the IAAF (International Amateur Athletic Federation) record books. And I dreamed of my own name being written in. But I'd never paid much attention to the women's marks. After all, it had no impact on my career. I would never compete against them, so their records were not a goal for me. But as I got on-line and looked at the side-by-side comparisons, I realized with a sinking heart just how different the men's and women's standards were.

100-meter dash:

Men, Tim Montgomery: 9.78.

Women, Florence Griffith Joyner: 10.49.

It got worse as the distances grew.

400-meter run:

Men, Michael Johnson: 43.03.

Women, Marita Koch: 47.1

And then I came to the mile. I already knew the current men's record, of course — my hero, the god of the mile: Hicham El Guerrouj of Morocco and his amazing 3:43. Then I saw the women's time: Svetlana Masterkova of Russia.

4:12.

Jesus Christ. A few days ago, I'd run a 3:59. I was just a high-school boy who had never competed in an international race. And I was already nearly fifteen seconds better than the fastest woman miler ever.

In 1954, Roger Bannister of England did what sports physiologists argued could never be achieved — he broke the 4 minute barrier for the mile. In the five decades since then, some 300 men around the world had followed in his footsteps, lowering the record by a remarkable 17 seconds. I'd just joined that elite club myself earlier this week - which only added to my hunger for more.

But now...

No woman had done it. Not even close. If I became a real girl, then I would never run a sub-four mile again. No matter how hard I trained, how much pain I endured, my body would not achieve such speed. Not as a female.

And just like that, all my dreams were gone.

I know you may have trouble understanding where I'm coming from — but if you have any athletic background of your own, especially as a kid, you've probably indulged in a little fantasy while working out or competing. You know, pretending you are in the NBA finals against Jordan; catching the winning pass in the Super Bowl; hitting a home run off Randy Johnson in the World Series. It helps to intensify the experience, makes it more fun. And for a lucky few of us, our fantasies can become reality.

I'd had many of them during the years of long, grueling workouts. It kept me running — that kind of dreaming. And for track and field athletes, we had our own Super Bowl, every four years.

The Olympics.

That was the one time where track stars could reach the fame of big league athletes — with names like Bruce Jenner, Carl Lewis, and Michael Johnson. And I had dreamed of joining them — racing El Guerrouj to a gold medal and world record in front of an audience of billions. And best of all, there was a chance — just a chance — it might have come true for me.

But now that fantasy was dead. Once I was female, I would be lucky to finish on the same lap as the Olympic men's champion. Even if I ran the mile ten seconds faster than any woman before, I'd still be utterly outclassed by the guys.

I felt an emotional pain that seemed to reach my very soul.

Maybe... maybe this wasn't really happening. Maybe there had been a mistake after all. Still in my room, I took off all my clothes and studied myself carefully. Like any athlete, I knew my body well. And I couldn't avoid what I was seeing.

It had already begun.

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes!

It was subtle, but undeniable. There was a definite curve between my waist and my hips that had not been there before. My legs seemed a bit smoother — and higher up, I realized with dismay, there was a hint of puffiness to my chest that was new. Oh, it was nothing dramatic — the average 10-year old girl probably had more, but the nipples were clearly larger and my 'pecs' (such as they were) appeared rounder. As for my face — once I looked closely, I could see my nose and mouth were slightly different. I can't really describe it — but when added to my thinning eyebrows, I was less masculine, more... androgynous. In fact — I thought to my horror — if I put on a wig, I might just pass as a girl already.

It wasn't that I suddenly resembled Britney Spears. It was just that when I looked at myself with the knowledge of what was happening, I could now see the preliminary effects of GB. For the moment, the world would still see me as a boy, but that was more due to my walk, my clothes, and my haircut. Take those away, and I could be perceived as... feminine.

And the real changes hadn't even kicked in yet!

I felt a sense of dismay that reached even deeper than before. I could not deny the evidence in the mirror. The doctors were right, after all — it would soon be impossible to ignore this harsh reality.

I really was turning into a girl.

I could imagine what was happening inside my body — my chromosomes changing to XX, my body growing smaller, muscles weaker, skin softer. Every breath I took just provided my body with the oxygen it needed to complete the transition — from male to... female.

How could this be happening to me? I'm not supposed to be a girl! I never had any desire to be one. I liked my body, my life, my running, my buddies, my girlfriend, my...

Oh God — Sue!

And now my horror was complete. If... no, when I became a girl, then Sue and I were... finished. I mean — GB doesn't turn girls into boys. That meant Sue and I would be the same sex — we would both be females — and then...

Milford is a small, conservative town. There were no Gay Pride parades and no one at school was out of the closet. Of course, I'm sure we had the same percentages of homosexuals as anyplace else — but here it was definitely 'don't ask, don't tell'. So what would I be once I was a girl? I refused to think about boys that way. Would my feelings for Sue make me a... a... lesbian?

The thought was too absurd to consider. But I was confident of one thing — Sue was not gay. Once GB was done with me, then there was no chance that Sue and I could have a romantic relationship.

And that sent my emotions spiraling down still further. I'd always had great affection and more than a little bit of a crush on her. But since we started dating, my desire for her had increased tremendously. There was the physical part - I mean, I am a teenager — so of course I dwelled in a near perpetual state of elevated hormones. Anything that smacked of femininity was highly erotic for me.

But it was more than that with Sue. My previous dates had seemed like formulaic efforts at a ritual — I made the moves until the girl told me to stop, then I politely took her home — hoping to get a little farther next time. But Sue and I, clichÈd though this may sound, had a connection. With Sue, it wasn't about the potential for sex (Okay, there was some of that!) — rather, it was the easy, delightful 'specialness' of our time together. That was why I never felt any pressure to escalate to third base or beyond. When the time was right, we would both know it. No games, no teasing, no manipulation. That's the kind of girl she was. I loved being with her.

I loved her.

And now, that was lost to me. How could we ever make love if we both had vagi...

I felt tears coming to my eyes.

At that moment, my mother opened the door to my room. I was still undressed, and she turned away quickly. I picked up a robe.

"Don't worry, Mom, nudity won't be an issue for us by Monday." I said harshly.

"I just wanted to see if you were okay." she said.

"Well, let's see. The 5000 miles I've run in training over the last 4 years are wasted. My athletic scholarships are gone. Sports Illustrated will never call me again. I'm going to have to blow my allowance on make-up and nylons. I'm about to become the laughingstock of the school... and, oh yeah — my beautiful girlfriend will be forced to dump me next week. So I'm just fucking peachy!"

She started to walk towards me. I raised my hand to stop her. "I know you mean well, Mom, but I'm not really up for hearing the 'it'll be all right' speech right now. I need some time by myself — please?"

She nodded and said, "You know where to find me." Then she shut the door.

I got into bed and did something I'd never done before: I cried myself to sleep.

That night I had some very unsettling dreams. You've probably had or at least heard of the classic nightmare of appearing in public nude. Freudian theory argues that represents the unconscious fear of having one's privacy or secrets exposed. I'd had the dream myself once or twice before.

These dreams were different, though. Yes, I was in public without any clothes on.

But this time I was a naked girl.

A jumbled set of images ran through my mind — I was in school, or on the track or at a party. But in each scene, two things were common. One, I was nude. And two, I was female. In the dreams, there weren't any physical sensations — just an awareness that I was a girl. Everyone was pointing and laughing at me. I kept getting comments like 'nice rack' or 'cute bush', while I desperately searched for something to wear. Embarrassed, I would frantically look in lockers or my backpack — but all I could find were skirts, dresses and other girl's clothing - which I couldn't bring myself to put on. In one dream sequence, still nude, I managed to locate a pair of boxer shorts and pulled them up, only to watch in dismay as they morphed into a frilly pair of girl's... panties. Pink, no less. Then, topless, trying to cover my breasts, I found myself surrounded by a group of boys who smiled and hooted as they approached me to...

I woke up in a cold sweat, the sheets twisted around me. My dreams had unsettled me further — was this to be my destiny as a girl? To be ashamed and disgraced — someone to be mocked? Telling myself, a la 'Dallas', that it was only a dream wouldn't work — for this nightmare was real.

Shaken, I headed for the shower — only to freeze when I saw myself undressed. More changes — my nipples were now nearly twice as large as before, the pinkish cones standing up a quarter inch or more from my chest. And the flesh underneath was fuller — still nothing like what a woman would have, but enough to mark what was happening to me.

With most of the storms of adolescence behind me, I'd finally acquired a positive image of my body. I was no hunk, but the girls told me I was nice looking — and of course, my athleticism also made me feel proud of what I had. But now I felt betrayed by my body — as if it were turning against me. To lose my shape like this — I felt as though I was losing myself.

Yet I was still determined to go to school today. At some level I knew this was my last chance to enjoy my old life as a boy. Mom had already headed into work — her job gave her very little opportunity for time off. I pulled on a T- shirt — and whipped it off again when I saw how it displayed my nipples and... chest. I refused to say the other word. I found a looser, bulkier polo and struggled to get my jeans up past hips that seemed to have widened further during the night. Worse yet was the fact that I had to roll the cuffs on my jeans a couple of times as I sadly noted I was getting shorter.

I don't want to convey the impression that I now looked like a girl in drag. I still appeared mostly male — only close observation would show that something was amiss.

'Amiss'. A macabre pun occurred to me — I was about to become 'a miss'.

On the bus, a few kids whispered as I sat down — I hoped the changes weren't that obvious yet. But I knew something was up when I got to my locker. More kids were looking at me strangely as I got out my books. I heard a heavy footstep behind me and turned to look up at the looming frame of Big Mark Williams (BMW), our track team's star discus thrower. At six-six, 265, Mark was, as you might expect, a big part of the football team as well. Yet, despite his huge size, he had a reputation as a gentle, albeit laconic, giant. He never picked on anybody — and it was for sure no one picked on him.

He put one large hand on my shoulder and said "Sorry, dude." Then he turned and walked away.

And I realized my secret was out. Milford is, as I've mentioned, a small town. And as the old joke goes, the only thing that travels faster than light is gossip. In Milford, everyone knew everyone else — there's little anonymity here. Which means if there's a juicy bit of information about, all the folks will get a bite.

Someone at the clinic must have leaked. I was certain it wasn't Doctors Gilroy and Wilson — their reputation as professionals was too solid for that. Probably a technician or receptionist — it didn't really matter who had done the talking. What did matter was that everyone at school either knew — or would soon know — the truth: I was about to become eligible for Homecoming Queen.

Suddenly I felt a touch on my shoulder. Turning around, I saw that it was Sue. She looked at me for a moment, then glanced around quickly. Tugging on my hand, she pulled me into a vacant classroom. She shut the door, then cupped my chin with one palm and studied my face carefully. There was an expression of curiosity and concern in her eyes.

She spoke. "It's true, isn't it?"

I nodded slowly, saying nothing.

"I can see it now that I know what to look for — oh, Jack..." She was in my arms then, giving me an intense hug. "How... how much longer?"

"By Monday, the doctors say."

She pulled back and gazed into my eyes. "Does it hurt, is there any pain?"

"Not physically," I replied.

"I'm so worried for you. I did some reading on-line this morning. There's a lot of material on GB. I hadn't paid much attention to it before now but I guess you're going to be a real girl — as if you were born that way."

"Kind of puts a damper on our prom, doesn't it?" I said flatly.

"Oh, Jack — there's no way I'm giving up on us. You've always been a nice guy and you've also become the sweetest boyfriend I ever had. You mean too much to me to lose that."

"Sue, we won't have a choice. We're both going to be girls - it's not like we can ever make... I mean, be together the way I... we want."

"Jack, listen to me. We'll worry about that when the time comes. We both know there's something between us more important than sex. No matter what happens, I'm going to be there for you — I'll help you in every way. No one will ever have the same place in my heart — because... I... love you."

Yesterday I would have been elated to hear her say that. Now, the moment was bittersweet — knowing that whatever love we had could not be expressed as we would have chosen. But it was still wonderful to listen to those words from her and I responded in kind.

She stepped up to me and gave me a long, lingering kiss that sent shivers across my body. Her tongue probed delicately into my mouth — once, twice. I felt the familiar rush of blood to my groin and the hardness beginning. And then I felt another response, a strange one... a tingling...

In my nipples.

Oh God — my body was already starting to react like a girl's! I broke off the kiss.

"What's wrong?" she asked.

Tears forming in my eyes, I reached out to touch her lovely face. "I'm sorry, Sue... I..." Then, almost sobbing, I pushed past her and headed out the door.

I just couldn't be with her — knowing that my body was changing to match hers. I felt so saddened, realizing what I was losing. Dazed and confused, I wandered the halls for a while. One advantage of being a senior just a few months away from graduation was that I didn't have to worry much about detention. I wasn't up for class — I wanted some... reassurance.

But I wasn't going to find any here. As I passed girls in the corridors, I looked at them — fascinated by their femininity. Of course, I had always been intrigued by girls - but now my perspective was altered. I noticed so many differences I'd never paid attention to before. How they carried their books, the way they touched each other as they talked, the light dangling of wrists. Their body language was so complex and unique — a subtle delicacy about every gesture.

Prior to GB, I had simply seen femininity as a package — I just noticed the final results, not all the myriad of details that made girls... girlish.

And now I was supposed to be like them? Even when I became physically female, how was I ever going to learn to act like a girl? To move like one? To be feminine not only in body, but in manner and style?

It seemed a hopeless task, even if I had wanted to take it on — which, of course, I didn't. I had no desire to be like them. Yet I had no choice. I was going to look like a girl - I could feel it all the way down to my rapidly feminizing bones. I had never, ever felt a sense of doom like this.

Even more depressed, my wandering footsteps led me to Coach Bradford's office — adjacent to the gym, for he taught phys-ed during school hours. The coach was an avid researcher on training techniques and sports medicine — his desk was crowded with various journals and books. He was on the Internet as I walked in.

I sat down as he looked at me closely. "I take it you know," I said.

"The rumor mill's been very busy this morning. How long does the Doc give you?"

"Monday," I replied.

His eyes widened a bit. "That fast, eh? I'd hoped we could get a couple more meets in before..."

"Before you have to issue me a girl's uniform?" I finished.

"Something like that. I'm very sorry about this, Jack."

There was a disappointed look in his eyes. I knew why. Coach Bradford had enjoyed considerable success with his football teams over the years — but he really loved coaching track — the complex range of disciplines was a challenge that appealed to him. Between jumping, throwing, sprinting, distance and the relays, there was always something new to teach and to learn.

Of course, football was where Coach Bradford earned most of his well-deserved prestige — but in me, he had found an opportunity to guide a national-class athlete. The coach had picked me out all the way back in 8th grade, and we'd come a long way together. Each season, we'd set new goals, plotted the training and patiently worked for them. We'd made an effective team — but now, just when it was paying off for both of us, it was gone.

"Is there any chance I'll be able to keep my speed?"

He shook his head slowly and pointed to his computer. "I doubt it, Jack. I'm no expert on GB, but those who are say there's been absolutely no physiological difference detected between a boy who becomes a girl via GB verses one who was born that way. And as for the speed, I've known for years the distinction between male and female athletes. You know my philosophy on this."

I did. Coach Bradford had led a number of girl's teams for Milford and he had a good reputation as a fair and open- minded coach. He really believed that girls and sports were a good combination.

But it just wasn't the same as for the boys.

"Jack, the inescapable facts are these: girls have 25% less lung capacity than boys and are 40% behind the guys for upper body strength. Added to that is the inefficient skeletal structure caused by wider hips and you have the disparity between even the best-trained female athletes versus the men. Once your... transformation is complete, you'll have the same limitations as any other girl. I've coached track for years and I've always had to account for that in my programs."

I just sat there, staring at him. He continued:

"My record is loud and clear — I'm an ardent supporter of girl's sports — I've got two daughters myself. Title IX has been a wonderful positive for young women — in fact, it may be of benefit to you."

"How?"

"You know there have been more than 30 colleges recruiting you. Just because you're going to be a girl doesn't mean that's over. There are plenty of track scholarships for young women at all the top schools. If your speed as a girl is proportional to what you ran as a boy, then you will be in demand as much as ever."

"I appreciate what you're trying to say, Coach — but it's not the same thing, is it?"

He was silent. Although we didn't speak of it, we both knew what I meant. Before GB, I was a great miler. After GB, I could still be a great miler.

For a girl.

And that's what made this so hard. That damn phrase: 'for a girl.' No matter how good I might be as a female, I wouldn't be as good as I was before. So, assuming I remained a competitive athlete, I would still be forced to acknowledge it — I could not compete against men.

"She's really good... for a girl."

Thus, I would be forced into a separate category.

An inferior category.

To be sure, I was already in a special category as a boy. A 3:59 mile was a spectacular achievement — for a high-school kid. El Guerrouj, the world record holder, could still beat me by 16 seconds. But that was just a step. I had very real hopes to move up — college, track clubs, the Olympics. And if I made it all the way, then I might become the best miler. Not the best high school kid; not the best college runner; just the best. Period.

But all that was gone now. As a girl, even if I became an Olympic champion — I would always have the qualifier:

Gold Medalist. Women's gold medalist.

I know, I know. It's hardly PC. We're supposed to celebrate boys' and girls' athletic achievements as complementary. We're not supposed to notice the girls have to be segregated into an athletic ghetto in order to shine.

Example? The US women's soccer team won the first women's World Cup a few years back. The year before, the US men's team finished poorly in the men's World Cup. Many feminists, pundits and coaches touted the relative performances as proof that the women athletes were now superior to the men. The phrase became: 'Girls rule, boys drool, soccer's cool.'

I was delighted to see the women win the Cup — and it was great to see girls get so enthusiastic about sports. But for all the hoopla about girl power, nobody ever suggested putting the men's team against the women's on the same field. The results would have been obvious — the women would have been crushed.

Everyone remembers tennis star Billie Jean King's defeat of Bobby Riggs back in the '70s — it became an icon of the women's rights movement. But King was at the height of her career at the time, while Riggs was over the hill, well into his 50s. When the athletes are more balanced, the results are much different. In 1998, Martina Navratilova and Jimmy Connors played an exhibition match in Las Vegas. Connors was only allowed one serve per point and had to defend the doubles alleys — while Navratilova got two serves and had less court to protect.

The score? Despite the handicap, it was an easy victory for Connors at 6-2, 6-2. And this was arguably the greatest women's player of all time.

I love watching the Williams sisters play tennis. They've raised the standard of the women's game to a whole new level. Their grace, power and femininity are a delight to see. But Agassi or Sampras would make mincemeat of them.

And society rewards accordingly. Tennis is an exception - most other female pro athletes make a fraction of salary earned by the men. The WNBA is an honorable effort, but there's no way people are going to pay the same money to see Cheryl Swopes as they would to see Jordan, Shaq or Yao.

In the more than one hundred Olympic events, only three have men and women competing side by side together: yachting, equestrian and pairs figure skating. In all other sports, the girls have to be on their own — or they wouldn't even qualify.

That was now my fate.

Coach Bradford and I sat quietly, contemplating the wreckage of all our plans. Then he spoke. "Jack, when you get back next week, I'll put you under the clock — let's see where we are before we plot our next move."

"Coach, I have to be honest — I don't think I'll ever run again." I meant it, too. Racing a mile after I turned into a girl would just prove all of the above.

"I respect how you feel, Jack — but promise me you'll make one attempt."

I looked at him carefully — there was a bit of a gleam in his eye — I knew he had something in mind.

"What's going on?"

"You'll just have to trust me, Jack. Will you promise?"

I didn't even hesitate. Coach Bradford had been my mentor for 5 years — I owed him this. "All right — I'll do one mile after I'm a... after it's over."

God — it was still a shock to think it — I was turning into a girl. People just weren't supposed to change sex! It was so surreal. A bit numb, I said goodbye and headed back to the halls.

It was there that I spotted Hal and Becky. Much to my delight, they were holding hands. It looked as though their status as a couple was cemented. For a brief moment, I forgot about my own problems — I was glad to see things working out for others. They immediately waved to me and came over.

Becky spoke first. "We've been looking all over for you. I can't believe what I heard. Is it true?"

"I'm afraid so," I said wryly. "By Monday, you, me and Sue can all get makeovers together."

"That's so cool! I mean, I know it's not exactly what you want in your life — but I bet you'll make a terrific girl. We're going to have so much fun." She was bubbling with enthusiasm — there was not a trace of mockery or sarcasm. Amazingly, she saw my turning female as an adventure.

Hal grinned at me. "What some guys won't do to get into a girl's panties."

Becky punched him lightly on the shoulder. "Behave, boy. Listen, Jack, after you join the superior sex, you can give me all the dirt on how males think. Maybe you can even help me figure this character out," she smiled — pointing at Hal.

I was astonished at what seemed to be such a cavalier attitude. I was about to complain to them. But then I realized Hal and Becky were both reassuring me of something - I would still be their friend, come what may. They weren't going to coddle me — because they respected me. And that reassured me quite a bit.

We spent a few more minutes chatting about inconsequential matters — it was nice to have a normal conversation without thinking of that feminine Sword of Damocles above me. The bell rang and we made preparations to head to class.

Becky spoke again. "Seriously, Jack — I am sorry for what you're going through. But I've got a special feeling that tells me it will all work out in the end. We're on your side."

Hal seconded the feeling. "And nobody had better hassle you afterwards, or they'll have me to deal with."

I smiled at that. Distance runners like Hal are hardly built like football players — so the idea of him as my bodyguard could only go so far. But he'd been my best male friend for years and I knew he'd really look out for me. Feeling better than I had all morning, I said my farewells and headed down the hall.

Of course, all good things must come to an end — I ran into Andy Marks around the next corner.

He immediately broke into a large grin, and a mocking expression appeared on his face. He was accompanied by two of his fellow goons (names are irrelevant — call them Rommel and Goering). They quickly formed a triangle, backing me against the lockers. I noticed to my dismay that I was now a bit shorter than them — I'd been taller just a week ago. Adding to the fun, the corridor was deserted - they had me all to themselves.

Andy spoke first in a condescending tone. "Well, well — if it isn't MISS Lind." He looked at me closely. "See any tits on her yet, boys?" Rommel and Goering shook their heads. "All in good time, I suppose. I always did think you were a pussy, Jack. Now you've actually gone and proven it."

"Fuck off," I snapped, trying to push past them. They held me back easily.

"My, my, such language. Not very ladylike, Jack — or should I say Jackie?"

"You shouldn't say anything at all, Marks. Assholes are usually very quiet, except when they produce crap."

"Still trying to play the tough guy, eh, Jackie? You've gotten mighty big for your britches lately — but you won't be so tough after you're in skirts. No more track star or dream girlfriend. Or are you hoping to turn that Wendell bitch into a lez?"

Seething in rage, I started to take a swing, but Rommel and Goering grabbed my arms.

Marks spoke again. "You know, you should look me up when the girlie bug is done with you. I'll bet you'll be able to give a hellacious blowjob, what with you being an ex-boy and all."

It was my turn. "Why wait, Marks? The way you three hang together, I figure you'd rather get your blowjobs from guys. Or... do you prefer to give them?"

His face darkened. "I'm glad this is happening to you, Lind. Once you're wearing panties, then you'll know your place. Me and the boys here will make sure of that. You're nothing but a cunt waiting to happen. And when it does, I'll be ready for you. I'll find you alone and I'll show you what being a girl is all about."

"You know, Marks, there are many..." I stopped, shocked. My voice had suddenly cracked. I tried again. "There are..." And I stopped again, moving from shocked to horrified.

My voice had changed. High, lilting... female.

There were looks of astonishment on all three of their faces — which probably matched my own expression. Once more I tried to speak — forcing my voice lower.

It was useless. I sounded like a cross between Sue and Becky. I was at least an octave higher than before — or so I guessed — I didn't have much musical expertise.

The three started laughing as I reddened in shame. Marks said triumphantly, "Another step closer. Want to bet she's ready for a bra by noon?"

Desperately, I stomped on Rommel's foot, then managed to shove Marks aside as I ran down the hall. Marks restrained his partners-in-slime. "Let her go, boys. I never hit a lady."

In tears once again, I sprinted for a door and began the three-mile run back to my house.

I just couldn't face any more people. Up to now, I had been in denial about GB at some levels. While I accepted intellectually that I was going to be a girl, emotionally I was unwilling to acknowledge it. By this, I don't mean the struggle I was having over athletics and girlfriends — rather, I just hadn't imagined what having a girl's body would be like physically.

But now I could tell. As I ran, the higher pitch of my breathing continued to amaze me. I tripped slightly as I crossed a sidewalk — the gasp I gave was utterly girlish. My shirt rubbed against my nipples, which felt raw in a new way. And worst of all, I could sense a bit of... jiggle in my chest as I bobbed along.

At least my endurance was okay. Running three miles consecutively was part of my regular training anyway. I had an intense need to be alone. The humiliation I'd endured from Marks and his rent-a-twits was based on a still larger sense of shame echoing through me.

The shame of being a girl.

Now we're venturing into really dangerous territory. Four decades of ever- increasing political correctness permeating all society should have prevented me from even thinking that girls were inferior — save for the special category of sports.

But let human nature will out. I remember an exercise a teacher had given to a class of grade-school kids. Imagine yourself, she said, as the opposite sex for one day. What would you do? The girls in the class wrote imaginative essays, seeing themselves as boys, using their newfound strength for all sorts of adventures — especially as a force for good.

On the other hand, every boy had the identical response: "No way would I ever be a girl, even for a day."

The reality of the human condition is inescapable — no matter how far women's rights might advance, no matter how progressive the education, most males will always perceive femininity as a synonym for weakness. Oh, men can and do respect women's positive attributes of intelligence, determination and even emotional power.

But the body — therein lies the rub. A female body is so dramatically smaller and more fragile than a male's. Men fear weakness and its cousin, vulnerability. As a result, men find the whole notion of being feminine distasteful and even frightening. And with this kind of thinking it's no wonder men seek to avoid anything that associates them with womanhood.

But I could not avoid it.

That point was proven still further as I arrived home and locked myself in the bathroom. Once again, I took off my clothes. Once again, I inspected my body. Once again, I could see I was yet more female. My face was now more than androgynous, it was becoming effeminate. My nose was smaller and starting to turn up at the tip. My chin was more pointed and my eyes appeared larger. Lips were fuller, mouth wider. My short haircut could no longer prevent me from looking a bit like a girl.

It got worse as I went lower. My nipples were swollen and stood out from my chest even more than this morning. And I also had what might be called breast buds. I'd never seen a pre-adolescent girl undressed of course, but I suspected my chest looked like what a girl might have when she wore her first training bra.

As for the manly hydraulics, my scrotum seemed to press more closely against my body and my penis was (I realized with a sinking heart) — much smaller and less 'independent' — almost as if it were blending in with the scrotum.

And overall, my frame appeared more... delicate. I never had bulging muscles — a miler didn't want the extra weight — but I had filled out some in my shoulders over the last year. That was gone now — I looked like I was 14 again.

And so I started to cry — which I'd done more times in the last 24 hours than I had in the previous 24 months. Perfectly normal — for a girl. That fact unnerved me further and became a cycle. The more I cried, the more I realized how emotional I was becoming. And the more I perceived my new emotions, the more I cried — until I was weeping — soft, feminine sobs that further underscored what was happening to me.

After about 10 minutes, I managed to get some control and splashed cold water on my face. It was only noon, but I went to bed. Partly because I was exhausted, and partly because I wanted to shut out the world.

I must have been asleep for many hours before my mother woke me with a gentle shake. It was dark out, so she turned on the light. And she gasped when she saw me. I didn't have a mirror — but I could guess what she was seeing — still more progress on the road to womanhood.

"Oh, Jack — I was worried about you. They called me from school when you didn't show up for class."

I replied, "You can see why I left. Just look at me!" I sounded like a little girl about to have a fit.

Her eyes widened at the soft feminine tone of my voice. She gently ran her finger along the curve of my jaw. "It really is happening to you. I still have trouble believing it — it's so hard for me to imagine my son as my daughter. You're going to be so pretty — but I guess that's not what you want to hear right now."

"You got that right. Oh, Mom, how am I going to deal with this?"

"By knowing that I love you and I'll be by your side. The one advantage is that I know everything there is to know about being a girl. At least I'll be able to identify with much of what you are feeling."

"Not everything."

"No, not everything. I can't imagine what it would be like to turn into a man. I know I'll never fully understand all that you are going through — the very act of changing sex — but I can help you cope with a girl's body. I still have this feeling that you might get to like it.

"I can't see how, Mom. I like myself just fine now. I don't WANT to like any part of being a girl."

"Because you feel that being a girl is a step down?"

She had me there, but I didn't want to give it to her.

"Jack, if I could prevent this from happening to you, I would. Having said that, if this becomes an opportunity for just one male to learn to respect females without being condescending — then at least a little good may come from it."

There was a sharp tone to her voice. I stopped for a moment and tried to think of her perspective. "It's really hard to be a woman, isn't it?"

She looked at me kindly. "Hard, yes, sometimes. The sexism, the prejudice is daunting. But it's incredibly rewarding as well. If I were offered a chance to be accepted as truly equal to men, but at the price of surrendering my femininity, I'd turn it down. That's how much I love being a woman."

I sighed. "I don't think I'm ever going to feel the same way, Mom."

"I can see how you would think that now — you're still in transition. But once the change is complete, and the magic of girlhood is yours, you may see things in a different way."

"Let's hope so. Because I definitely don't like how I see things now."

We hugged then — and I had to admit that at least I was feeling closer to my mother than I had for a long time. I just wish the price weren't so high.

I slept fitfully for a few more hours. I awoke to a bright, sunny Saturday morning — completely at odds with my mood. Today was the day for me to head off to Girl School, excuse me, GRS. I sure as hell didn't want to go, but I knew time was running out. In the mirror, I could see my skin was getting smoother and my Adams apple was gone. It was hard for me to use the toilet now — most of the underside of my penis seemed to be fused to my scrotum — I could barely control the direction. As for my face, no one would see me as a young man anymore. At best, a pre-adolescent boy, if not outright a girl.

I got into the car with Mom and we began the long drive to Syracuse. I didn't pack any clothes — why bother? By Monday, nothing I owned would fit. We were silent for most of the trip. I felt as if I were being driven to prison, or basic training or some similar doom. After an hour winding our way through the rolling hills and farms, we arrived at a nondescript office park near the Syracuse University campus. I could see the vast bulk of the Carrier Dome — Syracuse was the only college in America to have an indoor football stadium. I looked at the huge facility with nostalgia — I'd run track meets there.

Not any more.

I was surprised at the security — there were gates, guards and brick walls — all low key, but very professional. They needed it, though. In addition to intrusions from the media, GRS facilities had been attacked by religious zealots and other assorted nuts. To many, GB victims were freaks of nature, abominations against God. And to some, GB girls needed to be confronted, contained as if they... we... were threats to humanity, straight out of the X- Files.

We were checked in and directed to a low, three story, modern building. Mom got out of the car with me and prepared to walk in. I stopped her.

"I need to do this on my own, Mom."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes." I didn't want to have anyone I knew witnessing what I was about to go through. Not even my mother.

She nodded, then gave me a huge hug. "I'll be back on Monday."

"Thanks, Mom. Be sure to bring me some panties." I said that with a smile on my face — a mixture of the sardonic and the fatalistic.

She looked at me intensely. "You're going to be all right, Jack Lind. I raised you to be strong, and that's what you are."

I gave her another hug then headed up the stairs. It occurred to me that I was walking into this building as a boy.

But when I walked out, I wouldn't be!

Who's That Girl?

Trembling a bit, I stepped into the lobby, where I was greeted by a smiling young woman, who took my name, then led me to a small lab. As I followed her, I noticed how her hips rounded out her white uniform dress very nicely. I found myself wondering if I would look the same. I filled out a lot of paperwork and presented more documentation from Doctors Gilroy and Wilson. Then I was given a quick physical — and they drew some blood. Everyone was very kind and patient with me.

Finally, I was taken to what appeared to be a classroom with a dozen seats and a lectern up front. About half the seats were occupied by boys? ... girls? I really couldn't tell. I took a seat for myself while checking out those around me. Some looked at me shyly; others turned their heads in embarrassment.

All of them were definitely victims of GB — they were feminized to one degree or another. In a few cases, I could see what were clearly breasts (albeit small ones) pushing out their shirts. Others were not as far along — but they also had faces that were too gentle for masculinity. None of these people could be considered truly male, even if they weren't quite girls yet. The worst part was realizing that I fit into this crowd just fine.

The boy next to me leaned over and extended a hand — when I shook it I felt as though I was almost holding Sue's hand — his was nearly that delicate.

"Todd Mackenzie," he introduced himself with a soprano voice even higher than mine.

"Jack Lind," I replied.

"The miler?" he said, seemingly impressed.

"Not so much anymore. I'm surprised you've heard of me."

"I go to Binghamton High. I ran on their cross-country team last year. All the coaches know about you — you're the most famous athlete from these parts in, like... forever."

"That's about to change. Probably for the best. The last thing any of us need right now is more attention."

"You said it," he responded. "This really sucks doesn't it?"

"Absolutely. Worst part is, I've got no idea how to be a girl — even if I wanted to."

"Well, I do know something about it. I have four sisters and I'm the only boy."

"Oh, God," I said sympathetically. "How is everyone taking it?"

"My dad's totally freaked, as you can imagine. Losing his only son and all. My sisters think it's great, of course — as if my house weren't girly enough already."

"And your Mom?"

"She's neutral — she just wants to make sure I'm okay."

"That's cool. At least your sisters can help you adjust."

"Don't be too sure that's a good thing. They're already plotting makeovers and how to doll me up. They've got all kinds of frilly outfits they want me to dress up in." There was look of repugnance on Todd's rather cute face.

"Does living with them give you any insight as to what being a girl is all about?"

"Sometimes I think so. Other times, I think I could live with them for a hundred years and not understand them."

"Well, I'll bet you'll understand them better by next week."

"All too true. This will sound silly, but one thing I liked was being able to easily sort my clothes from theirs on laundry day. Now, I'll have to wear the same things they do — so everything will be mixed up." He shuddered as we both had a vision of him accidentally pulling on panties belonging to one of his sisters — and having them fit.

While we were talking, several others had taken seats around us — there were now ten of us in the room. All conversation stopped when a 30-ish woman with medium-length red hair and a charcoal-gray business suit came in and stood at the lectern.

"Good morning, folks," she began. "My name is Janet Barlow and I want to welcome you to the Gender Reorientation Seminar. We use the acronym 'GRS' to refer to this program — though you've probably heard terms like 'Girl School' or 'Cunt Class' or some other such nonsense."

I jumped a little at her blatant use of vulgarity. I'd never heard an adult, particularly a woman, express herself in front of me that way.

"Got your attention, didn't I?" She continued. "I do apologize, but there's one rule about this program that's absolutely imperative: honesty. My staff and I will be straight with you about everything. That can sometimes be a hard challenge — for we don't pull any punches here. We're going to tell it like it is, because if we do any less, you won't be prepared for what you're about to go through.

"Our goal is straightforward — to help you adjust to your new sex and all that goes along with it. We've guided nearly 250 boys to girls through this facility alone and we have a lot of experience and feedback. Our charter requires - and our professionalism demands — that we do all we can to get you through this.

"Why? Here's the first harsh reality you'll need to face. Although some 6000 boys across the country have been transformed, that's less than 1/10th of one percent of the population of America. Because the number of transformees is so small in comparison, that means society is not going to change to accommodate you — you are going to have to change to accommodate society."

She paused and looked at each of us in turn.

"If GB were affecting 10-20% of all males, it might be a different story. If that many men were becoming women — the very concept of how we define femininity would change. But that's not the case here. Each of you will have to match the current cultural expectations of being a girl. If not, you'll find yourselves frustrated, isolated and ostracized."

We were silent at that while she continued.

"Don't think us unsympathetic — we all wish you were not going through this. We know none of you want to be here. But it is imperative you understand that you are going to be young women and you will have to behave accordingly.

"Now for the good news. This program is not about forcing femininity down your throat. We not going to make you put on party dresses, wear nylons, or teeter around in high heels."

There seemed a palpable sense of relief in the room.

"Yes, there are classes on makeup, hairstyling and so forth — but they are voluntary. The only mandatory classes are on physiology and hygiene — which are essential for good health. Everything else is optional."

One 'boy' raised his hand. "Then why have them?"

Ms. Barlow replied, "Because some of you are the children of single dads, who are not going to be able to acquaint you with the basics of day to day femininity. And even for those of you with in-house mothers and sisters — you may still be reluctant to turn to them. Fact is, teenage girls spend a lot of time with fashion and appearance and you will be in a better position to fit in if you know what's going on.

"Which leads to my next point. It's very important for you to understand that being a girl is not about cosmetics, perms and skirts. You may have a vision of girlhood as being focused on nothing but image. That just ain't true. To be sure, there are all kinds of cultural connotations typically associated with being a girl. And you are going to have to live up to many of them.

"But, here's the key point — there are as many ways to be a girl as there are girls. Some girls are into make-up and clothes big time — others pay little attention to the whole thing. We just want you to know what your options are."

I raised my hand. "But you just warned us that we're going to have to act all girly to fit in. It almost seems like you are contradicting yourself."

She smiled. "In every class, there's always someone who brings that up. It's a good point. Here's the distinction. After you finish your transformation, it's up to you to figure out your style as a girl. You may like short hair, jeans and playing football. Or, you may find you like pretty dresses, frilly underwear and ballet."

"Fat chance of that," I muttered.

Ms. Barlow smile grew broader. "You'd be surprised — more on that later. But here's the gist of what I'm saying. You can be any kind of girl you want..."

She paused for emphasis.

"As long as you remember you ARE a girl.

"The worse mistake someone affected by GB can make is to pretend they're still a boy. Wearing pants and getting a crewcut isn't going to change what you are. Trust me on this — based on all the others who've come before you. The surest path to misery is to deny what has happened. You can be into sports, be into gory computer games, be into MTV's 'Jackass'. Be into whatever — but do it as a girl."

Todd spoke up. "But that seems so impossible! The only way to do that would be to accept being a girl in the first place. I don't know if I ever can."

Ms. Barlow replied. "Let me give you some hope here. About 75% of the boys who go through this reach a point where they enjoy being girls as much as they enjoyed being boys. The length of time to get there varies — months or even a year, but it does happen. That doesn't mean they think they are better off as girls, but they are just as fulfilled and content with their new gender as with their old. If you offered them a chance to go back — some might take it, but not without regrets.

Todd asked, "So it evens out?"

"For those 75%, yes. They do find happiness as females, although they don't see one gender or the other as better. The things they like about girlhood cancel out the things they miss about boyhood."

"What about the rest?"

Ms. Barlow grinned. "For about 20%, they end up enjoying their new sex in a big way. They love being female and would never change back. Once they get a taste of femininity, they become true girly-girls — rather quickly. Weeks, or even days."

"You're kidding!" Todd exclaimed.

"Nope. For those 20%, the biggest question they have is 'How did I ever put up with being a boy?' — for obvious reasons, they have the easiest adjustment."

"You mean they wanted to be girls?"

"Not necessarily. While some may have had a subconscious desire to be female, most were amazed at their reaction. Once they had a girl's body, they found themselves at home in a way they never expected. It's actually rather fun to watch them. They all say 'Oh my god, I'm a girl... and... and I like it!'"

I did the arithmetic. "What about the remaining 5%?"

Ms. Barlow grew serious. "Time for more honesty. The final category of GB transformees is thankfully the smallest. They are the ones who never fully make the mental leap from male to female. No matter how much time and effort one of these kids puts in, she'll always feel as though she's a boy trapped in a girl's body."

"I know which category I'll be in," one of the others said bleakly.

"Oh no," Ms. Barlow responded. "There's absolutely no predicting who will turn out as what. We've had macho football jocks come through here, completely distraught, and found themselves happily shopping for prom dresses a month later. And we've had young men who were effeminate or outright gay really struggle with being girls. There's no rhyme or reason to this — so don't lock yourself into a mindset just yet. In a class of this size, I'd wager all of you will come to be delighted or at least content with your impending femininity."

There were expressions of doubt on all the faces around me. I was sure I mirrored them.

"Okay, I know you are all skeptical — all I can say is give it a chance. You may be pleasantly surprised. In the meantime, our next speaker is Doctor Christine Turley. She'll be telling you about what's happening to your bodies."

An older woman, maybe in her 40's entered. She had short dark hair and was wearing a lab coat. There seemed to be something of a stern manner about her.

"I like to get right down to it," she began. "Each one of you is going to be a girl — complete by every biological standard. You will have wider hips, narrower waists, smaller muscles. You'll grow breasts, ovaries, and a uterus. You'll develop a vagina — along with a clitoris. You will have to sit to urinate. You will have a woman's menstrual cycle — i.e. periods. You all will have PMS to one degree or another. Your sexual arousal will be female in nature — swelling of your vulva, breasts and nipples, lubrication of your vagina. Your sex drive will be that of a woman — including intense female orgasms that are quite different from a man's. If a male ejaculates inside you, you can — and most likely will — become pregnant. If you deliver a baby, your breasts will give milk. And some decades from now, you will all experience menopause."

Everyone was utterly still — the room filled with an atmosphere of silent horror.

Then she smiled, rather wryly. "There, that wasn't so bad, was it?"

Several of us actually gasped. Of course, I knew in theory all that was going to happen to me — but to listen to her spell it out was unnerving. I'd have to wear tampons inside my...yuck! I could become pregnant, labor pains and all. Worse yet was contemplating HOW I could get pregnant. The idea of a boy using his... penis to enter my body?

Eeeeeeeeewwwww!

"It's important for you not to have any illusions — none of you will retain any hint of male physiology. Each person in this class is transforming into a girl, and will grow up to be a woman. Denying that is pointless. The sooner you accept what's happening to your bodies, the sooner you can begin to accept things mentally.

"Now let me give you some history. Gender Biomorphism, or GB, has been around for just under three years. The first 5 cases appeared simultaneously in 5 different states. It took the CDC about 2 months to identify the phenomenon, by which time more than 150 additional boys were affected. Since the beginning, there have been over 6000 cases documented in America, along with another 500 overseas. Needless to say, the first wave of GB girls had a very traumatic time. Dozens of teenage boys found themselves turning into females with no warning — leaving them completely in shock. There were no support systems and the media sensationalized what was happening to the poor kids. Sadly, twenty of the newly created girls committed suicide. But the development of GRS and a general acceptance in society of the existence of GB has eased the pressure of transition. There hasn't been a suicide in over a year.

"No one knows how GB operates, or how it proliferates. The CDC has done intense epidemiological studies and proven that it is not spread by direct contact — GB is not contagious. There is absolutely no evidence of a bacteria or virus causing the change. We can only identify the presence of GB by looking for metabolites in the bloodstream — agents normally found in females."

We sat, raptly listening to Doctor Turley's briefing.

"The current theory is that GB operates in three phases. First, as you may recall from basic biology, males have an XY chromosome pattern. GB alters that to female XX in a matter of days. That's really not such a big deal in itself. In fact, if that were the extent of GB, the result would probably not even be visible."

I spoke, "Why isn't the chromosome change so important?"

"Because the impact of the XX/XY is greatest on a developing fetus — influencing the hormonal balance in the amniotic sac — guiding the baby to male or female. By the time a child nears adulthood, the sex of the body is fixed - for the most part. However, your change from XY to XX does lay a foundation for the rest of GB — so that any future cell growth in your body is based on a female matrix.

"Phase two of GB, for want of a better layman's term, is organ cloning. That is, your body draws upon existing tissues and literally incubates a female reproductive system, along with modifications to brain and endocrine structures. As an example, ovaries are forming in your abdominal cavities — the testes provide the raw material. Similar functions occur as your penises become vaginas and clitorises while your scrotums become vulvas. The uterus and fallopian tubes germinate from the unused penile protoplasm."

She continued. "However, not even that would give you a woman's body — for you would still have the skeletal structure, the height and appearance of males. This is where the third and least understood phase of GB comes into play. As the final step, GB somehow 'sculpts' your frame from the inside — reducing your height, reshaping your bones, especially the pelvis, and feminizing your faces and muscles."

"Any theory as to how?" Todd asked.

"Yes. Nanotechnology. The first two phases of GB — the change in chromosomes and the switch of reproductive organs - do occur elsewhere in nature, particularly in some species of fish. But the effect of GB's third phase is unprecedented anywhere on the planet. We believe a mechanical function is at work here — surgery at the cellular level to produce the final result."

"But that would mean GB is... artificial." I said slowly.

"That is the current thinking. And we have one definitive piece of evidence."

We waited for her to finish.

"Every boy affected by GB finishes the transformation with long hair, shoulder length or more."

It took me a moment to figure it out.

Then I said, "There's no biological reason for long hair on girls."

"Correct. Hair length is purely a cultural phenomenon — not tied to gender in a physical way. So if GB is producing long hair, it must be by design."

"You mean someone is doing this on purpose?" Todd said in a stunned tone.

"That's our conclusion. There is other evidence — every boy seems to come out as an unusually attractive female version of himself. And the high rate of successful adjustment to girlhood (75% + 20%) implies other changes to brain chemistry. But it's the hair length that really makes the case for deliberate planning."

"But isn't nanotechnology just getting started?" I asked.

"For most researchers, yes. But someone out there appears to be 'pushing the envelope'. This is a very new conclusion and has not been much discussed publicly. After all, there's absolutely no proof — it's like the early days of HIV — we can't take a picture of the bacteria / virus / nanobot."

"But who? And why?" Todd inquired.

"Believe me, that is the subject of the most covert and intense international investigation ever conducted. Scientists, doctors, universities, federal agents, detectives, law enforcement and intelligence agencies — everyone's trying to figure this out. One key clue was the initial appearance of GB — five different locales at once. I suspect we'll learn the existence of teams that are deliberately selecting and 'infecting' boys across the country — the 6000 so far may be a random sampling of the young male population to measure the success of GB."

Success? Good Christ! The idea that someone may have intentionally inflicted GB upon me filled me with anger. My dreams, my very manhood was being taken from me. I was about to be condemned to a lifetime of wearing panties and having periods! And all for a damned experiment?

If I ever got my hands on those responsible, I'd...

Then I looked down at my slender, nearly hairless arms. I'd what? Scratch their eyes out? Yank their hair? It's not like I could assert myself physically — after all, I'd just be a girl.

I had the most unusual mixture of rage and depression I'd ever felt.

The atmosphere in the class had become decidedly frosty, as we contemplated what we had just been told. My own emotions were reflected in the faces of the other 'boys'. I have to use the quotation marks because most of them were looking more feminine with each passing moment. It had been hard enough to accept GB as a natural, albeit freakish, occurrence. But to realize that this had been done to us on purpose made it even worse. I felt more helpless than ever.

Dr. Turley resumed. "I sympathize with your feelings. Even though I'm not going through what you are, I'm angry too. I'm a medical professional and the thought of those poor girls who committed suicide as a consequence of someone playing God with their bodies goes against everything I stand for. That's why I'm so determined to help you cope.

"So let's talk about what's next. You all are entering the final phase of GB. The foundation has been laid — your chromosomes have already changed to XX, your female sexual and reproductive organs are taking shape and your physiques are becoming more female. Once a threshold has been crossed, the effects of GB accelerate greatly. You'll become very sleepy and feel a strong need to rest. During this time, the last changes occur — including the full growth of your breasts, the final configuration of your vaginas and your faces will become completely feminine. While a few of you may be partially awake, most of you will be unconscious during this time. There is no pain."

"How long does this take?" Todd asked.

"About one to two hours. By the way, that has been considered as more evidence for deliberate design of GB. There are no known biological processes that can produce so much change so quickly. There are species of fish and insects that spontaneously switch sex — but only over a much longer period of time."

"And how long do we have left?" another 'boy' asked.

"All of you will finish changing over the next 24-72 hours. Some of you will be female by dinnertime."

We were quiet as we realized there was no escaping our fate.

Dr. Turley spoke again. "Okay. I've thrown a lot at you. Now, I'd like to introduce our next speaker. Please welcome Erin O'Donnell."

Another woman — no, a girl walked into the room. She was quite young — 16 or 17 at most. She had fine dark hair that reached to the small of her back. She was wearing a casual black skirt, rather short, and a white blouse — filled out by a very respectable set of breasts. Her long legs were smooth and bare — socks and flats completed her clothing. Instead of standing at the lectern, she pulled a chair to the front of the class and sat down.

I also noticed she was very good-looking. At least there was still enough male in me to appreciate a lovely girl — even if I couldn't do much with her any more.

She smiled at us winningly. "Hi! As Dr Turley indicated, my name is Erin. I'm a junior at Onandaga High — about 20 minutes away. I know you are going through some pretty amazing changes, and I'm here to help you with that."

Todd spoke, "How?"

"Because three months ago, I was sitting in one of your chairs."

She paused for a moment while we drew the obvious conclusion.

Todd continued, "You mean you used to be a..."

"Boy? Yep — my name was Eric, I played lacrosse and I loved to watch pro wrestling."

I was amazed. This was the first time I'd ever met anyone who'd been through GB all the way. She seemed so feminine — not just her very attractive body, but also her mannerisms. If anything, she appeared to be a bit more girly than average. In a million years, I never would have guessed she was once a boy.

"Believe me, I know exactly what you are feeling. When I first learned I had GB, I was horrified. I wasn't a stud, but I was 6'2, 190 and had no interest in being female. I liked girls, of course, both as friends and romantically — but I never saw myself becoming one. So I was convinced that GB would destroy my life. I'm here to tell you that I was wrong. There is life after GB."

"What kind of life?" I asked.

"A lot better than I ever imagined. The one thing that surprised me most was just how much... fun it is to be a female. I'd never expected that the day-to-day routine of girlfriends, boyfriends and simple femininity would be so fulfilling. It's different, I'll grant you that, but it's pretty special."

"I take it you're one of the 20%." Todd said.

"Not really — although I may be closer to the cusp than average. I don't believe that one sex or the other is innately superior. What I do believe is that being a girl is very rewarding in its own way — if you give it a chance."

"Would you go back?" I asked.

She stopped to consider for a moment. "Probably not. I do miss the physical prowess I had as a boy — but if I were to change back, I'd miss a lot more from the girl side of things."

"But you're, what, 5'7" and 120 pounds now?"

"I'll claim the height — never ask a lady her weight."

"Sorry. It's just that you're so much smaller and weaker as a girl. Aren't you afraid of boys and what they can do to you?"

"It's true that I'm vulnerable to boys in a way I obviously wasn't before. But I have power over boys myself."

"How so?" I pressed.

Erin didn't answer me. Instead, she just uncrossed and then re-crossed her lovely legs. She took her time doing so, and I found myself fascinated by the view up her short skirt. Drawing the motion out, the pretty girl briefly (no pun intended) revealed her very cute white lace panties to the class. She smiled at us and I suddenly reddened as I realized she had flashed us on purpose — and I reddened still further as I noticed every boy in the class had stared, transfixed, while she had done so.

"Does that answer your question?" she asked amusedly.

"Yeah, I guess," I replied, somewhat embarrassed.

"So now you see. A girl can instantly command the attention of just about any boy — and she can get him to do all sorts of favors. All she has to do is act a little sexy or flirty, and boys will be putty in her hands. It works even better if she's a babe, as all of you are likely to be.

"So, does that make everything even out? For me, yes. I know boys are much stronger than I am — but that strength is of little value to them, since society won't condone its use against me. After all, I'm a girl — and it's very wrong for a guy to hurt a girl. Truth be told, I was attacked more in the seventh grade, when I was a smaller-than- average boy. As a girl, particularly a cute one, you can inspire a chivalry in guys that works to your advantage."

She continued. "What I can tell you is that every one of you has the potential to have a great life as a girl. The key is patience. When I completed the transition, and saw myself as female for the first time, I couldn't imagine how I would cope. But I had a lot of help from my family and friends. During the initial seven days or so, I slowly got to know my body and I found the more time I spent as a girl, the more natural it felt. Yes, it seemed bizarre at first to have breasts, but a week or two later, it felt somehow... right... to have them. Same thing with the rest of me. There's an analogy I can try here. If you've know someone who had a nose job, there comes a time when they feel as though they've always looked that way. They actually forget what they looked like before. The mind is very adaptable."

We all started to ask questions.

"What was it like going back to school?"

"The first couple of days were very strange, of course — especially using girls' bathrooms and so on. And yeah, I was teased a bit. But then something very interesting happened. If you look like a girl, dress like a girl and act like a girl, most people will see you as a girl — and only a girl. After a week, it seemed as though most folks barely remembered me as a boy."

"So you dressed up all frilly at first?"

"Not too much — I did wear a skirt the first few days. And let me tell you, nothing communicates femininity to yourself and to those around you like wearing skirts and dresses. It's a very female feeling. But I didn't go for some extreme girly-girl look. No pantyhose or crinolines. I just tried to appear as a normal teenager."

"Yeah — I saw you kept your hair."

"That's a big one. If you're like me, you'll feel as though the first thing you want to do is cut it all off. My advice — hold onto it for a while — you can always shorten it later. But having the long hair — like the skirts — gets the point of your new gender across to everyone — including yourself."

"But what if I don't want to 'get the point across'?"

"I'd recommend making the attempt anyway — the one thing you can't do is be a boy. You don't want to be in some sexually ambiguous state. You'll suffer a lot more ridicule and you won't change a thing in any case. Wear a skirt, keep the hair and so on — just for a few days. You'll fit in a lot faster and you'll start to feel more feminine as well. After you get settled in, if you want to switch to jeans and pixie cuts — go for it."

"What about friends?"

"Expect a lot of differences. With the girls, I found myself growing very close to them — I could see things from their perspective. And I found out something else. Girlfriends communicate a whole lot better than guys do. I mean — when I was a boy, I had great friendships with other guys, but the feelings were always assumed — we rarely spoke of them. Girls are much more direct with their support and affection for each other. I really like my circle of female friends — they're one of the big reasons I'd be reluctant to change back."

"What about guys?"

"I still have very good friendships with boys. But, time to be honest here. You've been male all your lives — and you've had female friends. If she happens to be good looking — then in the back of your mind, you'll have a desire for her. Doesn't mean you ever expect anything to come of it — any subliminal attraction you may have won't get in the way of your friendship with her. But that feeling's always in the background. Most girls aren't aware of this — but since I was a boy for so long, I know how boys think. So, once you are a girl, it does change how you interact with the guys."

I thought of Sue. I'd always enjoyed my friendship with her — even in our platonic phase. But I'd had my share of fantasies then, too — I mean, she was so beautiful. If I became a pretty girl, then guys were going to have similar fantasies about me. Oy, vey!

"Same question, different topic. What about guys?" Another person was speaking up. "I can't even imagine kissing a boy, let alone having..."

"Been there, done that, got the T-shirt." Erin smiled. "When I first changed, I didn't want sex with anyone. I figured at best I'd be a lesbian. But GB seems to produce an interesting effect — you keep your orientation. That is, if you were hetero as a guy — you'll be hetero as a girl. If you were gay, you'll stay that way."

"That's so weird — I'd of thought it would be the opposite. I mean wouldn't a gay guy love the chance to be with other guys, once he was a girl?"

"That would seem to make sense, but it doesn't play out that way. Sexual orientation appears to be fixed, not malleable. Gays hit by GB still prefer to be with their own sex — which means other girls. And, as I can tell you, straights love the opposite. Once the hormones kick in, you'd be amazed how fast you'll change. It sure did for me."

"Maybe you were really gay yourself. Not that there's anything wrong with that."

Erin laughed. "Nope, I was always into girls. Literally. I'd had four girlfriends since the seventh grade — and I was no virgin as a guy. But after I spent a few weeks in a girl's body, things seemed to take over."

"I can't believe it."

Erin stood up. "Time for another demonstration." She walked over to the boy who'd made the comment, then she took him by the hand — they stood together at the front of the class. I noticed the boy had not yet been changed that much by GB. She reached out her hands, cupped his face and began to kiss him.

Automatically, his arms went around her. The kiss deepened — she was clearly setting the pace. After a few moments, they were outright necking — with heavy breathing and wandering caresses. One of her hands moved toward his crotch, not quite touching. Emboldened, he reached down to the hem of her short skirt, and began to lift it upwards.

All of us were in a state of arousal, watching this scene. Erin gave a soft, feminine gasp as her skirt was raised all the way to her waist, fully revealing the pretty panties she'd teased us with earlier. I noticed the fabric of her very girly underwear was patterned with little blue roses over the white background.

Both of them began to push their groins against each other as their passion grew. She made no move to cover up as the boy rubbed her curvy butt through her silky undies. Just when it seemed they were in danger of stripping completely, she broke away from him — panting heavily.

He was still focused on her — and with good reason. She took a few moments to collect herself, then she led him back to his chair. It occurred to me that was probably the last time he would ever kiss a girl — as a boy.

This was mind-blowing to consider. The lovely girl in front of me — who'd just proven her orientation in a big way (I could see her erect nipples poking against her blouse) — had once been a guy, over six feet tall. He'd played sports, hung out with the boys, even made love to a girl. But now... just look at him... her!

Still a little breathless, she turned to the class. "The biggest challenge you're going to face when it comes to your sexuality as girls is not how to be attracted to boys, but rather, how to stop in time. As a girl, it will take a bit longer for you to become aroused — but once you do, it's very hard to resist. A female body can be very demanding — it's all too easy for a girl to just get carried away. If I'd gone that far with him in the back seat of my car, well..."

The boy asked, "Are you a virgin as a girl?"

Erin smiled. "Yes. But I'm becoming more interested in taking the final step every day. The point I'm making here is that I was a normal guy, with normal desires. Now, I'm a normal girl, still with normal desires. After you get a taste, most of you will be the same. And there's one other thing to consider."

"What's that?" Todd asked.

"Wait until you get over the initial shock of transition — then I'd suggest a little personal time in a bath or bed. Just let your fingers do the walking."

She blushed prettily.

"Are you saying..."

"Yes. Oh, my yes. Once you discover ALL the pleasures of your body — being a girl will seem a lot more tolerable. It's much more intense than what I experienced as a guy. And, it helps you get into the proper frame of mind for... romance. Two words: shower nozzle."

I had to admit I was intrigued by that. What would a female orgasm feel like? It was difficult to envision, of course, since I couldn't even imagine having a vagina — and yet, I was going to find out. Interesting...

At that point, we took a break. We were paired up — Todd became my partner — and led to a dormitory area. Dr. Turley explained we would need to rest as much as possible. For obvious reasons, we were a little reluctant — knowing that we could fall asleep as boys...

And wake up as girls!

But I did feel tired, so I made no protest as Todd and I closed the door on our semi-private room, with two hotel style beds. There was a fair amount of literature on the nightstands — including a schedule of classes. I noticed the aforementioned courses on hairstyling and make-up — and also saw there was a one-hour class on underwear. A whole hour? For just underwear?

Todd spoke. "So what do you think?"

"Well, they are trying to be helpful. Knowing we're not alone makes it a lot easier to cope."

"You said it," Todd replied. "Can you imagine what it was like for those first boys — turning into girls without any explanation or support?"

"It's scary enough as it is. What did you think of Erin?"

"God, she's hot. I couldn't believe it when she made out with that guy."

"I couldn't believe she flashed us. It was straight out of 'Basic Instinct'. She's definitely all girl. She seems to be pretty content, though — I mean, she even likes to wear frilly panties. She's not the least bit butch."

Todd spoke again. "Maybe... maybe there's something to what she's saying — that if we give it a chance, we might actually like it."

"My mom said the same thing — but she's never been male, so how could she know? But I gotta admit — hearing it from Erin makes me feel better. If a jock like he must have been can enjoy it — maybe we can too."

"Let's hope so," Todd responded. "Because we don't seem to have a choice." He pulled off his shirt and stripped to his briefs. My eyes traveled to his chest — where I saw nipples even larger than mine atop two swellings that were well on their way to becoming... breasts.

I sighed, stripped to my underwear as well, and got into bed. Despite the strange surroundings, I zonked out rather quickly.

When I woke up — there was a topless girl asleep on Todd's bed.

My breath caught in my throat as I stared at her. She was stretched out above the covers, wearing only boy's briefs — which seemed tight around her flared hips and all too loose in the crotch. She had long blonde hair cascading luxuriously over the pillow and a very cute face. But my eyes were riveted to her chest — where a pair of lovely breasts graced by full nipples pointed skyward. I'd never seen a girl topless in person before and to see her chest, rising and falling with her breath, was almost inhumanly sexy to me.

Of course I knew it was Todd. GB was obviously finished with him... her. And as she lay there, she seemed to be having some kind of erotic dream. Her small hands were gently rubbing her belly as she smiled to herself — eyes still closed. A soft moan escaped from her wide lips as her hand reached still lower — into the boy's briefs that were completely unsuited for her changed body. I could see her hand moving about in the crotch of her underwear — searching... searching...

For what she would never find again, except between the legs of a man. Her eyes snapped open and a look of shock appeared. She sat up all at once and her hands immediately reached to cup her breasts — confirming the femininity that had been inflicted on her. Ignoring me completely, she rose and stepped unsteadily to the mirror, where she saw the girl she had become.

I found myself using the pronouns of 'her' and 'she' because that's how I saw her. Yeah, I knew that inside that pretty body was the mind of a normal boy — but there was no way I could make the connection to what my eyes saw on the outside. Todd was a girl, and if even I couldn't see the male he'd once been, then it was certain the rest of the world would not.

Todd just stood there, trying to take in the female body that was now hers. I saw a wide range of emotions on her face as she attempted to absorb the image in the mirror. I stepped up to help her.

"Are you all right?" I asked — possibly the most inane thing I could have said.

"Oh God," she gasped. "It really happened to me. Somehow I thought I would just wake up and still be a boy... but I'm a g... gir... girl!"

I said nothing — reaching out touch her — when suddenly I felt a ferocious itching in my nipples. A great lassitude seemed to come over me and I staggered. Todd caught me just as I fell and she helped me back to my bed. I lay down — struggling to stay awake.

Todd spoke. "I think it's your turn now, Jack," she said sadly.

I knew she was right — but I tried to fight it. I was finally at the moment of truth — and despite my attempts to steel myself for what was about to happen — I felt pure panic. I couldn't even talk — all I could do was mentally plead for help — useless of course. Oh, please stop this! I don't want to be a girl! I don't want to wear bras — I don't want to have a...a pussy! Please let me stay a boy! I want to grow up to be a man, not a woman! Please...

But I might as well have been talking to the Borg. Resistance was futile.

I could actually feel myself changing with every second, could feel the new vagina delving deep between my legs. GB was winning its final victory — transforming me into the young woman I was doomed to be. It was like a near-death experience as I felt more and more distant from my body. After a few minutes, I simply passed out.

When I awoke, I knew. I didn't have to touch my chest or reach down below — I could sense it through every inch of my form.

I was no longer a boy.

I was now a girl.

This wasn't some gradual realization — it was instantaneous. If I had to pick one feeling above all other, it would be my chest. Lying on my back, I had to look UP to see my huge nipples — which tingled a bit from the cool air. And the breasts? They were enormous! Horrified, I sat up — my tiny hands reached to cup my new chest — my nipples instantly hardened against my palms.

My god, my breasts were so... heavy! I felt their weight tugging firmly against my torso as I leaned forward. An hour ago, my chest was that of an 11 year old. Now, I had the body of a... woman!

But I was distracted by the cape of hair sweeping across my shoulders and down my back. I could actually sense the pressure of the long hair pulling against my scalp. I stood up unsteadily. Between the heaviness of my gigantic breasts and lengthy tresses, it was a wonder I didn't fall over.

I took my first tottering steps — which felt so different, so wrong. My legs seemed to be incorrectly attached to my hips — hips that were as wide as my shoulders. Jesus, I'm a freak! I've been turned into some hyper-voluptuous Playboy centerfold! My... tits are bouncing around like Anna Nicole Smith! I must look like a stripper!

I pulled my boys briefs down silky smooth legs and lurched over to the mirror.

And amazingly, I felt relieved. For my reflection was not that of an overdeveloped bimbo from a late-night Cinemax movie.

What I saw in the mirror was normal.

For a girl, that is.

A naked teenage girl.

This was the first time in my life I'd ever actually seen a naked girl. I'd dreamed of the first moment when the mystery of a woman's body would finally be revealed to me. I just never expected the body to be mine! To be sure, Hal and I had poured over Penthouse just like most adolescent boys. So I had some idea of the appearance of the nude female form. And despite our youth and inexperience, we were aware enough to know that 'real' girls wouldn't look so over-the-top anyway.

But to see an unclad young woman in person... well! The mirror revealed her in all her feminine glory. She had a very cute face, full lips and absolutely huge blue eyes. Her fine, light brown hair was very long, very straight and fell all the way down to the small of her back. Her shoulders and arms were quite slim, but not emaciated. Her breasts were indeed large, but hardly centerfold quality. I couldn't guess their size — her small frame made perspective difficult. They seemed very rounded, though — not pointy at all. Her rib cage tapered down to a narrow waist, flaring back out to hips that were wide, but somehow seemed a bit smaller that what many girls her age might have. Her legs may have been her best feature — very smooth and elegant.

Overall, her body was extremely athletic — for a girl. And of course, my eyes were drawn to the place between her legs — rising all at once from the base of her belly — the thin delta of dark brown hair that looked like an arrow, pointing to her... vagina. Her crotch was clearly female — the pinkish lips just visible beneath the downy curls.

I stared, mesmerized. She was very pretty — almost beautiful. Her body was wonderfully proportioned for a young woman who exercised regularly.

This is what I've become?

And as I moved, so did the girl in the glass. If you've ever seen that classic comedy sketch with Harpo Marx and Lucille Ball, where one mirrors the other's movements — then you know what I was hoping for. I wanted the girl to break character, to move on her own — and prove that she was not me.

But of course, she didn't. For I was her.

At this point, my mind was spinning more than Brian Boitano with an inner-ear infection inside a centrifuge (thank you, Dennis Miller). I still felt a sense of relief that my body was not some Jessica Rabbit exaggeration of femininity. But I was dismayed to see there was no trace of my male self left. But I sure was cute! And yet I felt like my breasts were huge balloons, my arms were like sticks and my hips were so wide you could shelve books on them.

But when I looked in the mirror — I saw a very attractive, normal female body. So I knew my breasts were not really so huge, my arms were okay and so forth. Yet I was a girl! So I felt lost, confused. But I was a naked girl! And so my male mind was intrigued by my exposed female body. But I missed my penis — I felt so empty... down below! But there was a girl's vagina right in front of me — waiting for me to explore its mysteries!

And on and on...

The array of emotions cascading down on me was more diverse than a Benetton ad campaign. Shock, curiosity, sadness, fear, fascination and even a little arousal. I felt dizzy from it all — I staggered over to the bed and sat down on a butt that clearly had more padding than before. I took a couple of deep breaths, watching in amazement as my... boobs jiggled. I was just reaching up to cup them when the door opened.

It was a nurse. "Oh!" she said, seeming a little surprised. "You're finished."

"Well, that's one way to put it," I responded, my voice even higher than before.

She smiled ruefully. "I'm sorry — that's not what I meant. How do you feel?"

"I guess I feel like a girl — whatever that means."

"Don't worry, you'll figure it out soon enough. Are you in any pain?"

"I'm a little dizzy, otherwise I'm okay."

I looked down and gave a start. I'd forgotten I was nude, female and having a conversation with a woman who appeared to have smaller breasts than me. I shuddered.

The nurse quickly came to my side and threw a blanket over my shoulders. "You need to take it very slow for a little while yet. I'll be back in about 15 minutes — we need to give you a physical. There are some clothes in the drawer that should fit you. Don't worry — nothing too frilly." Her manner was reassuring and I was grateful for that.

She began to leave, then turned back to me. "I feel kind of special. I'm the very first person to see you as a girl. It's almost like being in the delivery room. Just hang in there — you will adjust. You're very pretty, if it's any consolation."

It wasn't. The last thing I wanted to hear were compliments on my looks. After all, if I'm attractive — I'd have to consider who I'd be attracting. I got up, still unsteady and walked over to the dresser. Inside the drawer were a few articles of clothing. I pulled them out and took inventory. One pair gray sweatpants — okay. One tank top - okay. One pair underpants.

Not okay. For they were girls' underpants. As I held them up, I noticed they were very simple. White cotton, no lace, no flowers. A slight scalloping of the waistband was the only concession to femininity. But it didn't matter.

They were still... panties.

Before GB, I'd always thought of the term 'panties' as cute, even a little sexy. But now, it seemed a bit condescending. 'Panties' was a word you'd expect a four year old to use. For a grown woman to have her underpants referred to in such a childish fashion somehow made her less adult, more like a little girl. Which made it all the harder for her to be accepted as an equal. I remembered an old episode of 'All In The Family', when Archie Bunker proclaimed "in my household, the money will be earned by the ones who wear the pants in the family, not the panties!"

And now I would have to wear them. Slowly, I reached down to pull them on. My breasts seemed to dangle pendulously all the way to the floor as I bent over. I pulled the underwear up my so smooth legs to my hips and snugly against my female crotch. Oh! Despite the conservative style, just wearing these panties made me feel... girly. I mean, I really didn't know what feeling 'girly' was like, but I definitely didn't feel like a boy. The fabric was so much softer than my male briefs. The elastic on the legbands hugged my butt in a strange way. The underwear seemed to be cut similar to a low rise set of boys' briefs — except for a little higher on the hip. But most remarkable was the feel of the panties pressing between my legs. No bulge of a penis. No adjustments to make — for I had nothing to adjust. The panties made me feel bereft of manhood, the flatness between my legs confirming that all I had was a... vagina.

I keep using the terms vagina and breasts as opposed to pussy, hooters, etc. As a boy, I'd occasionally referred to girls' anatomy with the earthier language. But now, I felt such names were somehow... degrading. I certainly didn't want to have a vagina. But I wanted a cunt even less. The scientific terminology didn't feel quite as embarrassing. I have no choice about being a girl — but I wasn't going to use the harsher appellations that would reduce me to a set of body parts.

Anyway, it did feel a little better to have the panties on — I wanted to cover myself up. I pulled the tank top over my head and actually had to tug it over my breasts. My god, my chest seemed larger with the top on than off! A tight blouse can enhance even a small-breasted woman. For me, my breasts seemed to push my top out so far — and the huge nipples were visible through the ribbed cotton.

I realized then that I would never truly be able to conceal my chest. Oh, I could prevent the direct exposure of skin — but the presence of my breasts would forever be undeniable. For the rest of my life, everywhere I went my breasts would precede me, announcing to the world: "Look everybody — she's a girl!"

Clad about as well as I could be for the moment, I went back to the mirror to take stock. What I saw was a typical teenager, dressed as if she were lounging around the house. I noticed something else — I appeared younger than as a boy. The girl in the mirror looked about 15 years old. And that was also dismaying to me, for the last thing a teenager of either gender wants is to look more youthful. Whether it's girls layering on the makeup or boys struggling to grow a mustache, every teenager seeks to seem older than his/her age. Yet GB had taken a couple of years off my appearance — which made me feel even more vulnerable.

But, god, this girl was cute! She... I... bore a striking resemblance to the actress Michelle Tractenberg — who plays Dawn on 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'. We weren't twins — my hair was a little darker and longer and her lips were fuller than mine — but we could have passed for cousins. Our body types were similar as well — slender, full- breasted, with hips that were slightly smaller than average for a girl, but very feminine in terms of curves.

You have to understand I still had a disconnect between what I saw in my reflection and what I felt from my body. Dressed in the simple tank and sweatpants, I looked quite normal — even though my senses were screaming to me that my breasts were Hindenberg-class and my ass wouldn't fit in a movie theater seat. I hoped the adjustment Erin had spoken of wouldn't take too long — I still felt freakish.

The door opened and the nurse led me down the hall to the examining room. It looked just like any other treatment facility with a long table, covered with paper, and cabinets filled with supplies. I also noticed two strange brackets projecting from one end of the table — which almost resembled stirrups.

Uh, oh.

I realized then I was about to undergo a profound initiation into my new girlhood — a gynecological exam. I knew virtually nothing about them, except that most women didn't care for the experience. The nurse remained with me and Dr Turley, still in her white coat, entered the room.

"Okay Jack — I see you've completed the physical transition. I know you are very disoriented and confused right now — I just need to know if you are feeling any pain."

"No," I replied softly. "I do feel very weird, but it doesn't hurt."

"Good. You've probably guessed what is next. We need to verify the full results of GB and we need to make sure there are no medical issues with your new reproductive organs. I've endured a number of these exams — so I know it is intimidating. But as a woman myself, I promise to make this as comfortable as possible. Regular gynecological exams are crucial for women and girls to maintain good health. You've got a more complex body than before and it does need more maintenance."

She spoke in a sober tone, but there was a kind look to her eyes. Then she asked me to undress down to my panties. Slowly I complied. I noticed I was already starting to feel shy about having my breasts exposed, and I was glad there were only females in the room. I just wish I weren't one of them. While I sat on the table, Dr Turley showed me how to perform a self-examination for lumps and cautioned me about the risks of cancer. By the time she was done kneading my chest, I felt rather sore. They certainly were sensitive!

She spoke then. "I have to admit, I'm more than a little jealous — you have a lovely pair of breasts. I know that's not high on your list of priorities, but at least GB gives you an aesthetically pleasing body."

"Problem is, Doctor, we have different standards of aesthetics," I responded.

Then things got very serious. I removed my panties, scooted down to the end of the platform and placed my feet into the stirrups. The nurse draped a blanket over my chest, but I was still nude below the waist.

Never had I experienced a sense of exposure like this. With my legs spread so far apart and nothing between them but a vagina, I felt somehow extra naked — as if I were physically revealing my very soul.

Dr Turley spoke. "Okay, Jack — here we go. I'm going to insert a speculum into your vaginal canal and examine your cervix for abnormalities. You'll feel a pinching effect — I'll try to be very gentle." She then spread jelly on a plastic set of 'spoons' and moved her chair between my legs.

I began to tremble — my whole body was shaking. The nurse patted my hand and spoke reassuring words — it helped a little. Then, I felt a bizarre stretching sensation where my scrotum once was, followed by a feeling of... penetration — into an opening my body never had before. It was so surreal that I almost didn't notice the pain. Almost.

God, I felt so... complicated down there! And very delicate as she probed deeper inside me. The speculum seemed huge — filling me more than I imagined possible. While Dr Turley was examining me, she was calling out observations to the nurse. At one point I heard her say, "Patient's hymen is of normal appearance and dimension. She has no abnormalities of her cervix."

I felt a double whammy. 'Hymen'? That meant I was a virgin. Which made sense in a weird way, since I was a virgin as a boy. I wondered if Erin, who'd lost her virginity as a male, had a hymen when GB finished her.

So I was 'cherry'? Very unsettling to realize I was that anatomically correct as a girl.

Added to that was the strangeness of hearing the feminine pronouns of 'her' and 'she' used to refer to me. I knew it was inevitable — I'd thought of Todd the same way when she had completed her transformation. But to be identified as female in such a casual fashion drove home the dramatic change I'd undergone. It was far more than just physical — I'd entered a whole new world.

Much to my relief, Dr Turley completed the exam. I felt oddly 'open' once the speculum was removed and the excess jelly was uncomfortable. The nurse helped me to clean up — as I was doing so, I experienced just a hint of pleasure as my vulva was gently rubbed. I quickly put it out of my mind — I didn't want to consider my sexuality in any way.

I got dressed again, realizing I was actually grateful to pull up my girl's panties and achieve some modesty at last. Dr Turley reported everything was normal. Then she began a very detailed discussion of the female body, complete with pictures. This included descriptions of various functions, highlighting the obvious need to wipe after urination — which of course had to be done sitting down. Menstruation was also part of the program, as I leaned at age 17 what most girls learned at age 10. Back when I was in grade school, I remember some gym classes segregated by sex, while each watched certain films. The boys had always wondered what the girls' movies were all about — even at that age, femininity was a forbidden mystery to me.

Not any more. And frankly, I could have done without learning about these secrets. Pads, tampons, pantiliners and all the rest seemed intimidating, not to mention awkward. Apparently, I'd still have a 'package' in my underwear for several days a month — just not the one I was used to. Then there were the various infections I'd have to watch for. By the time she was done, I felt overwhelmed, exhausted and vulnerable.

Noting this, Dr. Turley concluded. "Jack, I know you've been through a lot — but you are handling things very well. It may seem that girlhood is very daunting, almost frightening. But I can assure you it will feel normal soon enough. And there are rewards as well. I believe Erin spoke to the class about personal 'experimentation'. Remember our discussion of the clitoris. I'd recommend it for you — it will help you get in tune with your body and you may find being a girl can be quite pleasant."

I had my doubts. I didn't even want to have a vagina — let alone go on some spelunking expedition up inside of it. I preferred to pretend it just wasn't there — which was actually easier to do than you might think. Most of the time, I wasn't even aware of my female organs — though I was acutely aware of the void between my legs. But that was more a result of my missing my penis, rather than sensing my new opening.

As the nurse led me to a cafeteria, I came to another understanding. The Lord taketh away, but the Lord also giveth. I felt empty down below — but the presence of my breasts more than made up for it. Every step I took produced a jiggling sensation — my swollen nipples felt as though they were floating in space, far in front of my torso. The tank top stretched against my breasts, producing an itching feeling that was half irritating, half pleasant.

I arrived at the cafeteria, famished. Ravenous, I loaded up a tray with various salads, pastas, etc. The room had two groups of people, the guys from the class who were still male, and those who... weren't. I joined the second group. Birds of a feather.

Todd was already there, halfway through her meal. She looked up at me.

"Jack?"

"In the flesh."

"Jesus, you're pretty. How are you doing?"

"About the same as you, probably. I'm just trying to hang in there."

Two other girls were with us. One was a cute redhead with an array of adorable freckles, the other was perhaps the most beautiful of us all — classic Ethiopian features and a flawless dark mocha complexion. Both, like Todd and myself, were utterly feminine in appearance. They were dressed in the same casual combo I had on — and all four of us filled out our tops very well. In fact, I may have had the edge in that category, though the others were certainly no slouches.

Great. I'm not only a girl, I'm stacked to boot.

The redhead introduced herself as Billy, the black girl as Jerome. It was so incongruous to hear the masculine monikers used by such attractive young women, and I realized for the first time I was going to have to change my own name. We attempted small talk for a few minutes before we started to discuss the day's events. During our conversation, we noticed the other table of boys casting surreptitious glances at us. I could guess was going on. Half of their attention was based on male appreciation for four pretty girls in tight tops. The other half would be wonder: "Am I going to look like that?"

I could understand their interest, for the three girls I was sitting with were very captivating in appearance. In my old male form, I probably would have had a semi just from seeing their nipples poking out the thin cotton fabric. In this body though, desire manifested itself in a different way — I felt a slight tingle in my own chest and a hint of warmth between my legs. I quickly turned my thoughts away.

"So, what did you think of the exam?" Billy asked.

"All the dignity of a 'Jerry Springer' episode," I responded.

"It was sooo embarrassing!" Todd chimed in. "And to think we've got to go through it every year." She shook her head, her blond hair waving.

"Just wait till we have babies," Billy said. We all looked at the freckled girl in shock.

"There's no way I'm ever going to let a guy get me in that condition," Jerome said emphatically. Todd and I seconded the opinion.

Billy smiled at us. "I wouldn't be so sure. Remember Erin?"

I had to credit that. Erin had not been shy about her female sexuality. She had been very willing to make out with a boy. And if could happen to her, then...

Todd said to Billy, "You don't seem all that upset about the prospect."

"That's because I'm not. I kind of like being... this way." She looked down at herself, contemplating her new form.

"Already?" I asked incredulously.

"Dr. Turley did say 20% of the boys ended up preferring life as girls. I feel... special as a female. I can't really describe it, but there's something about this body that appeals to me. I even like the idea of dressing it up. I'm looking forward to seeing how I look in lingerie, skirts and all the rest." She blushed, but met our eyes steadily.

"Did you want to be a girl before GB?"

"Nope. I'd always been a little curious about what it might feel like, but I was happy as a guy. But it's as though some kind of switch was thrown inside me — I'm really excited about all this." She seemed almost bubbly.

"Even the exam, didn't that faze you?" Todd asked.

"Actually, it was almost like... validation. As if it proved how female I am. And I liked having it proven."

Wow. Granted, Billy looked like a very attractive, perfectly normal young woman. So for her talk about wanting to wear skirts and frilly underwear made sense at face value.

But she'd been a boy six hours ago!

"How can you stand this?" Jerome asked her. "I hate it!"

I looked at the lovely dark-skinned girl, her haunted face framed by glossy black curls. She continued in a low but heated tone, "Every breath I take I feel these... these tits. I'm so fucking small and weak, I've got this pussy between my legs and I know damn well what I look like. Every guy will want to jump me. And I'm gonna have to wear bras, have periods and all this other girly shit. I don't want any of this. And you sit there and say you can't wait to get into a dress? How? Tell me how you can cope with this — cause I can't see living another day in this body, let alone a lifetime."

It was Billy's turn to seem shocked. And since Jerome detested her new body to the same extreme Billy loved hers, neither could see the other's perspective. As for me, I felt I was closer to Jerome's position than Billy's. But I wasn't at the point of despair. I'd jump at a chance to go back, but now that the worst had happened, I thought I could at least live with it. Hearing Jerome say otherwise made me scared for her. I remembered Doctor Turley's story about the suicides.

I tried to reassure Jerome. "I'm not thrilled with this either. But it's not like we have to put on tutus and join a dance team. If we just take it slow and look out for each other, we can get through this."

She looked flatly back. "You think it's going to be any easier for you, white girl? With that alabaster skin of yours, that perfect hair and those nipples you could dial a phone with? Your chest alone is going to make every dude hard. Or are you like Billy here — all ready to put on crotchless panties and go trolling for studs?"

All three of us were taken aback at the vehemence of her speech. The expression on her face softened. "I'm sorry, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to take it out on you. I guess I'm just acting like a... bitch." She smiled wryly for a brief instant. "It's just so hard for me. I know it's no joyride for you, but being black makes it different."

"How?" Todd asked, brushing her blond hair back.

"Do I have to explain it? African-American culture places a great deal of value on brothers being tough, strong, and independent — due to what we have to go through in this society. And before you interrupt, I know white boys are supposed to be all macho, too. But be honest, it's not the same. You've seen the movies, read the books, listened to the music — you know what the image is — a black man never wants to appear anything less than in total control of himself."

Tears welled up in her huge dark eyes. "But how can I be in control when I'm in the middle of PMS, or have to worry about my skirt flying around on a windy day, or some guy takes a shine to me and he outweighs me by a hundred pounds?"

I'd thought about those things too. I'd already come to understand being a girl meant surrendering a certain sense of independence. Between the body and the culture, it was difficult for a girl to feel in command of... anything. Of course, Erin's demonstration earlier today (remember when she flashed us?) had proven that girls did have some power. But to take advantage of it meant fully accepting being a girl in every way. Billy may have been up to it, but I doubted I was — and it was for sure Jerome was not.

"I'm sorry," was all I could say to her.

She looked at me and smiled, which made her even more gorgeous. "Don't worry, Jack. I'm not going to do anything bad — I'm just frustrated, that's all. Actually, you're the one who's got the biggest challenge. Are you going to keep running the mile as a girl?"

"You know about me?"

"Hell, yeah. I'm more into sprints, myself — but everybody in the track world is up on you. So are a lot of other people. Breaking the four-minute mile? Damned impressive."

It was my turn to be morose. "It doesn't look like I'll ever do it again."

Jerome didn't try to spin it. "It's a tough break for both of us, man." I winced at her use of the term 'man'. She turned to Todd. "How are you doing?"

The pretty blonde replied, "Not too bad so far. Having four sisters kind of paved the way for me."

She was about to continue when a nurse came up and said it was bedtime. As we said good night to each other, we seemed a little bit more at ease than before. It was definitely true — GRS was helpful. Just being able to talk to other guys... girls who were going through the same thing made it better.

Todd and I arrived back in our room — dreading what was coming. We had to get ready for bed. I went ahead of her — into the bathroom where brushing my teeth was the first normal thing I'd done today. I washed my face, marveling at how it felt different to my hands — the slope of my nose, the shape of my chin. And the skin was so soft, so clear! I'd never had many problems with acne as a boy, but now my complexion seemed almost to glow. I constantly had to brush my hair back — a mannerism I was learning quickly.

It was still surreal to look in the mirror and see someone else's face. Yes, there was a slight resemblance to my former self — but for all practical purposes, I'd become another human being. And I had no idea who she was.

God, would I ever get used to this?

As I cleaned up, I was intrigued by how tiny my hands were. They seemed no bigger than Sue's — almost like the hands of a child. And yet they were so fine, so evenly proportioned. I spent nearly five minutes just looking at them. I'd never smoked a joint (bad for training) but I imagined I looked like someone who was high, fascinated by the mundane in a Thoreau-like way.

Todd knocked on the door, her soprano voice asking if I was all right. I said yes, then proceeded to the final shock my body had in store for me tonight. I needed to pee. I stared at the bowl at which I would never aim again. No writing my name in the snow for me. Slowly, I tugged down my pants and panties, and sat.

And sat. And sat.

I had to concentrate to learn what muscles to relax. Just when I was about to give up, the stream suddenly erupted from my body. I gave a little gasp as it happened — it seemed as though I had less control over things than before. I know it's silly, but I missed being able to direct the flow. When it was over, I carefully wiped as I'd been shown. God! To put my hands between my legs and feel nothing but space was eerie. But the sensation of my... vulva being touched was even eerier. So sensitive! I kept my eyes forward during all of this. My vagina was set back a little further between my legs — which was for the best since I had no desire to look at it.

Now that may seem strange to you, since a vagina represents the most physical aspect of femininity. And after all, I'd spent my life as a male, so here was the chance to learn all about it. As a boy, I'd always been extremely curious about what a woman looked like down there. Yes, I'd seen Playboy, etc — but I knew the 'live' experience would be much more intense. So here I was, with the mystery of girlhood right in front of me at last — yet now I felt uncomfortable, almost repulsed by it. If this vagina had been on some other girl, then I would have been delighted to check things out. But on my body? It just didn't excite me.

I washed up and turned the bathroom over to Todd. I removed my pants and got into bed. I spent the time watching my chest rise and fall with my breath. After about 10 minutes, she came out, white-faced and almost shaking, dressed in her tank top and white cotton panties — same style as mine. She had very nice legs, I noticed with a little delight.

"Are you okay?" I asked her.

"I'm not sure. It's just so... so bizarre to see myself like this. I mean, I love my sisters, but I never wanted to become one of them! And yet now, I'll fit in just fi... fine. We'll talk about clothes and boys and periods and I'll... I'll be just like they are!"

She sat down on the bed and began to cry.

"Jack, I... I don't know if I can do this! I was happy being a guy — but to see these breasts and my... female parts — I'm not really Todd any more. I'm this... this girl!"

I went over to her and put my arms around her slim shoulders. I just let her speak.

"My name's going to have to change. But I don't know what to pick! Toddrina? Toddra? It's just so ridiculous."

She continued to sob and I felt a strangely mothering instinct. I pulled her head to my chest and cradled the petite blonde in my slender arms. Already, the social aspect of being a young woman was kicking in. As a guy, another guy would have never cried in front of me. And even if he had, the most I would have done was pat his shoulder. But as a girl, comforting another girl by cuddling with her seemed perfectly natural. Although I was still boy enough to be a little turned on by hugging a cute female in her underwear.

"For you, Jack, it's got to be easier. You can go with Jackie — so you can still keep some of your identity."

I'd already considered that. But my painful encounter with Andy Marks, where he'd mockingly called me Jackie had spoiled the choice. Then too, using 'Jackie' seemed almost a cop-out — as if I were still trying to hold on to some semblance of my former existence. Erin and the other counselors were right — I could never be Jack any more — one look in the mirror or down my top proved that. I was someone else entirely now, so I needed a whole new name.

How about Stephanie?

I don't know why it popped into my head, but it seemed to fit.

Stephanie Lind.

A nice name — for a girl.

Todd was still snuggling against my breasts and that interesting new tingling feeling was beginning in my nipples. I gently pulled her up and told her my choice for my name. Then I suggested one for her.

"How about Tamara?"

She paused for a moment. "You know what — that's not bad! I could shorten it to Tammie or even Tam. A woman's name, but a lot better than Becky or Sue."

I nearly laughed — but I kept silent. I knew my two best female friends liked their names, but I could understand how they might have been a little too girly for Todd... Tamara to handle.

She hugged me then, and the feel of our breasts pressing together was stunning, our nipples poking almost aggressively into each other. We broke the hug, a little astonished at the erotic sensation. Our eyes met for a moment and we looked away in embarrassment. We got back into our beds and turned out the lights.

She spoke to me in the dark. "Thanks for being there for me — you're a really sweet gir... oh! I'm sorry, I didn't mean to call you a..."

"Girl?" I finished. "I may not want to be one and I don't know anything about how to be one, but I have to admit... that's what I am."

She sighed. "That's what we both are."

"Good night... Tamara."

"Good night... Stephanie."

The name echoed in my mind as I lay in bed.

I'm not a boy named Jack.

I'm a girl named Stephanie.

The impossibility of that statement jarred with its reality. And forget about sleep. I was learning, as generations of full-breasted females had before me, that a well-developed chest was quite a distraction when trying to rest. My nipples reacted to the slightest pressure, and the sheer bulk of my breasts shifted against my body with every move. When I turned on my side, I could actually feel the weight of one breast on top of the other. And there was no chance I could sleep on my stomach now.

I tossed and turned, trying to get comfortable. Resolutely, I forced my thoughts away from the vagina that nestled between my legs, waiting to be explored. Then there was the hair — spilling over the pillow and falling across my face. While I tried to settle down, I thought I heard a few muffled sobs coming from Tamara's bed.

A few came from my bed as well.

But I finally did fall into a deep sleep — dreamless, thank God, and I awoke to the sound of a shower running. Tamara's bed was empty and I got up slowly. Walking to the mirror, I could see nothing had changed — my reflection was that of a teenage girl in her panties and top, eyes a little puffy, hair mussed. The male I had been was a little excited at seeing a young woman in a state of undress, but fortunately, I was still too disoriented to react to it.

Tamara came out of the bathroom, towel wrapped around her girl-style, with a plastic shower cap. She seemed a little calmer than last night — in fact, there was almost a glow about her. She pulled off the cap and smiled at me.

"Better use one of these — it'll take forever to dry this much hair. One advantage of having four sisters — I know a fair amount about female routines."

I walked into the bathroom, took off my underwear and stepped into the shower. The hot water felt very good as I lathered up my incredibly smooth and hairless skin. I had to cup my breasts from the spray — they were so sensitive! As I soaped down, I found myself beginning to enjoy washing my breasts — the combination of warm water and lather was... stimulating. Almost without willing it, my hands began to stroke my nipples, which quickly became more swollen than ever. This may sound odd, but the best way to describe the sensation of having breasts was as if I had two large semi-erections on my torso — firm but not stiff, growing more pleasurable the closer to the tips I stroked. My breathing grew ragged, and I felt a moisture between my legs that was not water.

I realized with a start that several minutes had passed. I'd become lost in the feelings of my girlish body! Dismayed at how easily I had succumbed to female sexuality, I finished quickly. I noticed there was a shower nozzle attachment and I also noticed some droplets of water on it. I thought back to what Erin had said about experimentation, and then I thought of the glow on Tamara's face as she'd left the bathroom. Good for her — if it helps her cope, so much the better. It wasn't for me, though.

For I wanted nothing to do with a girl's sex drive. Yes, I accepted I was female because I had no choice. But I didn't want to imagine arousal, for I couldn't imagine...boys. I was still repulsed at the idea that I would become attracted to males —no matter that the experts said it would happen. At the very least, I wanted to put it off until I could control things.

But my body was not only that of a female, it was that of a teenager. Which meant I had the elevated hormones all kids had. Girls' hormones. Which in turn meant my body would have a mind of its own, so to speak. The last thing I wanted was to find myself lusting for boys — being forced by my body to desire them, against my will.

So I didn't want to get acquainted with my female needs — at all. For once a girl got started, as Erin's demonstration had proved, there was no guarantee she could stop.

Drying off, I stepped outside where Tamara was waiting. She smiled at me, and looked me over. I could hardly blame her — a naked girl was toweling down right in front of her. The part of her that was still Todd was enjoying the view. I wasn't bothered by her interest, though. After all, we were both female — she was no threat to me.

"How was your shower?"

"Wet," I replied curtly. Then I lightened my tone. "Sorry — I'm having a little trouble this morning."

"I understand. Did you try out any of the... attachments?" she said mischievously.

"No chance. I ended up enjoying myself more than I wanted to — just from my chest alone."

"Yeah — a girl's body is rather sensitive, isn't it? I experimented a little... down below."

This did interest me. "How was it?"

"Very different. And quite intense. I didn't get very far — but if what I felt was an indicator of things to come..."

"Please tell me that pun was accidental."

She giggled. "Yes. As much as I hate to admit it, there may be some advantages to being this way. I've got a feeling sex as a girl is going to be a lot more... extreme than as a boy."

"Just so long as I don't have to involve any boys myself." I shuddered.

She grew more serious as I pulled on a fresh pair of panties. The female underwear still felt so odd. "I know what you mean," Tamara said. "The idea of guys is... intimidating."

"Not to mention repulsive."

Tamara didn't reply. I wondered if she was ahead of me on the path toward a girl's mind. A nurse knocked and told us to report to the cafeteria for breakfast. There we found Billy and Jerome. None of the remaining boys had transformed overnight, so the four of us took a table again.

Billy spoke first. "Pick a name yet?"

"Stephanie," I replied.

"Tamara," the former Todd echoed. "You?"

"Beth."

"That's cute," Tamara said.

"So are your two names," Billy, now Beth told us.

"Yeah, we're just such adorable girly-girls, aren't we?" Jerome chimed in sarcastically.

"Well, when in Rome..." Tamara said.

"I want a ticket out of Rome," Jerome shot back. "I want to go to MANchester or MANanagua or MANchuria or..." She tried to think of another one. "MANdalay!"

I couldn't resist. "How about GUYana?"

Jerome said, "That'll work. Hell, I'd even take Boise!"

We ran out of steam at that point.

Beth tried to put a positive look on it. "I know this is harder for you than me, Jerome — and I don't think Stephanie's too happy about it either. But if we have to be girls, at least we're young, healthy and very good-looking. That's not a bad way to go through life."

A sad smile spread across Jerome's lovely face. "I was young, healthy and very good-looking before all this." We chuckled.

I spoke to Beth and asked the pretty redhead if she still felt the same way as she did last night.

"Oh, yes, Stephanie — especially after my shower." She blushed. "If I were offered a chance to go back now, I might just turn it down. This is... exciting!"

Jerome shook her head. "My hat's off to you, Beth — but I can't see how you feel like this."

"Just give it time, Jerome. Speaking of which, have you chosen a name yet?"

"You know I don't want to. Picking a girl's name for myself would be like saying I agree with everything that's happened."

Tamara interjected. "I hear you, Jerome. But it's like we were told yesterday — the rest of the world is not going to change for us. They'll see us as girls, and if we have boy's names, we'll just get more negative attention."

"Intellectually, I know you're right... Tamara. But I'm still a man in my heart — even though I'm carrying these tits above it. I know I have to go along to get along, but it's..." her lips began to tremble. "Damn... I cry all too easily now." All three of us reached over to hug her.

Jerome looked up at us, tears running down her face and managed a weak smirk. "Well, it's not completely bad. I've got three hot girls fussing over me. A blonde, a brunette and a redhead, no less."

We all laughed. Then we were escorted to the first class of the day. Underwear.

Actually, it was the first of a series of blocks on girls' clothing — which we obviously needed. Todd... Tamara could have figured things out on her own, since she grew up in a house with five females. But the rest of us were completely clueless. When we arrived in the room, we found a smiling Erin waiting for us, dressed in a long blue robe with a floral pattern.

"Well, I see you all have crossed the great divide. I hope you are doing alright, because we have a lot to talk about this morning." After a few more pleasantries, she locked the door so we would not be disturbed. Then she got down to business.

"As you must know by now, being a girl is a lot more complicated than being a guy. That complexity is reflected in everything she does — physically and socially. The more you know, the easier it will be for you to adjust. So let's get down to basics."

"Women's underwear serves three purposes. First, the obvious hygienic one. Second, to accentuate clothing. When a man puts on a suit, it doesn't really matter what he's wearing underneath. But for a woman, her underwear has to integrate with what she's wearing on the outside — because she's far more likely to be showing skin. Stockings, bras and slips are all part of the package. And third, women's underwear communicates a sense of femininity to the woman wearing it, and the men around her.

"You've all heard the term 'lingerie', from the French, 'to linger'. As I can tell you, wearing lingerie is a very sensuous experience — it makes you feel girly. And when you feel girly, others treat you that way.

"Now, men's underwear and men's clothing in general, is utilitarian — that is, it serves a functional purpose. And to be fair, much of the time, the clothes you put on as girls will be functional as well. Not every minute is a fashion show.

"But," Erin continued, "most girls, including those affected by GB, do find a desire to indulge their femininity by wearing something frilly on occasion. It can be as simple as a lace pair of panties, or as all-out as a stocking and garter set. As teenage girls, you won't spend much time in teddies, corsets and the like. Those kind of things tend to be costumes, not very practical. But you will put on skirts and dresses once in a while, and you will find a strong desire to wear pretty things underneath them.

"I never expected to feel that way myself. I figured everything I'd wear would come right out of 'Jockey for Girls'. But after a few weeks as a female, I found that I liked wearing feminine clothes, including the underwear. It's fun and damn near... irresistible."

Jerome and I exchanged glances. I found Erin's statement hard to credit and Jerome certainly had doubts. Tamara and Beth seemed to be more into the possibility.

Erin stood up, and smoothly removed her robe. All four of us took a deep breath, appreciating what we saw. Billy... Beth may have already been thinking of herself as a real girl, but even she could not help but be impressed by Erin's fine body, dressed only in a skimpy yellow bra and briefs. My, she was nice.

"Now what I'm wearing is a slightly more exotic version of what you should wear every time you leave your home. As you can see, I have on a bra with matching panties. At a minimum, a girl is expected to wear some kind of underpants and a bra whenever she is in public. There really is no occasion you should ever be without panties." She suddenly gave a naughty smile. "Well, there is one occasion. Anyway, having your bra and panties match is not mandatory — in fact, it's quite normal not to. But I do like to have the set coordinate — it's... cuter that way." She giggled.

"When sleeping, your breasts — as you've no doubt discovered — are quite sensitive and do need to be covered. Typically, a girl wears panties and either a sleep-shirt or a T-shirt to bed. Of course, there are all kinds of pajamas you can put on as well, including the famous baby-dolls that have lots of lace and ruffles. But usually, girls prefer to sleep in something practical."

Then she began a detailed description of the different kinds of panties. Briefs, hipsters, bikinis, low-rise, high-cut and, most bizarre, thongs. And the different fabrics — cotton, nylon, Lycra, polyblends. She modeled a few different types for us — changing right in front of us. I enjoyed looking at her lovely curves, while realizing sadly that her nudity didn't bother her in the least — why should it? There were no boys in the room. And so she gave us a chance to see how the different fashions looked. God knows she looked good in all of them.

"Now for bras. Women wear bras for modesty — you don't want to encourage guys by putting yourself on too much display. The goal for a girl is sexy, not slutty. A woman also wears a bra to keep her chest... under control. As you have all seen, things can bounce around quite a bit. A bra helps with that. As GB girls, you have a bit more in the breast department than many of your peers, so bras are all the more essential." That was followed by an even more extensive display of all the various types of bras — demi- cups, underwires, sports bras, and on and on. I noticed she did turn her back while changing — but I could still catch glimpses of her full chest. Quite fun.

Then came slips. As Erin explained, many skirts and dresses are rather sheer — to prevent too much exposure, slips create a smoother, more subtle line. Pantyhose and stockings were discussed as well.

"Fashion for teenage girls these days rarely requires slips and stockings on a regular basis. Most teen girls do wear dresses from time to time, but usually prefer bare-legs or tights. Tights are easier to put on, don't run so much, and create the feeling of wearing pants — which is reassuring when your hem of your skirt is no lower than your fingertips."

I had absolutely no intention of wearing anything of the kind. Jeans would do just fine for me — I was not about to force myself into all this... this girl stuff. I knew I'd have to wear bras — one look at my prodigious chest made that abundantly clear. But as for the rest, I planned to take full advantage of the freedom girls had to wear the clothes of the opposite sex.

As if on cue, Erin spoke again. "All this may seem ridiculous, but the key is to experiment and develop your own style. One of the greatest things about being a girl are all the options. A teenage girl can wear just about anything she wants. It's a blast to try on a dozen different sets of clothes and suddenly find an outfit that's... you! And you can count your blessings you were not a girl in the 1950s — where you would have been forced to wear dresses, crinolines, stockings and garters every single day."

Jerome (she really needs to get a girl's name) and I shuddered at that. Even in the 21st century, dressing like a girl seemed — in Erin's words — ridiculous. I was growing weary of all this.

We finally took a break and I went to see Janet Barlow, the GRS program manger. I asked her to place a call to my mom to have her pick me up. She expressed doubt about my readiness to leave GRS.

"Are you sure, Stephanie?"

I cringed at the sound of my new name (word had gotten around fast), but shook it off. "Yes, I am. I've completed the transition, my physical says I'm okay and I'm not really interested in getting my hair done or putting on make-up. I'll finish the paperwork — after that, I'm out of here."

Ms Barlow sensed a bit of tension in my voice. "Jack... Stephanie, you need to understand something — bailing out of the course now will not improve your odds of success for a successful mental transition to womanhood. I know having all this thrown at you is overwhelming and you feel a need to escape, but you can't run away from your own body."

"Look, I know what I am now — I'm just can't revel in it the way Billy... Beth does. I'm not trying to run away from anything, I just have to pace myself. If I need lessons on make-up and so forth, my mom can help me."

"You say you know what you are. What are you, then?" she asked, looking at me pointedly.

"I'm a girl," I replied, meeting her eyes steadily in return.

"And?" she prompted.

"I'm not a boy. I'm in no hurry to put on dresses or date people — but I know I'm female and I'll always be that way. I'm not going to waste any effort seeking to convince anyone I'm still a guy." I touched my chest. "I mean, what would be the point?"

I was trying to project a sense of acceptance I didn't really feel. But I needed to get out of this environment — it was far too much to take in. Jesus, I'd just spent an hour learning about women's underwear! I'm not ready for more.

"Stephanie, I get the feeling you may be resigned to being a girl, but you haven't really accepted it in your heart. We have more counseling sessions coming up today — I think you'd benefit."

"Maybe another time, Ms Barlow. I know I'll take years to adjust to all this — but for the moment, I want to move at my own speed." That I was able to say honestly.

She looked at me thoughtfully, nodded and placed the call to my mom. "She'll be here in an hour."

Just as she was about to resume, the door to her office burst open and a distraught Jerome entered. She was in tears, her slim shoulders shaking with repressed sobs.

"Are you okay?" Ms Barlow asked the beautiful black girl.

Jerome struggled to reply. "I... I can't do this! I just can't be... like this!"

Ms Barlow walked over and put a comforting hand on her arm. "Yes, you can. You're not alone — there are many people who've been through this before you and we all want to help."

Jerome shrugged off Ms Barlow's arm. She began to cry uncontrollably — and clutched her breasts as if...

As if she were trying to pull them off.

"I'm a cunt!" she wailed.

I just sat there, frozen in place. Ms Barlow quickly summoned one of the doctors, who gave the hysterical girl a sedative. After a few moments, she calmed down enough to be taken to an observation room.

Shaken, I stared at the program director. She looked at me soberly.

"What's going to happen to her?" I asked.

"She's going to need a lot of therapy. This can happen with GB — the shock of transition, of having your identity forcibly changed can unbalance anyone. Jerome is in for a difficult time. There's a lesson for you here, Stephanie. I know you're a strong person. I know you're an outstanding athlete — yes, I read the sports papers, too. But don't make the mistake of thinking you can just 'gut it out'. You're going to need support to get through this — your journey has only begun. Do not, repeat, do NOT try to think like a man — one of the greatest aspects of being a woman is the ability to ask for help when you need it.

"And you're going to need it, Stephanie. Every boy affected by GB does. You will survive this and even prosper — as long as you don't deny what you're feeling. You must face your emotions as a girl, and accept them. Otherwise, you may wake up a week, a month or even a year from now... like Jerome."

I listened very carefully. "I understand... really. I'm not thrilled about any of this — but I won't keep things bottled up. I still want to leave GRS, but I'll do the follow-up work. Deal?"

Ms Barlow studied me carefully. "You don't make deals with me, Stephanie — you make them with yourself. But I do have a good feeling about you, so I'll release you to your mother."

And with that, I began 'outprocessing'. One of the huge advantages of having GRS managed by the state was taking care of all the legal business. There was even a representative from the DMV. In one hour, I had certified name-change documents, a new social security card and a new driver's license. I studied my license carefully.

Name: Stephanie Lind.

Height: 5'7".

Weight: 119 lbs.

Sex: Female.

Good God. Such a simple thing — a little plastic card that proved Jack Lind no longer existed. Even... especially the picture. No one ever takes a good picture for her license, but I came close as I realized I was very photogenic — for a girl. It was such a shock to look at my photo — a cute, almost dainty, teenage female. In a way, it was just as surreal as looking in a mirror — objective proof of my new, albeit unwanted, femininity.

I said goodbye to Tamara and Beth as they headed off for a makeover. We all expressed our worries about Jerome. We also exchanged e-mails and other contact info. They chucked as I wryly commented on how much easier it was for me to get phone numbers from pretty girls — now that I was one myself.

I exchanged hugs with both of them. Beth seemed glowing and even Tamara appeared to be content with her fate. I just wished I could be where they were.

And with that, I left GRS and headed for the parking lot where my mom was waiting.

Ma Ma, Where's My Bra?

I walked right up to her — I could tell she wasn't expecting me — not as I now was. I stopped a few feet away from her as the recognition dawned on her face.

"Ja... Jack?"

"Congratulations, Mrs. Lind. It's a girl!" I said self- mockingly.

"Oh, my God — you're so pretty!" Mom said incredulously. "I just can't believe it!"

"You and me both. Mom, I really don't want to hang around here — can we get on the road?"

Her mind still in a whirl, she got into the driver's seat while I buckled in — noting how the shoulder strap across my chest stretched the fabric of my tank top and made my breasts seem even larger. Speaking of which...

"Here's something I bet you never imagined your son saying — Mom, I need a bra."

She looked at my chest for a full minute before starting the car. Shaken, she said, "I guess you do. We can go to the Milford..."

"Not a chance, Mom. I know I've got to get some new clothes, but I want to do it here in Syracuse. Less likelihood of me running across someone I know."

She nodded agreement as we headed for a local mall.

While she drove, she kept sneaking glances over at me. In a way, I felt I had a bit of an edge here. I'd had a day to get used to my new sex — for my Mom, it was her first sight of her son as a girl. She was clearly off-balance.

"Are you okay?"

"I'm not in any pain, at least."

"How does it feel?"

"I can't even begin to describe it yet, Mom. It feels... weird. I've still got two arms, legs, eyes, etc. But the rest... I can't even talk about it."

We fell silent until we arrived at the stores. I got out of the car with some trepidation. This was the first time I would be in public as a female. Nervously, I made my way into the mall with my mother.

And immediately, my education began.

Every single person who passed me looked at me. The women and girls seemed to be almost reproaching, though I saw some expressions of... envy? As for the guys, some did more than look. 'Ogle' would be a better term. Much of the attention was directed at my chest — still bouncing under my thin tank-top, the huge nipples poking through. A few guys were almost drooling. For the first time in my life, I understood what it meant to have someone 'undress me with his eyes'. I felt almost naked!

This was very strange — and creepy. As a boy, I'd always been pretty much anonymous. Yeah, some of the girls said I was cute, but I was hardly the center of attention when I went out. But now...

I realized I would never blend into a crowd again. General Patton once commented to his troops: "You are always on parade." Now I understood the civilian equivalent — if you're an attractive woman, you will always be on parade. I felt incredibly self-conscious. Maybe I could convert to Islam — the idea of a burkha was now appealing.

I was amazed to see I couldn't wait to get into a bra. Anything to deflect attention from my breasts. We arrived at a JC Penny's and went to the teen clothing section. Just standing under the sign that said 'GIRLS' was unnerving. A saleswoman came up to us.

"I'd like this young lady fitted for a brassiere," my mother said almost proudly.

"Of course," the saleswoman replied. "And what size has she been wearing?"

We were both silent for a moment at the obvious but unexpected question. "I... I really never wore one before," I stammered.

"Oh," the saleswoman said uncertainly. "But with such a well-developed chest, you've never..." Then it hit her. "GB?" she finished.

"Yeah," I said, eyes downcast.

She seemed to brighten. "Actually, we get a fair number of girls from the clinic, since we're one of the closest stores. Let me take you in back, where we can be more... discreet."

She was trying to be nice about it, chatting as we went to the fitting area — telling me how I would love being a girl — and how she had the perfect bra for me to wear. I fell glumly in line behind her. We arrived at the back, where she proceeded to stretch a measuring tape around me in a variety of ways.

"You're a 34C," she reported.

"Why, she's the same size as..." Mom paused. Wonderful. Just what every boy dreams of — for his chest to match his mother's. The saleswoman proceeded to select a variety of bras for me — I picked the plainest one of the lot. The straps and hooks were so... complicated! When the saleswoman offered to help me, I reluctantly accepted — I doubted I could figure it out on my own. We went into one of the dressing rooms, where I slowly removed my top.

The assistant stared at me for a moment. "You're very pretty — and I'd kill for those breasts!"

"I'd give them to you if I could, believe me."

"I'm sorry. It's just that you GB girls all come out with such wonderful bodies. Most women would love to look like you."

"Yeah, but the problem is, most men wouldn't."

"I know," she said sympathetically. "Here, let me help you with that."

And so I put on my first bra. It felt weird of course. But at least the cups were nice. The soft fabric against my sensitive nipples was rather pleasant and I was very glad to have them packaged up. But the straps felt awkward — I kept tugging at them, trying to get more comfortable. The saleswoman assured me the bra fit me properly — which meant I was going to have to get used to the sensation.

I pulled my top back on and was relieved to feel less self- conscious. My chest still jiggled inside the bra — but things were more under control. I selected a half-dozen of the same style — white cotton with a satin lining. Then it was time for panties. I learned I was a size 5. Both women tried to get me into various frilly types, but I was adamant. A couple of packs of 'Jockey for Her' briefs — white cotton as well.

Then I got a pair of sneakers (I was now a size 8 women's) and a very conservative pair of casual flats (novel terminology).

Jeans were next. With my new configuration of waist and hips, I knew I'd have to wear girl's styles. I picked out a couple of the less ornamented kind and headed for the dressing room. While there, another girl had left the door of her booth half-open — she smiled at me as I walked by, completely relaxed in her pretty underwear. She was quite attractive and I had to turn my eyes away before I started to stare. I noticed with some dismay as I took off my pants that the sight of her had firmed my nipples up inside my bra. And the sight of myself in the mirror — a cute teen girl in her tank top and briefs — kept my arousal going. It was very strange. When I looked at my body directly, I felt no stimulation. But when I caught glimpses of my reflection, particularly in a state of undress — I could actually get turned on.

It was as if the boy I'd been had become a voyeur — he was getting hot. But he was now in a girl's body — so his excitement could only manifest itself in a female way. He had no penis to make erect. Instead his panties... my panties grew wet. Without my willing it, my hand strayed closer to my crotch to... Oh!

My mom called to me from outside the changing room. I stopped myself and struggled quickly into the jeans, noting the snugness of the fit around my hips. I also noted the gap between my tank top and the low-riding waistband of the girl's dungarees. My flawlessly flat tummy was now showing an inch or so of creamy skin in the fashion so popular with young women these days. Nevertheless, I could tell the jeans were a good fit for my changed form.

We bought several pairs along with some simple pullover blouses. Mom kept steering me towards some dresses. She held one out — a ruffled pink number.

"You'd look so sweet in this, honey. Don't you want to try it on?"

"No, Mom. It's just not me."

She looked disappointed. "Mom, I know you may have some mother-daughter shopping/bonding vision going here. But..." I actually grinned, "I'm not that kind of girl."

"Are you sure?"

"Very. I accept the basics — I'll wear a bra if for no other reason than to keep the boys away. But I'm not ready for anything else yet."

"Oh, Jack, I don't think you'll ever keep the boys away. But I understand. We'll take it slow."

Hearing the incongruity of my old name reminded me I hadn't told her my new one. I pulled my license out of my wallet and showed it to her.

"Ste... Stephanie?"

"It seems to work for some reason — I don't know why. I wasn't going to go with Sue — Johnny Cash already covered that one."

She was silent for a moment. "I don't think I really appreciated how hard this is for you. You're not Jack any more, are you?"

"No, I'm not. I'm mean... I was him and I still feel like him inside. But I know I can't live that life any more. The world's not going to change for me. I learned that at Girl School."

"This is so surreal. I have a daughter named Stephanie. Good Heavens, how are you coping with this?"

"I'm not sure, Mom. I don't like this at all, but I seem to be able to tolerate it. Not everyone does." I thought of Jerome.

"I knew you were strong, Ja... Stephanie. You're proving me right." She hugged me then, and I felt comforted by her faith in me.

We left the store and began the walk through the mall, back to the car. I refused to even look at the Victoria's Secrets shop. Mom didn't try to push me towards any more girly accoutrements, except for — a purse. I knew I had to have one — most girl's fashions didn't have pockets for wallets. I chose a very simple black style that would go with anything.

Now I was fully outfitted — a bra, snug jeans, a pastel blouse, flats and a purse. I was a match for every girl I saw. I still got far too many looks for my taste — but at least the women weren't criticizing my previously braless state and the boys were slightly less overt in their attentions. Slightly.

The other thing I was adjusting to was my new size. I'd lost 4 inches in height and about 30 pounds in weight. I was small again, like I had been before my growth spurt and I didn't like it one bit. Although I was still taller than the average girl, I no longer towered over them. Instead, nearly all the boys towered over me. I felt a sense of fragility that was very disconcerting. They're so much bigger than me! How could I ever stand up to them if they gave me trouble? I was glad when we made it to the car and began the drive home.

I remained quiet as we headed back — staring at my so- slender arms. I was still having difficulty accepting my new status — small, weak, vulnerable... female. I knew exactly how boys thought. I knew what they felt when they saw me. I knew how sex and desire dominated most of their waking moments. Hell, I still felt it myself. Part of me wanted to molest my own body. But if a boy wanted to take advantage of me, there was no way I could fight him off. Even the puniest geeks could overpower me, now.

As a guy, I'd grown up with the rough and tumble culture of physical competition. And until the last year or so (when I'd shot up in height), I'd been on the short end of the stick — so to speak. I'd been relieved to get my growth spurt and at the very least — if I got into some confrontation I couldn't handle — I could run away. There wasn't a kid in America who could outpace me once I got a lead on him.

But now I was back where I started — physically fragile again. Only this was even worse. Now I was a girl, and every boy would try to... or at least want to...

I found myself trembling at this line of thought.

"Are you okay, sweetie?" my mom asked me.

"How do you do it?"

"Do what?"

"How do you face the fact that any guy could... hurt you? I mean, we're so... fragile in comparison to men. Any of them could... force themselves on us and we couldn't possibly stop them."

She thought about it for a moment. "You're really scared, aren't you?"

"Yes."

"You're scared of being raped."

Just to hear the word filled me with horror — since I knew it could now happen to me.

"Yeah — I'm scared of being..." I couldn't even say it.

"Good."

"What?!" I said in disbelief.

"Ja... Stephanie, contrary to TV and the movies, the majority of sexual assaults are not perpetrated by strangers. Usually, the girl knows her attacker — acquaintances, dates, step-family and so forth. Now, most men and boys, as you know, may have a strong desire for women but they will behave themselves. If you draw a firm line, they won't cross it. But there are a few men who will. The majority of women learn at a young age how to tell the difference. Sadly, some women never do learn and fall victim over and over again."

"But how does a woman tell — who's a good guy and who isn't?"

"Observation, instinct and experience. That's what makes me worried for you, honey."

I noticed that since I changed, my mother was calling me 'sweetie' and 'honey' a lot more. I never liked it before, but now... I didn't mind so much.

"The challenge, Stephanie, is that you are so lovely — you're a very, very attractive young woman. But you don't have the years of growing up as a girl to handle it. It's like putting someone who never drove a car into Manhattan traffic during rush hour."

Good analogy as we pulled up to our house. She continued. "So I'm glad to see you're scared. It's important for you to be thinking about these things. You don't have to live in fear — but you do need to be very cautious until you get used to the social consequences of being the pretty girl you are."

"There is one advantage," I responded. "As a former guy, I do know how teenage boys have sex-on-the-brain 24/7. So I'm not that na‘ve about what they're interested in."

"That's good. And you'll find, once you have a little practice, that you can control boys rather well." I flashed back to Erin's demonstration. "You just have to learn about the bad apples."

I went to my room and stowed away my purchases. Mom had already boxed up my old clothes. God, my underwear drawer sure looked different! And as I surveyed my room, I wondered if it would become more feminine over time. Certainly the poster of a bikini-clad Carmen Electra was not something the average teenage girl would pin on her wall.

Even more disconcerting was the thought that flashed briefly through my mind: how would I look wearing that bikini?

I heard a footstep behind. I turned.

It was Sue.

It's hard to say which one of us was more shocked. I hadn't expected to see her until school.

And she sure wasn't ready to see her boyfriend as a girl!

Both of us remained in stasis, frozen in placed as we stared at each other.

"Ja... Oh God! You're so... so... pretty!" she gasped.

"Sue? I didn't know you were going to be..."

"Your mother called me before she left to pick you up. I thought you might want to see a friendly face." She stepped up to me — I was only an inch taller than her now. She reached out her hand and gently touched my cheek. "You look so... feminine, and that hair — it's gorgeous! Is GB finished? It sure seems like it is. Are you really a girl... all the way?"

I blushed and hung my head.

"There's nothing to be ashamed about... Stephanie."

I looked back up at her.

"Your mom told me. Stephanie Lind. I like it!"

"Sue... I..."

"Shhh. I told you before how special you are to me. I'm here to help you — especially to get you through your first day of school. How 'bout we have a sleepover tonight?"

"You mean the two of us, sleeping in the same room?"

"Why not? We're both girls now — it's not like the town gossips can complain."

I considered it for about one-tenth of a second. Gee, my lovely girlfriend, spending the night with me in her pajamas. "Uh... sure!"

"Great," Sue responded. "Let's get some dinner."

It was a weird meal. The three of us were a bit tentative, for obvious reasons. Mom and Sue had always gotten along — in fact, Mom had hoped Sue (who was the class salutatorian) would influence me into pulling my grades up to the highest in the school.

But even though I was Jack on the inside, I was a whole new person on the outside. When Mom and Sue looked at me, they were seeing a stranger — a girl they'd never met before today. And even though intellectually they knew it was still me underneath it all — it was as if we had just been introduced for the first time. So our conversation was a lot more formal than it would have been otherwise.

But as you may have picked up, I have a fatalistic sense of humor, which I was liberally using to cope with all of this. My various jokes and sarcastic remarks actually helped us in a way — we didn't have to tiptoe around what had been done to me. I told them about the theory that GB was an artificial creation and I'd been deliberately infected. They were both outraged. I also told them a little about Girl School. They giggled at my description of the lingerie class.

"So now you know all about the frilly stuff we females have to wear," Sue smiled.

"I would have rather found out the way most boys do — in the back seat of a car," I smiled back.

We cleaned up the dishes. I spent a few minutes in the bathroom, brushing teeth and so forth. It was still surreal to see the girl in the mirror. I finished and turned the bathroom over to Sue. A short while later, she came into my bedroom.

"I really admire how you're handling things, Stephanie. If I suddenly turned into a boy, I don't know what I'd do."

"I'm hanging in there. But I'm also hanging out there," I said, pointing to my chest.

"You've got quite a body, Stephanie."

"I suppose. Seriously, I'm so glad you're here, Sue. It means a lot to me to have your support."

"You'll always have it. Are you going to school tomorrow?"

"I'm very nervous, but I think I will. I mean, it's not like staying home will make me any less of a girl. I might as well get it over with."

"Good for you. I'll ride in by your side — if anyone even looks cross-eyed at you, I'll..." She said that so fiercely I couldn't help but be touched by her protective manner.

I reached out and gave her a hug, which she held closely for several moments. Then my nipples started to firm up inside my bra. She was still my girlfriend after all! I may have changed, but she remained the delightful young woman I'd fallen in love with.

But Sue released the hug — I could tell she had felt my physical response to her. We looked at each other awkwardly for a moment, then looked away.

"I guess we'd better get to bed," I said.

We pulled out our sleepshirts. Shyly, we stripped off our clothes. This was the first time I'd ever seen Sue in her underwear. I couldn't help but sneak peeks at her. The bra she wore was white nylon and layered with lace. Her panties were also white nylon, with lace around the waist and a cute pattern of flowers sprayed across the seat. Sue always had been a very feminine girl — her taste in clothes clearly reflected that. And to see her lovely body in such an intimate setting was appealing.

I then had a curious feeling: My simple white cotton panties seemed... drab and inelegant when compared to hers. I really thought her undies were pretty. But was it that I liked how the panties looked on Sue? Or how they might look on me?

Was I jealous of my girlfriend's underwear? Jesus, what was happening to me?

I slowly pulled off my bra — rubbing my skin where the straps had left marks. Now she peeked at me, apparently fascinated by my chest — just as I was with hers, which she revealed as she removed her own bra. My breath caught in my throat as my sexy lady stood before me — dressed only in skimpy panties, her small, perky breasts bobbing slightly. Lord, she was hot!

We both just stared at each other for a moment, but for different reasons. Me — I was drooling over finally seeing Sue in a nearly nude state. But Sue was looking at me in wonder, not lust — assessing what her boyfriend had become.

"God, Stephanie... you really are all girl!" she exclaimed. Standing there in just my female briefs — with the eerily flat crotch that matched hers, I guess it was kind of obvious. "It's incredible — most of us would die to look like you!"

"Don't sell yourself short, Sue — I'm impressed by what I'm seeing as well."

We pulled on our sleepshirts and got into bed.

That was another dramatic change from manhood. Guys never shared a bed. When Hal had stayed over at my place, he'd slept on the carpet — just as I had done at his house. Sure, we had double beds, but it was an unwritten rule that we never used them together.

But girls? It seemed to be perfectly normal for two girls crash on the same mattress. Sue hadn't even hesitated. I suppose there's some psychological background for all that. I'll figure it out some other time.

Dammit! This was supposed to be my dream come true. I'm in bed, lying next to Sue Wendell in her nightie! To be where I was now, every guy in the school would have given his left testicle.

But then again, I'd lost both of mine.

So now I had this incredible opportunity — and I couldn't do anything about it. Or could I?

We lay side by side in the dim light, staring up at the ceiling, not talking at all. Then I slowly reached to take Sue's hand — which seemed larger than before. That, of course, was because my own hand was smaller. I tried to interlace our fingers instead of cupping palms — it took a moment before she responded in kind.

I then moved my arm across her torso, snuggling up to her. Much to my consternation, my breasts pressed against her, distracting me slightly from the seduction I was attempting. I reached out to touch her face, and gently turned her head towards me. There was a nervous look in her eyes. My motions had raised the hem of her nightshirt, revealing the pretty underpants I'd admired earlier. Unfortunately, it had done the same to me, so as I pressed closer to her, our panties brushed together in an affirmation of our mutual femininity.

Still determined, I gave her cheek a light, but long kiss. While doing so, I caressed her left breast, feeling the nipple (all too much like my own) harden. Sue was motionless through all of this — not resisting, but not responding either.

My body was responding, though. My own nipples were quite hard and I sensed a... glowing through both my breasts. And for the first time, I felt a familiar rush of blood to my groin. Only this time, I didn't grow hard. I grew... soft. I felt an odd, almost spongy feeling between my legs and I became aware that my panties were damp in certain places. The strangeness of the sensation warred with the pleasure of it. Very weird, but very nice.

Mmmm. Even with this new body, it was so fun to cuddle with my lovely girlfriend! My enthusiasm grew and as I continued to stroke her breasts, I rolled on top of her in a classic male position. Sue and I have never achieved this level of intimacy before — if becoming a girl was what it took to get her into my bed, maybe it was all worth it!

Below me, she remained quiet as we both adjusted to our breasts pressing against each other through our thin nightshirts. I was definitely getting more aroused — aware of my full chest and feminine crotch as I lay on her. I felt a new warmth building between my legs. I leaned my head forward to kiss her — meeting her sweet lips with mine. My long hair fell down around both our faces. She reacted tentatively. I opened my mouth slightly for our tongues to touch as they had done for so many wonderful kisses before.

Yet her mouth remained closed. And as I glanced into her eyes — I could see only one emotion reflected there.

Revulsion.

God bless her, she was trying. But I could not deny the harsh reality.

Sue did not desire me anymore, not physically. There was no spark, no magic. Oh, I wanted her as much as ever. But she no longer felt the same about me. She wasn't even capable of having that passion for me. For Sue, the idea of having sex with another girl was repellent.

She was a girl who liked boys. And I was not a boy. Not anymore.

With matching cries of anguish, we pulled apart.

"Stephanie, I'm sorry!" she gasped. "I just can't be... that way with you."

I sat on the edge of the bed and looked disconsolately down at my flawlessly smooth legs. I sighed deeply. "It's not your fault, Sue. I think... I think I knew all along it couldn't work between us anymore."

"Stephie... Jack... I love you so much. But you're like me now! It's not the same. I mean, I want to want you — I really do. But..."

"I'm still Jack on the inside, Sue. I feel like I've loved you my whole life! Even now I want you... but I know that... we're girls. Both of us." The finality was crushing.

We were in tears at this point. "It's hard for me too, Ja... Stephanie, whoever you are. God, my sweet handsome boyfriend is now prettier than me, and he... he has bigger breasts, to boot!"

"Nobody's prettier than you, Sue. But I do understand. If GB had left me alone and turned you into a guy... I doubt I ever could have..."

We fell into each other's arms, but there was no eroticism now. We just hugged, while I mentally cursed the softness of my chest that matched hers. We spent the next few minutes actually sobbing into one another's shoulders. We wept for what was lost, for what might have been. It was the most poignant moment of my life. I'd dreamed that Sue and I had been destined for one another. I'd feared I might lose her to someone else, or that she might become tired of me.

But I never dreamed I'd lose her because I'd grown a vagina!

Yet that was exactly what had happened. Sue and I were the same gender now and we could never attain that near- mystical union of male and female — as a boy and a girl.

She smiled at me sadly and took my hand. She led me over to the full-length mirror. "Look at us, Stephanie. We're both going to be women. And I don't think we're cut out to be lesbians — neither of us look like the chicks from t.A.T.u."

"No," I smirked. "We're cuter than they are."

She laughed. "Damn straight, girl! You may not want to be this way, Stephanie, and Lord knows I wish you were still Jack — but you do have a lovely body and I'm hoping you can learn to take pride in it. Nobody likes a girl who's conceited about her looks, but if she can quietly enjoy her appearance — it really helps with her self-confidence."

"So that's why you always seem so emotionally 'together'! Because you know how gorgeous you are."

She looked at me with a fond smile. She cupped my face with her hands and stared intensely into my eyes. "Listen to me, Stephanie Lind. We have lost, but we have also gained. You're my girlfriend now and I will always, always be there for you. You never had any siblings before — but you do from this day forward. We're sisters, you and me. Now and forever."

I felt my heart skip a beat. I knew this was no exaggeration, no hyperbole. When Sue said something, she meant it! All my life it had just been me and my mom — I'd always felt a little lonely at that. But not any more. Sue and I were going to have a lifelong connection. It might not be the one we had expected — but I sensed (somewhere deep in my newly feminized psyche) that it would be just as fulfilling.

I felt a storm of emotion come over me. In tears once again — but this time happier ones — I hugged her tightly. I sort of had a sister!

Feeling more positive, we got back into bed. We snuggled up next to each other and doused the lights. It was bittersweet — for I still had sexual feelings for Sue. You don't just turn those off. But I was also catching a hint of the emotional bond that could form between two girls - and it was very powerful in its own right.

It didn't take long to fall asleep. Waking up the next morning with a young woman in my bed was a little disconcerting — but as we greeted each other it seemed more natural. Already, we were adjusting to our new relationship.

After we had a quick breakfast, I took a shower. I still had to struggle to keep my hands from wandering around my feminine crotch. Last night's arousal had sparked an interest in those... nether regions — but I wasn't prepared to explore my new sexuality just yet. Besides, given the astonishing length of time it took to wash my hair, I had no minutes to spare. It was heavy and took like, forever to dry. The part fell straight down the middle — I made no attempt to style it — I let it hang naturally, draping down below my shoulders.

I wrapped a towel around myself and headed for my bedroom. I was very nervous over what was to come — my first day of school as a girl. When I got to my room, however, both Sue and my mom were waiting expectantly. "We thought we'd offer you a choice, today," Mom said — pointing to the bed.

Laid out on it were two outfits. The first consisted of a pair of jeans, a simple pullover, sneakers and a set of the very basic underwear we'd bought yesterday. As for the second outfit...

My breath caught in my throat. There was a matching pink lace bra and panty set, a pretty red blouse and a... a skirt! A pleated, tartan kilt! Sue and Mom were smiling at me.

"You've got to be kidding," I said.

"Didn't you tell us about that girl Erin you met at GRS? She wore a skirt her first day," Mom replied.

"Yeah... but..."

"And didn't she say it helped her to fit in, to be treated more like a young woman?"

"But..."

"And aren't you just a little bit curious about what it would feel like?"

"Umm..."

Sensing I was weakening, Sue chimed in. "Stephanie — there's something else to consider. You are... were the first boy to get GB in Milford — but you may not be the last. You're popular and successful and you'll be out of here in a couple of months. The next boy might not be so lucky. He could be 15, a social outcast, and stuck for three more years in this school — all alone in the body of a girl. The way you handle your transition is going to set the stage for all the guys who come after you."

It was Mom's turn. "If you can convince everyone that you're truly female — and it shouldn't take long with that face — then it will go easier for the next person. Let's face it, Stephanie — this is a small town — one way or another, you're going to leave a legacy."

"Your mother and I have talked about this," Sue said. "The choice is yours. But you should know I'm going to wear a skirt myself today. Why not join me?" She smiled winningly.

Then they left me alone with the two outfits. Decision time. Yes, Erin had argued a persuasive case for dressing in a feminine manner right from the start. And yes, I'd already accepted the necessity of wearing a bra. But that was just it — necessity. I had to wear bras to protect my very sensitive breasts and to keep the boys from drooling any more than... normal.

But wearing a skirt was optional — which took me to another plane of womanhood. Unlike a bra, I could ignore dresses and so forth. So if I voluntarily put on a skirt, it meant that I was saying to the world — "I'm happy being a girl!"

Was I ready for that? Not really. But then I thought of Sue's comment about the next boy to get GB. She was right — since I was the first, my experience would shape his. If everyone thought of me as some androgynous freak — then I would be treated accordingly. I only had a short time left at this school — I could tough it out no matter what. But the next guy might not be so lucky.

On the other hand, if everyone saw me as a true girl — inside and out, then that next GB victim would have an easier time of it.

Also, I've been a runner for a long time. That means dealing with a lot of physical and mental pain. I can be a stubborn son-of-a-bitch.

Correction: I can be a stubborn bitch.

Besides, I WAS very curious.

What the hell. I picked up the pretty pink panties and stepped into them. The white lace caressed my smooth thighs as I pulled them into place. Oh! The sensation of the silky soft nylon sent a tingle all over my hips. I traced a finger over the satiny fabric and felt a shiver. Wow! That was certainly different from 'Jockey for Her' briefs. God, my crotch was so smooth and flat! I then strapped on the matching bra, lavished with lace, placing my breasts in the soft cups and working the front clasp gingerly.

I took a quick look in the mirror. It was remarkable how I appeared even more girly in the frilly underwear — and my, it was sexy. The panties were sheer enough to show a hint of the inverted triangle that was my pubic 'bush'. I didn't have a lot of hair down there, but it did follow the natural female pattern.

I pulled the blouse over my head — and over my breasts. Then came the moment of truth. I put on the skirt — a little awkwardly at first — working the elastic waistband all the way to my belly button. It was a dark pleated plaid kilt that fell to about two inches above my knee. Not very short by teenage girl standards — but it still felt as though I was indecently dressed. White knee socks, black flats and my purse completed the ensemble.

Another trip to the mirror. God, I was cute! The classic picture of an adorable schoolgirl — and I'm her? I stared at myself — it was stunning how the clothes dramatically enhanced my femininity. What was also stunning was the brief sense of delight I took in my appearance. I felt a strange fluttering sensation in my tummy as I realized part of me was starting to like my new look. It felt... special.

Special in a way that I'd never felt as a boy.

There was a knock at the door. Mom and Sue entered. I looked at them nervously.

Mom spoke first. "Oh honey, you look delightful."

"That outfit is definitely you," Sue chimed in — looking pretty hot in her own short blue skirt.

"It's hard to believe I have a lovely daughter."

"Mom, is it just me, or are you taking a bit of pride in the fact that I might be cute?"

"Well, it is kind of a nice reflection on me, too."

I responded. "Don't worry, Mom — you still got it, and then some."

"Stephanie, I'm really proud of you myself," Sue added. "Just one more thing." She stepped up to me and began to lift the hem of my kilt. I nearly said "eek!" She told me to relax and she fastened a large safety pin in the classic preppie manner I'd seen other girls do.

"We'll have to work on accessorizing later — but you're definitely going to be a hit. You look great. Let's get the bus."

With a final hug from my mom, we headed outside.

"Oh, and Sue?" my mother stopped us with an impish expression.

"Yes, Mrs. Lind?"

"Make sure she keeps her knees together. We don't want any boy getting a peek at her panties — they're so pretty she might be tempted to show them off."

"Mother!" I cried out, flaming red with embarrassment.

Sue laughed. "I'll teach her how to sit like a lady." Mortified, I headed for the corner while they both chuckled.

God, it was strange to wear a skirt! I felt as though I had no pants on — which of course was true. When I stood still, I couldn't sense any clothing below the waist. I was so... exposed! And the breeze gently swirling up my kilt didn't help.

Sue saw me clutching my hem. "Don't worry, Stephanie — you're perfectly dressed."

For a girl. "I feel half-naked!"

"That's because you are. We both are," she said, holding out her own skirt. "But you'll get used to it. Of course, I've been wearing dresses since I was little — so I've had more time. Admit it, though — it's fun, isn't it?"

"No! Well... maybe."

She took my hand. "You're a pretty girl in a pretty outfit, Stephanie — and you've got me by your side. You'll be fine."

The bus approached and she released my fingers. I realized a little sadly that we couldn't hold hands in public any more. At least not in Milford.

New Girl in School

We got onto the bus. I had more butterflies in my stomach than ever before. I'd been riding this bus for 10 years now — Otto the Busdriver Man (who was also a local farmer) had been behind the wheel every day. He just stared at me with an amazed expression.

One duplicated by every kid on the bus. Even though I'd changed sex and looked quite different, most of the kids already knew I'd been hit with GB. Plus, this was my house — so they were able to deduce who I was very quickly. All conversation stopped as Sue and I took our seats. I made sure to smooth my skirt under me. Everyone turned to stare and I was very grateful for my friend's presence. Then the whispers started.

"Holy... is that really Jack?"

"Jesus — he sure looks like a girl!"

"Get a load of that chest."

"It's not fair — how come he gets to be cuter than me?"

"She's... I mean he's a babe!"

"Nice legs."

"I wonder where she got that pretty blouse?"

"Damn — he's even hotter than his girlfriend."

"He's giving me a semi — does that mean I'm gay?"

"I love her hair — she must use a really good conditioner."

It was impossible to ignore all the comments. But I took heart in that no one seemed to think I was a boy in drag. At least they acknowledged I was female on the outside. Of course, looking at my full breasts pushing out my top and my creamy thighs projecting from my hem, it was an easy call.

One of the kids in front of us turned around. It was Arleen Larkin, an attractive girl from one of the farms down the road. She was the quiet type, shy — fond of wearing dresses a lot — a very feminine young woman. She wore her wheat- colored hair at shoulder-length and she had a more rounded figure than me (it's still hard to believe I have a figure!) We'd been bus buddies for years — but I didn't know anyone who was really close to her.

She stared at me in wonder for a moment. "Jack, you look so... great!" There was a delighted expression on her face, as if she were... glad this had happened to me.

"Thanks — I'm still trying to figure it all out."

"Well, I think you're beautiful! And I love your outfit. It's so cool you wore a skirt on your first day. How do you like being a girl?" She was almost gushing.

"How do YOU like being one?" I answered back.

"Yeah, I see what you mean. What I meant was, do you like it better than being a boy?"

I paused for a moment. "Not yet, Arleen. I still miss the old me. But... I think I can live with this."

"I know you can, Jack. You just need to give it a little time."

She continued to ask questions all the way in — she appeared actually giddy over my new form. It was remarkable - I'd captured more of her attention today than I had in the previous year. What was going on here?

There was no time to dwell on it as we arrived at the school. With my heart in my throat and Sue by my side, I went into the large building. And everywhere I went, I was gawked at. At first, the kids were just checking me out — sort of a "who's the new girl?" matter. But as people put two and two together, I seemed to be on center stage. I also felt as if I were a walking mute-button — I silenced all talk for a 20-foot radius around me.

Sue took my arm — at least we could still touch each other — had we both been guys, it would have been hands off. A little shaky, we made it to the administrative office. The GRS staff had consulted with the school — the paperwork of gender and name change already been set up. But I did need to sign some forms and so forth. The two secretaries were apparently delighted with my femininity. "Isn't she just the cutest thing?" I overheard one say.

Mixed feeling here — I didn't like being a cute thing, and yet...

I also saw the principal — Mr. Grogan. He came out of his office while I was finishing up.

"So you're Stephanie, now?" he said. I felt a little uncomfortable as he looked me up and down — his eyes lingering on my breasts and my bare legs. I suddenly wished I weren't wearing a skirt. There was just something about the way he... well, 'leered' would be too strong a word, but it seemed like that anyway.

"Yes, Mr. Grogran," I replied, a bit intimidated.

"You're the first person I've ever seen who's gone through GB. You certainly turned out to be a lovely little lady. Yes, very lovely indeed," he said slowly, creeping me out even more.

He was a tall man, with a full head of dark hair. I'd heard some of the female teachers refer to him as a handsome guy — but the girls said he made them feel uneasy. I could now see why. Maybe I can accept boys drooling over me... after all, I used to be one myself so I can have a little sympathy for them. But a grown man? Ugh.

He continued. "Well, young lady, I know you're going through a lot of adjustments. If you ever need to talk, my door is always open."

"Thank you, Mr. Grogan." Sue quickly took my arm again and pulled me out the door. I could still feel him watching me as I walked away.

"That was bizarre," I said to Sue.

"He's always been that way. He's never touched anyone as far as I know, but it still feels..."

"Degrading?" I finished.

"Yeah. How come some men are like that, Stephanie?"

"I think they just never finish growing up. One thing's for sure — I'm going to steer clear of him."

"I guess your feminine intuition is kicking in."

I smiled at that. "God knows I need it — the way I look now."

While walking to my locker I was still adjusting to my very female outfit. The silky panties caressed my butt in a quite stimulating way. The lace on the leg bands tickled me near some very personal places. Boxers had never captured my attention like this! And I continued to be intrigued by the skirt — the way it swirled around my thighs, the hem gently swaying as I walked. I felt this sensation of being... open, somehow. I can't really describe it — but wearing a skirt made me feel more girly, more cute and more... vulnerable all at the same time.

I did notice with relief that I was adopting some of the mannerisms I'd seen on other females. I constantly reached up to brush my hair back from my face — a routine that was becoming automatic. I occasionally tugged on the straps of my bra, gently stretching across my slim shoulders. My hips swayed just by walking — I didn't have to try to move like a girl... I just did it. My arms swung a bit wider than before, to account for my new anatomy. I still felt a little clumsy in this body, despite its natural grace — but I did appear like a real young woman. Hardly my choice, of course — but I felt less freakish than before. You may think it odd that I truly wanted to act like a girl — but my goal was simple: just fit in.

Next to my locker, I spotted Becky and Hal. Unlike before, they weren't holding hands — though they appeared to be having a spirited conversation. They turned to look at us.

"Ja... Jack?" Becky said uncertainly.

"In the flesh," I responded. "Albeit a little differently shaped."

"Good Lord, you're adorable!" You know, that reaction was becoming less bothersome to me as time went by. "How do you like it so far?"

"I'd like it a lot more if this damn bra didn't dig into me so much," I said, struggling once again with the straps.

"Ah, the price of femininity," Becky commiserated. "But with a chest like yours, it's par for the course."

"I'd rather be a couple of strokes under par than over it. How do you all ever get used to these things?"

"Years of practice. You never got a chance to wear a training bra, so for you it's like going from fifth grade to the varsity team in one weekend."

Meanwhile, Hal just gazed at me, stunned. It was so odd to have to stare up at him now. I saw an expression in his eyes I'd seen before — when he'd looked at Becky.

Uh, oh.

She grabbed one of my arms and Sue took the other. "Time for some girl talk, Hal — no boys allowed," Becky said as they hustled me down the hall. I thought I saw a look of wistfulness on Hal's face and I was amazed to feel a hint of smugness as we both realized I'd just gained entrance to a private club he could never join.

We arrived at a quiet corner where I explained my name change and gave Becky an abbreviated version of my Girl School experiences.

"I'm impressed, Stephanie. You seem to be handling this so well. I told you it would work out."

"Becky, not to get your hopes up, but the jury's still out. I'm not sure about anything yet, especially how I'm going to pee while in this getup."

"Don't worry. You'll figure it out. Speaking of which — Sue, how the heck did you get her into a skirt?"

"Oh, just a little peer pressure," Sue replied. "She won't admit it, but I think she's starting to like it."

Both girls turned to me. "Well, I wouldn't go that far — let's just say I'm giving it a chance."

"You go, girl," Becky said — half mocking, half serious. "Remember, I'm on your side, too."

With that, I went to homeroom. Everyone froze in place — gazing at me while I took Jack's chair. The attendant called my old name, I had to correct her in that breathy, little-girl voice I'd acquired. The usual whispers began. While sitting there, I noticed a boy a couple of rows ahead had bent over to tie his shoe. He seemed to be taking a long time, until I realized what was going on.

He was peeking up my skirt! Being a veteran of such techniques in my younger days, I knew how easy it was to catch a 'money shot' if a girl was not alert. Which was the problem — my knees were a few inches apart. Not much, but enough to give him a thrill. Instantly, I crossed my legs — blushing the whole time. All right, I will admit it — I was beginning to enjoy wearing pretty panties. But there was no way I wanted to model them for the guys!

From that point forward, I kept my thighs practically welded together under my skirt. During the next two classes, I got lots of comments from the other (other!) girls about my looks, my clothes and so on. Most of them were positive — in fact, a surprising number of girls seemed to believe my transformation was actually cool. Their attitude was that going from boy to girl could be construed as a... promotion. I was a long way from that — I still felt as though I'd been downsized. Literally.

On the other hand, the guys were more distant — socially that is. It was for sure they were checking me out intensely. But I could tell they were rattled by it all. And I knew why. On the one hand, I was an attractive young woman — and they were attracted. On the other hand, they knew I used to be a guy — so there was that whole homophobia thing going on.

Fine with me. I wanted the boys to give me some space. By this point, I was beginning to enjoy some of the social aspects of being a girl. The clothes were awkward, but kind of fun. I did seem to be connecting with the other ladies of the class in a deeper way. And the bond I was forming with Sue and Becky was nearly exhilarating. But I remained intensely intimidated by my sexuality. I didn't even want to deal with my vagina myself, let alone have any boys go there. And let there be no mistake — I knew exactly what the boys wanted from me.

Actually, that's not fair. When I thought back to my prior romance with Sue, the magic of being in love with a girl was much more than just physical. And I'd spent enough time with guys like Hal to know that many of them really did want a relationship that went beyond fumbling around the couch. There were guys who could emotionally act as if they were something more than a collection of teenage hormones.

But despite that awareness, I just wasn't ready. Hell, I didn't know if I could even be aroused by a boy! After all, last night I'd attempted to seduce my girlfriend — I was still... enthusiastic about women's bodies — despite having one of my own.

Between classes, I endured another initiation into femininity — a trip to a public bathroom. I stood outside the door marked with the doll-like representation of a female. Interesting how the gender distinction in clothing is so profound that using the icon of a figure in a dress was sufficient to identify the facility as 'for women only'. Even more interesting as I realized how universal the symbol was — even overseas.

I took a deep breath and entered the bathroom. This was my first trip to forbidden territory — last week I could have gotten detention for walking in here. Immediately, I was struck by how the place smelled a lot better than the boy's restroom. And then there were only stalls. As I moved toward the center, one girl was at the mirror — working on her makeup. She smiled at me as she walked out — no shriek of protest at a boy sneaking in. To her, I was simply another girl.

That fact was driven home as I looked at the infamous 'gumball machine' — the term I'd heard girls use to describe the maxipad dispenser. Just like an arcade game - a quarter a play. I stared at the small vending contraption in wonder — realizing how far I'd come across the great divide. Up to now, I hadn't really thought all that much about my periods. I mean — I knew I was going to have them, but only in the abstract. Now though, the stark reality of my impending womanhood was right in front of me.

With a shuddering breath, I entered one of the stalls. Obviously, this was going to be different. I slowly lifted the hem of my plaid skirt, revealing those ever- so-cute panties I was wearing. Struggling, I held the skirt up with my forearms while I hooked my thumbs in the lace waistband, sliding my pretty underpants down my thighs. I sat — careful to keep my skirt raised. The position was faintly humiliating — no one was there to see me, of course — but I still felt embarrassed. Skirt hiked up to my waist, underwear pulled down — not much dignity in that.

I finished, wiped, etc and went to wash my hands. In the mirror, I gazed at the utterly female face reflected back. This was my life now. I'm this girl.

God, how did this happen to me?

You have to understand, I'd embarked on an uncertain journey towards mental girlhood. With GRS and also with Sue, Becky and my Mom I felt as if I were making progress in accepting who I now was. But in moments like these, when I was alone, doing something new and uniquely female — I backslid a little. The sense of loss, of Jack, of the boy I once was seemed to strike me harder whenever I was confronted with additional proof of my new role as a girl.

My eyes grew moist and I sniffled a bit. I guess I just missed my old life.

I took a second deep breath and headed out the door. I was also dealing with another new hassle — my purse. I wasn't used to carrying the damn thing — I kept leaving it behind and racing back to get it before the next ball rang. Other than my wallet, I didn't even have anything in it. Although (as my recent trip to the restroom had demonstrated) I'd have to stock it up sometime in the next 28 days.

I had another interesting encounter in between classes. Our discus thrower, Big Mark Williams (BMW) — all six-feet six of him — came over to my locker. If he'd seemed large before, he now loomed over me as if he were Andre the Giant. The shadow he cast felt like an eclipse. At best, I came up to his chest. I tilted my head way, way back and met his eyes.

He checked me out from head to toe (in a nice way), smiled kindly and reached one hand (the size of my head) to pat my shoulder. "Looking good, dude." Then he lumbered off.

Now that was cool. No mocking, no leering, just a friendly appreciation for my new appearance. Guys, if you want to make a girl feel at ease (especially if she used to be a boy), that's the way to do it.

That led me to my next challenge — gym class. For me, phys- ed was rather redundant — I got far more exercise during track practice. But it beat sitting around some study hall, so I always went through the routine.

Not so routine today. I squared my shoulders, tried to calm my racing heart and slow my breathing.

Then I walked into the girl's locker room.

Mute-button time again. Complete silence as I made my way to the locker I'd been assigned. The room was laid out just like the boy's side. My locker was painted the same color. The benches were mounted in the usual place.

Yep, just like before. Except for the thirty or so half- naked girls around me. I tried very hard to keep my eyes to myself — despite the astonishing variety of female bodies on display. The last thing I wanted was to find myself ostracized further by causing the other girls to feel as though I was drooling over them.

Which of course, I was. Some of these ladies had been the target of admiring glances since my buddies and I were in the sixth grade. And now I was seeing them in their underwear. It took all my mental discipline to focus my eyes on my locker and the simple task of changing clothes. I slipped slowly out of my skirt and pulled off my top.

A few girls had actually covered themselves when I came in — and were clearly still reluctant to reveal their bodies to me. The whispers started again.

"I can't believe they let him in here."

"Yeah — but isn't that bra and panty set cute?"

"Jesus, do you think they're real?"

"Nah — she stuffs. I'm sure of it."

"Well, she sure doesn't look like a boy."

"I don't care — they should have kicked him out of school. What a pervert — trying to act like he's a real girl."

Fuck that. I'd had enough. My turn.

"All right, everybody, a moment of your time, please!" I had every head facing me instantly. Still standing in my matching pink underwear, I continued, speaking firmly in my soft soprano.

"I know some of you may not want me here. If it's any consolation, I don't want to be here either. Milford has lots of very pretty girls, but it's not like I volunteered for a lifetime of periods just to sneak a peak at you. Y'all are cute — but nobody's that cute. Fact is — we're stuck with this. So we might as well live with it. I promise not to make a pass at anybody in this room. In turn, maybe you can help me figure out what to do if the boys make passes at me. Besides, I don't have anything you don't have."

And with a theatrical flourish, I took off my bra.

This was a bit of dirty pool, for I had a secret weapon. Two of them, to be precise. There was a whooshing sound - dozens of sudden intakes of breath. I knew from the comments I'd received at Girl School that GB females had rather special chests. I'd confirmed that upon seeing Sue and catching brief glimpses of the girls in this room. I'm not trying to be arrogant here, but I knew my breasts were exceptional compared to the average teenager. As a "C" cup, I was large, but not overly endowed (for which I was very grateful). And my breasts were perfectly formed, like wide- rimmed champagne glasses. So between their size, shape and firmness — I knew I had quite a pair.

The other girls stared at my breasts with looks of pure jealousy. And for the first time, I took a little pride in having the damn things. They sure were a conversation stopper! As I reached for my sports bra, I made certain the smugness I felt was not revealed on my face. Standing there in just a very skimpy pair of sheer panties, my female sex could not possibly be denied.

Which was exactly what I'd intended. I would have jumped at a chance to go back, but if I had to be a girl, I didn't want anybody doubting it. As GRS had taught me, sexual ambiguity doesn't play well — particularly in a hick town like Milford. By the end of this day, the thirty girls in my gym class will have reported every detail of my new body to all the other girls in the school. And that would make my transition a lot easier. Of course, the guys will end up getting the same report, but there wasn't a lot I could to do about that.

I pulled on my sports bra, noting how it flattened my chest and seemed to keep me from flopping around as much. The other girls resumed their normal discussions, although I noticed Arleen Larkin, my bus buddy, still casting glances at me. There was a look in her eyes that was vaguely familiar and I began to get a little suspicious.

The class was volleyball. As I played I noticed a little less hot dogging and a little more team spirit amongst the girls than when I was a boy. I was still settling in to my body, so I felt awkward. I kept jumping for blocks I could have made before, but was now too short to reach. The net was so high! Still, I was able to help my side to victory. Between that and my locker room performance earlier, some of the girls started to relax around me. A few were a bit hostile yet, but things were thawing somewhat. I got a lot of curious questions, about whether I liked being a girl better and so forth. I was noncommittal — told them I was still trying to figure it all out.

Which was true, as far as it went. But I was also engaging in some diplomacy. If I projected a morose, bitter, doom and gloom attitude, the other girls might find it insulting. I didn't want to give the impression that I believed being a girl was degrading.

Besides, was it really so bad? Nothing truly terrible had happened to me so far. The whole thing was surreal, yes — but not awful. As we left the court, I saw Coach Bradford — I ran over to him.

"Hello, Stephanie."

"You recognize me, Coach?"

"I'd know that stride anywhere. You sure do..."

I filled in the blank. "I know," I sighed. "I'm cute."

He laughed. "Actually, I was going to say you sure do need a new uniform. We've got our next meet against Oxton tomorrow. I expect you to be there."

"Coach, I'm not sure if I..."

"Remember your promise, Stephanie? You said you'd do one competition under the clock. I'm holding you to that."

I was very nervous about running again. I already knew the verdict — my miler days were finished. Volleyball was a subjective thing — but the stopwatch was not. Once I did the race, the proof of my physical inferiority as a female would be complete.

But I had promised him. "Okay."

"Good. Then let's get you your new outfit."

He led me to a supply closet where the track team uniforms were stored. After a few embarrassing questions about my measurements, he handed me the gold top and blue bottom (Milford's school colors) along with the matching sweats. The fabric was much softer and stretchier than my old uniform. I took the gear from him reluctantly.

"You're all set, Stephanie. I'll see you at practice tonight — then tomorrow, we'll see what you can do as a girl." He still had that glint in his eye. I wondered what was up.

"Oh, and Stephanie?" I turned to him. "You are cute," he smiled at me.

I returned to the locker room and began to change back into my street clothes. I did notice the others changing as well — I was amazed at the variety of underwear. No two girls had on the same style panties. It was a riot of patterns and materials. Clearly, girls chose to express their individuality through their taste in lingerie. I wondered if it was possible to draw any conclusions between what a girl wore on the outside versus what she wore underneath. Was the shy girl in baggy clothes trying to make a personal statement in sporting a sexy bikini set next to her skin? Even though she knew no boy would see it? Especially if she knew no boy would see it?

Freud might have had a field day — if he'd put down the cocaine long enough. Still, he did say the greatest mystery in psychology was trying to figure out 'what do women want?"

Damned if I know, either.

I pulled on my skirt, and finished getting dressed. Contrary to what you may have seen in the movies, most high school girls do not shower after gym class. Underwear and even bare breasts were one thing — full nudity was not. Despite there being no boys anywhere, we washed up at the sinks. Another culture change.

And so my day continued. From time to time, I ran across Sue or Becky, who gave me thumbs up. I was also settling into this body more. And I had to admit something to myself:

I liked having a vagina.

I know, I know! It's so bizarre to say — but it was true. I felt so, so comfortable between my legs — no constant shifting of the manly hydraulics. I could cross my thighs with ease (which was very essential in this skirt) and it seemed more aesthetically pleasing in an odd way. Neater. Nicer. More... attractive. It's difficult to describe. If you're a man reading this, the sense of loss would appear to be the greatest trauma you could face. No more penis? Shades of John Bobbit! I know I felt that way when I first learned of GB.

But the reality of the female crotch was much different. I didn't feel bereft of my manhood as much as before. The smooth, subtle folds of my vulva complemented my new form very well. And the silky feel of my nylon panties sent a constant, pleasant tingle across my entire body.

Now I'm not saying I liked being a girl better. I still didn't want anything to do with sex this way. And I sure as hell didn't enjoy the frailty of a female. It's just that, in and of itself, my vagina was... cool.

On the other hand, there were the breasts. Yes, I'd enjoyed showing them off in gym class — but it was still unnerving to have them. They were just so... there! At the corner of my eye, or when I leaned over something or someone, or just when walking around. The colloquial 'headlights' really did apply. Their presence was a ceaseless distraction — not only for me, but for the boys, too. The brief conversations I had with the guys were frustrating — for I only got eye contact with them 50 percent of the time.

That in turn reminded me of how it was harder for a woman to be taken seriously in any given environment. She could be at the office, making a professional presentation — and most of the guys would be thinking: "She's right. And nice rack!" Now I was in the same boat.

I was starting to understand the crucial definition breasts made for a girl's sexuality. A guy's manhood was hidden — if size did matter, it was only in bed. But a girl's chest — my chest — was out there for all to see. If she was too small, she wasn't sexy enough. Too big, and she was a slut. But whatever her size, her very womanhood was displayed for everyone's judgment — in a way that a boy never experienced.

That fact was driven home when I rounded another corner and had my first female encounter with Andy Marks. My heart leapt into my throat. He was accompanied by his usual goons - today I'll call them Pol and Pot. Of course their initial reaction was to stare at my breasts. Then they looked at my face and recognition dawned.

"All right! Big, tough Jack is now a little girl," he exulted. "Isn't she cute, boys?" Pol and Pot grunted assent. "And wearing a skirt on her first day. You were definitely born to be a cunt. Stephanie, is it? A good, girly name for you."

They had me cornered in the standard formation. They were so tall! No one in the corridor, either. Remember what I said a few moments ago about liking my vagina? Forget it. I wanted my old body back. Never had I felt so vulnerable.

"You sure turned out to be sexy, Stephanie. Are you a horny little bitch yet? I hear GB girls start getting wet for guys pretty quick. Why don't we check your panties and see? Boys..." Pol and Pot reached for my skirt. I fought to keep the hem against my legs and breathed a sigh of relief when the bell sounded and the hallway filled with students.

As the three left me, Marks took one last shot. "I know you're just dying to have me, girl. Don't worry — you'll get your chance."

I raced for the bathroom, grateful to retreat to a females- only environment. Trembling, I tucked my hair behind my ears, washed my face, and tried to get calm. Jesus, that had been scary! If they'd had more time with me, who knows what would have happened? I remembered the discussion with my mother. She'd warned me that some guys were dangerous. But I'd already understood that about Marks and his cohorts. Yet the knowledge wouldn't have helped me. They could have...

I burst into tears. Standing at the mirror, I couldn't help it. A couple of girls came up to me and asked me if I was all right. Apparently, they didn't realize I was once Jack. They both patted my shoulder.

"Boy trouble?" one inquired.

"You could say that," I managed to reply.

"Don't worry. He'll see the light. If he doesn't, he's not worth your time."

I didn't bother to correct her. But I was touched by the concern she and her friend were showing me — a complete stranger. There's something about this sisterhood thing I was really beginning to appreciate. A guy crying in a boy's bathroom would have gotten his ass kicked. I smiled and thanked them.

It took me the rest of the day to get myself back under control. I went to track practice for the first time in a week. Changing in the girl's locker room wasn't so dramatic now. Besides, this was a different set of kids. I knew them all well, for they'd been my teammates for years. Sue did not run track, but Becky did. She was adorable in her flowered blue underwear and we chatted a bit as we finished getting dressed. I told her about my first day — but I didn't talk about the encounter with Andy Marks. I felt somehow... ashamed.

We headed out to the oval and there I saw Hal for the first time since this morning. It was very weird being around him and I could tell he felt the same way. We spoke little as we went through our stretching routine. Good lord, I was limber! It seemed as if I were made out of rubber. I could reach positions only dreamed of before. I smiled a little at the ease my body had in the poses. Maybe I'll take up yoga.

I did a light workout. No speed drills or fartlek (if you don't know the term, don't worry.) I ran with Becky for most of the laps — our strides mirroring each other. It occurred to me that I would be racing against her tomorrow. After all, she was the school record holder for the Milford girls in the mile. But I resisted the temptation to challenge her. I was going to run one last meet for Coach Bradford.

Then I was going to quit the team.

After practice, Hal came up to me.

"How are..." I started.

"Are you..." he started.

We paused for an awkward moment. This was silly! Hal had been my best friend for years. We'd shared so much, from school to running to girls. Hell, I loved him. Of course, in a million years, I never would have told him that — guys don't communicate that way. But there was no peer I was closer to than him. So there was no reason for our friendship to change.

Yet it had.

My breasts had come between us — metaphorically speaking. Hal was not leering at me in the least, and there was a genuine look of concern on his face. He cared about me, I could tell. But still, it was different now.

Because he saw me as attractive.

And worse, as I looked up at his ever so blue eyes, with his chiseled chin and thick dark hair — I think I saw him as attractive, too.

Oh God. There was a sensation of butterflies in my stomach as I felt, for a fleeting moment, a girl's desire — for a boy.

"Are you doing okay... Stephanie?" he asked. "I've been so worried about you."

"I'm... I'm alright."

"Don't take this the wrong way — but you look great."

I knew what he meant — it was kind of like how Mark Williams had greeted me earlier today. No drooling, just respectfully admiring the view.

"Thanks."

"Are you going to run against Oxton tomorrow?"

"Yeah — I promised the coach one race. I'll keep it."

"That's good. Oxton's got an excellent team. We need to be at full strength."

"My full strength isn't what it used to be, Hal."

"Maybe. But you've still got guts. I can't even imagine going through everything that you are. I mean, wearing a bra? Or having a... And yet you're here — part of the team. One thing's for sure, you're as tough as ever."

"Yeah, it takes a real man to be a girl." The comment was so ludicrous we burst out laughing.

As we walked back to the locker rooms, we managed to resume some of our old banter. It was almost normal — except for the sideways glances we kept casting, when we thought the other person wasn't looking. He, checking out my chest — and me, checking out his... legs. I was strangely interested in the muscles on his thighs. Oh my...

We arrived at the gym — and there our routine came to an end. I didn't join him in the locker room — instead, I walked over to the girl's side. Where I belonged.

While heading home, I found myself fascinated by how I was fascinated by Hal's body. I shouldn't have been the least bit excited. And yet he made me feel, if not outright horny, at least... intrigued. I fought to ignore the thought.

I arrived home to find my mother eagerly awaiting.

"How was your day, sweetie?"

"Well, a boy tried to peek up my skirt, I think the principal is a letch, I flashed the girls in my gym class and guys are beginning to turn me on."

Mom laughed. "You know, honey, that sounds like a typical day for a girl."

I had to laugh, too. "Yeah, I suppose it is."

"So are you really thinking about boys?"

"Not exactly. I mean, I don't want to go out with anybody — but... I don't know, Mom. I guess it's just that I see the potential with boys — even if I'm not ready to act on it. It's so confusing. But I still like girls, too."

"You're probably about the same I was when I was eleven. I knew boys were out there — and I was starting to wonder about them — yet I didn't want to go near them. Then again, I did."

"That's exactly where I am, Mom. Only for me — I still feel repelled by the idea. I used to BE a boy — I shouldn't want to be WITH them. It almost seems... gay."

"Oh, honey — I don't think labels like gay and straight can have any meaning for you. Your body has its needs and you'll just act on them when you're ready. Will you be with boys or with girls? Only time can tell. What did they say at GRS?"

"They told me I would probably be attracted to boys."

"That's how I see it. You've got a healthy teenage girl's body and if you become like I was at your age, you won't be able to stop dreaming about boys. It's not like you choose to want them — you just do."

"Yuck."

She smiled. "Physically, you're a 17 year-old female. Mentally, you're a 17 year-old male. But your mind is switching over. From a psychological perspective, you're probably a girl between 8 and 10 years old."

"I don't believe it."

"Let me prove it, then. Come with me."

She led me to my room, and opened my closet door. There, a dozen very feminine outfits were hung up. Skirts and dresses; blouses and jumpers. She also opened up my underwear drawer. My white basic cotton undies were all gone, replaced by an astonishing array of dainty panties and bras — in many colors and styles, lots of lace etc, etc.

"Jesus, Mom — did you carjack a shipment to the Limited?"

"Before you pass judgment on me, look me in the eyes and answer one question truthfully: how did you feel wearing a skirt today?"

I hesitated for a moment. "I... I..."

"It felt wonderful, didn't it?" she prompted.

Damn — she was right. "Yes, mom... it did feel special."

"And the underwear, too. Didn't it make you feel all pretty and girly?"

"Yeah, yeah."

"And there's a part of you that really liked feeling that way, isn't there?"

I felt like I was being interrogated by the 'Law and Order' guys. "You're leading the witness, Mom — but... yes."

"That's the part of you that's a little girl — and she's determined to assert her gender identity. Your cousins are acting that way right now. They love any excuse to wear a dress."

My mom's sister had two daughters — age six and eight. I only saw them a couple of times a year. They could be a real pain — but they were also very cute kids. I'd always been fond of them — they kind of looked up to me. And Mom was right — they loved to play dress-up and wear frilly clothes any chance they could get.

Mom continued. "Now you're like they are — you're getting to explore your femininity. All little girls are like that. Most of them move past the 'fluffy' stage by the time they're teenagers. But since you never got to wear skirts when you were younger, you're going through that phase now."

"I don't think so."

"Oh really?" She walked over to the closet and held out that cute pink number she'd enticed me with on our first shopping trip. She led me to the mirror and placed the dress against me. "Tell me you don't want to wear this to school tomorrow."

I could see from my reflection how adorable I'd look in it. Just say no. Say no! But I couldn't. Because, dammit, I did want to wear it. Incredible. One day in a skirt and I couldn't resist the idea of dressing like that some more.

"Okay. I admit it. I want to wear it."

"And cute panties with a matching bra underneath?"

"All right, all right. You win. Yes, Mom, I like dressing up as a girl. I know I shouldn't, but..."

"Why shouldn't you like it?" she prodded.

"Well... because..."

"Because you still think, deep inside, that for a boy to become a girl is embarrassing."

"I suppose."

"That's the part of you trying to resist all of this. But what you're starting to learn is that there are benefits as well. You lose, but you gain too. Being female is special in it's own way — and you're realizing that now. So don't fight it — go with it. Enjoy your girlhood."

She was right. If I stripped away the male attitude I had, and tried to look objectively at how I felt about this body and about wearing skirts and pretty underwear — I flat out liked it. My reluctance to acknowledge it was based on habit — upon the disdain all boys were supposed to feel about girly things.

But then, I'm not really a boy anymore, am I?

I didn't know if my changing attitude was a result of GB reshaping my mind, or just the natural consequence of experiencing femininity — but either way, I was starting to like being a young woman.

And much of what went with it.

But not all, I reflected later as I was getting ready for bed. Aside from the extreme length of time it took to do my hair, etc, I was still fretting over the whole Andy Marks thing. I knew he'd be causing me more problems, and I also knew I was vulnerable to him in a new way now. As I pulled my sleepshirt over my ample breasts (still amazed at how my nipples poked through), I wondered what I was going to do about it.

While lying in bed, I was struck by how the blanket rested more heavily against my crotch than before. A small thing, but another reminder of how my life had changed. I faded off to sleep, visions of the day — Becky and Sue and all the girls from the locker room flashing through my mind.

I Want a Boy-Toy

And I dreamed.

I was drifting, drifting gently on a placid body of water. Smooth, calming, peaceful. There was no raft, no boat — just my body and the warmth of the ocean supporting me. But after a time, I felt a tide begin to lift me. Slowly at first, then more rapidly as I felt myself carried ever higher by the now-turbulent waves. Yet I felt no danger — in fact, the more violent the water, the more relaxed I seemed. Then, just when it appeared I could rise no higher, I felt the waves suddenly recede — almost as if the water was flowing... through my body, draining and draining. Until there was no more water, and I was left on a sandy beach, a wonderful lassitude filling me.

I rolled over and looked into the eyes of my lover.

He smiled back at me.

He?!

Then I woke up and immediately realized what had happened.

I'd just had a wet dream.

A GIRL's wet dream.

With an emphasis on the 'wet' part! My legs were spread as wide as they could be and my panties were completely soaked. In fact, they were dripping. Even the sheets below were damp. There was a musky, female odor in the air. I felt a throbbing between my legs and my nipples were straining against my sleepshirt.

Jesus! Now I'd a few of these as a boy, but never had I left a mess like this! Embarrassed at the unladylike, yet feminine position my legs had assumed, I quickly brought my knees together and got up. A few minutes later, fresh sheets and fresh panties in place, I felt a little calmer. But still! I realized what a wet dream represented — a body's release of sexual tension while sleeping. Yet the strange nature of the dream, along with the prodigious quantity of fluids I'd produced, demonstrated the new world I was now in. The world of a woman.

For I remembered the last part of the dream. I'd had a lover. A male lover.

I really didn't want to go there. But obviously, my body did. I returned to an uneasy sleep.

The next morning, while screwing up my courage to wear the pink dress my mom had gotten me, I thought about what had happened. In essence, I'd had a girl's orgasm. Granted, I'd been asleep, but the intensity of it resonated still. Different than a boy's. Much different. Especially the... ejaculation. I'd had no idea girls could be so... productive!

Definitely a unique experience. How much more intense would it be if I were awake? And stimulating myself directly? Or being stimulated by someone else?

I pulled the dress over my head. It was a bit longer than yesterday's skirt. Light pink, flowers, spring-style, etc. I finished getting ready and got a huge hug from my mom as she gushed over how pretty I looked in the outfit — a fact I'd confirmed in the glass.

The more time I spend as a female, the more time I spend in front of mirrors. Remember the classic Norman Rockwell painting of a young girl in her slip, staring at her reflection? She was wondering what kind of woman she was going to be. I was doing the same. Physical appearance was becoming more important to me than ever before.

Please don't think me conceited. I wasn't taking pride in my looks, quite the opposite — I was still unsettled by them. I knew I was cute — but that was because I'd spent a lifetime as a boy looking at girls — so I had a perspective other girls lacked. But also because I'd been a boy, I knew (better than other girls) what boys would think when they saw me.

Yet wearing the dress was... fun. Along with my satiny panties, I felt so... so... girly! There was another whole set of uniquely feminine feelings running through me — new feelings that I was really starting to enjoy. So — confused, pleased, awkward and excited — I headed for the bus to start my day.

I sat down next to Arleen, who continued to be enthralled with my dress, my hair, my femininity, etc. She kept looking at me with such a deep expression, one that I was beginning to recognize. When we arrived at school, she suddenly took my arm and practically dragged me to an unoccupied office. Then she locked the door.

By now, I'd figured out what was going on — so I was not surprised when she kissed me.

No sisterly kiss between girlfriends, either. She was simultaneously shy and bold, a rather appealing combination. As she pressed her lips to mine, my arms automatically went around her. She was so soft — and curvier than either Sue or myself. Finally, after a delightful minute of interlocking tongues, I pushed away from her.

"Arleen, is there something you want to tell me?"

She blushed, looked at the floor and finally said, "I guess I'm not really like other girls."

"That's okay, neither am I," was my light-hearted response.

"I've always had certain feelings that just don't fit in."

"You've done an incredible job of concealing them. I never would have guessed. You're so... feminine!"

"That was the whole idea, Stephanie. I knew from childhood that I was attracted to girls. I also knew the rest of the world would condemn me for it. And being trapped in this fucking small town!" I jumped a little — I'd never heard her curse before. "If anybody in Milford even suspected I was gay, I would have been branded, outcast as unclean."

She sighed deeply, then continued. "So I dressed in... dresses. Wore my hair long. Put on make-up. Acted like a girly-girl. I even dated a couple of boys, just to keep the illusion going. I tried to hide not only from everyone else, but also from myself. But I always failed. Oh, no one figured it out. But on the inside — I kept wanting what I could never have.

"Last year was the worse," she said softly, her eyes brimming with unshed tears. "I fell in love for the first time. With one of our classmates. I won't tell you her name. It was like a wonderful dream and a terrible nightmare at the same time. I had all these amazing, powerful feelings for her. I wanted to go to a mountaintop and shout, 'I love this girl!'

"But I couldn't. I had to bottle everything up, bury all my emotions. I'd see her in the halls every day and my heart would leap. Then it would plunge into an abyss when I realized I could never share what I felt. It was worse than unrequited love — I knew the very thought of being with me would repel her. And... and I couldn't even tell anyone else! Not my friends, not my family... no one. All I could do was hide... conceal... deny."

She was openly crying now. "It took months for me to recover. I just kept saying to myself... someday. Someday I'd get out of this damn town and find a place where I could be who I really was... without being ashamed."

She looked at me through lowered eyelashes. "You're the first person I've ever told."

I thought about what she had said. I was so very sympathetic for her pain — for I knew how she felt. After all, I'd lost my girlfriend the same way. And I'd been able to share my love with Sue — at least for a while. And even now, I didn't have to pretend our feelings never existed. Not the way Arleen had been forced to.

I walked over to her, wrapped my arms around her and gave her a huge hug. "Arleen, you've nothing to fear from me. If there's one girl in this school who understands, I'm her. I'm so sorry. I wish you'd never had to go through what you did."

She held the hug for a few moments, then stepped back for a moment. "You're such a sweetheart, Stephanie. Even when you were Jack, I thought you were special. You were always nice to me. I... I used to fantasize about us."

"Despite the fact I was male?"

"True, I'm not really big on guys. I think girls are better all around. But you were so cool — for a boy. I'd imagine us going out on a date. Then something would happen to turn you into a... girl. Some spell, or aliens or whatever. And once you were female, we'd be together the way I always dreamed of being with a woman."

I looked at her. She smiled shyly. "And now, I think my fantasy might be coming true. When you got on the bus yesterday, and you really were a girl — so pretty, so feminine — and it was no dream..."

I stood still as she approached me. "It's real," she continued — gazing at me in wonder. She cupped my face, ran her hands through my long hair, bravely caressed my breasts. Mmmm. She whispered to me: "You ARE a girl... you are SUCH a girl... will you be MY girl?" And she kissed me again. Deeply, soulfully and I felt my body respond to her touch.

Oh my, it was nice. There was no guilt. Sue and I had no romance anymore. And my sexuality had been turned inside out (or outside in?) — so there wasn't any homophobia to deal with. And unlike Sue, this young woman really, I mean REALLY wanted me. That alone piqued my interest.

So I grew very enthusiastic about it all. Our breathing became ragged as our female bodies pressed together. She was the aggressor —with all those years of denial, I may have been the first person she ever kissed. We embraced more tightly — both pairs of breasts pushing against each other — her nipples almost stinging me through our bras. She gasped as I stroked her chest, while she began to lift up my dress. There was a ringing in my ears — dizziness as our ardor increased.

It wasn't long before we ended up against the desk — both of us had our hems hiked over our hips by now as we experienced the delightful sensation of nylon panties rubbing against each other. Her hands were gently fondling my girly little butt while I entwined our smooth legs together. She laid me back and moved on top of me — with an expression of sheer pleasure on her face. We paused for a moment. Then, by unspoken agreement — we simply took off our dresses. In nothing but our frilly underwear, we resumed — caressing, stroking, kissing.

I'm sure this scene would have aroused most male observers — it certainly would have done so for me. Two pretty schoolgirls, each wearing only her bra and panties, passionately making out. I imagined a trailer for an upcoming movie: 'American Pie 4 — From Apple to Hair!'

I could feel the moisture starting between my legs, that oddly erotic softness — and the crotch of Arleen's silky undies had a wet stain as well. My nipples were so swollen! My desire grew still higher as she started to undo my bra. Oh, what desire... I pushed my groin against her, seeking to satiate the new, intense hunger that rose inside me. Deep inside me. Which could only be satisfied by...

A thought came into my hormone-addled mind then. Opera.

Yes, I said opera.

Stick with me here.

My mother dragged me to several operas over the years, all of which were crashing bores to me. Part of that is because the Syracuse and Binghamton theaters are about 200 miles off Broadway and the Met — Beverly Sills and Placido Domingo don't hang out much with us John-Boy types in the boonies. But the main reason I never got into opera was simple — I never had a passion for it. I did appreciate the technical skill of the productions, the elaborate staging, the over-the-top story lines and the magnificent singing.

I could respect it, even admire it, but there was no magic about it for me. Remember 'Pretty Woman'? There's a moment when Richard Gere (having quit gerbils cold-turkey) takes Julia Roberts to an opera. Before it begins, he tells her she will either have a true passion for it — immediately - or she won't. He says if she doesn't, she may learn to appreciate it — but she will never be enraptured by the art.

As we know, she swooned over the production, thrilled from the first moment. She did have it.

But when it came to Arleen, I didn't. Oh, I could appreciate Arleen's lovely body, her cute face and shining hair. And there was no question my physical arousal was real. I was very wet and excited from her stimulation.

But I felt no passion for her. Dammit — I should! She's a sweet, sexy young girl. I should want to be all over her. But what I really wanted was something else.

I wanted her inside me. But like me, she was female. And so she couldn't satisfy my new craving — the strange hunger I felt deep within me. I didn't want her like this. I wanted...

I wanted a boy.

The irony nearly made me laugh. Here was Arleen, who fantasized about turning me into a girl. But now that the impossible had actually happened, I wanted her to turn into a guy.

Because that was my body's desire. My... vagina... really, really wanted to be... penetrated. (I still have trouble combining the word 'my' with 'vagina'!) The intensity of these novel, yet exciting female urges shocked me. And even mentally, I found myself far more open to the possibility of boys than I ever would have imagined.

So, like opera, I could appreciate and respect Arleen's beauty and her sexuality. But I could not embrace it — not the way she wanted.

Arleen sensed my emotional disconnection and paused. She looked deeply into my eyes.

"It's not working for you, is it, Stephanie?" she said sadly.

"I'm sorry, Arleen — you're so sexy and I really want to want you, but..." I was echoing Sue from the other night.

"I understand, Stephanie. I kind of thought that since you were once a boy you might find the idea of being with another girl appealing."

"I thought I would, too — but I'm... I'm changing. Inside. You're so attractive, Arleen. I'd love to be with you — it wouldn't matter to me who was the boy and who was the girl. I'd gladly play either role. But..."

"As long as there was both a boy AND a girl," she said.

"Yeah... they told me at GRS that straight people stay straight, even after the change. I just never imagined I'd get these... feelings so quickly."

Arleen sighed again, and her eyes were watery. "I'd hoped, Stephanie..."

"That you wouldn't have to be alone anymore."

"Ye... Yes..." tears were spilling down her face again.

"But you're not alone, Arleen. You will get the hell out of this place, and we're both worldly enough to know there are communities out there where you can be yourself and be accepted." I spoke very firmly, cupping her chin in my small hand and meeting her eyes squarely. "You will find the love you deserve. I know it. And there's something else."

"What?" she asked, a hint of interest in her voice.

"You don't have to keep it all inside anymore. Anytime you need, whatever you're feeling — love, sadness, whatever — there's one person you can talk to. One person whom you can say anything to — and she'll never judge you. She'll just be your friend and support you."

"Uh... would that be you?" she managed a little smile.

"Yes, yes and more yes! Arleen — I know better than most what you're going through. My own sexuality has been a little... ambiguous lately. And I'm also amazed by you. You're so strong to have dealt with this all by yourself and still turn out to be such a cool person. So yes, girl, I am your confidant. They also told me at GRS one of the best things about being female was sharing our feelings. I can see that for myself now. Don't suffer in silence, Arleen. I'm here for you."

I could see a range of emotions play across her face. Most, though not all, were positive. I knew the bittersweet nature of it for her — she still desired me, and I could not reciprocate. But I remembered how Sue had given me a different part of her spirit to connect with — perhaps I could do the same for Arleen.

She wrapped her arms around me in another huge hug. "You're pretty amazing yourself, Stephanie. You changed sex and you're not only coping, you're helping ME! Before you were hit by GB, I always thought you'd make a fantastic girl. And now you've proven me right."

Last week, I would have considered that a bit of an insult. But now? Being told that Jack had been an apt candidate for girlhood felt almost like a compliment. Weird.

We continued the embrace until we realized we'd been in the deserted office for 20 minutes, and we were both in our underwear. Sheepishly, we broke the hug and scrambled back into our dresses.

We carefully checked the hallway before we exited the room. With a quick squeeze of hands, we said goodbye and promised to meet later. The next few classes were uneventful, although I was still dealing with my damp crotch. As a girl, I didn't have to contend with the visibility of an erection. But I did have to cope with wet panties. Fortunately, nylon dries quickly, and an hour after my encounter with Arleen, I no longer had that 'not so fresh' feeling. I resolved to pack a spare pair of undies in my purse — although I didn't plan to repeat such heavy breathing any time soon. Still, a girl can't be too careful.

Aside from the strange sensation of wearing a breezy pink spring dress, things were beginning to seem 'normal'. Kids began to talk more openly to me — with endless variations on the 'how does it feel to be a girl?' subject. But more and more of the time, I had conversations that didn't center on me at all — which was fine, indeed. Teachers, gossip, sports, homework, etc. all began to reassert their traditional place in the student body politic.

There was one unpleasant incident. While at my locker, I suddenly found a firm hand press against my back and push me against the metal. Andy Marks's voice whispered into my ear. "Hello, pussy."

I fought to free myself, but he was far too strong. There were a few kids around, but he was subtle about his body language — only if I cried out would I get any help. And I just couldn't do it.

"Looking good today, Stephanie. I'm glad to see you in a frilly dress. All the better for you to act like the cunt you are. I wonder what color panties you've got on? It won't be long before I find out — you should wear a black lacy pair for me. Our time is coming, girl — and when it does, I'm going to put you in your place. On your back, with your dress over your hips and your legs in the air. The perfect position for a girl like you."

"Let her go, Marks," a feminine voice said. He released me and I turned to see Sue and Becky glaring at him with matching expressions of disgust.

"Stephanie and I were just getting to know each other a little better," he said smoothly.

"Big mistake, Marks. The last thing you should want is for any girl to know the real you. Once she does, she'll be too busy throwing up to pay attention." Sue was harsher than I'd ever seen her.

He smiled — unaffected by the jibe. "You judge me too quickly, Wendell. I'm just a little misunderstood, that's all."

"You're not 'misunderstood' at all, Marks. But you are 'little'. Take my advice — don't wear tight pants — or your shortcomings will be all the more obvious."

Wow. His face flushed for a moment — but he was without his toadies and the three of us were standing firm. "Ah, well. I'll leave you all to carpet-munch in peace. Stephanie, I'll be seeing you around."

"Only in your dreams, Marks." I replied. He sauntered away.

Becky muttered, "I'd call him an asshole, but that would be an insult — to asses with holes."

"I'll bet between the three of us, we could have dropped him," Sue said.

"I think he was already dropped — on his head — when he was a baby," I replied.

"He's definitely got it in for you, Stephanie," Sue commented, a worried expression on her face. "Most bullies are just bluff, but he's... dangerous. Something's going to have to be done about him, before..."

She didn't finish, but I knew where she was going. Before he attacked me.

"Maybe we should report him," Becky offered. "After all, he was using physical force on her — it could qualify as assault."

"No," I replied. "I know his type well. He'd just get a slap on the wrist, and come after me all the more. I think I'm going have to solve this one on my own."

"Stephanie, not to belabor the obvious, but you're a girl now," Sue said. "Jack could have manhandled him, but you... probably can't. I don't mean it as an insult — it's just a fact of life."

"I know, Sue. Believe me, I'm very aware of the physical disadvantage. You're right — I can't 'manhandle' him. I need a more... subtle approach — I'll have to 'girlhandle' him."

"You've got something in mind?" Becky asked.

"Maybe." I replied slowly. For I had seen something in Andy Marks while he'd been looking at me. And at Becky and Sue, for that matter. Not only lust or satisfaction at dominating those weaker than him. No, there'd been something else as well. It tickled in the back of my head.

But enough for now. I had a track race to prepare for. The last one of my life.

Today would be a home meet — Oxton was making the short drive to our school. I entered the girl's locker room, pondering what was to come. I hardly paid attention to the other girls on the team, changing into their uniforms. I unpacked my own outfit and pulled my dress off over my head. I changed bras, then tugged the bright yellow tanktop with the 'Milford' sash across the front. It was a bit shorter than the boy's style, coming only an inch or two past my belly button. And then there were the little darts in the side, allowing room for my breasts — which filled the space very nicely.

Then came the bottoms.

They're called bunhuggers, or hiphuggers. Some girls derisively referred to them as 'the diapers."

Essentially, the girls' track uniform bottoms were panties.

Officially, they were called 'racing briefs' — sold by Nike. Made of a soft poly-nylon blend, they had no legs at all. If you've ever seen footage of world-class female track stars, you'd probably recognize them. They were sleek-looking and God knows as a boy I'd loved how all the girls appeared in them.

As if they were running in their underwear.

There'd been some controversy in the village about the uniform. Many of the old biddies and town elders thought the outfits were scandalous — showing far too much of the female anatomy. Coach Bradford had his way, though — for while the Milford girls were ambivalent about their appearance, every single athlete did say she felt faster wearing them.

In fact, I'd been careful to put on bikini panties this morning, because anything fuller would have been revealed by the skimpy racing briefs. I gingerly pulled on the outfit, noting the silky sensation of the fabric. Yes, the dark blue color did look great with the gold top. My hips were snugly wrapped and the flatness between my legs was all too obvious. There was a fashionable two-inch gap between the bottom of my tank top and the waistband of the briefs.

Oh well, at least everyone will know I'm a real girl.

I put on the sweats and joined the rest of the team on the track for the warm-up. Oxton was already there, camped out in the bleachers across the oval. There was the sense of anticipation in the air — that electricity I always felt before a race. The butterflies in my stomach began and I found myself bouncing on my heels. I surveyed the competition and plotted my strategy as I finished stretching.

Yep — just like any other meet. Except for the 34C breasts on my chest, the sports bra holding them and the panty- shorts I was about to reveal to the crowd!

During last night's workout, I'd been distracted by my long tresses flying in the wind, so I had Becky do a quick twist for me. Her hair was much shorter — which was for the best, since I had no idea how to braid it. The races got underway and Milford had a good start, placing well in the first set of relays and the 100-meter dash.

A track meet in full force is like a three-ring circus. There are jumpers, runners and throwers all competing simultaneously. At any given moment, a fan can see a discus arcing through the air, a pole-vaulter sailing 15 feet high, hurdlers racing for the finish and much more. It's definitely not boring.

The girls and boys compete as separate teams. Although the boys' performance does not count for the girls' team, and vice-versa, there's a tremendous camaraderie between both genders. We train side by side, ride the same bus, wear similar (though obviously not identical!) uniforms. In a way that's unique among high school sports, track bonds boys and girls together. Field hockey, football and so forth aren't the same.

So Becky and I cheered wildly for the guys as well as the girls. I wandered over to the throwing ring — where Mark Williams was methodically destroying the discus competition as always. As a two-time defending section champion, he was nearly invincible. In between tosses, I offered him encouragement (not that he needed it). He did the same for me. I also connected briefly with Hal — who was preparing for the two-mile. I was still a little nervous around him — particularly since I found myself enjoying watching him stretch.

The boys' mile finished — an Oxton runner won in a time of 4:29. I watched wistfully — knowing last week I could have beaten him by 30 seconds. I realized sadly how much I had lost.

Then it was our turn. First call for the girls' mile was announced. Becky and I stripped off our sweats. God, I felt so exposed in the racing briefs! Every eye seemed to turn to me — even though I knew I looked perfectly normal — for a girl. Despite that, I felt like I was walking around in my panties.

And to think I'd considered a skirt risquÈ! Our smooth crotches were tightly outlined by our snug uniforms. It was uncanny to see my body appear so similar to Becky's in the feminine outfit as I nervously approached the line.

Coach Bradford gave Becky and I some last minute tips. Oxton had an excellent girl miler — Melody McCarthy. She was one of the fastest girls in the state — Becky had never beaten her. We took our place with the rest — a total of six runners were competing today.

My race strategy was simple: run hard, put in a good-faith effort, go through the motions. Let's face it, I wasn't really motivated for this. Once I was done, I'd head back to the locker room and take off these silly (albeit sexy) running shorts for the last time.

The gun went off...

And it was like a switch flipping in my head.

Suddenly I was no longer a 'girl' miler. I didn't care about the breasts bouncing on my chest or the ultra-cute uniform or the fact that I was racing against females.

Instead, just like when I was a boy, all I cared about was the competition — I was an athlete, running against other athletes. Nothing else mattered. I simply wanted to WIN!

Melody took the early lead, while I hung a stride back. I was still uncertain about the pace I should set. I ignored the times called out by Coach Bradford as we finished the first lap. I had no standard from previous races to match. I just focused on the girl in front of me.

She was a strong runner, and she surged ahead several times, trying to shake me — but I hung on — getting more comfortable as we moved deeper into the race. Mid-race surges are a common strategy for good distance athletes — they can wreak psychological havoc on the competition.

And that's what distance running is all about. Speed is crucial, yes — but races are often won by tactics — by choosing the right moment to convince your opponent you're stronger than he... or she is — that you're mastered your pain. Once a competitor believes that, she's finished.

Melody saw I wasn't going anywhere — so she just maintained her swift pace, while I continued to draft off of her. I knew she was a little confused — she'd dominated our local athletic district for years. As a senior, her only real competition came at the state level. She was probably expecting an easy time of it.

Not today, sister!

Becky and the rest had fallen well back as we began the bell lap. Melody had a cute butt (she wearing the same style shorts I was), but I was getting tired of looking at it. She tried to accelerate further, but she had no higher gear to shift to. I did, though. On the backstretch, I blasted past her with a surge of my own — quickly moving ahead and cutting to the rail at the first legal opportunity. She never knew what hit her as she faded behind me. I felt very strong as I kicked all the way down the homestretch to break the tape. The crowd cheered and whistled their appreciation.

I'd just won the race! I felt all the same elation and satisfaction I had as a boy. No difference.

And that fascinated me. There was no sense of male distaste at a hollow victory — beating a bunch of girls. It was a race — and I'd won it, fair and square.

Cool!

I turned and cheered the remaining runners as they crossed the line. Becky finished third and I quickly went over to her. She was still gasping as the Coach passed on her time: 5:08, her fastest mile ever. He was about to tell me my time, when I was literally swept off my feet by Hal — who hugged me tightly. He'd never done that when I was a guy! I felt a tingly sensation all over as my breasts plumped against his chest. Whether I was ready or not, my body was clearly enjoying the close contact with a male. Reflexively, I held him tightly. Then — not so reflexively - I kept on holding him. Nice.

A bit embarrassed, we broke contact as Melody came up to me. I shook hands with her as she congratulated me.

"Who are you?" the tall brunette asked.

"Stephanie. Stephanie Lind."

"Are you related to Jack? I didn't see him here today."

"Actually, I... am... was Jack. GB."

A look of astonishment appeared on her face. "You mean, you're a boy?"

"Not anymore," I replied, gesturing at my breasts. The tight racing briefs also demonstrated my gender in an obvious way.

"But... but," Melody paused.

"But what?" I prompted.

"But... it's not fair. You ran in the girl's race!"

"So?" I said, growing a bit exasperated. "I AM a girl!"

"Well, yeah... I guess," she acknowledged reluctantly.

"Look, Melody — should we head over to the locker room so I can prove it to you?"

I was getting more than a little irritated with her. If I needed to repeat my gym class performance from yesterday, I'd gladly put her in her place. I'd already noted my chest was much more substantial than hers. Meeeooowww!

"No... I'll... I'll see you 'round." She headed off to her coach and they began a spirited conversation.

Meanwhile, Coach Bradford came over to me. He was smiling broadly. "Well, Stephanie — how did it feel?"

"It was great!" I exclaimed. "Once the race started, something came over me. I just... went for it!"

"So it felt like the old days, eh?"

"Well, except for this freaking bra, but yes... wait a minute. You knew I'd react like this," I said accusingly.

"I had no doubt. Look, Stephanie — you're a competitor — you've got the fire, the determination to win. It doesn't matter one damn bit what your gender is. You want to be the best — whether as a boy or as a girl."

I stopped to consider that. He was right — I just hadn't expected to be... satisfied with winning a girl's race. But I was. And I was hungry for more. A lot more.

"Are you ready for your time?" he asked.

"Yeah — give it to me," I said reluctantly.

"4:49 — you finished 7 seconds ahead of McCarthy."

Last week I'd done a 3:59. I'd lost fifty seconds from my best. Even though I was expecting it, it was still depressing. I sighed. "I guess Jim Ryun's record is out of the picture, Coach. No way I'm ever going to get 3:55 in this body."

"Yes, Stephanie — his record is safe from you. But there's one record you can go for."

"What's that?"

"Mary Decker."

Now that got me thinking. If there was one female distance runner who'd captured my attention before GB, it was Mary Decker. She'd utterly dominated all high-school and college competition across the country during the 1970's. At one point, she'd held every national record from 800 meters all the way through 3000. She was so good she even beat the drugged-up East German and Russian 'women' during the 1983 World Cup.

Unfortunately, the Olympics had not been kind to her. She missed out on the 1980 Moscow games because of the Carter boycott — due to the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. And in the 1984 LA games, she had that infamous collision with Zola Budd halfway through the finals of the 3000 meters. I remembered her husband carrying her off the field, while she was in tears at the end of her Olympic dream.

Still, she was nearly as much of an American track legend as Ryun. "Coach, what is her high school record for the mile, anyway?"

"4:42 — it's stood for a number of years." Hmmm. Seven seconds faster than the time I'd run today. I began to wonder if I could reach it. I'd finished today's race with a lot left — maybe...

"There's something else, Stephanie. Your 4:49 today is the fastest any girl has run in the state in two years. It's one of the three fastest in the entire country so far this season. There's no doubt about it — proportionally, you're as good as a girl as you were a boy."

"So there might be some..."

"There will be some scholarships. The colleges will be salivating over you. And not just because of how you look in those shorts."

I blushed and... giggled. Giggled? The coach continued. "Sorry, Stephanie, I couldn't resist. So how about it? Are you going to finish the season?"

For the first time since I'd gotten the news about GB, I felt my dream was alive again. "Yes, Coach, I will."

"Good girl. I'll see you tomorrow at practice." And with that, he turned his attention back to the rest of the meet.

I spent the remainder of the competition in the bleachers with Becky, cheering on our team. Hal won the two-mile. I had to restrain myself from embracing him — my body was almost commanding me to give him another big hug — but I resisted. Barely.

Oddly, I noticed that Becky stayed in the bleachers while I was congratulating Hal. What was up with that?

We had several other good performances — but the final results were a mixed-bag. The Oxton boys beat our guys, but the Milford girls won — my victory over Melody had proved decisive in the team scoring. I got a lot of pats from the girls as we headed back to the locker room.

I noticed Becky was strangely silent, almost distant. And while it was still novel and fun to see the pretty, dark- haired girl in her underwear, I was worried. Once we were back into street clothes (hard to believe that meant me in a flowered pink dress!) — I pulled her aside.

"Becky, are you alright?"

She paused, looked at me with an uncertain expression, then nodded.

"What is it then?" I prodded.

"Look, Stephanie, I'm trying to be accepting of all this — but it's hard."

"What is, Becky?"

"This is going to sound so petty... but... last week I was the best girl miler Milford ever had. No, I couldn't beat Melody, but I was still pretty good. You got nearly all the attention as Jack, I mean, you are... were the fastest boy in America. But I had my... niche and I liked it."

I saw where she was going with this. "Then I got GB and rained all over your parade."

"More like a cloudburst. Jesus, Stephanie, you just broke my school record by 25 seconds! I've been running track for years — but nobody's going to remember me now. No scholarships are coming my way. And I feel so ridiculous complaining about it! I know you never wanted to get GB. You're just trying to do the best you can — and you've been doing so well! But... oh God, I feel like such a selfish bitch..."

"No, Becky, you're not being fair to yourself! I'm so sorry this all happened. I didn't mean to..."

"Turn into a girl?" she said sardonically.

"Well, yeah. I mean, I never wanted to steal your thunder, Becky. It's just that... running is a part of me, boy or girl."

"I know, Stephanie. And if you offer to quit, I'll smack you one. You were born to do this — I don't want you to stop at all. I was just being silly, that's all."

"No, Becky, you were being human. But what's up with you and Hal?"

She looked away for a moment. "I guess you haven't been female long enough to see what's in front of you."

"What do you mean?"

"Hal's falling for a girl, all right — but it's not me."

Did she mean... oh no! "Becky, don't tell me I wrecked you and..."

She looked surprised for a moment. Then she smiled. "No, no. You didn't break us up. I wasn't sure about Hal even before you got back from GRS. But I still had a little hope for us — until I saw his face when he met the new you."

"I'm not following..."

"Stephanie, for somebody who used to be one, you've sure got a lot to learn about boys. Hal's already got a crush on you! It shouldn't be a surprise — you two were best friends for years. And then you turn into this cute girl. You guys had already bonded emotionally, but now there's an even better reason for you to get a little... closer."

Was she right? Did Hal really want me — as a girl? And did I... encourage it? "Becky... I swear I wasn't thinking like that."

She laughed. "I know you weren't, Stephanie. It's not your style to begin with and you've hardly had the time to learn feminine wiles."

"So let's see. I break your record, take all your well- deserved attention, and capture your boyfriend's... interest."

"Yeah... that about sums it up."

"And you're still speaking to me?"

She took a deep breath. "What I'm doing, Stephanie, is out of respect for Jack. He... you were always a class act. The fact that you had Sue as your girlfriend proved it — she's the sweetest person I've ever known."

"Well I think you're neck-and-neck with her."

Her eyes softened. "Anyway, I know you didn't ask for any of this — it just worked out that way. So I'm on your side — even now."

I felt my heart melt. I wrapped my arms around her and whispered my thanks.

After a few moments, she pulled back and looked into my eyes. "Crying, are we?"

"If you tell anyone, I'll say it's allergies."

She smiled... though a bit of sadness remained. "Let's get out of here." We headed home.

As you know, teenagers occupy a solipsistic universe. With the possible exception of toddlers, few people are more self-centered. But with the right friends and families, kids can get past that egocentric stage. Ever since GB, though, I'd been slipping. Up to now, I'd only focused on how becoming a girl affected ME. I hadn't really considered the emotional impact on Mom, Sue, Becky and... Hal.

Now I can cut myself a little slack here. Changing sex is a damn good reason to concentrate on one's own situation. But even so, I had to remember there were other special people out there — whose feelings I needed to keep in mind. I resolved to do better.

That resolve was really tested with my Mom, though. During dinner, she asked me about my day. We talked about my dress, classes, how I felt about wearing a dress, teachers, how pretty I was in my dress, friends, and what dress I was going to wear tomorrow. The weird part was, I actually enjoyed spending all that time discussing clothes. As a boy, clothing was utilitarian — as a girl, clothing was an end in itself.

Then we got to track.

"So you ran against, what was it... Oxton?"

"Yes. It was great! I beat Melody McCarthy — she's one of the best in the state. And Coach Bradford says I did the third fastest girl's mile in the country this year. He even thinks I can break Mary Decker's national record!" I was bubbling with enthusiasm.

"Are you going to finish the season?"

"Absolutely. We got the divisional meet coming up Friday — the first step on the way to the state championships!"

Mom didn't reply. Instead, she pushed her plate back and sighed.

"What's wrong?" I asked.

"I'd hoped that after... GB, you might... reassess your priorities."

"Are you saying..."

"Stephanie... I'm just a little disappointed that you're pressing on with all this track foolishness. Especially now that you're a..."

"Because I'm a girl? Are you saying girls shouldn't be athletic?" I replied disbelievingly.

"No, no... there's nothing wrong with a girl who's into sports. What I'm saying is that you need to concentrate on the things that matter. Now, more than ever."

"Mom, I can't believe this. You still don't get it, do you? Track is not something I do, it's what I AM! But you never see that! You just think it's some hobby that keeps me away from the books. You're so damned obsessed with grades and transcripts. I get good marks — I'm going to get into college. Why isn't that enough for you? Why?!" My voice rose in tone and volume during my diatribe, reaching a very womanly shriek.

"Stephanie, it's hard to explain — but try to listen to me. Your father and I married when we were very young. I dropped out of college to be with him... because that's what I was raised to do. I was expected to find a nice man, and start a family. I barely even considered any other options — I'd been so brainwashed by the 'feminine mystique'. But your father and I were far too young and immature to make it work. The only good to come out of that marriage was you."

"So when he left, I was a single mom with no education. I was lucky to get the job I did at the factory — at least I was an office worker. Your father... well, you know the history there."

I did. 'Dad' barely put in an appearance while I was growing up. We hardly got phone calls, let alone child support. To be honest, I was never all that upset about it. If that's the kind of man he was, then I didn't need him in my life.

Mom continued. "My biggest mistake was not finishing my degree and having a professional career to build on. I've made a little progress at the office, but I'm basically a glorified assistant. No matter how competent you are, no one takes you seriously unless you can check the right blocks on the proverbial forms. So I don't make a lot of money..."

"I've never complained about that, Mom. I know how hard you work."

"But it does limit things nonetheless. We've never taken a vacation. Your college fund will scarcely cover your textbooks. The new wardrobe I bought you was the biggest splurge we've done in years."

"Mom, I can cut back. Forget the fancy lingerie — 'Jockey for Girls' will do just fine."

She smiled. "No, Stephanie, I can't begin to tell you how thrilled I am that you are starting to enjoy being a young woman. I want to indulge your femininity — it's good for both of us. You'll understand if you ever have a daughter someday."

I pondered that while she continued. If I did have a daughter, I'd be the one giving birth to her!

"But what I'm saying, Stephanie, is that everyone needs to be able to stand on their own feet. That means a good education, which means a good college, which mean good grades. Every parent wants her child to learn from her experience, not to repeat bad patterns. So that's why I always harped on school and so forth. And now that you're female..."

"Why should that matter?"

"Stephanie — as I said, watching you turn into such a lovely girl has been almost a dream come true for me. No, that doesn't mean I wished it upon you — I know you're struggling with all this in ways I'll never understand. I'd change you back into Jack in an instant... if that was what you wanted."

Amazingly, I wondered for a moment if it really was.

"Nevertheless, I'm so excited about the new life you have, and about the woman you're going to be. But you're more... vulnerable, too."

"Yeah, I know, rape and all that."

"Not just physically, Stephanie. There's another danger. It's all too easy for a woman to... submerge her identity with a man. To support him at the cost of herself. To sacrifice for him and to lose her future in the doing. Even in the 21st century, society still implies that role for women. Especially in a rural town like this. Now that you're a girl too, you could get caught in that same trap."

"Do you feel trapped because of me, Mom?"

"Good heavens, no! I wouldn't have missed having you for the world. I just wish I'd had more options — I wish I hadn't given up all my choices. We could have had a much better time of it..."

I thought about what she said. Though she'd never admit it, I could tell she regretted how her life turned out — and I was a big part of that. I didn't doubt her love for me — but I could see she was unhappy in other ways. And what would happen when I did leave for college? What would be left for her? No husband, a dead-end job and an empty bedroom where her son... daughter used to live. I felt a surge of emotion for her and I got up to give her a huge hug.

"Mom, I love you so much. Never think I don't appreciate everything you've done for me. You will always be the... God, this sounds so maudlin, but you will always be the guiding light of my life."

Insert obvious soap opera joke here. But I knew she was touched by what I'd said. Actually, I'd felt that way about her since... forever. It's just that I can share it with her so much more easily — now that I'm a girl.

"Mom, if I turn out to be half the woman you are, I'll count myself fortunate. But having said that, it's also my life to live. I know you have my best interests at heart — but I have to be my own ma... person. I'm asking you to accept this. Running means so much to me. I'd thought I'd lost it forever — but now, there's a chance I can still find some meaning in it. Please, please understand that."

She looked at me closely. "I know how important it is to you, Stephanie. And I'm proud that you're determined to carry on with it. I'll try... but I'm still going to nag you!"

"I can handle it."

Another hug and I headed off to bed.

Lord, what a day! As I washed up, brushed, and changed into my sleepshirt, I though back on it all. Between Arleen, Becky and my Mom, there'd been enough pathos on display to fill up an entire week of 'Oprah'. Compared with all that, dealing with my feminine form was almost a breeze. I was already becoming accustomed to the sway of my breasts, the emptiness between my legs, and so forth. Would a girl's emotions prove more challenging than a girl's body?

Good Night, Sweet Principal

My body had a surprise in store for me, though. I had trouble falling asleep, so I got up to open the window — things were a bit stuffy. Then it happened. I felt a strange tingling in my thighs, and then in my nipples. My breathing and my pulse quickened. I spent a minute trying to calm myself, unsure of what was happening. I leaned against my desk, growing dizzy with sensation. My muscles suddenly weakened, and I eased slowly to the floor — unable to stand.

But I wasn't in pain — far from it. I felt a growing excitement throughout my breasts, now — much more intense than even my 'encounter' with Arleen. My nipples became rock hard and my breath grew ragged. Suddenly, I felt a tremendous surge through my entire body. I gasped at the new yet strangely familiar sensation. All my blood seemed to rush to my groin, and I found myself spreading my legs far apart — my hips thrusting into the air, seeking...

Penetration. Oh, god — I was having a girl's orgasm! Without willing it, my vagina began to soak clear through my panties as I moaned softly, my hands moving to my breasts. Oh! Just touching my nipples doubled the pleasure building between my legs. Oh yes! More... please... more! My thighs parted, then closed, then parted again — seeking friction, contact — anything to fill the emptiness... anything to complete...

I was utterly out of control, unable to stop. Still stroking my breasts, it hit me. Ecstasy. Sheer ecstasy. Shuddering, a wave of delight spread through every fiber of my being as my vagina poured out copious amounts of fluid. I felt strange muscles, deep inside my new sex contract over and over.

Ohhhh! It's so good, so powerful... oh... oh yes... yes... yessss!

Exhausted, the glow still filling me, I tried to catch my breath. Slowly, I managed to regain my feet. I'd practically left a puddle on the floor, which I wiped up — then it was time for fresh panties as I weakly made my way back to bed.

What had just happened to me? I knew the obvious — I'd had my first female climax. But how? I wasn't touching myself before it... happened. And even while I was... coming, I wasn't stimulating myself between my legs. And yet my body reacted with such passion! I felt vulnerable — for I hadn't been able to control it. I'd simply fallen to the floor and just...

It was like last night's wet dream, only I'd been awake for this one. An involuntary orgasm? I'd never heard of such a thing. As a boy, it took a considerable amount of... attention to produce a result. But was it different for girls? Somehow, I doubted it. Everything I'd read in Penthouse, et al implied that women had to work hard for their sexual satisfaction.

And yet I couldn't deny it had happened to me. God, it had felt soooo good! More intense, more all-encompassing than as a boy. The scariest part was that I could tell I'd just skimmed the surface! There was much more to come... so to speak. Rattled, but weary, I drifted off to sleep.

I woke up in dry panties — so at least it hadn't happened again during the night. During my shower, I felt both a physical and a mental desire to explore my vagina, to see if I could get a handle on things. Yet I remained intimidated by the new sexual anatomy between my legs, so I resisted. I put on a cream-colored blouse and a paisley silk skirt — about three inches above the knee. A little shorter than before, but after running yesterday's race in that skimpy uniform, I was getting used to showing skin.

Arleen was on the bus and she looked happily at me while I took a seat next to her. We chatted about inconsequential things — the setting was too public to share more personal... matters. But there was no doubting our connection, now. She did look nice in her peasant blouse and skirt combo, but — like yesterday — her pretty body didn't really do very much for me. Instead, I felt... sisterly towards her. The good news was: she seemed to be satisfied with that. We exchanged a quick, but sweet hug as we separated for the first bell.

And so began an uneventful set of classes. Oh, sure — my breasts pressed ungainly against the desk whenever I leaned over. I was a little worried about the flimsiness of my skirt. I had to master the 'hair flip' while writing in my notebook. And I couldn't be too careful when it came to keeping my legs crossed.

But you know what? I didn't care. What had seemed awkward at first was slowly but surely becoming second nature. Erin had talked about this at Girl School. The mind does adjust. And more, it was even a little bit fun. There's something special about being a girl, about wearing pretty clothes and feeling feminine. I had only scratched the surface, so I couldn't say just what it was.

But I kind of liked it.

And those around me could tell — with every passing hour, everyone was treating me exactly as Erin had predicted: as if I'd always been this way. My skirts, my long tresses, my soft voice and all the rest were painting a truly girlish picture. People reacted accordingly. I got fewer comments on the 'don't you miss being a boy' theme. Girls were warming up to me in a purely female way — sharing stories, compliments, gossip. Boys were modifying their behavior too — less cursing when I was around, more playfulness, trying to impress me. It was actually rather sweet.

Part of it had to do with the sensuous nature of my body. I don't mean 'sensuous' as a synonym for sexy — but rather in the classic definition: appealing to the senses. My perception of sight, hearing, smell and especially touch had heightened dramatically. Every contact against my smooth skin could feel tingly. I was so much more aware of my body and my environment. My silky skirt and my even silkier panties caressed my hips and legs in an endlessly sumptuous way. I suspect that if a boy were to put on my clothes, he might enjoy the soft material, but his body would not communicate the same physical delight.

That alone was making me act a lot more girly. And everyone was picking up on it.

I'd read once that a woman's body is far better built for pleasure than a man's. Up to GB, there'd been no way of objectively verifying that. But now I knew it to be true. Especially after last night! That orgasm had been incredible. The tingling in the thighs, moving to my breasts... I remembered it so vividly it was as if it were happening now...

Uh, oh.

It WAS happening now! Right here in class! My pulse was racing, my skin was flushed. I could feel the pleasure begin to build. Still distant, but drawing closer. Oh God! I can't stop it. I can't... I can't do this in front of everyone! I had a horrifying vision of collapsing on the floor, my legs spread wide, my skirt hiked up, my pretty underpants on display for all to see, while I... came.

I quickly excused myself, without waiting for the teacher. Unsteadily, I lurched for the exit and made it to the corridor. Placing one hand against the wall, I started down to the bathroom. There wasn't much time left. My bra grew tighter as my breasts swelled within it. Dizziness again — I could barely stand. The insides of my thighs were wet. A glowing feeling was rising from the base of my belly. I realized then I wouldn't make it to the bathroom. The corridor was empty — but anyone could happen by.

Fortunately, there was an unlocked storeroom. I entered and quickly shut the door. I staggered across the room and fell onto an old couch. Breathing heavily, I couldn't help but stroke my rock-hard nipples poking through my blouse. Ohhh! It felt so, so nice. Just touching my breasts seemed to triple the delight I felt down below.

In amazement, I watched my legs move apart, wider and wider. I tried to bring them together, to stand up. But I couldn't. Oh... Oh... yes! Without my willing it, my legs spread as far as possible, my paisley skirt raised up, my panties now revealed. This is what would have happened in front of all the kids, had I not made it here. The ultimate embarrassment.

My body was totally out of control by now. I was helpless to stop the rhythmic thrusting of my hips, up and down, in a feminine simulation of lovemaking. I tried to keep quiet, but my need was too great. Soft, girlish moans filled the small, dusty room as my orgasm began. A wave of thick pleasure crashed over me. Mmmm... yesss. Even more intense than last night!

Finally, it ended. Once again, my panties were drenched, the vinyl of the couch shiny where my... juices had spilled. Jesus and I thought coming as a guy was messy! But far more unsettling was the knowledge that my body had taken over me completely. I'd surrendered utterly to the pleasure — while hardly touching myself. I'd never heard of this happening to anyone — boy or girl. Something was wrong.

And I'd better get a handle on it quickly. So far, the kids had been pretty good about accepting my transition. The reason for that was obvious — I seemed like a normal girl, so I was being treated like one. But if I started having spontaneous orgasms in front of everyone — I'd be on the express line for Freakville.

Fortunately, I'd packed an extra pair of panties in my purse. I quickly changed — trying to wipe down as much as possible. Fresh undies felt sooo good! Still trembling and a bit pale, I headed out of the storeroom. Just as I was closing the door, I heard footsteps behind me.

It was the principal — Mr. Grogan.

"Stephanie, what were you doing in there?"

Now that was one question I didn't want to answer. I stammered for a moment. He continued, "And how come you're not in class? Do you have a pass?"

"I... I wasn't feeling well, Mr. Grogan. I was just heading for the bathroom."

But I could tell he wasn't buying it. He eyed me up and down in that creepy way of his. And worse was the image I knew I was presenting. Still breathless, my nipples thrusting against my bra, my clothes and hair mussed and a faint but undeniable feminine scent in the air. I looked like a girl who'd just been rousted from the backseat of her boyfriend's car.

"Even if that were true, Stephanie, that still doesn't explain what you were doing in the storeroom. I think we'd better discuss your infraction in my office."

Nervously, I followed him to the private entrance for his 'chambers'. He took a seat behind his large oak desk, while I stood uncertainly in front of him, my hands toying with the hem of my skirt. I was still disoriented from my 'moment' and I wasn't thinking clearly.

"Now, Stephanie, I realize you've had a lot of adjustments to make lately. But I can't have students wandering the halls unaccounted for. Especially given that you're a senior. The younger students look up to you — you're expected to set an example."

"I'm sorry, sir. I just wasn't feeling very well."

"That's understandable — but you're still required to report your condition to the teacher and to obtain a hall pass. I can't play favorites here. I'm afraid I'll have to assign you the usual detention."

Oh no! That would mean I wouldn't be able to compete in Friday's track meet. Any student who received detention was ineligible for extracurricular activities for an entire week. I had to get out of this somehow.

"Mr. Grogan, I really am very sorry. I didn't mean to break any rules. Is there anything I could do? Maybe some extra schoolwork or a volunteer project? I'm willing to accept my punishment — but I don't want to miss track."

During my bit of pleading, I found myself doing something I'd never imagined: using my feminine wiles. Of course, I had only a vague idea how to do it, but I tried to project a cute sweetness into my voice and I looked at him from lowered eyelashes. I had to be careful not to lay it on too thick — the principal was a veteran at dealing with kids. He'd see right through most acts.

He was silent for a few moments — pondering what I'd said. He continued to stare at me and I could guess what was going through his mind as I stood there. His reputation was clean — indeed, it was exemplary. He was a respected and successful administrator and no complaints had ever been lodged against him by students or teachers.

Nevertheless, I could see it in his eyes — carefully concealed but still there: desire. For me!

"Very well, Stephanie. There may be another solution." He reached into a desk drawer and pulled out a... paddle! It was about two feet long and one wide — made of hickory.

"The State of New York no longer authorizes corporal punishment in schools. However, I feel alternative methods of discipline have their place. So, I'll present you with a choice: detention — and the end of your track season — or, this..." he hefted the paddle.

"You're... you want to... spank me?" I said incredulously.

"Your decision, young lady. You have represented this school very well in athletics — so I'm offering you an opportunity to continue to do so. Otherwise..."

How could this be happening? And yet I knew I was stuck. If I refused, my Milford running days were over. Worse yet, I hadn't had the chance to demonstrate to the college scouts what I could do as a girl. No coach was going to offer me a full ride based on yesterday's race alone. If I didn't finish the season, I might not get any scholarships, Title IX or not.

On the other hand, it was quite obvious what Mr. Grogan wanted — to satisfy the desire I could see on his face. Oh, I wasn't worried about sex, per se — neither of us was insane enough for that. But he clearly held the upper hand (so to speak). What could I do?

"Al... alright, Mr. Grogan."

"So you are choosing to resolve this matter here and now, just the two of us?"

"Ye... yes, sir"

"Very well, Stephanie. Please remove your skirt."

Shocked, I just stood there for a moment. "You've got to be kidding," I finally said.

He spoke in a calm, measured tone. "Stephanie, corporal punishment does require the infliction of pain. You will not be tortured — but there must be some suffering, else what would be the point? Clothing can mitigate the effects of the blows — hence the need to partially disrobe. Now, you are wearing panties, are you not?"

"Um... yes." I stammered disbelievingly.

"Then that will satisfy the demands of modesty. Hurry up, girl — we don't have all day."

Slowly, my hands went to the waistband of my skirt. I couldn't believe what I was about to do. You may not either — but keep in mind two things. One — my passion for running. I'd already endured years of pain to get where I was. Two — I was still fuzzy from the orgasm I'd had just five minutes ago. And I couldn't deny the sexual charge that remained.

I slipped out of my silk skirt, folding it carefully and laying it on a table. My face flaming, I stood before my principal wearing just my blouse, bra and peach- colored panties. His look had moved from desire to lust as the careful mask slipped a bit. I knew how pretty I was, and in my underwear, I also knew how men would react to my new body.

And he was a man. A very handsome one, I reluctantly noted.

"All right, Stephanie, please lie down across my lap."

Stunned, I realized he was forcing an intimacy upon us I hadn't anticipated. But I had to go through with it. I assumed the position.

It's difficult to describe the feeling I had next. I was stretched out across Mr. Grogan's firm thighs. My cute little ass was fully exposed to him — encased only in the flimsiest of nylon panties. I should have been embarrassed - and I was. I should have been nervous — and I was.

But what I shouldn't have been was horny — yet I was.

There was something... appealing about having this strong, male presence commanding me. In control of me. I felt a need, deep within me that was...satisfied being like this. As if it were... right, somehow for me to submit to him. Because he was a man.

And I was a girl.

The first blow came — the smack was audible throughout the office. Oh! The pain was sharper than I expected — due to my more delicate skin, I suppose. A second blow produced a feminine gasp from my mouth, while the third brought tears to my eyes. He was keeping his word, though — it wasn't brutal or damaging.

Just degrading. And yet... and yet it was something else.

Arousing.

As the blows rained down, I found my hips moving forward in an effort to escape. This in turn was producing friction, caused by my... girl parts pressing harder against him. Pressing against...

His erection. Oh God! I could feel the hardness of him against the most intimate place on my body. The spanking was driving my groin into his as I lay across his lap. Which could not help but turn both of us on all the more. Only our clothing prevented his penis from touching my vagina. Oh!

That thought alone should have cooled my ardor. But it didn't. Instead, I grew wetter and hotter. So much hotter! My breathing became ragged again as my body was receiving its first true sexual stimulation. Oh... oh yes... more...

Tears were rolling down my face by now. I couldn't say when the spanking had stopped. He was now gently rubbing my panty-clad butt, the soft nylon transmitting sparks of delight. My nipples felt like two candles burning on my chest. I ached to have them touched.

Still stroking me while I lay across his lap, he spoke. "You are the first GB female I've ever met. But I must say, Stephanie, you do your new sex proud. I wonder if you were always meant to be a girl — you've taken to it quite well. GB may function as a corrective measure — turning boys unsuited for masculinity into the girls they should have been. Perhaps it's for the best — now you are the girl on the outside you seemed to have been on the inside. Certainly you have an affinity for the properly submissive role of a woman."

I was barely listening to him. All I wanted was for him to keep touching me. I turned over on his lap. I could feel his enormous erection pressing against the seat of my pretty underpants. My eyes wet with tears, I met his gaze. I could see the desire on his face — along with... satisfaction. For him, it was not only sexual. He wanted to show how dominant he was.

He had succeeded.

Both of us shifted our glance to my body. My blouse had hiked up considerably. The only covering I had below my belly button were my sheer panties, edged in white lace — and they were sopping wet. The dark triangle of my bush was clearly visible to us both. And between my legs, we both could see the outline of my vagina, the lips of my vulva creating just a hint of a bulge in my frilly hipster-style underwear. That semblance of a bulge seemed to mock what I once had as a boy — and what he had as a man. I was embarrassed at having my girlhood so explicitly placed on display for his gratification. The physical proof of my fragility. I felt wet and vulnerable and open.

My hips continued to make the tiniest bucking movements — still seeking... penetration. My feminine sex — sculpted in the sheerest of silk. God, what a sight! Breathing deeply, I realized to my shame and delight I was only a few moments away from yet another orgasm.

He must have known it too. He continued. "After all, Stephanie, what is a woman but a creature of her feelings? Her sexuality, her emotions drive who and what she is. Consider your current position. You'd do anything to achieve... satisfaction right now, would you not?"

"Ye... yes. Oh, yes," I gasped huskily. I was beyond reason at this point.

"So you can see, Stephanie, what you are. Females such as yourself are ruled by their bodies. You are now subject to womanly passions that demonstrate how inappropriate manhood would have been for you. It really is for the best, young lady. Don't you agree?"

"Ye... yes"

"So you admit you were not worthy of boyhood. You were meant to be a girl."

"Yes," I was gasping, my orgasm drawing closer.

"Say it."

"I... I was meant to be a girl."

"You never should have been a boy." His hand hovered tantalizingly close to my utterly feminine crotch, promising the relief I so desperately needed.

"No... I never should have been a boy."

"And you submit to your fate as a female."

"Yes... I ohhh!" I cried out as my thighs tingled in anticipation.

"Finish it, Stephanie."

"Yes... I... I accept my fate... I'm a... mmmmm... I'm a girl." Almost there! Oh please...

"And you've done a fine job of demonstrating that. After all, only someone who was a true girly-girl would wear panties so pretty. Let's have a touch, shall we?"

With that, he took my hand, moved it to my hips, and dragged my forefinger against the wet crotch of my women's underpants — just a single stroke. The barest caress of my vagina. He was very careful not to touch me himself.

That was all it took. Yet another orgasm — more intense yet. He actually had to muffle my mouth with his hand as I writhed on his lap, moaning and gasping, my vagina contracting over and over as I came with a power I couldn't have imagined as a boy. Ohhh yess...

Finally it was over, the last quiverings of my new sex faded. I slowly rejoined reality, completely drained. In more ways than one, for my underwear was drenched with yet another round of... girl juice. I stood unsteadily and made my way to the front of his desk. I felt an amazing mixture of shame and... satisfaction. What I had just done filled me with embarrassment — but mitigated by the sheer pleasure of the sexual delight.

To give you an image of what I looked like at that moment, standing in a daze before him, think back to the movie 'Ace Ventura — Pet Detective'. At the climax, Ace battles Lieutenant Einhorn, nearly knocking her out. Stunned and disoriented, she staggers about — while Ace strips her down to her underwear, to prove she's really a man. Now imagine a 17-year-old girl in Sean Young's place, and you get the picture.

By the way, I'm appreciating transgendered people a lot more these days.

Mr. Grogan looked it me with a mixture of ardor and power. He spoke. "Well, Miss Lind, I believe discipline has been restored. You do appreciate the importance of following proper procedure when leaving class?"

"Yes, sir."

"So, do you promise to be a good little girl?"

"Yes, sir."

"Say it," he said forcefully.

"I'll be a good little girl, sir." I felt still more shame at acknowledging my female condition.

"Then I trust there will be no repetition of this incident."

God, I hope not! "No, sir."

"And I believe you also have a better understanding of a woman's place in comparison to a man's. Since you are now a girl and will someday become a woman yourself, it is best for you to know your new status."

He didn't have to spell out what he thought my new 'status' was — I'd just proved it to both of us. I reluctantly nodded — not so much in agreement, but just to get this over with.

"Very well, Stephanie. You're excused."

He handed me a hall pass for the nurse. I barely had presence of mind to put on my skirt before I left his office. I walked slowly to the infirmary, trying to make some sense of what had happened. I was very confident I was the first girl Mr. Grogan had tried such a stunt with. A public high school is not the Catholic Church — administrators are too terrified of lawsuits to tolerate serial molesters.

So Mr. Grogan had singled me out because of my unique status as a GB female. I'd read enough Penthouse letters to have an idea of what he was about. I knew S/M existed, and that it was based on the dominant/submissive relationship. He apparently got off on being a dominant. And it was pretty obvious I'd just played the submissive role — all too easily. Somehow, the fact that I used to be a boy made my surrender to him still more intense — for both of us.

S/M games (from what I'd read) place great stock on humiliation and control. Mr. Grogan's interest in me was undoubtedly piqued by my new and very feminine condition. He perceived my change as humiliating in and of itself — which made toying with me all the more satisfying to him. After all, a boy whose been turned into a girl against his will has already been degraded — at least in the eyes of some. That makes the dominant's control all the more delicious — the submissive has lost power over his very gender — betrayed by his... her own body into an inferior state. Stripped of his masculinity — forced to be a helpless girl. The power of the penis transformed into the vulnerability of the vagina — a female ready to be mastered by a man.

Worse yet was the undeniable realization that I'd actually... enjoyed it myself. Was this the true core of femininity? I couldn't credit it — for it didn't connect what I knew of the women and girls in my life. Mom, Sue, Becky — these people were completely womanly, and yet they were no wallflowers. Each of them was strong and would not accept being treated in a condescending way.

Yet I had. Yes, Mr. Grogan had blackmailed me with the detention threat. But I knew if I'd pushed back, I could have escaped. Coach Bradford would have persuaded the principal to reinstate me. I didn't have to do what I did. To be sure, I was still off-balance by my body's... sexual spasms. And Mr. Grogan had certainly taken advantage of that.

But I'd read that submissives have power, too. They can set limits to the extent of their surrender. If they choose not to, well... it's their call. I also knew from my readings that S/M roles are not gender specific. Men can (and often do) take on the compliant character and women play aggressors. So being a girl, in and of itself, did not mean I had to be sexually humiliated as a matter of course.

Which meant, deep inside me, there was some core that liked to surrender control. Maybe it had always been there — but becoming female had 'outed' me. What was more bizarre was how that contrasted with my attitude on the track. When pitted against opponents in a race — I wanted to RULE them, to demonstrate my power over them. My newfound femininity had not altered that one whit.

So to have this other part of me desire the opposite — to let myself be at the mercy of another — was truly a shock to discover. It made no sense, unless my personality was seeking some kind of balance between extremes.

People are weird, you know?

I convinced the nurse I needed attention from the town clinic — without having to give him any gory details. So a short time later, I found myself outside Dr. Wilson's office. I stared at the OB-GYN plate on her door — reflecting on how my life had changed. I now had to visit the 'gynie'.

Dr. Wilson opened the door and invited me in. This was the first time we'd met since GB and she studied me closely.

"I understand you're Stephanie, now."

I nodded yes.

"Well, Stephanie, I see you've completed the physical transition. How are you feeling?"

"I was hanging in there for a while, Doctor, but something strange has been going on for the last day or so."

"What's seems to be the problem?" she asked in the classic physician's manner.

I took a deep breath. This was going to be embarrassing. On the other hand, I was getting used to embarrassment. "Doctor, I keep having these tremendous, overwhelming... orgasms."

She looked at me nonplussed. "Most girls wouldn't see that as a problem."

"But I'm not... stimulating myself. They just happen! I was sitting in class, then all of the sudden my body went out of control. I barely got out of sight. While it's hitting me, I can't even keep my legs together. I know I've got some adjusting to do as a girl, but this can't possibly be normal."

"How many times has this taken place?"

I counted back. "Three in the last day. They're getting more intense, too. It's almost like an attack — except for how good it feels."

"And there's no intimate contact beforehand?"

"No." I wasn't going to explain my 'encounter' with Principal Grogan.

"You're right, Stephanie. It's not normal. But it's also not unprecedented. I think I'd better have a look at things."

And so I endured my second gynecological exam. Once again, I assumed the position — naked below the waist, legs splayed wide, while Doctor Wilson poked and prodded my most personal body parts. This could be the worst thing about being a girl so far. I loathed the complete loss of dignity — at least the doctor was a woman. I couldn't imagine a male physician this way. During the inspection, I heard her remark 'incredible' under her breath.

"Is something wrong?"

"I'm sorry, Stephanie, that was unprofessional of me. It's just so amazing to see the effect of GB on a boy. I've been an OB/GYN for 15 years. I've examined hundreds of women and girls and there's nothing to indicate you weren't born this way. I'm astonished at how completely female GB has made you."

"Not as astonished as I am."

She chuckled. "No, I suppose not. You can get dressed now." Gratefully, I pulled on my panties and skirt while she removed her gloves and made some notes.

"By the way, Stephanie, that's a very cute outfit. I'm glad to see you in such feminine clothes — you seem to be adjusting well. Now, as for the results — there are no abnormalities at all. Your vulva, vagina and cervix are healthy and well within the parameters I'd expect to find for a teenage girl."

"So what's causing this?"

"I'll want to do some more readings before I commit to this — but your phenomenon is not unique. Spontaneous orgasms can occur, particularly for women. Other GB girls have reported it before you."

"Why?"

"It works like this, Stephanie. You are on a hormonal rollercoaster right now. To help the transition from boy to girl, GB flooded your body with an excess of female hormones — including those that affect sexual arousal. Eventually, you'll settle into a more normal range — but for the moment, you've got elevated levels of the chemicals that drive your libido."

She paused to think, then she asked me point-blank. "Have you masturbated since becoming a girl?"

"No!" I said, my face reddening. "I haven't even explored... down below."

"Well, I suggest you start, Stephanie. To put it colloquially, your vagina is trying to get your attention. And she can be a stubborn little thing. If you ignore her, she'll make her needs known one way or another."

I was amused to hear Doctor Wilson assign my vagina a personality and pronoun. I'd done the same thing with my penis as a boy.

"Simply put, Stephanie, I think you should get to know your body better. Give yourself a little TLC and I expect your accidental orgasms will... come... to an end," she laughed.

"But how?"

"I'm no Jocelyn Elders — I'm not going to give you step by step instructions. But speaking as a woman, foreplay is a must to get in the mood. Find a nice, relaxing environment and start slowly and gently. If you're like most girls, the clitoris will be the focus, but take your time getting there. Your breasts can be a great help."

God, this was so surreal — having a woman physician give me pointers on how to 'flick my clit!' I got up to leave, but Dr. Wilson stopped me.

"Stephanie, I have one off-the-record question. How do male and female orgasms compare?"

I thought about it. "They don't, really. I mean — the sensation is so different. As a guy, I felt like I was exploding from a single point. As a girl, it feels as if my whole body is overwhelmed by this... this wave of electricity."

"Is one more intense than the other?" She seemed very curious.

"I think it's going to be a lot more intense as a girl, once I figure it all out."

"Well then, you should start practicing. Thanks for indulging me, Stephanie. I've read a lot about GB girls comparing their before-and-after sexuality, but I'm still fascinated by what it would be like to experience arousal from both genders' perspective."

I got the feeling she was hoping the female side of things had the edge. I still wasn't convinced one way or the other, but... "Doctor, as far as... orgasms go, I think as girls we've got the better end of the deal. Of course, I'm not telling any of the guys that. I don't want them to get jealous." She smiled and invited me to call her if I had any more problems.

Back at school, I attempted to get on a more even keel. I figured two mind-bending orgasms would be enough to keep my body calm for the rest of the day. I ran into my circle from time to time, carefully avoiding a direct response to Hal's 'how was your morning?' I could just imagine the look on his face if I answered, "Not bad. The principal stripped me half-naked and spanked me, after which I came all over his lap. But enough about me — how are you?"

No, I wasn't going to go there. Especially with the tingly feeling I got while talking to the guy. I gave a noncommittal response and quickly said goodbye to Hal. I could tell he was hurt — but how could I get him to understand the reason I was distancing myself from him was not because I didn't want to be with him, but rather because I wanted to be with him a little too much? I couldn't take any chances on my body spinning out of control again.

I did get one nice surprise from Sue, though.

"Stephanie, would you be willing to come to a gathering at my house this Saturday?"

"Of course. What did you have in mind?"

"Actually, I was thinking of a twofer. We'd start with a co-ed pool bash and then have girls-only for the rest of the night."

"You... you're inviting me to a slumber party?"

She laughed. "Well, we usually don't call it that these days, but yeah..."

I was a bit uncertain. Hmmm. "Okay, I guess."

"Don't worry, Stephanie, we aren't going to have any Wiccan rituals. It's just that this may be the last chance for many of us to get together before we graduate. It'll be fun — and it's good practice for you."

"Practice?"

"You know, all that secret girl stuff boys wonder about," she stage-whispered conspiratorially.

"All right, I'm in."

"Great. I can't wait to take you bikini-shopping!"

"Hold on, Sue — bikini?" I said disbelievingly.

"Well, of course, silly — it's a pool party, too. We've got to look cool for the guys. Hal's going to be there as well. Bye!" She smiled winningly and swirled away.

I just stood there in disbelief. I was going to have to wear a bikini? In front of boys? In front of Hal?

Now that really made me uneasy. I'd been to a few pool parties in the past — and like all guys, I'd delighted in the vision of my female classmates wearing skimpy bathing suits. So I knew exactly what the boys would be thinking as I paraded around in front of them — clad in a costume more revealing than my underwear.

Yet the thought of guys drooling over me was not quite as repulsive as it was a few days ago. My encounter with Arleen made it evident that a romance with another girl would not get the job done for me. That meant boys, and like it or not... oh, hell... I just liked it. There's something gratifying to the ego about being an attractive female. Even if a girl doesn't want a particular guy at a particular moment, just knowing that she's desirable to them is still a thrill.

So I knew I'd be at Sue's party...dressed appropriately.

To Be... A Girl... Or Not To Be... A Girl?

I got home a little early from practice — Dr. Wilson's comments still on my mind. That, plus my increasing acceptance of the 'boy factor' gave me the courage to take my femininity to another step.

In the bathroom, I stripped off my clothes, ran the tub and stood naked in front of the mirror. Once again, I was struck by my likeness to 'Dawn' from 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer'. I wondered if the bastards who designed GB programmed famous young women into whatever machinery that made the damn thing work. I had a vision of a Strangelovian lab where the researchers chuckled fiendishly over their plots — turning boys' lives upside down — forcing them to be girls. Celebrity look-alikes, no less.

Was there another Faith somewhere? Or the witches from 'Charmed'? Or Kirsten Dunst?

Probably not. I did resemble Michelle Tractenberg — but I could see the old me in the mirror as well. At least a hint. Perhaps I would have looked like her if I'd been born a normal girl. I preferred to think that — it made me feel as though I was my own person, and not some fantasy coded up by a perverted computer jock.

God, it was still surreal to see this lovely naked girl in the mirror and realize she's me! But not as strange as last week. Slowly, ever so slowly, I was adjusting.

It was time — I'd put it off long enough. I got a stool and sat down in front of the glass. A bit sheepishly, I moved my knees apart and gazed at my vagina in the reflection. While standing up, it was kind of hard to see — since it was set farther back between my legs than my penis had been. That had made it easier to ignore — out of sight, out of mind.

The pinkish lips formed the slit that marked my new sex — the slit that made me a girl. I thought about how all boys (myself included) devoted so much effort to see what was now before me. It seemed anti-climactic. I did like its appearance, though — neat and orderly. Much better organized than a man. I reached a finger and gently parted the labia. I was, however, a lot more complicated inside. Wow! All sorts of mysterious folds of flesh. And so sensitive! I tried to identify all that was there — the urethra, the clitoris, the vagina. Even with the education I'd gotten at Girl School, I still wasn't sure what was what.

Interesting, but not really erotic. I sent a finger questing inside me for the first time. Struggling a bit — I was tight and dry. My finger felt so large — how would a penis fit inside me? I pulled my finger out and sniffed it — a hint of the girlish musk I'd exuded earlier. All in all, I was fascinated by my new sex — arousal was something else, though. Although watching a cute girl play with herself in the mirror did offer some possibilities.

But remembering Dr. Wilson's comments, I knew I needed the right environment to really give my vagina a test drive. So I got into the bubble bath with the scented soap and the warm water. That alone made me feel relaxed and tingly. By the time I was lathering my breasts, things were beginning to come together. My nipples got so, so firm! It was amazing how bold they were. I spent the next several minutes gently stroking my chest, reveling in the new sensations. Having breasts was fun!

And that started the fire between my legs. So, I sent a tentative finger down again. This time, my vagina seemed much more open as I pushed a finger deep into me. Ever so deep. Ever so nice. My breathing increased as I moved my other hand to explore my vulva. It wasn't long before I found the erect clitoris — the tiny, feminine remnant of what had once been my penis. Oh! It felt... Oh! Soooo sweet!

Now, for the first time, I was masturbating as a girl. This time I was in charge of my body. My clitoris was even more sensitive than the tip of my penis had been. Mmmmm! That, combined with the steady pumping of my other finger in and out of me, was quickly creating a glow — an approaching wave I had grown to recognize. Yes! More... please, more!

I found myself wishing I had a third hand to stroke my breasts, which had swelled even larger, the nipples the size of thimbles. I alternated one hand between my chest and my womanly crotch to take advantage of all the delightful new parts I had.

Ohhhh! Heaven... it's heaven!

My clitoris was now every bit as hard as my penis had been — and each caress around it took me to a new level of excitement. My vagina was producing new fluids that seemed even more slippery than the water in my bath. I spread the lubricant over my vulva, which made the caressing all the more satisfying.

I was moaning in my soft, girlish voice — my hips pushing up, seeking the penetration my vagina demanded. Dr. Wilson was right — 'she' sure was insistent! Since there was no boy around, my finger would have to do. I felt the wave come closer and I knew it wouldn't be long now.

Oh, yes... my body... my girl's body... oh I love my girl's body... yesss!

Somehow I found the perfect combination of nipples and clitoris and vagina and that sent me over the edge. The wave carried me up and then crashed down on me. My vagina contracted tightly around my finger, holding it in place — adamant that I remain inside 'her'.

Don't stop... please don't stop... ohhhh!

Shaking and trembling, I cried out as my orgasm lifted me to heights I'd never imagined.

Never... never will I regret being a girl! Never!

Not... not if I can feel... soooo... sooo goood!

Gasping for air, I slowly came down from the peak. Oh my god, that was incredible! Still more intense than my 'spontaneous' climaxes and a whole universe apart from the male equivalent. I was too weak to move for several minutes - just letting the warm water caress every inch of this wonderful female body I now inhabited!

Okay. Before this gets out of hand, let me point out how people under the influence of certain stimuli (drugs, alcohol, sex or MTV's 'Jackass') aren't really thinking clearly. Earlier today, my orgasms had rendered me pliant to Principal Grogan — submitting to an exploitation I never would have accepted in my right mind. And the delight I'd just experienced a moment ago did not mean I didn't still resent what GB had done to me.

But I was rapidly learning that being a girl did have its compensations. If I had to be stuck this way forever — well, there were worse fates. With a naughty smile, I finished my bath and stepped out of the tub. I was just reaching for my towel when my mother walked in.

Opposite sex family members really have no business seeing each other naked once the child nears puberty. On those few occasions when my Mom and I had opened a door at the wrong moment, we'd quickly covered up. But now that we were both the same gender, I strangely felt no embarrassment at being unclad in front of her. I leisurely toweled off while she looked at me. I suddenly remembered this was the first time she'd seen me naked as a girl. After a couple of moments of staring she apologized.

"I'm sorry, Stephanie — I'm just so mesmerized by you. You really are my daughter!"

"In the flesh, Mom."

"I'm not sure how I feel about this. I love you as much as ever, but I miss my son, too. And I also think I'm jealous of how gorgeous you are."

I blushed. I had mixed feelings as well. It was weird hearing my mother praise my femininity. And yet it was kind of... gratifying.

That night I couldn't resist 'getting acquainted' with myself again. And again. And again. Perhaps the most marvelous thing about female sexuality was how I no longer required 'down time' in between those mind-shattering orgasms. So I acted like a kid at Christmas, enjoying her new toy. God, it was fun! All I had to do was reach down between my smooth legs, and there it was — waiting to deliver one incredible climax after another.

At least I had the presence of mind to strip off my panties and cover the bed with a towel beforehand — the only way to control the eruptions from 'Old Faithful'. I also found different positions could produce even greater delight. My favorite was lying on my back, one forearm reaching behind my knees and pulling them all the way to my swollen breasts, while my other hand reached around my sexy ass to part my labia and marvel at the treasures within.

And it wasn't long before I used the same techniques to enhance the experience as when I was a boy. Fantasies. Only this time, the genders were reversed. No more imagining myself in bed with Sue or some stacked Playboy centerfold. No — now it was a succession of males. Initially, my fantasies focused on filling the emptiness that so desperately beckoned me — deep inside my girl's body. I conjured a variety of ethereal members that plunged into me — over and over.

But soon my fantasies grew elaborate — I found myself with a phalanx of lovers caressing every inch of me. I'd stroke my nipples and envision a man's hand doing the same. I'd trace gentle circles around my clitoris and pretend his tongue was lapping away. I'd send a finger into my ever-so- wet vagina and dream of his penis filling me up, oh! Filling me up so completely.

At first faceless, my dream lover became more fleshed out — until Thursday night, when I lay gasping after my third orgasm and realized I'd just dreamed of Hal making love to me — that same penis I'd seen in the locker-room shower so many times before, now fully erect — taking my virginity as our bodies blended together — boy and girl, man and woman.

And I was the woman. And I liked it. No — I loved it.

As I made the journey from male to female sexuality, there were some bumps. Once, I found myself stroking my clitoris as if it were my old equipment. It tried, oh it did try. It would swell and grow hard in response to my touch. But even at maximum stimulation, it could only achieve an inch or so in size. Just like the rest of me, my once proud penis had been fully transitioned into girlhood — a tiny, delicate, little clitoris. Bathed in an endless sea of femininity — 'she' could only dream of what she had been, but would never be again. 'Her' masculinity taken from her — her erection now so small it could easily be contained within the snuggest of womanly panties.

So there was a little backsliding as I missed what I had been. But only a little. The overwhelming physical pleasure of being a girl, combined with the rich fantasy life I was constructing — was rapidly altering my outlook. After a few nights of masturbating as a young woman, I began to wonder if I was approaching the 20 percent of GB ladies who preferred their lovely new bodies to what they had before.

Dr. Wilson had been right — I had no more spontaneous orgasms. Apparently, as long as I satisfied my desires at night, my vagina would behave 'herself' during the day. That was for the best, because it was clear that Hal and I were falling for each other. Our conversations were awkward and shy, but with the intense subtext that marked two people attracted to one another. When I was talking with him, I couldn't help but recall the delightful sexual reveries I'd been having about him. That had to be showing on my face — I didn't intend to give him 'come-hither' eyes, but I just couldn't help it. He was so sweet and so... so damn cute!

I never could have imagined myself seeing a boy as sexy — but there it was. My journey to mental girlhood was moving inexorably forward. Not only was I assessing a guy on the basis of looks, I was now imagining him... me... us. Of course, that led to endless teasing and giggles on the part of Sue, Arleen and even Becky — who'd resigned herself to the whole mess with extraordinary grace.

Yeah, it was a regular Peyton Place around my circle. Arleen wanted me, I wanted Hal, Becky wanted Hal, Hal wanted me, but I still missed Sue, who still missed Jack, who used to be Hal's best friend! I thought of the old J. Geil's song:

You love her,

but she loves him

and he loves somebody else,

you just can't win.

True to her word, Sue took me bikini-shopping. Milford had a small department store, which catered heavily toward the overalls and sundresses that marked country 'fashion'. But recently, they'd improved their stock of contemporary clothing for teenage girls — a fact to which I'd been oblivious, for understandable reasons. Sue quickly acquainted me with the endless options of bathing suit styles: high-cut, hipsters and (shudder) thongs.

Bizarre did not begin to describe my feelings at dashing in and out of changing rooms with Sue — trying on one outfit after another, while seeing my former girlfriend (romantic version) totally nude. She was lovely, but it just wasn't the same. A week ago, a vision of Sue like this would have made me harder than a case of Viagra. Now, nothing. Sigh.

And then there were the bikinis themselves. Sue tried to force me into the skimpiest ones possible, but I drew the line at thongs. There was no way I was going to give any boy that kind of a thrill. Girls' bathing suits were so... revealing! I could barely stand to have Sue see me in them — and we were the same gender. How was I going to muster the courage to wear one in public?

In the end, I settled on a cream-colored two-piece that was rather daring in the front, making the most of my breasts — but more conservative in the back, with 'full-seat coverage'. I was getting comfortable with having cleavage, but no 'butt-floss' for me. I was stunned at the sight of myself in the bathing suit. God, I was so... female!

Sue looked at me with an open expression of envy. "Stephanie — I seriously think I'd sell my soul for your chest."

I blushed — I was doing that a lot these days. Such a change — before GB, I'd have loved having a girl express desire for my body. Now the sentiment was a little different, to say the least.

Friday came around. I'd worn dresses and such all week, so I took a day off from flaunting my femininity and wriggled into a snug pair of low-rider jeans and a simple cotton blouse. It felt a little odd to be in pants again. I enjoyed the freedom of not having to keep my legs together, and yet — I missed the swirling flow of a skirt. I realized that moment that I'd taken another step towards womanhood: — I didn't just tolerate skirts, I actually kind of preferred to be in them! I found myself looking forward to Monday, when I could put on another dress for school.

How had this happened to me? A week ago I was a boy, for heaven's sake! My only interest in a young woman's clothes was how to get them off her. Now, I could hardly wait for the little thrill that came with wearing pretty panties and cute skirts. Unreal. I was turning into a true girly-girl!

It was an uneventful day — the big moment would come this afternoon — at the track meet. This time, the stakes were higher. Our local athletic district was separated into two divisions. Today's meet was the Western Division championship — the first rung on the ladder to the big competitions. Those who finished in the top four would go on to the next level — the District title. The top performers there would qualify for the Sectional meet — all of central New York. And finally — the winners at the Sectional race would advance to the New York State Championships — where I'd finished third last year. As a boy.

Now I was trying to win it all as a girl. Miss one rung on that ladder, though, and I'd be out. There were no second chances. Survival of the fastest. I sat next to Becky and Hal on the bus ride over to Wyndam — where the district race would take place today. We chatted lively at first, but the closer we got to the school, the more the butterflies kicked in. The whole team grew quiet as we began to focus on the competition ahead.

We arrived at Wyndam, where a dozen schools had already set up their 'camps'. The smell of witch-hazel liniment was in the air as we unloaded all the equipment — batons, vaulting poles, discuses (discii?), etc. Wyndam had a lovely track — set in a natural bowl, which cut down on the wind. It was surrounded by pine trees and a bubbling stream. The well- rolled cinder surface was flawlessly marked into lanes by the white lime. The tension was palpable.

I reveled in the atmosphere — this was what I lived for. Girl or boy, I didn't care.

But as our team approached the track, something unusual happened. Melody McCarthy, the Oxton star miler I'd beaten a few days ago approached us, along with her coach. Two district officials accompanied them. More ominously, there was a county sheriff's deputy — in full uniform — walking toward us as well. Our team met them, puzzled.

"Coach Bradford?" one of the officials said.

"Yes?"

"I'm afraid I have to serve you with a court order. There's been a legal motion against a member of your team."

"What's this about?" my coach asked.

"The county judge has issued an injunction — prohibiting Stephanie Lind from competing in the girls' mile today."

"What the he..." Coach Bradford's faced darkened.

The Oxton coach spoke first, his tone dripping with venom. "It means the hermaphroditic freak that you're trying to pass off as a girl isn't going to be running today. Unless 'she' wants to take on the boys." Behind him, Melody was smirking broadly.

There were gasps all around me as my heart plunged downward.

"You have to be kidding," Coach Bradford responded. "The state recognizes her as a female — look at her driver's license, for God's sake. Heck, just look at HER!" He gestured at me and everyone's eyes seemed to fixate on my breasts and hips — and the smooth crotch that proved my femininity. I blushed — and felt a strong desire to cover up.

But my skimpy racing briefs weren't going to get the job done this time. The official spoke. "I'm sorry, Coach — but the injunction is in order and the deputy is here to enforce it. The district's hands are tied — Stephanie cannot compete until the status of her... gender has been settled in court."

I was standing there, frozen in shock — while Coach Bradford protested. "This makes no sense — what reason would you have for stopping her?"

Oxton's coach replied. "I'll grant this kid may look like a female." He ran his eyes lewdly over my half-naked body. "But 'she' was a boy just last week. 'She' has no business taking away opportunities for real girls like Melody. If you want 'her' to compete, you're going to have to prove 'her' former masculinity doesn't give her any unfair advantage. And while you're at it, Coach Bradford, you can apologize to my athlete for the humiliation you put her through — running a fake girl against her."

Coach Bradford was livid. "How about I apologize for what I'm going to put YOU through? Let's start with that brick wall over there!"

In five years, I'd never seen him like this. He stepped up to the Oxton coach — whose mocking attitude evaporated as he took in the size of my coach. One of the brawny Oxton shot-putters tried to head Coach Bradford off — but Mark Williams (BMW), bigger than any of them, moved to block the Oxton kid.

It was getting very ugly, very fast. Fortunately, the deputy quickly calmed everyone down.

The district official spoke again. "Between you and me, Coach Bradford, I sympathize. But Oxton has the law on their side. You're going to have to settle this in court. Until then, Stephanie has to stay on the sidelines."

I was finally able to speak. "But if I don't race today, I'm out for the season!"

"That should give you plenty of time to practice stuffing that bra better," Melody snickered at me.

"You're just jealous 'cause she's faster than you are," Becky snapped back.

"And a helluva lot sexier," Hal chimed in.

"Damn straight," Becky echoed. "She's twice the woman you'll ever be, you pathetic bitch!"

The riot nearly started all over again — but the deputy restored order once more. He was certainly earning his pay today. Coach Bradford studied the injunction, but shook his head sadly.

"I don't see any way to avoid this, Stephanie. We'll have to sit this one out."

As we walked away, Coach Bradford called out to Melody's coach. In a tone worthy of Schwarzenegger, he said: "She'll be back."

I was surrounded by sympathetic teammates — and I was very grateful for their support. But I shooed them away and told them to get warmed up. They had races to run and I didn't want my disaster to impact anyone else.

Alone, feeling glummer than I could ever have imagined, I headed for the bleachers. Tears formed in my eyes. Again! I'd had my hopes dashed, then resurrected, then dashed again!

I was crying openly now. I didn't know how much more of this I could take. Every damn time I tried to make peace with what had been done to me, I suffered another setback. I was just a normal boy with a special talent and all I ever wanted to do was make the most of it. Then I was turned into a girl against my will. I'd worked to accept my new body, my new life. The strange new clothes, the complex social structure, the intricate nature of my feminine sexuality. I'd tried to cope with my reduced athletic ability — not to get too hung up on the 'not bad for a girl' theme.

But all that was gone now. My season was over. No scholarships to carry me into college. My mother was right — I should have had a back-up plan. Now, I saw myself graduating in a few weeks, with no real prospects. Just a country girl. I thought of the Charlie Daniel's song:

Rich man goes off to college

and a poor man goes to work.

Poor girl wants to get married

and a rich girl wants to flirt.

I shuddered at a vision of myself shopping for gingham tablecloths at the local Wal-Mart, while my farmer husband awaited me in the pickup to take us square dancing. I'd reminisce about our honeymoon at Niagara Falls. I'd have three kids by the age of twenty-one and spend my precious free time baking pies for the 'girls' at the coffee klatch — where we'd trade recipes and compare crop yields.

Maybe I'd join the military — at least that would get me the hell out of this place.

But then I wondered what would happen if the military decided I wasn't a real girl either? There were no separate dorms for GB kids.

More despair. Maybe I was doomed never to fit in anywhere. Shades of Cher — I felt like a halfbreed.

During the meet, I cheered on my teammates. It wasn't easy — the magic, the energy of the competition was gone. But I applauded and called out encouragement when I could — using that damn girly soprano I now had. In between events, some of the other kids visited me in the bleachers, while I dashed tears from my eyes and tried to put on a brave face.

Even though my heart was breaking.

The one good thing — Oxton's perfidy had really fired up our team. It was obvious from the start we were going to finish ahead of them in the overall scoring — both boys and girls. Mark Williams obliterated all comers in the shot and disc, Hal won the two-mile as well. I chuckled — their coach's strategy had backfired a bit.

In a perfect world, Becky would have beaten Melody in the girl's mile. But we live on Earth — Melody easily won the division title in 4:52. I noted with satisfaction her time was still slower than the one I turned in earlier this week. At least Becky lowered her personal best by another two seconds and finished second. I was very happy for her — she'd qualified for the district meet next Tuesday.

But although both the Milford boys and girls team had performed well, there was still a sense of loss as we boarded the bus for home. Usually, the ride back was a chance to chill — sing songs, tell jokes, etc. But my mood was subdued — although I was really trying to be upbeat.

Coach Bradford took a seat next to me.

"Stephanie, do you remember what I said to the Oxton coach?"

"Yeah — something about 'I'll be back'. But how can that be? Even if we get the injunction overturned by Monday — it's too late. I'm out for the season."

He smiled. "No, you're not. Or have you forgotten Nationals?"

My heart suddenly leapt. I HAD forgotten Nationals!

Let me explain. Track is unique among sports — for it crowns a national high-school champion. Sure, every state has tournaments for champions in basketball, football and so forth. But a 50-state tournament for a match play sport is impractical. There's no way to devise a NCAA-style 'March Madness' to settle the best high-school basketball team in the country, for example. The expense alone makes it impossible.

But track is different. Because it's based on individual events, it's possible to determine national champions in a single meet. Nike and Footlocker sponsor the National meet every year — moving the competition from state to state.

There were only three requirements. One, be 18 years old or less. Two, you had to be enrolled in an accredited high- school. And three, you had to meet the qualifying standard. In other words, each event, from 100 meters to the pole vault mandated a minimum performance that scooped up the 10 or so best athletes, boys and girls — from across the United States. The standards were set very high to ensure an elite competition — but if you qualified, it didn't matter what other races you missed.

Coach Bradford waited for me to get it. "Now you see, Stephanie. Last Tuesday, you ran a 4:49 in a sanctioned, certified meet. You may not be able to go to the New York State championship — but you most certainly meet the requirements for the National race. As I mentioned, you're ranked third in the country right now."

"But what about the injunction?"

"It won't apply — the National meet is beyond New York State's jurisdiction. And I'll have to check, but I believe Nike and Footlocker have not forbidden the inclusion of GB girls. Besides, once we get Jim Martin on board, we'll get that damn court order quashed."

"So there's still hope," I smiled.

"Absolutely. If you win the Nike meet — and prove yourself in head-to-head competition — to be the fastest girl miler in America, all the colleges will be after you. And if you get Mary Decker's record... well!"

I was still uncertain. "Did you say Jim Martin?"

"Yep. If anyone can bring this madness to an end it's him."

I pondered that. Jim Martin was well known to everyone in Milford. He'd been a high-profile attorney in Washington, DC. He'd even worked some of the Congressional inquiries that drew so much media attention during the Reagan, Bush and Clinton administrations. But he'd grown weary of the big-city life and had hung out his own shingle in Milford — his wife's hometown. Now his legal work consisted of wills and property settlements. Why anybody would settle down here was a mystery to me — but if he was willing to take my case, then we had an ace in the hole the Oxton side may not have considered.

So there was hope. But I was still morose as I took Hal up on his offer to give me a lift home.

We were silent for a few moments. Then I spoke.

"Great race, Hal. I'm looking forward to seeing you run next week."

"Thanks. I just can't get into it, though. I'm royally pissed about what happened to you."

"Coach thinks we can beat the injunction so I can run in Nationals."

"That's terrific!" Hal exclaimed. "After everything you've been through, you deserve a chance to show what you've got."

"I hope you weren't referring to my uniform." Was I fishing for compliments?

He laughed. "No. Although you've got a lot to show off there as well." He paused, then resumed. "I just wanted to say how much I respect you, Ja... Stephanie. I don't think I'd have handled... becoming a... things as well as you have."

"You can say it, Hal. I'm a girl."

"Yeah... that."

"You know, it's really not all that bad. I think I could deal with it if I could keep running. But if I lose that... I... I don't know what I'd do! I..."

And suddenly I was crying. Hal pulled the car over into my driveway and looked at me with concern.

"It's just that when I'm running, that's the only time I feel normal. I forget about panties and breasts and all that. I feel like I did when I was Jack. Without it, it's like I've lost myself..." My voice was shaking and I started to sob.

So Hal did what any boy would do with a girl crying in his front seat. He took me into his arms and held me. It was so comforting — his arms were strong, as if he were protecting me. I felt safe, at peace. I didn't even consider the strangeness of having a guy hold me. I just went with it.

After a few moments, I got myself under control. Then I felt a hand tip my chin up. I looked into Hal's blue eyes — gazing at me with such intensity. There was caring, compassion — and something more reflected there.

And I realized at that moment, for the first time in my life, I was about to be kissed by a boy.

My heart began pounding as his face drew nearer — but I didn't even consider turning away. A tiny gasp came from me as his soft lips met mine. It was wonderful! Very intense. I'd had fantasies about being with him — but this simple reality was so much more. Oh! Kissing him was quite different than with Sue. He was the boy, the aggressor — maintaining that ever so sweet contact — gently exploring my lips. And I was the girl — letting him make the move while I decided if I liked it.

I did.

His tongue thrust carefully forward. For a brief moment I resisted — but then my mouth opened for him and he entered me. There was an old expression I read once — advice from a woman to a girl: "Do not open thy lips unless thou plannest to open thy limbs." Now I knew what she meant. There was an intimacy about French kissing as a girl that mimicked sex — the male penetrating the female's lips to explore the space within. Oh my.

My body was responding in every way now — pulse racing, nipples firming, breasts swelling. Somewhere in my frazzled state I remembered Erin from GRS warning about how easy it was for a girl to lose control. Despite every cell of my body screaming for me to hold onto this boy, to let him continue — I managed to pull away. I quickly got out of the car.

"Stephanie, I'm sorry! I didn't mean to... for us to..."

Panting, I stood a few feet from him, then shyly met his eyes. No frustration or anger from him. He was genuinely worried about me. I managed a small smile.

"I'm not upset, Hal. How could I be when I was only wondering what was taking you so long?" I smiled again, then turned and raced into the house.

Jesus. I'd just made out with a boy. And I wanted more of it. Lots more! Right now! I showered, but that didn't lower my arousal. In fact, as I looked at the shower head, I remembered the stories I'd heard about girls and nozzles. Slowly, I undid the head and moved it down... between my legs. A little to the left... no... up a smidgen... and... Oh YES!

It took less that thirty seconds for me to have the most spectacular orgasm yet — I was coming in colors, nearly screaming with delight — visions of Hal and I making love adding to the potency of the climax. Oh God... oh God... how could I ever have been satisfied with a boy's body?

Trembling, my knees weakened and I slid to the floor of the shower, water still streaming from the nozzle. I knew there was a dreamy expression on my dazzled face. Jesus! It seemed every time I came as a girl it just got better and better! I wasn't sure if I could handle more of this.

Who was I kidding? Of course I could and I wanted to press on. But not right now. At least the orgasm had drained the immediate... need... Hal had inspired in me. One interesting thing I was learning from all this. Girls were human too. As a boy, I'd always regarded girls as these mysterious otherworldly creatures, untouched by the base desires that had inspired my male sexuality. At best, I'd seen girls acquiescing to sex out of affection or love — somehow more pure, more ethereal.

But now that I was female myself — I could see that girls got horny, as well. They too had physical needs comparable to guys. A vagina made things a little different, maybe — but the same concept applied.

After a hot and heavy make-out session with Sue, I'd usually come home to relieve the pressure in private. And as a girl, after a similar encounter with Hal? Same thing — although a shower nozzle was a much more effective... aid.

I was surprised to find Mom outraged over the court-order that had barred me from the track. I'd expected her to be pleased that my running career was most likely over. I knew she would take no delight in it of course, but I thought she'd be relieved I'd have no more distractions from school.

I was wrong. Mom had apparently picked up on how important running was to me — and then too, she detested the idea of someone questioning the femininity of her daughter. In addition, she didn't feel as though it was anyone's business but ours whether or not I ran track. And she could tell I was genuinely hurt by it all — no good parent tolerates a child in pain.

So the next morning, she drove me down to Jim Martin's office — a well- appointed set of rooms on the ground floor of a lovely Victorian mansion near the center of town. The furniture was plush leather and the carpet was so thick it felt like mud. Mr. Martin may have chosen the quiet country life — but he'd retained a fondness for the trappings of a big-city law firm.

We were escorted into a spacious conference room by the secretary. She was a pretty young blonde woman in an elegant, albeit feminine, business suit. My first thought on seeing her was how much I liked her hairstyle, followed by curiosity over how I would look wearing her matching jacket/skirt combo.

Only after that did I consider how full her breasts were — and even then, my reaction was not one of desire, but rather... jealousy.

God, I was becoming soooo female! Jim Martin entered the room. He was short for a man — about my height. Close-cropped dark hair with a hint of gray around the temples. Despite the casual hour — Saturday morning — he was formally dressed in a well-cut suit. I felt an instant charisma about him — he carried with him a great sense of confidence. Not arrogant in the least, but a powerful man nonetheless.

He introduced himself to all of us, studying me closely as we shook hands. We sat down and Coach Bradford recounted the previous day's events. Mr. Martin listened attentively but asked no questions. Once the coach was finished, the attorney reviewed the injunction and was silent for a few moments. Then he looked directly at me.

"Are you a girl, Stephanie?"

The bluntness of the question startled me. "I... I... yes..." I stammered.

"Let's try again. Are you a girl?"

"Yes," I said firmly.

"Much better." He spoke to everyone at the table. "That's something you all will have to prepare for. As we move forward in challenging this injunction, Stephanie will become the target of a great deal of attention. Much of that attention will be negative and all of it will seek to cast doubt on her gender. It's very important for you to banish any lingering questions you may have as to the true nature of Stephanie's femininity. All of you, Stephanie in particular, must act as though her girlhood is an inviolable fact, beyond any debate.

"Why is that so important?" my mother asked.

"Because this case is going to become a media circus."

"How?"

"I'm going to make it into one," he said flatly — with a hint of a smile. And I knew at that moment we had the right man for the job.

"So you're willing to be my lawyer?" I asked him.

"Absolutely. I wouldn't miss this for the world."

Coach Bradford spoke. "But why make it so public?"

"There are two possibilities here. One — Oxton has filed this injunction because they have a genuine concern to ensure a level playing field for all athletes. Or two — Oxton has filed this injunction because they have a star athlete of their own, and this is an excellent way to eliminate one of her competitors. Which do you think it is?"

"The second." Coach Bradford and I spoke simultaneously.

"Correct. Despite my years in Washington, I retain a sense of idealism. However, I'm also honest in my assessment of human nature. When one looks at Oxton's position, and one also considers the rest of the district does not object to Stephanie's participation, it is obvious that Melody McCarthy and her coach are motivated by personal ambitions. That's where the media comes in.

"You see, American journalism in the 21st century is focused on the so-called human interest element of any given story. Facts are not nearly as relevant as emotion. I intend to present Stephanie as she really is. A lovely young girl, struggling to define her femininity and learn what it means to be a woman. Just like any other teenage girl. Trying to grow up and figure out who she is. Just like any other teenager — boy or girl. A girl with an extraordinary history and an even more extraordinary talent. She's not looking for fame — she just wants to be the best athlete, the best girl, the best person she can be."

Wow. With his mellifluous voice and vocabulary, Mr. Martin had defined me better than I'd ever done for myself.

"In short, the media can't help but present Stephanie to the public as a sympathetic figure. And when I finish contrasting that with the naked self-interest of McCarthy and her coach, the public will see Stephanie as the wronged party. That aids our case — because whether we like it or not, what happens outside the courtroom influences what happens inside it. Recall OJ or the Massachusetts au-pair girl."

The attorney continued. "And this is doubly important for us, Stephanie, because transgendered law is ill-defined at best. I started research last night, as soon as your coach called me. The good news is that you are recognized as legally female in all fifty states. But that only applies to public institutions, and only in certain ways. It is still permissible for any private entity to define 'female' in accordance with their own criteria."

"You may remember the story of Renee Richards, back in the 1970's. She became a woman via a sex-change operation. She won the right to be recognized as a female by her home state — her driver's license and amended birth certificate reflect that. But when she attempted to play professional tennis as a woman, the US Open and the USTA invoked a rarely used 'sex test'. They defined 'woman' as a function of one's chromosomes. Since Richards still had the XY genetics of a man, when her cellular structure was put under the microscope, she failed to meet the standard set by the tournaments. Despite her legal status as a woman, she lost the courtroom battle and was barred from playing in women's events."

"But I'm XX," I said.

"Exactly. GB goes far beyond any operation. Boys transformed by GB into girls are considered to be females as a matter of settled case law, at both the state and federal levels. That was resolved fairly quickly after the advent of GB. What has not been resolved is the status of sports — which remains perhaps the only area of public life where there is a distinct and irreconcilable difference due to gender. Because males as a group are more potent athletically than females, crossing that line will inevitably result in conflict. That's what happened to Renee Richards and what Oxton is hoping will happen to you."

"Will it?" I asked nervously.

"Not very likely." He spoke with such confidence I was instantly reassured. "Unlike Renee Richards, there is no conceivable standard of physical femininity you cannot meet. No matter what 'test' Oxton may attempt to invoke, you will pass it as the girl you are. I confirmed that in my discussions with the Syracuse GRS this morning."

I was impressed by how much he had already accomplished.

He continued. "The only strategy that can help them is the unknown. Because GB is so mysterious in origin, Oxton will argue that the lack of scientific explanation as to how GB functions means there are too many uncertainties to permit you to compete. They will claim that you may have some hidden advantage, some hint of masculinity locked away that gives you an unfair edge when competing against girls. They'll be pushing the intangibles."

"That sounds like it might work," Coach Bradford said.

"If this were a criminal case, absolutely not. They would have to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that you were still male in some way — which they cannot possibly do. But since this is a civil matter, there is a chance, albeit slim, that they could convince a judge. By the way, there will be no jury trial here — the tort process requires the judge to make both findings of fact and findings of law."

"So the judge that signed this injunction will be deciding," I said morosely.

"Yes, but don't get too pessimistic about that. Judge Burrell has a fair reputation. He's an old-fashioned guy and that will work in our favor."

"How so?"

"Stephanie, for all the high-flown legalese, his decision will come down to one simple question: are you a real girl? It will be your job to convince him you are. If he sees you as such, we can easily make our case. You've got three more days to get ready — we'll appear in front of him on Tuesday."

"That fast?" I was suddenly nervous again.

"Time is of the essence here. While it's too late to get you into the state competitions, we must conclude this prior to the national championships. Yes, I researched all that as well. We need a formal declaration from a court to establish the precedent, once and for all, that you are female in every way. That will not only protect you, but all the GB girls who come after you as well."

He continued. "After all, Stephanie, you're the first male national-class athlete to attempt to resume competition as a girl. There was one basketball player who was considered an NBA prospect — but GB took nearly a foot of height away from him and once female she never played in the WNBA. I suspect it was just too much for her to cope with."

I vaguely remembered the story. I could sure sympathize with her, though!

"So now you understand. In the end, Oxton will not set the standard for femininity — you will. On Tuesday, you need to be attired accordingly."

Mom spoke. "Should we get her a business suit?" I thought back to the secretary.

"No," Mr. Martin said. "Please don't take this the wrong way, but she'd look like a little girl playing dress-up in her mommy's clothes. Better for her to look like the feminine teenager she is, rather than a contrived attempt at womanhood. I suggest a spring dress, just below the knee, soft pastels, no prints, lightly ruffled collar and sleeves, with matching hose and heels. Something that a young girl would wear to church."

I was amazed at his sartorial expertise. He was very, very good. I guess you get what you pay for. Speaking of which...

He seemed to read my mind. "Don't worry, Stephanie — I'm taking this pro bono. Fact is, you're doing me a favor. I have no regrets over choosing the peaceful country life — but I do miss the challenge of making new law — and that's what we're going to do here."

He smiled, shook our hands and reminded us to be at the county courthouse on Tuesday.

I spent a quiet day doing a few chores and some homework. I was considering what my attorney had said this morning — about how it would all come down to one thing — proving my gender to the judge. And I knew it was much more than just having a woman's chest and vulva. After all, Renee Richards had all that too, but it hadn't helped her in the sports arena.

But could I get the world and the judge in particular, to accept me as a real girl — when I was still trying to accept it myself? If I was filled with apprehension about tonight's pool/slumber party, how would I do in the courtroom?

Still, I am stubborn, as you've no doubt concluded by now — I was going to try.

I pondered it all while mowing the lawn. Sweat poured down into my bra — I grumbled a bit — wasn't this supposed to be a boy's job? It would have been nice if turning into a girl had gotten me out of some of the more onerous tasks around the house. Though it was probably for the best I wasn't too focused on stereotypes of gender-appropriate labor. After all, despite my newfound femininity, I was still a lousy cook.

I lost track of time — Mom called me to get ready. Hurriedly, I raced through my shower.

"Honey, I'll pack an overnight bag for you."

"Thanks, Mom — please don't forget my bikini." God, it felt surreal to say that!

I spent a few minutes fussing with my hair in front of the mirror, strangely nervous — and I realized I was actually worried about how I would look for the boys. I ran a brush through my long locks. No sense in worrying too much — it was just going to get wet again. I pulled on a set of snug denim shorts over pink cotton panties and tugged a cute tee over my chest. I checked my look — simple, but sweet. I seemed so young!

I raced for the car, where Mom was waiting with my bag. She drove me over to Sue's place.

"Your first slumber party — how fun."

"I don't think they call them that any more, Mom." Borrowing from Sue, I was trying to play the sophisticated teenager — even though I knew far less than she.

"Whatever the name — they're all the same. You'll talk and giggle the whole night long — then sleep until noon." She smiled in indulgent recollection.

I rolled my eyes, pretending to be jaded. We looked at each other — then burst out laughing.

"Okay. I admit it. I don't know anything."

"You'll be fine, honey. Just relax and have a good time. And make sure Sue kicks the boys out before bedtime. After they see you in that bikini — they won't want to leave."

"Oh, Mother." I said dramatically. But I was a little concerned — as an ex-boy I knew even better than she how right she was. How was Sue going to keep control? We arrived at the house and I gave Mom a quick kiss before heading inside.

You're a Doll, Baby!

Sue greeted me at the door, wearing the sexy bikini (is there any other kind?) we'd picked out for her earlier. She looked very, very nice — but... last week I would've needed a bib to control the drool. Now, no physical response at all from my body at all. Nothing more than appreciation for another girl's beauty.

I really had changed. Speaking of which, Sue guided me to a bathroom where I could put on my own bathing suit. It was a warm day, but I shook a little as I stepped into the skimpy bottoms and carefully tied the top across my breasts. Still a bit bizarre to look in the full-length mirror as I undressed — seeing the naked teenage girl I'd become. But I was starting to get used to the idea of looking like this. If only my suit wasn't so revealing!

Who was I kidding? If I didn't really want to reveal so much skin, I wouldn't be wearing this in the first place. There was a part of me, growing stronger every day, that liked the idea of showing off. Narcissistic? Oh, yeah. Shakespeare did write 'Vanity, thy name is woman'. But as I tentatively stepped out of the bathroom and went out to the flagstone deck, I understood something else. A woman's body can give her power over men. No, it's not PC — but it does help to make up for smaller muscles, etc.

And that power was on full display as I joined the others. Every boy's head instantly swiveled to check me out. There were about a half-dozen guys there and I was acutely aware of how scanty my bikini was. At least with my racing briefs, I got to wear panties underneath. But now there was only a single layer of Lycra protecting my... girlhood from view. And I truly had cleavage, to boot — more than any of the other young women at the party. I felt almost naked!

Then I spotted Hal. My heart jumped a little as I saw him for the first time since our kiss last night. He stared intently at me, smiling and serious at the same time. I understood where he was coming from. He genuinely cared for me as a person, a friend. But he was a healthy male, and looking at me as I was now dressed was inevitably causing a response. I couldn't stop my eyes from gazing at his crotch, and even his baggy trunks couldn't conceal the erection rising within.

My body was responding, too. Just the knowledge that Hal wanted me was reaching deep into my newly female psyche. And he looked very good in his own right. Very good. Unbidden, my mind recalled one of my fantasies I'd been pleasuring myself with. Hal, on top of me, gently kissing my breasts while I reached down to stroke his...

All of this happened it about 30 seconds, as we just stared at each other. My nipples felt as if they would burst through my top. Sue and Becky came up to us then.

"Break it up, you two," Becky said.

"Should we get you a room?" Sue teased.

I literally had to shake myself out of the erotic trance I'd fallen into. Jesus! And to think I'd thought boys were the hornier gender. I made the rounds, meeting the rest of the group — mostly Sue's cheerleading friends. Arleen was there too — I'd prevailed upon Sue to invite her.

"Nice suit," she smiled at me — a devilish look in her eyes.

I actually blushed as she discreetly looked me up and down. Getting checked out by a girl had taken on a whole new meaning for me.

"You, too," I responded. She was in a light-blue one-piece that highlighted her generous curves. "I'm glad you came. Are you having a good time?"

"Strangely, yes," she replied. "Sue always did have a friendly crowd, and there's some real eye candy here." She chuckled slyly.

"You got that right!" Becky said, as she arrived in time to hear Arleen's last comment. I had to hide my smile — she had no idea where Arleen's real interests lay. In fact, as I noted Becky's pretty yellow bikini, I could see Arleen was very entertained.

I continued the rounds, smirking inwardly at how all the boys manfully attempted to keep eye contact with us girls as we mingled. They were good guys, trying their best to behave — but our skimpy bathing suits sure didn't make it easy for them.

That was the power I spoke of earlier — the one I'd acquired with my girly new body. And that defined the difference between how the boys and girls dressed. I considered the guys in their baggy swim trunks, hanging down to their knees. And then I considered the girls — in our high-cut, skin-tight bikinis — with the fabric pressing tightly against our smooth crotches. Our chests barely contained. Proving our femininity in the most obvious of ways. In fact, while our bikinis seemingly concealed our breasts and our vaginas, all it really did was draw attention to them.

Just the opposite of what I used to be. Girls were the ones who wore the short skirts, the sexy tights, the clingy dresses. We were the ones who put our bodies on display, not the guys. Although a naughty part of me longed to see Hal wearing a bikini bottom. Still, at least his chest was bare — and quite nice to look at. Smooth, flat, lightly muscled. Oh yes...

I damn near fell into another trance. God, this was incredible! I was drooling over my best friend's body — a guy I'd been showering with for years. Uh, oh. Don't go there. I struggled to banish images of a naked Hal, dripping wet, from my mind. Struggled to dismiss thoughts of his long penis, dangling as he dried off — a penis that I'd love to have pushed deep into my...

Fortunately, Sue called us into the water for some games before I could embarrass myself again. I quickly dove into the pool, and was horrified when my top started to come off. While underwater, my heart racing, I managed to secure it back across my chest. Whew! Being a girl offered many more opportunities for embarrassment.

I'd been lucky to stay underwater as long as I did, because I was far more buoyant than ever before. And not just my extra body fat. I was mesmerized by the sight of my breasts bobbing in the water — as if they wanted independence from my body and to go drifting off on their own. And of course, the chill made my nipples rock hard. And here I was thinking that the pool would offer some protection. Ha! The other girls were in a similar boat, so to speak. The guys were in heaven, as to be expected. Just as I would have been a week ago.

We horsed around in the water for the next half-hour or so. We had classic 'chicken-fights — boys on the bottom, girls on top — trying to tip each team over. I partnered up with Hal and struggled to push Sue, Becky, Arleen and the others off their 'mounts'. I wasn't used to my new position and Hal and I were tipped more often than not. We didn't complain, though — every time we fell into the water, Hal took the opportunity to discreetly caress some part of my body. My breasts, my legs, my butt — whatever was handy. After fifteen minutes, I was so erotically charged I starting falling into the water on purpose, just so he could grope me some more.

We switched games, which was for the best. Although I was continuing to pleasure myself at night — I was still very leery of getting too aroused in public. Big Mark Williams (aka BMW) was impressing everyone with how far he could toss a girl across the pool. I was stunned at his strength as he gently picked me up and swung me ten feet through the air to splash down in the deep end. God, he made me feel like a little doll! Fun ride, though.

We finished in the water and grilled hot dogs and burgers. I still felt immodestly clad in my sexy bikini and I wanted to put on a T-shirt. But the other girls stayed in their suits, so I did the same. After another hour of conversation, laughter and the occasional fall into the pool, we began to wind down. I noted with interest that over time I didn't mind showing so much skin as I did before. It seemed more natural to be dressed like this. I guess I was just getting used to another aspect of life as a girl.

Eventually, we banished the guys. There was lots of good- natured protesting, but they headed to their cars with high spirits as we followed them to say good night. I walked with Hal to his car, and then I went for it. I felt an electricity run through my body and I seemed to lose all control. I put my arms around his neck, pulled him down, and kissed him deeply. This time I was the aggressor — pushing my breasts against him, thrusting my tongue into his mouth. I could feel his erection rising as our bodies pressed together. Oh yes...

"Okay you two. Ten more seconds and then we're breaking out the hoses." Sue said laughingly. Hal and I looked deeply into one another's eyes, then we reluctantly parted. Unbelievable. One week as a girl and I was nearly ready to have my best friend make love to me. Nearly. For the thought of making love as a girl (for real, not a fantasy), was simultaneously the most wonderful and the most frightening thing I could imagine.

But I now knew it was going to happen. And soon. My body's needs were overwhelming me — and I also craved the emotional bond I was forming with the guy. I wanted him.

There. I said it. What's the big deal, anyway? I'm just a girl who wants her guy to make love to her. What could be more normal than that? Why should a little thing like 'I used to be a boy' be an issue? It certainly wasn't for him.

And it was becoming less of an issue for me, too.

On the way back in, I noted Becky and Mark (BMW) saying good night rather intimately. I smiled as the cute girl stretched up to give the big man a quick kiss. He blushed and drove away. Now that was good news. I still felt guilty about Becky and Hal, even though she'd been so cool about it. Mark was a nice guy and if he and Becky could make something happen, I was sure it would be good for both of them.

I headed upstairs to get changed. I opened the bag my mother had set up for me to get out my nightshirt. But it wasn't there. Instead, she'd packed a very frilly pink nightie. I pulled it on, the fabric gliding sensuously across my skin. And stopped, stunned, as I realized it ended at my hips. Now wait a minute. How come this nightie was so short? I reached back into the back and pulled out a matching pair of pink ruffled panties.

Oh, no. This was no ordinary nightie. This was a set of baby-doll pajamas!

There was a note in the bag.

Dear Stephanie,

I loved to wear baby-dolls when I was a girl — now's your chance to join in on the fun! This one's a classic style from the 1950's. You're going to look so adorable in it. Don't worry — the other girls will be delighted.

Love, Mom

Frantically, I searched the bag for something else to wear. No luck. My mom had planned well. Like it or not, I was going to have to parade around in front of everyone dressed in the silliest, most ultra-feminine outfit possible.

At least the guys were gone. Although, as I pulled on the matching lace panties, a part of me regretted Hal's absence — I'd love to see the look on his face if he saw me wearing this!

God, the panties felt nice! Snugly wrapping my hips in a lovely layer of ruffles and frills, just wearing them made me feel girlier than ever. The hem of my top was so short, my panties were sure to show to one and all. Which of course was the whole point of baby-doll pajamas — a girl was extra-cute when her pretty underpants were on display. This was the most explicitly feminine garment I'd worn to date.

Last week, I would have looked ridiculous dressed like this. Now, I looked adorable. Just like my mother had said. With the puffy sleeves, empire waist and bare legs, my baby-dolls made me appear youthful and innocent, and yet somehow sexy and tantalizing at the same time. I sighed at my mother's deception and made my way downstairs — with more than a little trepidation.

I needn't have worried. Mom was spot-on with her prediction of the other girls' reaction. They were delighted — far from laughing at me, they almost seemed jealous they weren't dressed the same way. I kept getting comments on how 'retro chic' the outfit was and how I was turning into more of a girl than they ever believed possible.

They got that right. And so began our slumber party. I quickly learned to dismiss all the classic male fantasies about such events. We didn't give each other spankings, nor did we practice kissing with one another, nor did we strip to our underwear and have a pillow fight.

None of that. I wasn't really surprised. By now, I'd learned that most boys' assumptions about girls were no more accurate than medieval Europeans' assumptions about a flat earth. Fact is, a girls' slumber party wasn't really all that different from a guys' 'bull session'. We talked about boys, teachers, boys, homework, boys, graduation, boys, sports, boys, clothes and for a little variety — boys. Once again, I was learning that girls were people, too. Sure, they... we dressed a little different (just look at the ruffles on the seat of my panties!), and we communicated differently — but girls and guys really have similar aspirations. Good friendships, success in school, sports, getting into the right college and romance.

There was a lot of gossip about who was going out with whom, and I took more than a little ribbing about Hal. But I knew the girls were just having fun, so I went along with the laughter and had a good time.

Then things got a little more serious. The girls finally broached the hidden topic — my ambiguous gender. I knew they were curious. After all, how often does a girl get a chance to ask another girl what it's like being a boy?

"I heard about that whole injunction thing," Sue said. "Are you really going to court?"

"Yep. I have to get a ruling about my legal status if I want to compete as a female."

Karen, one of Sue's cheerleading buddies asked, "But won't that be embarrassing — having to testify about your body and all?"

"Maybe. But if I back down, that will just give more ammo to all those who feel GB girls aren't really women. I've got to face this now, or I'll be dealing with it the rest of my life."

"That's so brave."

"I wouldn't go that far. Let's just say it needs to be done, and I'm going to do it."

"So you really see yourself as a girl," Becky said.

"Yes," I said. "I'd better, considering how I'm dressed." There were some chuckles at that.

Karen spoke again. "So what do you like or not like about a girl's body?"

I thought for a moment. "I guess I could sum it up this way - I like panties, but I don't care for bras." Puzzled looks from the others. "Okay. I mean, I like how a girl is built... down below. It's... nicer than being a boy. And panties are soft and pretty and fun." A few nods at that. "But I'm having more trouble with my... chest and the bras that go with it. It's awkward. And it makes me self- conscious."

"I think I understand. And with your chest, you've got more to worry about," Karen replied jealously.

I blushed. "Maybe — but it's a tradeoff. I guess that's the story of life. You get positives and negatives either way."

"But overall, do you like it — as a girl?" Arleen, quiet up to now, spoke.

I paused. Then, "Yeah — I... I really do. I mean, there are a lot of things I miss about being a guy, but..." I paused again, thinking. "But there's something special about being a girl. I can't really put my finger on it, but it's cool in its own way. I've still got a lot to figure out though."

"Do you like it — better?" Arleen spoke again.

I really thought hard before answering. "I don't know. But I'm beginning to think it's possible. I can't believe I'm saying this... but I think a day might come when I'll like being a girl enough that I wouldn't want to go back."

There were smiles all around. Then Sue stepped out for a moment. The other girls seemed to be waiting for something — there was anticipation in the air. Then Sue returned, carrying a box.

"I've talked this over with the others, and we all agree. We want you to have this." And she handed the box to me. Tentatively, I took it from her and opened it.

Inside was a cheerleading uniform.

Astonished, I felt my jaw drop. I looked at Sue and her teammates in shock. They smiled back at me, along with Becky and Arleen (who were not on the squad, but were clearly enjoying the moment).

"You... you want me to be a..."

"Yes. You can say it, Stephanie. We want you to be a cheerleader with us."

I picked up the gold top with the dark-blue pleated skirt in amazement. "I... I don't know what to say..." I stammered.

"Say you'll join us, silly," Karen responded.

I felt a surge of emotion run through me. I couldn't believe how thoughtful, how accepting they were!

Sue sensed my confusion. "I think I can speak for all of us when I say how much we liked you as Jack. And not just in the romantic way," she said with a wistful look. "You were one of the good guys. And we were all worried about how you'd handle becoming a girl. So many guys act as if girls are second-class citizens. But you've been great. You didn't sit around moping about how being female was a shameful thing. You didn't act like you'd been demoted by your new gender. Instead, you threw yourself into it like it was some... some track meet. One week as a girl and you're wearing bikinis and baby-dolls, running races, hanging out with your girlfriends and falling for a great guy. But even more than that, you're treating your femininity with respect — and that reflects well on us all."

The rest of the girls nodded in affirmation as my eyes grew watery. My god, they were so sweet! I felt so, so lucky to have these friends. I'd never experienced anything like this as a boy. Remember when I said I could imagine a point where I'd prefer to stay this way? At that moment, I was nearly there.

I knew Sue was taking a risk here. She'd been captain of the cheerleaders for the last two years — so she'd shaped the team in her image. You know how in some schools, cheerleaders are emotional terrorists — wielding their popularity as a weapon to dominate less fortunate girls and boys alike. Sue, of course, was different. Her team did volunteer work in the community and helped out younger kids with counseling. Yeah, the girls were human, so there was some sense of 'specialness' about them — but they really tried hard to avoid looking down on those not so well placed in the social order.

Inviting me onto the squad was chancy for Sue. She'd probably take some heat from parents and students — those who agreed with the Oxton assessment that I wasn't a real girl. But it was symbolic as well. The football and basketball seasons were long since over — there were only a few weeks to graduation. Just naming me to the squad carried a message. Nothing conveyed the image of the 'All- American Girl' more than a high-school cheerleader.

Karen spoke up then. "Bottom line, Stephanie — we're proud of you. And wait 'till they learn in court you're on the squad! That'll show those Oxton twits." She said that with such determination, I felt my heart leap.

Oprah time. I nodded my acceptance and burst into happy tears. Then there were group hugs, sniffles and lots of pats. I was truly touched by their gesture.

I can't really say that girls have closer friendships with each other than guys do with their own gender. But I can say girls express it far more readily, and that made me feel very supported by them — which in turn led to my tears. I felt ever so grateful to have these young women in my life.

After I got under control, Karen said to Sue, "Is she going to go through the..."

"Initiation? No, I think that's a bit much to expect of her," Sue replied.

Nervousness again. "What's the initiation?" I asked.

"Well... as you know, we wear the uniforms once a week. There's a tradition we have for a new cheerleader." She hesitated, and actually blushed.

Karen picked it up. "When a new girl wears her uniform to school for the first time, she puts on the skirt, the blouse and the vest. But she doesn't put on the..."

"What?" I asked, growing a little exasperated.

"Her tights!" all four of the cheerleaders laughed at once.

"Wait a minute..."

Arleen chuckled. "You know, I'd wondered about that," she said.

Sue spoke up again, noting my confusion. "I keep forgetting you used to be a boy — so you probably aren't up on all the details. You see, Stephanie, cheerleaders wear matching tights under their skirts — they're really special panties that go over the girl's underwear. It gives her a little modesty, which we all need considering how short these skirts are. Years ago, a ritual got started among the Milford cheerleaders (don't ask me how) — when a new girl was welcomed onto the squad, she had to spend one day at school, in the uniform, without tights."

"But that would mean..." I said, almost horrified.

"Yep. Everyone would see her panties. Her everyday panties. There's no way for a girl to keep them from peeking out when she's dressed like that. And you know how boys are..."

I had to laugh. "Yeah, I think I do."

"But we don't expect you to carry on like that. We know you're kind of a special case." Sue tried to reassure me.

I thought I'd caught a glimpse or two of underwear beneath a cheerleader's skirt over the years. But as a boy, I had no awareness of feminine apparel, so I just enjoyed the view. Now, though, it would be my turn. They were offering me an out — should I take it?

"Did all of you go through this?" I asked. They nodded. "Then I will too. Just promise not to laugh, Okay?" The whole squad applauded me. "That's our girl!" one commented.

"And the tradition goes on," Sue said. "Needless to say, you'd better wear your prettiest undies — because every guy in the school will be seeing them."

I shuddered. What had I gotten into? Oh, well. Besides, there was a naughty part of me that liked the idea of teasing the boys.

After that, we turned to other topics. More conversation, snacks, music and so on. It was a lot of fun. And of course, no slumber party would be complete without the interruption by the annoying little brother. His name was Chuck, about 13 or so — Becky caught him on the stairs, spying on us.

Several of us squealed, pretending to be shy. I just stood, frozen in place as the young boy studied my appearance, open-mouthed. Jesus, I'd thrown footballs around with this kid and now he was seeing me in frilly baby-doll pajamas! I blushed.

"Cute panties!" he said admiringly to me as Sue ordered him back upstairs. I ruefully shook my head — that was just a taste of what I would go through when I wore my cheerleading suit to school. God help me. And yet, I wasn't entirely unhappy.

Later, Arleen and I got a quiet moment. She eyed me up and down — I could tell she was very pleased with my outfit.

"I just wanted to thank you for inviting me, Stephanie. You know I don't get out much and you know why. But tonight's been a lot of fun," she smiled at me.

"I'm really glad, Arleen. It meant a lot to me to have you here."

"And I'm so happy for you with joining the squad and all. I mean — I usually look upon cheerleading as a construct of the patriarchy intended to indoctrinate young girls for a life of being sex objects..."

I laughed at the classic clichÈd analysis. "I take it you've already audited a women's studies course over at the university."

She laughed too. "Well, maybe it's not that bad. But in your case, it's just right. It's the camaraderie, being accepted for what you've become. You're a classy dame, Stephanie."

"So are you, Arleen."

We exchanged a hug and rejoined the others. As my mom had said, we talked and giggled for another hour before finally crawling into our sleeping bags. My pajama top kept riding up on me, but the outfit was so silky smooth and fun to wear, I really didn't mind.

And we didn't get up until noon.

When I got home, Mom was eager for all the details. I gave her a little hell for tricking me into the silly baby- dolls.

"'Fess up. You loved it," she smiled.

"Well..."

"I see you've still got a hint of boy left in you. You seemed to feel you have to pretend to detest looking like the cutie you are. But I can tell — you're falling for it, Stephanie. You just can't resist dressing like a girly-girl — because deep inside, you don't want to be anything else."

"You don't know the half of it." I showed her the cheerleading outfit. Her eyes widened.

"I see Sue's raised the ante," she said in wonder as she held up the pleated mini- skirt. "Are you going to wear it?"

"Yep — tomorrow, along with the rest of the squad."

There was a mixture of emotions on my mother's face. "What's wrong?" I asked.

"For years I've always considered cheerleading the wrong activity for young women. I don't like the idea of girls standing on the sidelines, encouraging boys. I'd rather see them on the field in their own right."

"You sound like Arleen."

"But on the other hand, when I was in high-school, I wanted to be a cheerleader more than anything. I never made it — so my disdain is probably sour grapes." She paused, then smiled wryly. "I can't believe it — I'm jealous of my son, who's now more of an icon of girlhood than I ever was." We both started to laugh. The whole thing was so ridiculous.

And yet there I was, the next morning, getting dressed as a cheerleader. I was careful in my selection of panties, because it was certain they would be on display. Much as I'd come to love the feel of nylon hipsters, I knew they would be dangerous — they were far too sheer to risk. Instead, I pulled on a pair of white cotton Olga briefs, with a hint of lace. Obviously feminine, but not too racy.

Then it was time for the navy skirt, which was absurdly short, reaching only partway down my thighs. I put on the sweater-vest combo and headed for the mirror. Reluctantly, I left the matching blue panty-tights behind. For the umpteenth time, I was amazed at the sight of myself. Each new outfit I put on drove home the point. I was such a... a... girl!

I spun in a circle, testing the suit. My pleats swirled up, and I caught a flash of white. No doubt about it — if I wasn't very, very cautious, my feminine undies would show to one and all. With apprehension, I made my way to the school bus, careful to keep my hands near my hem in case any breezes rose up. I felt soooo exposed! And yet, there was a part of me that was pleased to be dressed like this. I suspect that there's a strong streak of exhibitionism in many, if not most, women. It's a balancing act. A girl doesn't want to seem trashy — as if she's flaunting her body. And yet she does want to appear sexy, albeit in an innocent way. Bikinis, mini-skirts, cute dresses and such are ways for a girl to show off, without looking as though she's trying to do so.

But I was also learning the little thrill a girl feels when she knows she looks nice. And my outfit was perfect for the task. Inadvertently revealing. After all, what use are pretty panties if no one can see them?

God, what has happened to me?

On the bus, I sat next to Arleen, being ever so cautious with my skirt. It was so damn short I couldn't even tuck it under me. I had to sit with my panties directly touching the bench, and carefully arrange the skirt in a circle around my hips. But I knew an alert boy could still catch a glimpse.

Or an alert girl. "Nice legs," Arleen commented — discreetly checking me out once again.

I smiled at the routine we'd developed. We both knew we would never sleep together, but for the first time in her life, Arleen was free to acknowledge her sexuality. She could flirt with me and know I'd appreciate it. And I did — as an ex-boy, I could still enjoy having a pretty girl desire me. We felt safe with each other.

The reaction of the kids to my status as a cheerleader was predictable. More gasps, jaw-dropping, whispers, etc. By now though, I was thick-skinned enough to stop a MOAB. It just didn't bother me. Though I was adjusting to the skimpy costume — I felt a lot more comfortable when I hooked up with Sue, Karen and the rest of the squad — all dressed the same as me. There's something about a uniform, no matter what the circumstances, that bonds people.

They pulled me into the girls' room. "Well?" Sue asked, smiling. The other girls were smiling as well. I quickly figured out what they wanted. Blushing, I lifted my skirt to show my compliance with the silly hazing. They responded with delight. "Nice panties.", "Cute butt." and so on.

Then the jokes stopped. "You belong with us, now," Sue said. "And we're glad to have you," Karen added. I smiled at them warmly. I really had become one of the girls.

God knows the boys were reacting to me as such. The initial shyness they had around me was long gone. As a cheerleader, I'd become a target of male attention to a degree I'd never experienced before. Yet I could sense the power I had, too. Just like at the pool party, the guys were in such awe of my body I could have gotten them to carry my books, buy me snacks or maybe sign over the titles to their cars. I had to restrain myself from abusing their attention. I didn't want to lead them on.

Besides, there was only one guy on my mind. Hal's reaction to seeing me as a cheerleader was intense. He looked as if he were ready to scoop me up, carry me off to a bed somewhere, and make love to me.

I was terrified to realize that if he had tried, I probably would have let him.

And further proof of my girlhood was on the way. Halfway through math class, I felt a little strange. Not another orgasm, thank God — but still, oddly damp. I went to the bathroom to check things out.

There was blood on the crotch of my panties. Just a few drops — but it was undeniable.

I was starting my period.

I slumped against the wall in amazement. A couple of weeks ago, the thought of being forced to endure a girl's period would have horrified me. Now... well, I can't say I welcomed it. While I knew most young girls looked forward to their first menstrual cycle — I was hardly in that category. I hadn't put in their time as a prepubescent female — being programmed with breathless anticipation for the event.

And yet — I was pleased in an odd way. For this was, at age seventeen, the same experience other girls had at age twelve — an affirmation of womanhood and a sign of maturity. And that was reassuring to me.

But it was also more proof that I could never be a man again. Another door slamming shut on the life I might have had — if I hadn't been hit with GB. And there was still enough boy in me to regret the loss. Jack was gone forever — my bloodstained underwear left no doubt of that. I sighed, reached into my purse, and clumsily put the pantiliner in place. That would hold me for now — though I knew my flow would increase over the next day or so, and I would have to deal with... tampons.

Yuck.

Of course, this HAD to happen on the day I was wearing a cheerleader's uniform, sans tights. Which made concealing my panties more than a matter of simple modesty. It was one thing for everyone to see I was a cute girl in cute undies. It was something else for everyone to see that I was riding the crimson wave.

But it was impossible to keep my guard up every second. While at my locker, I suddenly felt my skirt being lifted all the way to my waist. I gasped out in shock, frantically pulling at the hem, trying to cover up. I whirled in anger to see the mocking leer of Andy Marks.

"Well, well, Miss Lind. I'm a little disappointed — I thought you'd be a thong girl."

"Don't try to think, Marks — at least until the Ripley's Believe It Or Not crew arrives to document it."

"You're certainly making progress. Seems like you're in a shorter skirt every time I see you."

"And it seems like you're more of an asshole every time I see you."

"Such a big mouth for such a small girl. I'm looking forward to filling it." He loomed a little closer — but there were a few kids around and I knew he couldn't try anything physical. Still, I was intimidated — and I hated feeling that way.

"By the way, what was that tiny bulge in your panties? It couldn't be what you used to have — not even you were that under-endowed as a guy."

I wanted to come back with another retort — but instead, thinking of the pantiliner nestled snugly against my vagina — I just blushed.

He may have been a jerk — but he figured it out. "You're on the rag, aren't you? You really did turn into a perfect little pussy, eh?" He seemed almost amazed.

"And what's your excuse?" I responded.

"I guess I'll have to wait a few days before I arrange for some quality time for us. But don't worry, Stephanie, our time will come. In every way."

The bell rang before this delightful repartee could continue. But as he left, I caught that strange look in his eyes again. There was a subtext here I was missing. While I pondered it, my cell rang. It was Mr. Martin, my attorney.

There's No Such Thing as Bad Publicity

"Stephanie, are you ready to go public?""What do you mean?""There's a CNN team on their way to your school right now. They'd like to interview you about your experience and your goals."I felt a wave of nervousness. "I... I'm...""Don't worry, Stephanie — you'll do fine. All you have to do is be yourself."But that was the sixty-four dollar question. Who am I? Mr. Martin continued. "By the way, what are you wearing?""My cheerleading uniform.""You're kidding." I told him about being invited onto the squad, though I left out the hazing part."That's priceless! We couldn't have planned it any better. You're going to be perfect. I've already made arrangements with your Principal Grogan. He was very accommodating and spoke highly of you."I'll just bet he did. "When will they get here?""About twenty minutes. Just relax, Stephanie and let your femininity carry the day." We said goodbye.My mind was in a whirl — I was about to be interviewed by one of the largest news organizations in the world. CNN's audience ran upwards of a billion people each week.And they were going to learn about me? What in heavens name am I going to do? I didn't even want my deadbeat father to know I'd changed sex — and now I was going to broadcast it to the planet? I prayed Mr. Martin knew was he was doing.Sure enough, I was summoned to the principal's office a short time later. Knees shaking, I walked in to find a lovely blonde woman — very professionally dressed, talking with Mr. Grogan. She smiled as I entered, while my principal was taken aback. I suddenly realized he'd not seen me in a cheerleader's outfit before. Our eyes met, and I knew the same image was flashing through both our minds: me, lying across his lap, with my short pleated skirt hiked up while he... disciplined me.Even more disconcerting was the brief sexual thrill that ran through my body, and the realization that a part of me wanted to recreate what we had done together last week. I shook myself back to reality and was introduced to the reporter. Her name was Connie Hart — and she was a pro. She had a knack for making people feel at ease while simultaneously taking charge."It's a pleasure to meet you, Stephanie. Mr. Grogan has kindly granted access for us to talk and to show a little bit about what you're going through."I found myself envying her gracious manner and elegant style. I was a girl — she was a woman. I realized I had a long way to go before I'd ever reach her level of sophistication. Amazingly though, I felt like I wanted to get there someday.We spoke in a conference room for a few minutes while the camera crew set up. Then we did some takes under the lights before the formal interview began. It was nerve-wracking at first, but like any skilled journalist, she was adept at drawing people out. I was relaxing more and more while I told my story — to the point where I was revealing my emotions to a greater degree than I ever intended. Without meaning to, I teared up as she gently questioned my reaction to being barred from running.After I got back under control, she asked a number of background queries. Then they did some candid shots — me with my friends, working out on the track and so forth. I cringed as they caught me on camera holding hands with Hal. All the other kids were intrigued as the TV crew traveled with me through my daily routine.It was over before I knew it. As the gear was being packed up, Ms. Hart came back to me."I must say, Stephanie, I am very impressed by you. I've always been fascinated by boys who've been forced to deal with GB — but you've put a novel twist on things. As a journalist, I strive for objectivity, but that doesn't prevent me from wishing for happy endings.""I was scared of this whole idea," I responded. "I wasn't sure what I was getting into — but thanks for going easy on me.""Don't worry, Stephanie. Just watch tonight's broadcast. I think you'll find I'm more than fair." There was a glint of humor in her eyes as she said goodbye.That night, Mom and I waited in front of the TV with great anticipation. My stomach seemed to move to a spin cycle as the announcer introduced the story.Then it began. Connie Hart did the voiceover."Meet Stephanie Lind. By all appearances, a normal teenage girl. She's a student (shot of me in class), a cheerleader (shot of me in uniform), and an athlete (shot of me on the track). She gossips with her girlfriends (shot of Becky, Sue and I giggling) and has a place in her heart for a special guy." (shot of Hal and me). I groaned upon seeing that."But Stephanie is no ordinary girl — for just a couple of weeks ago... she was a boy." (File footage of an earlier race — eerie to see my old self on the screen)."Now GB is not a new phenomenon, and many stories have already been told. But what makes Stephanie unique is a court injunction that implies she's not really a girl after all — and that may cost her the dream of a lifetime. For Stephanie is arguably the best high-school miler in United States. As a schoolboy, she recently became the first to run a sub-four minute mile in three decades. Although struck by GB, she refused to be stopped in her quest for athletic excellence. She bravely rejoined the team as a girl, and produced one of the fastest female times in the country this year."Yet her hopes for the future are in jeopardy, because a rival school recently blocked Stephanie from competing. Their reason — despite all scientific evidence to the contrary — they are claiming she should not be considered a biological girl and should be prohibited from competing against other females."The camera shots shifted to a close-up of the Oxton coach. Extreme close-up, making him look rather sinister. And it was then I realized this was turning into a classic '60 Minutes-style hatchet job."Coach Jenkins, you say Stephanie should not be allowed to compete. Every major scientific body in the country has defined GB girls as truly female. Why is your position different?" I was amazed at the change in Ms. Hart's tone — aggressive and scornful."Well, I just want to be sure she doesn't have an unfair advantage due to her previous status as a boy. We don't know..."Ms. Hart interrupted him. "Despite the overwhelming evidence that no such advantage exists?""Well... there's no absolute proof of that. She could still have an edge that science cannot detect.""And the fact that you have a star athlete of your own isn't motivating your actions at all? If Stephanie's out of the picture, then your girl is much more likely to win the national championships, isn't she?" Ms. Hart's tone became accusatory. An unflattering picture of Melody McCarthy was shown. God, did these newscasters have an agenda or what?"It's not about that," Coach Jenkins replied awkwardly. "We just want to make sure things are fair, that's all."Instant cut to me being interviewed by Ms Hart at school. A tear running down my face. "All I'm asking is a fair chance to compete."There was a little more of the Oxton side, with Ms. Hart listening disdainfully to Coach Jenkins. At one point, he obliquely attempted to imply I wasn't a real girl, which led to another instant cut of me in my cheerleader's uniform — caught in a very flattering light. My breasts pushed out my top quite nicely and I noted for the first time that I had really good legs. It was for certain I was as feminine as could be. When that image was juxtaposed with Coach Jenkins' comments, he appeared silly.Which was the whole point.There were more interviews with my friends — including Coach Bradford and Sue."What was your reaction when you learned your boyfriend was turning into a girl?""I was so scared for him — about how he was going to handle it. And I was so sad to realize our romance would be over." There was a poignant look on Sue's lovely face."And how have things been since he became Stephanie?" Ms. Hart asked.Her expression brightened. "She's amazing! I'm very proud of her. She's adjusted so well and she's determined to be the best girl she can be. I think of her as my sister, now."The piece ended with a shot of me gazing pensively across the school's 400-meter track, my long hair blowing gently in the breeze. Ms. Hart gave the voiceover. "Stephanie Lind has already faced more challenges in her few years than most. Tomorrow, a court will decide if this young girl's dreams will stay alive, or if they'll be taken from her - the way her previous life was. Reporting for CNN, this is Connie Hart."Wow. They'd certainly done a number on Oxton. The phone rang — it was Jim Martin."Did I not tell you?" there was a satisfied tone to his voice."You sure did, Mr. Martin. They couldn't have been better if we paid them. Um... we didn't pay them, right?""Don't worry, Stephanie, I don't play that way. I just gave them what they wanted.""And what was that?""A story that writes itself. Modern journalism isn't about facts or truth any more. What editors want nowadays are simple morality plays. They want heroes and villains, good guys and bad guys. All neatly packaged up in a few sound bites. We opened the door and let their stereotypes carry the day. Of course, Oxton did make it easy for us.""You ARE good.""Thank you, young lady. And you were great. Now get some rest. We've got a big day tomorrow."Hal called me then to wish me luck."You looked very, very nice," he said."So did you. You don't mind that we were outed?""Nope," he replied with certainty."I... I was a little worried, Hal. I keep thinking you're going to figure out I used to be a guy and then run away from me. I'm amazed you're not embarrassed.""Yeah, sometimes it's kind of weird. You'll get a certain expression or make a move and I'll remember you used to be Jack. But now, you're so... so girly! Don't take this the wrong way — I'm kind of glad this happened. I'm... happier with you than I ever imagined. You're a real lady... through and through. You're Stephanie now and the fact that you were born a boy doesn't mean you're not truly female. I can... sense it.""Like a disturbance in the Force.""You know what I mean. There's something different about girls that resonates with a guy. I feel that with you — if you were still male in some way I wouldn't have these same... emotions. And if other people can't deal with that, fuck 'em.""I'd rather you did that to me." Jesus! Did I just say that? I felt my face flush — damn hormones. I had a vision of a new movie: "Milford Girls Are Easy".He paused for a moment and I swear I could sense his erection over the phone. There was an almost palpable sexual tension in the air — in reaction to what I'd said. However crudely, I'd just confirmed what we both had anticipated: that sooner or later, we were going to make love. My heart fluttered and my panties grew wet. Then Hal took a ragged breath. Finally, he chuckled."All in good time. And now I have to... attend to certain matters." Being a former boy — I knew exactly what he meant. He wished me luck again and we said good night.I was in a state of arousal myself, as I envisioned him... relieving certain pressures with me in his thoughts. I spent a little extra time in the shower with my new friend, Mr. Nozzle. I kept imagining a tumescent Hal, him fantasizing about being inside me — while the fact that I could turn him on excited me even more. I struggled to keep silent as the intense girl's orgasm washed across my body (ever so gooood!) — but a few soft moans were inevitable.I had an uneasy night's sleep. I was nervous about appearing in court, and I also felt a little guilt as I recalled the CNN story. Oxton really had been set up to lose and I wasn't sure if that was fair. But then I remembered the insulting attitude of the Oxton coach and Melody's snide remark about bra-stuffing. That kept me from feeling too remorseful.The next morning offered two more feminine firsts. Tampons and nylons. There's probably a song in there somewhere:"Oh, he was a good boy, real good, yes sir... But now it's tampons and nylons for her."My period had reached the point where I could no longer rely on pantyliners to keep things under control. Instead, I would have to rely on... Rely. I was forced to ask my mother for help — the whole applicator process was intimidating. Once again, no dignity for me as I squatted slightly to insert the plastic and cotton assembly into my...Like before, whenever I was doing something new that drove home how female I'd become, I felt a little less sure about my new life. Jack seemed to manifest himself, in protest of the girl he was trying not to be. But it was useless. He... I... we... were irreversibly a member of the fair sex — doomed to endure every facet of femininity. And we would never return — a point driven home as I adjusted to the awkward feeling of the tampon deep inside me. It felt so large! How was a penis supposed to fit down there?Meanwhile, Mom was swooning over her little girl growing up and becoming a woman. After all, this was supposed to be one of those classic mother-daughter bonding moments. I tried not to grumble too much — but I did come across as a little bitchy. Was I having PMS?At least the stockings were better. Yeah, it was a hassle pulling them up into place over my panties, but my, they felt nice. Warm, yet cool and very sensuous, especially when combined with my lacy white slip. The dress, a soft, light green number was next, ending just below my knees. Still more adjusting as Mom helped into my first pair of heels.Jesus! With all this frilly underwear I was reaching new levels of girlishness. Walking in this body and with these clothes was more than simple motion — I felt as if I were... gliding. Mom carefully brushed my hair, and then it was off to the mirror once again to see how yet another outfit displayed my feminine charms.I looked so young, so pretty and ever so female. I felt my confidence rise a bit — there was no way anyone could look at me and see a boy. Mom had done a great job. I turned to see her beaming at me — and I could tell she was pleased with her efforts."You're so lovely, sweetheart.""You've worked a miracle, Mom.""Well, considering what I had to work with."We both chuckled. "You always wanted to do this, didn't you?" I asked her."Stephanie, it's not PC, but I can say it now. Every mother dreams of having a daughter she can dress up and make beautiful. I guess it's some extension from our doll- playing days. But of course, when a mom only has a son, she can never act on it. Although I used to imagine you'd be in some school play where you'd have to be a girl. I even had a wig picked out."I shuddered. Even now, the thought of dressing in girl's clothes was still a touch intimidating. I was glad Mom never had a chance to experiment when I was still a boy.We drove for the county courthouse, in Norville — about fifteen miles away. My anxiety rose as the minutes ticked off. At least I was distracted by the constant play of my dress, slip and stockings — caressing me all over. I felt ultra-feminine... and I liked it.Mom smiled at me. "It's fun, isn't it?"I no longer tried to deny it. "Yeah. It's weird being in these clothes — but it's nice." I was finally past the stage where I felt I had to pretend I didn't like wearing a dress, and all the rest. I really did like it... and to hell with anyone who thought I shouldn't!

Move Over, Ally McBeal

When we arrived at the county courthouse, I wasn't surprised to see all the TV trucks and media throng gathered outside. Last night's CNN broadcast, combined with the tight deadline of the court docket, meant this story would burn hot and fast. If I was lucky, it would all play out in the next day or so, and the press could turn its attention to the latest celebrity marriage or which of the 9 (90? 900?) candidates for president made the silliest gaffe of the week.

And though I'd be grateful when this circus came to an end, it was serving a useful purpose. So as I walked through the crowd of reporters (still amazed at being in nylons and heels!) I was careful to put on a nice smile and politely answer a couple of the hundreds of questions being tossed at me.

"How do you like being a girl?" — "More and more every day!"

"Why are you challenging the injunction?" — "I'm an athlete and I'm just hoping for a fair chance."

"Do you think it's fair for you to compete against girls?" — "Why not? I am one."

"Do you like wearing dresses?" — "Yes, although I could do without bras." — "No, you couldn't!" the female journalist replied jealously, prompting some good-natured chuckles.

"Do you have a boyfriend?" — "I'm not supposed to take the fifth until I'm inside the courtroom." A few more chuckles at that.

Jim Martin met us at the top of the steps and quickly escorted us to a restricted conference room where we could speak in private.

"Well done, Stephanie — you handled them just fine," he complimented me.

"I've got a feeling that will be the easy part," I said apprehensively.

"Don't worry, Stephanie. Yes, Oxton is going to be challenging — but I'm confident you'll be up to it. Remember, the facts and the law are on our side — you really are a girl and we have the legal precedents. They'll try to trip you up and make you act like a boy — because their best chance is to show you've still some hint of maleness within you. Bear with me, for this will sound sexist, but I want you to be a demure, albeit determined, young woman. It's very important for you to appear as feminine as possible on the stand. Are you ready?"

Was he kidding? I was wearing stockings across sleek smooth legs. My full breasts pushed out the front of my silk dress. My long hair hung well past my shoulders. I could feel the bra stretching across my back. I had a cute guy as my boyfriend. And deep inside me lurked the tampon that was catching the flow of my period.

I didn't just feel feminine, I felt like the girliest girl who ever girled!

And I got another boost as we headed for the courtroom. Tamara (formerly Todd) and Jerome from GRS were waiting! I squealed in delight as I ran to embrace them. We'd traded some e-mails over the last few weeks, but I never expected to see them today.

"I can't believe you're here!"

"I saw the CNN story last night — I figured you could use a show of support. Jerome decided to tag along," Tamara replied.

I smiled at the cute blonde girl, who wearing a dress even frillier than mine and with an expertly applied make-up job. "I see your sisters have been busy."

"All four of them. It's damn tough to resist them all — they never give me a break. Every few minutes one of them has another skirt, or a new shade of lipstick or a bra and panty set they're just dying to have me put on. They're like tag-team wrestlers. After a while, I just gave up." She had a rueful look on her face — but I could see underneath it she really liked being this way.

I turned to Jerome, and in a more serious tone asked her how she was doing. Unlike Tamara, she was wearing a simple blouse and jeans combo, with no make-up. I knew how much she was struggling with the femininity she was forced to endure — I remembered the last time I saw her, hysterical with horror at her female condition.

"Better, now. I've been working with the GRS staff a lot — and Tamara's been a big help. It's so cool we both go to the same school. I finally picked a name as well — I'm Jeri." She sighed.

"Good adaptation." But I could see the sad look in her eyes.

It was so hard to match that sadness with her remarkable beauty. Tamara and I may have been passing pretty, but Jerome — Jeri — was sensational. Once again I was struck by her flawless dark complexion, even better than mine. Her African features were elegant, aristocratic and sensual all at once. And her figure! Most women would have sold their souls to look half as good as she.

And yet, Jeri would forever be a boy trapped in a girl's body.

No amount of counseling could help her make the journey that Tamara and I were making — to full acceptance of our destinies as women. For Jeri, even the simple act of putting on a pair of panties would daily force her to confront an unwanted girlhood she could never escape. My heart went out to her — I told her she was looking good, but I was careful not to gush about her beauty. I knew that was the last thing she wanted to hear.

"Don't worry, Stephanie. I know I can live with this now — but don't look for me on the cover of Vogue anytime soon."

I refrained from commenting she was easily lovely enough to model for the magazine. Both Jeri and Tamara then praised my own look, with many comments about how I was so cute, so adorable, so girly, yadda, yadda, yadda. We exchange hugs and I thanked them for their support.

Then my attorney and I took our seats at the defendant's side of the courtroom. Bright TV lights everywhere. I noted the presence of two attorneys on the plaintiff side. Their eyes widened as they saw Mr. Martin would be their opposing counsel. A big-time lawyer from the nation's capital was not what they expected today. Cool!

Behind them sat Oxton's Coach Jenkins and that... that... deep breath. Okay — I have to be ladylike here — so, that 'rhymes with witch' — Melody McCarthy. Both of them had sour looks on their faces — I could tell they were still dismayed about last night's CNN story — and they certainly must not have had much fun running the gauntlet of reporters this morning.

I smiled inwardly — even if I lost today, it was still worth seeing their expressions of dismay. All across America, these two had been painted as bigoted opportunists. Couldn't have happened to a nicer pair.

And then it began. The bailiff called the court to order. "All rise for the honorable Judge William Burrell." The tall, robed figure of the county judge entered and took his seat upon the high bench. He had thinning silver hair, and a serious, but not stern visage. After the clerk identified the case for the record, the judge spoke:

"Before we start, I want to hear opening statements from both sides. And no soliloquies, please. Let's stay on point." His voice was a very deep bass and clearly in command.

The Oxton attorney, a sharply-dressed woman in her forties, began.

"Your honor, our goal today is not to heap misfortune upon the young person we see before us. We appreciate the challenge presented by the phenomenon of Gender Biomorphism and we are sympathetic to the plight of this child. We have no wish to cause more pain. Having said that, we are determined to seek fairness. Melody McCarthy is an outstanding athlete with a proven record of excellence. But her record assumes honorable competition among equals.

"That assumption, however, is placed in jeopardy by the participation of young Lind running as a female. We will show today that the uncertainties of GB's origins, its effects on the human body and the unknown ramifications of GB over the long run render any attempt to categorize a GB victim as fully female premature at best.

"We wish to reassure the court that we are not motivated by a desire to prevent a competitor from achieving his or her goals... (a couple of snorts from the gallery at that) but rather, by a sincere intent to ensure a level playing field — where those who are truly females can compete against each other in the spirit of equality, and can then take comfort in knowing they have measured themselves against the best of their kind. Perhaps one day, when the phenomenon of GB is more fully understood, it will be appropriate for young Lind to join such competition. But that time is not now."

It was a very smooth argument, I thought. Oxton's strategy was exactly as Mr. Martin had predicted — cast seeds of doubt over the true status of my gender by demonstrating all that was unknown about GB. And using a female attorney, expressing a superficial concern for my emotions was clever as well. Finally, the near artful avoidance of any gender pronouns for me — adding to my sexual ambiguity.

Then it was Mr. Martin's turn. He stood, and looked not at Judge Burrell, but rather at the Oxton table.

"'But that time is not now.'" he replayed the last quote. "If not now, when? It is rather convenient for Oxton to defer Miss Lind's opportunity to compete until after she no longer represents an impediment to their own athlete. And since opposing counsel raised the issue, I look forward to exploring the motivation behind Oxton's legal action in due time."

"But most relevant here is a simple reality. Stephanie Lind is a girl — fully female in every way. We will establish that today. She easily passes every reasonable standard of femininity science and society can set. And once we've proven her gender is as undeniable as that of any young woman, we will demonstrate the overwhelming precedents in American case law that mandate she be granted what she has already earned — a fair chance to compete."

"That is the true 'level playing field' Oxton claims to desire — one where all female athletes may take said field in honorable contest, free from prejudice, bigotry or... greed." He gave just the briefest of contemptuous glances at the Oxton side. Addressing the judge once more, he concluded: "If Oxton's petition succeeds, it will serve to legitimize the stigma associated with the transgendered, and score a victory for the forces of intolerance. But even more importantly, justice will be denied for this young girl. We can... we must do better for her."

There was a smattering of applause as my attorney sat down. Judge Burrell banged the gavel and called for order.

"Now it's my turn," he said. "Contrary to what you may have seen at the OJ trial, I run a very efficient courtroom. There will be no tolerance for showboating or theatrics. We have no jury in this matter, and despite the remarkable attention from the media (he looked at Mr. Martin with an irritated expression) I will not be influenced by any outside interest. Today both sides will present evidence and testimony on this point: whether or not the defendant should be permitted to compete in New York State public high school athletics as a girl. At the conclusion, I will render my ruling."

I would have been concerned about Judge Burrell's obvious exasperation with Mr. Martin, but as my attorney pointed out to me earlier, we were still ahead of the game, for the judge would know that his decision would be scrutinized across the land. That meant he would have to follow the letter of the law — which was an advantage for us.

Up first were the scientists. True to his word, in the name of efficiency Judge Burrell limited each side to one expert witness. I was delighted to see Mr. Martin call Dr. Christine Turley, the physician who had helped me at Girl School. Through his questioning, she gave very explicit depictions of what my body had undergone at the hands of GB, including the complete growth of the female reproductive system and my corresponding loss of size and strength.

"So Stephanie is able to function as a biological female, then?"

"Yes. She is capable of becoming pregnant and delivering a baby to term. Our examinations also showed that she can lactate and then nurse her potential child." Shudder.

"And she will menstruate?"

"Correct. In fact, she's probably menstruating right now."

Every eye in the courtroom turned to me as my face flamed red in embarrassment. My thoughts flew to the tampon nestled inside my vagina. Jesus — must the whole world know I'm having my period? And — when will I have to change the damn thing?

"We'll confirm that when she takes the stand."

Of course, he already knew — probably from my mother. One rule followed by all good litigators — never ask the witness a question to which you don't already know the answer.

He continued. "In the meantime, Dr. Turley, is there anything about Stephanie's physiology that differs from what would be expected of a 17 year old woman?"

"None. In terms of hormones, muscle mass and density her body is well within the parameters of a normal girl."

Mr. Martin then walked Dr. Turley through a series of blind studies where doctors and scientists had examined GB and 'normal' girls without knowing who was who. The studies had universally concluded no difference could be detected. GB girls were indistinguishable from the original article.

During the cross-examination, the Oxton attorney got very personal.

"You examined Jack after his change, correct?"

"Yes — I performed HER first gynecological screening," Dr. Turley replied, emphasizing the pronoun.

"That included an evaluation of his genitalia, which was superficially female?"

"Objection — your honor," Mr. Martin spoke. "As per Jorgen v. State of New York, all those affected by GB are considered legally female upon the final formations of their physiology. From that point forward both New York and Federal law recognizes the victim as a girl. As such, I respectfully ask the court to instruct opposing counsel to refer to Miss Lind with the appropriate feminine pronouns, and by her legal name."

"Objection sustained. Counsel will comply."

"Very well. Did you note anything unusual about... her... new genitalia." The Oxton attorney placed a mocking pause before she said 'her'. "No. As I testified earlier, Stephanie was well within normal female parameters."

"But your own records document the size of her clitoris at 31.0 millimeters, do they not?"

"Yes — she would reach that size when aroused — about 1.2 inches."

"Tell me, Dr Turley, what is the average size of a mature human female's clitoris?"

"The average is approximately 25.0 millimeters, about 1 inch when tumescent."

"And is not the clitoris considered the physiological equivalent of the penis?"

"There is some commonality — but they also differ greatly in function as well. It is a mistake to consider the clitoris as a woman's penis. One might as well consider the penis as a man's clitoris."

"Nevertheless, Doctor, since GB manufactured Stephanie's clitoris from the remnant of her male penis, then does not her abnormal size indicate she retains some element of masculinity that the average female does not?"

At this point I felt a storm of horrified emotion. Good God — just a few weeks ago I'd been a normal boy. Now, I was in the body of a girl — sitting in a courtroom, participating in a hearing that was being televised across the country — and everyone was debating the size of my clitoris? The absurdity... the impossibility of this moment was overwhelming. I'm just a — was just an average guy! How the hell did I end up here?! I wasn't sure if I even wanted to have a clitoris in the first place — and now there's going to be an official court transcript forever preserving the discussion of the damn thing!

I couldn't help it — a single tear of shame and dismay rolled down my cheek. Without intending to, I locked eyes with the judge. Now we all know that the justice system is supposed to be impartial and objective, but I could see Judge Burrell's brief expression of sympathy. I knew I looked like a sweet young girl, dressed ever in an ever so feminine style. And I knew from my own boyhood that most men feel an instinctive, primal obligation to protect women from pain. So I knew, fair or unfair, we'd made a connection.

Dr Turley responded frostily. "As any expert on human anatomy knows, there's a wide range of what is considered normal. Stephanie's clitoris is somewhat larger than average, but by no means abnormal. I could also say the same of her breasts."

Everyone's eyes flew to my chest. Blush city once again. Sigh. Dr Turley concluded, "And certainly it affords her no physiological advantage over other girls."

The Oxton attorney tried to press the point. "But can you say with scientific certainty that is the case?"

"Yes."

"Are you sure?"

The judge broke in at this point. "Asked and answered, counselor — move on."

That ended the cross for Dr. Turley. Mr. Martin then spent a delightful 30 minutes shredding the expert from the Oxton side. For every study or claim the witness attempted to cite, Mr. Martin brought up a counterpart. Not even on the contrived scripts of 'Law and Order' had I seen such a neat, precise dissection. My, he was good.

Up next were the coaches — to provide perspective on my athletic ability. Coach Bradford ran down my running history, recounting how I'd become 20% slower since I'd been turned into a girl. He traced the history of the men's and women's mile and showed how my 4:49 as a female was perfectly proportional to my 3:59 mile as a boy — i.e. I was among the elite for my gender(s), but not unprecedented. Coach Jenkins, the Oxton coach, speculated that if I could run a 4:49 mile after one week as a girl, maybe I had some hidden masculine advantage. But Mr. Martin recalled Coach Bradford back and traced my intense training regimen, pointing out I was already in excellent condition prior to GB — after all, I'd run that 3:59 mile just a week before.

I noticed throughout the testimony that Mr. Martin kept referring to me as 'Miss' Lind, as opposed to the Oxton side, which kept using 'Ms.' It made sense. 'Miss' was somehow softer, more girly. Which of course was the whole reason the women's movement had embraced 'Ms.' Yet 'Miss' was very useful in building the image of my femininity.

And then it was my turn.

Nervously, I approached the witness stand, my stockings brushing softly, my silk dress whispering as I walked. I didn't have to testify, but it was obvious it would help my case. I sat carefully, raised my hand and took the oath in my clear, soprano voice.

Mr. Martin went first.

"Stephanie, are you a girl?"

"Yes," I replied — we were replaying our conversation from our first meeting.

"What makes you feel that way, besides the obvious physical reality?"

"At first... I felt like an actor, playing a part. I was just a boy hanging out in a girl's body. But then..."

"Then?" he prompted.

"I started to... change. Inside. Each day I felt... different — not connected to who I was as Jack. The way I looked at things, the way I interacted with my friends and family, the way I felt about being female."

"What has changed?"

"It reached all... all the way to my soul. It's hard to articulate, but I'm a new person now. I've come to see femininity as more than just wearing dresses and having long hair. It's a separate way of life, a way of... of being. I like the very... idea... of girlhood and I like knowing that I'm going to be a... woman. Somehow, I've become a different human being than before. Not better, not worse... but... different." I spoke softly, occasionally reaching back to brush my tresses from my face.

"But if you're so different, why compete as an athlete? Wouldn't it be easier to just walk away from this — and avoid all the publicity and hassle?"

"No," I said firmly. "I may be physically weaker as a girl, but that doesn't have to mean weak as a person. If someone were an artist, or a mathematician, or a carpenter, or a dancer as a boy, would turning into a girl mean that she should give it all up? I feel most... alive when I'm running... it's like I'm plugged into this... amplifier, a volume control on my life that gets turned up whenever I'm on the track. Running is part of who I am — boy or girl, I couldn't bear to... lose it." My vision grew misty and I brushed tears from my eyes.

I was not playing to an audience — by now, you can probably tell this came from the heart.

Oxton took their turn.

"What makes you think you have the right to steal someone else's dreams?" she asked, gesturing at Melody. No faux sympathy now — she was going for the jugular.

"If a dream is to be realized, it has to be earned, not given. And I've as much right to my dream as she does to hers."

"Yes. Earned. But how can you, ostensibly a boy, consider beating a girl in a race as earning your dream?"

"Because now I'm a girl, too."

"So you say. But are you really? When you first... transformed, what was your reaction?"

"Confusion... fear... curiosity."

"Why curiosity?"

"Everyone wonders from time to time what being the opposite sex would feel like. The genders are so... so... different."

"And yet you believe you've bridged that gap in just a few weeks?"

"My body didn't give me much choice. It's kind of like teaching someone to swim by throwing them into the deep end of the pool. I'd rather have had time to get acclimated but..."

"But..." she prompted.

I knew what was going on here. She was on a fishing expedition to see if I still considered myself a guy in some way, or at least regretted my new life. "But I've learned to deal with it. The mind is part of the body. Being female just... overwhelmed me."

"Come now. Are we to believe that all those years of being a boy could be swept aside simply by growing a pair of breasts?"

"It's so much more than that. Every cell of my body was affected. My voice, my face... After a few days, I couldn't even see myself as a guy anymore. And once that happened, I started to change... mentally... and... emotionally."

"You had a girlfriend, before. Were you still attracted to her after you changed?"

I paused for a moment. I wanted to deny it — the Oxton attorney may have been grasping at straws — but I didn't want to give her the slightest opening. But Mr. Martin had been adamant on the need for honesty. He'd pointed out that competent attorneys are meticulous in their research — the worst thing that could happen was for me to appear dissembling on the stand. I had no idea how she could have found out about my attempt to romance Sue that first night home — but I wasn't taking any chances.

"I repeat, were you still attracted to your girlfriend after you changed?"

"Yes... for a while."

She moved for the kill. "Then if you could retain a boy's sexual desire, why not other elements of your masculinity, either mental or physical?"

"Objection, your honor." Mr. Martin spoke up. "Sexual orientation is not a function of gender, even for an athlete. Or is opposing counsel next going to speak all the alleged lesbians in the world of women's golf?"

"My question is valid, your honor. Sexual orientation is a function of physical brain chemistry at the very least. If this person still thinks like the boy he/she was, then the... completeness of the transition cannot be assumed."

"Objection overruled. Witness will answer the question."

"I repeat, you still retain a boy's sexual desire, correct?"

"Not anymore. Respectfully, ma'am, I already told you — the more time I spent as a girl, the more everything changed. I... I have a boyfriend now."

"Ah, yes. But isn't that just for show? You don't really have such feelings for a boy, do you?"

And that's where she made her fatal mistake.

I started thinking about Hal. About his handsome features, his lean athletic form, his well-muscled legs. Frolicking in the pool. Our first kiss. That moment on the telephone when we openly acknowledged our sexual connection. And most of all — our friendship stretching back over the years. At that moment, in front of an audience of millions — (or at least thousands — this wasn't the Truman Show) — I knew the truth.

I'd fallen in love with him.

Becky and Sue explained it to me later — what they saw watching me on Court TV.

"It was wonderful," Sue laughed. "As soon as you started talking about him, you got this moon-struck, calf-eyed, dreamy, goofy, girly-girl look on your face. It was hilarious and sweet and most of all... real!"

Becky added, "There was no way you could have faked that. And everybody knew it."

I hardly even remember the rest of my testimony. I think at that point Oxton's legal team realized it was over. Their only hope was innuendo, speculation about my still being a boy in some way — and that strategy had just been blown out of the water.

The remainder of the hearing was anticlimactic. Even Mr. Martin relaxed a bit during closing arguments — citing only 5 of the 20 precedents he'd researched. He was, however, careful to refute in advance the few cases Oxton might have used. Their attorneys made a game effort, but they had little to work with — Mr. Martin had been spot on — both the facts and the law were on our side.

We rose as Judge Burrell retired to chambers. In a normal proceeding, it might be months before we had a decision. But the urgency of resolving this matter before the Nationals meant a quick timetable. Though it was unlikely that another injunction could prevent me from competing there — getting a positive conclusion to this one was an excellent ace in the hole.

We broke for lunch, dodging the media — after all, it was out of their hands now. Not to sound too callous, but their usefulness to us had come to an end. In the restroom, I fretted over a run in my hose — fortunately, it was above the hem of my dress. And let me tell you, (for those of you who aren't ladies) it's no joyride to pee as a girl while wearing a slip AND a dress and AND stockings AND panties. Just getting my all my underwear up/down as needed was exhausting! Giggle. I was surprised when my attorney's cell phone rang and we were recalled back to the courtroom.

With my heart beating fast, I rose as the judge took the bench. Fortunately, since this was a civil matter, I didn't have to stand as he rendered his ruling. Even so, I was very nervous, trembling a bit. One thing about dresses — they aren't very warm, especially when the AC is cranked up. As I waited, I irrelevantly wondered if the chill I felt would make my nipples visible through my bra. Jesus — the things girls have to worry about!

He spoke. "As a matter of law, I find the defendant's feminine nature has been satisfactorily proven by any reasonable measure. The petitioner has failed to provide sufficient evidence to override the conclusions of both the scientific and legal communities. I hereby declare the defendant to be of the female sex, completely and without reservation. Accordingly, she is eligible to participate in any activity, event, association or facility exclusive to women or girls. I lift my injunction and consider the matter closed."

And with that it was over. There were a number of cheers from the gallery as I wrapped my arms around Mr. Martin — giving him a huge hug. With tears in my eyes, I did the same for Coach Bradford, Dr. Turley and my mom. God, I was so lucky to have their support!

If Melody McCarthy and her coach had sour expressions before, they now looked like they'd just swallowed an entire lemon orchard. "Guess you fooled them with that WonderBra of yours," Melody hissed at me as I walked out.

"Save it for the track, sister," I smiled sweetly in response. I was feeling too elated to get irritated with her. We'd have our final battle soon enough. In a conference room, my attorney and I wrapped up a few loose ends.

"Will they appeal?" my mother asked.

"Very unlikely," Mr. Martin replied. "To put it colloquially, they were hammered today. The chances of success are quite remote — and the Oxton school district doesn't have infinite funds. Attorneys aren't cheap, you know," He smiled.

I thanked him again and kissed his cheek. He may have been the most unflappable man I ever met, but I thought I saw him blush just a little. Snicker. Mom and I said goodbye. We passed through the media throng where I gave the usual platitudes about how "I was glad justice was done" and "I just want a fair chance to compete." That was how I felt of course, but it still seemed as if I were going through a ritual with all the journalists. Kind of like in the baseball movie 'Bull Durham', where Kevin Costner teaches Tim Robbins all the appropriate clichÈs.

There was an amusing exchange with one reporter, though.

"Stephanie, now that the law has said you're a girl, how are you going to celebrate?"

"I'm going to get some Ben & Jerry's and a new pair of stockings! Disneyworld will have to wait!" I got a few laughs with that.

It was a fun drive home, Mom and I recounting the events of the day. Although it was still early afternoon, I was too drained to return to school. Back at the old farmhouse, we packed a picnic basket and headed for our 'special place'.

About a half-mile from home was a little brook running down the side of a hill, through an open meadow filled with Queen Anne's Lace. There was a lovely grouping of trees and a terrific view across the small valley. It was a perfectly pastoral setting — just walking by it made one feel at peace. My mom and I used to come here regularly, before the storms of adolescence had distanced us.

After chatting our way through a pleasant lunch, we fell into a relaxed silence, listening to the birds. Suddenly, Mom stood up and began getting undressed.

"What are you doing?"

"Just a quick dip to cool off. Why not join me?"

"But we don't have our suits!"

"Um... are you forgetting we're both female?" she asked as she pulled off her jeans.

For a moment I actually had. Seeing one's mother nude while one is a boy is very creepy. But now? Who cares? I smiled as we stripped to our panties.

I noted with some delight that Mom's breasts were quite lovely — in wonderful shape for a woman her age. If there was a genetic component to GB, her appearance boded well for my future. We swam around the brook for a while — it was cool but not too cold. We got into a splashing water fight, laughing and shrieking together.

It was very nice. Afterwards, we wrapped ourselves up in the picnic blanket and just stared at the clouds. There was something very familiar about this moment — almost dÈj‡ vu. It took me a while to remember — then I put it together.

Years ago, I'd been flipping through the pages of one of my Mom's magazines. I'd come across an advertisement for underwear. There had been a picture of a mother and daughter, each dressed only in very pretty panties, long hair artfully arranged to cover their chests. They were kneeling together in a forest, admiring a butterfly.

There'd been something about that advertisement that fascinated me as a young boy. At first, it was the titillating image of two lovely females wearing nothing but cute underpants. But I came to realize my interest was more than that. There was a sense, a mood about that idyllic scene — as if the woman and the girl were sharing something special with each other and with their surroundings. Something that I, as a boy, could never understand. I remember feeling almost jealous of them, of whatever... magic they had and I didn't.

But now... I finally Got It.

Sitting here with my mother, each of us likewise only in panties, the sunlight dappling across our bare skin through the trees, the brook gently babbling beside us, the birds singing sweetly — I realized I was no longer merely an observer of that magic... I'd become a participant.

At that moment I felt an incredible sense of communion, with the trees, the birds, the sky, the sun — with nature herself. I felt a part of nature's creation — all life shouting its gladness around me. And best of all, I realized that I too could create — that in my body I could bring forth a new life into the world, just as my mother had done for me.

I felt my spirit soar — a celebration of the femininity of nature — and of my own unexpected but glorious new femininity along with it. I'd become a part of the affirming cycle of the cosmos. I could actually sense the presence of Gaia — if not corporeal, then at least in my heart.

And I gazed at my Mom, my sweet mother, who'd given so much of herself for me, I felt a connection with her that transcended any emotion we'd had before. Our shared sex had become like a sacred bond — our mutual womanhood bound us together in the magic of the dance of life.

I started to cry. I wrapped my arms around her and wept with joy. For the love I felt for her, the love she had for me. For the sheer delight of being a girl, and of sharing in the mysteries of creation. For the wonder that I too, like my mother, could bear a child. For the happiness that I was finally at peace with my transformation — that I wouldn't ever, EVER give up this feeling!

We stayed in that embrace for what seemed like hours. We both were laughing, crying and smiling together. There were no words, and no need for them. It was almost as if we could sense each other's very souls.

Finally, with expressions of delight, we packed up and returned home.

I was in a dream-like state for the rest of the day. What had happened back at the glade had been an epiphany of sorts — a realization of the profound implications of my girlhood. And even more, how that connected me to all the women who'd come before me.

I could have a baby.

No, I didn't want to run off and buy a bunch of maternity clothes. It was the potential... the possibility... of becoming a mother that amazed me. Girls grow up from infancy knowing this and accepting it as a matter of fact. But for me, who'd spent his youth as a boy, the novelty of the concept was profound.

And I liked it.

It was at this point that I realized I didn't really want to go back to being male. If a cure for GB were found, I'd almost certainly turn it down. Much like Erin at Girl School, I still missed some parts of my previous life, but I'd come to enjoy this gift of girlishness in a way I never could have imagined before.

But all good things must come to an end. The next few days at school were fun — as I expected, my status as a minor celebrity wound down quickly and a state of normalcy returned. Schwarzenegger's candidacy for governor drove my story off the CNN headlines — which was perfectly fine for me. I went to class, wrote my papers, hung around with my circle, and worked out at the track. The team was preparing for the district and sectional championships, although each ladder weeded out a few more members. Still, we were probably going to send at least a half-dozen athletes to the state meet. I wouldn't be able to compete, of course - as a result of Oxton's scheming — but the end of the season still beckoned me: the Nationals. Thanks to my court ruling, I was still eligible for that one, so I continued to train hard.

It was after one of my practices that it happened.

The Good, the Bad, and the Really Ugly!

I'd finished changing back into my street clothes and said goodnight to Becky. I was walking down the deserted corridor when I noticed a utility room door that was open a few inches. Curious, I walked a little closer, when suddenly rough hands seized me and pushed me into the room. A firm punch to the base of my skull made me see stars. The door was slammed shut behind me and my hands were swiftly bound and tied around a pipe, forcing me into a seated position. It all happened so fast I didn't even have time to scream. Heart pounding, I raised confused eyes to see what was happening.

I really shouldn't have been surprised to see Andy Marks.

As usual, he was accompanied by his gruesome twosome. Today, let's call them Uday and Qusay. They stood behind him while he stared down at me with a malevolent smile.

"Well, well. Little Miss Lind. I told you this day was coming. Now it's finally time for us get to know each other better."

"What the hell do you think you're doing, Marks?"

"That should be obvious, girl. Someone needs to put you in your place, and I'm just the guy to do it."

"You've lost it, Marks. Untie me before you get into more trouble." I was trying to be brave, but my pulse was racing. I struggled not to look afraid.

"Back when you were Jack, I knew you didn't have what it takes to be a real man. And now that you're Stephanie, you've proven it. I've watched you — flouncing around in those cute little outfits of yours, finally acting like the pussy you always were on the inside. You dressed like that for me... because you want this," he said, gesturing towards his crotch.

"Fuck off, Marks." But my bravado was on a razor's edge. I knew what could happen in this room, and I was growing terrified.

"Very appropriate way to put it, Stephanie. There will be some fucking, but I won't be alone. Let's just run down the story here. I know you dress like a girl. I know you've got a boyfriend. And I know you've had your period. There's really only one thing left for you to experience to complete your journey. And here is where it's going to happen, little bitch."

He stepped forward and with one swift motion, ripped open my blouse. I was wearing my classic schoolgirl outfit, with the pleated skirt and all the rest. The sudden violation of my space shocked me into silence. My bra was exposed, my chest heaving as I struggled against my bonds.

"Not bad, Stephanie. But let's see what you've been hiding all this time." And with that, he reached for the front clasp and literally tore my bra off. And for the first time, a boy (three of them!) saw my breasts. I flushed red with shame, having long ago developed the feminine modesty compelling me to conceal my torso.

There were expressions of sheer lust on their faces as they drooled over my body. I'd been proud of my breasts in the girl's locker room — but now I was reeling from the embarrassment of having them on my chest. I suddenly found myself yearning for the masculinity forever lost to me.

After a few moments, I began to gather my wits and was about to plead for my release, when suddenly Marks pulled a knife out and waved it near my face. "If you speak, girl, it will be the last thing you ever say." I froze in place.

At that, Uday and Qusay seemed uneasy. One spoke. "Uh, listen man, I thought we were just going to scare her a little."

"Shut the fuck up. If I want your opinion, I'll beat it out of you. This little cunt is going to get what she deserves."

He turned back to me, slowly taking in my bare breasts with a dark smile on his face. "Nice, nice rack, girlie. But let's see what else you've got." I could barely swallow as his hands went to the hem of my skirt, slowly, ever so slowly, raising it up my smooth thighs.

Unlike when he ripped my blouse open, he drew this motion out, demonstrating the control, the power he had. I was acutely aware of the knife — it wasn't very big — but it was all too intimidating.

I didn't dare resist as he lifted my skirts still higher — inch by inch. My legs were nearly completely bare now as he torturously exposed my body. And then he raised the skirt all the way to my hips, revealing my panties. I was wearing a pastel blue nylon pair today, with cute little butterflies. His leer grew still greater as all three boys in the room drank in the sight of my female sex, well defined and barely concealed by my pretty underpants.

I suddenly felt a sense of rage unlike any before. They had no right, no RIGHT to see me like this! My body was for me and whomever I chose to share it with. And no one else. My panties were for my enjoyment, not for some hypersexed asshole like Andy Marks.

The combination of expressions on his hated face grew more intense. Desire, lust, and... That mysterious something I'd spotted before was back. What the hell was it — what did he really want from me?

Later for that. My anger swelled as I found common ground with every woman and girl who'd ever been assaulted by a man. That combination of complete helplessness and utter violation produced an emotional volcano within me. I swear if I'd had a gun at that moment, I could have shot all three of them.

Gritting my teeth, I raised my voice as he reached to yank off my panties. "Don't touch me, you motherfucker."

He raised the knife. "I told you not to speak, girl."

"I don't care. Cut me to ribbons if you want — but I'd rather die than have you lay another hand on me." And with that I took a deep breath in preparation for my first scream.

I meant it. And he could tell. My anger was helping me to find strength I didn't know I had. A look of uncertainty crossed his features — was he really ready to hurt me? I was about to find out as I yelled for help.

I didn't expect anyone to come, of course. The cavalry always arrives in time in Hollywood, but here in Milford, there was no director to cue the hero.

Nevertheless, he came anyway. Hal burst into the room, and took in the scene. Me, tied to a steam pipe, my blouse and bra ripped open, my breasts bare, my skirt hiked up to my waist, my panties in full view.

And Marks, standing over me with a knife in his hands. Wouldn't take anyone long to figure this one out. Hal roared and charged into Marks, knocking him down and sending the knife flying. Marks was flat on his back as Hal began to rain blows down onto him.

Unfortunately, he'd moved so quickly, he hadn't seen Uday and Qusay. They may have been reluctant participants, but they were in this all the way now. They pulled Hal off of Marks, holding him back as Marks got off the ground and retrieved the knife.

"Well, well. The gallant boyfriend arrives to save the day. How romantic." He slammed a fist into Hal's stomach, making him bend over in the old, old reaction. Another punch, this time to the head, left Hal dazed and semiconscious.

"Leave him alone, you bastard, or I'll..." I snapped.

"You'll what? What can you do to me, little bitch? You're small and weak — just like all girls. I could break you in half without even trying. You're female, Stephanie, which makes you inferior to any guy."

I struggled furiously against my bonds, cursing my slender arms and delicate chest. In that sense, he was right. I could not stand up to him — even if I were untied, he could utterly dominate me physically. It was so unfair! Why did women have to be so fragile? I found myself resenting the very femininity that I'd celebrated just a few days before.

"So now, at last, you understand. You're just a little girl, soft and pretty and helpless. Which is exactly what you should be, anyway. That's all that girls are for, to live for the pleasure of men."

He raised the knife to Hal's face. "You said you'd rather die than have me touch you. Are you prepared to see your boyfriend take your place?"

"No... don't hurt him," I begged.

"Then you'll cooperate."

"Ye... yes." I stammered.

"Then first, tell me what you are."

Confused, I just looked at him.

An expression of fury came across his face. "You're a girl!" he shouted. Jesus, he really was insane.

"I'm... I'm a girl." I repeated, trying to keep him calm.

"You're nothing but a horny little bitch."

A deep breath. "I'm a... horny little... bitch."

"You can't wait for me to fuck you, to show you what it means to be a woman."

They were just words. So why was I so ashamed? But I played along. "I can't wait for..." I paused.

"Finish it!" he shouted again, putting the knife against Hal's cheek.

"I can't wait for you to fuck me." When this was over, I was going to dig a nice deep hole and crawl into it.

It was clear than Marks was tipping over the edge. Uday and Qusay were obviously scared. But Marks had the knife and whatever hold he had over them was very strong.

I suppose if I'd been really sophisticated, I would have gone into some, "Oh Andy, you're so manly... you make it so hard for a girl to say no... I can't resist you, etc." It would have bought me some time, and maybe given Hal a chance to recover. I tried to work up my courage — but I could hardly stomach the idea.

"Those are cute panties you're wearing, Stephanie. I'm not surprised to see you in the frilly stuff — you were born for it. But as adorable as you look in those panties, I'd bet you'd look even better without them."

Once again Marks strode across the room to me, and once again prepared to yank off my pretty underpants.

And once again, the door burst opened — this time revealing the massive form of Big Mark Williams (BMW), all six feet six and 260 pounds of him.

For a moment, the half-dozen of us were frozen — taking in the tableau. Uday and Qusay reacted first, dropping Hal and rushing at the huge young man.

Big mistake. Almost casually, he reached out with two massive arms, caught each of them in a hand and knocked their heads together. They passed out cold on the floor. Hal struggled to his feet as Andy Marks slowly edged toward BMW — brandishing the blade. Marks was clearly scared as he saw his buddies unconscious — but he wasn't backing down.

BMW didn't even bother with any gestures of bravado. He just stood there, waiting for Marks to make his move. Marks attempted to lunge forward — but BMW moved with surprising speed — stepping to the side and then chopping down on his outstretched arm. The knife went spinning across the floor and BMW backhanded Marks across the face. Andy fell to his knees in a daze.

Hal rushed over to me and quickly untied me. My first reaction was utterly feminine — I pulled the shreds of my blouse together and covered my breasts. My second reaction was also feminine — I started to cry as the terror of the moment faded and I had the luxury of acknowledging my emotions.

Hal held me tightly as BMW came over to us. They both anxiously asked me if I was all right.

"Yes — thanks to you two." I raised my tear-stained face to the boys and gathered them both into my arms. Still crying, I told them how grateful I was. "If it hadn't been for you guys, I... I..." I left it unfinished — it was obvious what would have happened. "How did you find me, anyway?"

Hal spoke. "I was walking down the hall and I spotted your purse. You must have dropped it when they dragged you in here. I could hear people talking behind the door, so I stopped — then I heard you scream."

Saved by my purse. I had to smile. Becoming female had made me a target for Marks — but I'd been rescued by that same femininity. "You too?" I queried BMW.

"Yep. I saw both your purse and Hal's gym bag as well."

"God bless you both," I said — hugging them tightly.

Marks groaned, and began to rise. A murderous look appeared on Hal's face and he turned to my would-be assailant.

"No." I said, grabbing his arm.

"You've got to be kidding, Stephanie. Jesus, he nearly..."

"I know, Hal — but I have other plans for him."

"I assume you're going to report him to the police," BMW said.

"Nope. I've had enough of courtrooms lately. I've got something else in mind."

Hal spoke again. "Stephanie, there's no way he can be allowed to walk away from this."

I stood my ground. "I agree — he will pay a price. But only on my terms. Trust me, guys — I know what I'm doing."

Hal looked closely at me, then nodded slowly. "Okay then. But if he ever..."

BMW cut in. "This part I'll handle." He walked over to Marks and with one hand, grabbed his shirt and lifted him six inches off of the ground. Marks had a fearful expression. Good.

Then BMW began to speak. "She's given you a reprieve, asshole. But understand something — I'm not so forgiving. If you so much as speak to her again, or look at her cross- eyed, or ever, EVER lay a hand on her, I will bury you. Literally."

BMW had a reputation as an easy-going guy — but there was a look of such power and determination on his face, even Stallone would have been cowed. I could see Marks begin to shake, still dangling in his grasp.

BMW continued. "Pray for her good health, Marks — because if anything ever happens to her, I'll be coming for you. It won't matter if it's not your fault. It won't matter if she says to back off. Nothing will protect you from me. And when I'm done, it'll take you years just to learn how to walk again." He growled the last with fierce authority — then he threw Marks across the utility room to land atop Uday and Qusay.

All three of us left the space — we walked back to Hal's car. I was still struggling to keep my shredded blouse together — fortunately, there was no one else around. I wasn't afraid of either of these guys seeing my breasts — I know this sounds silly and arrogant — but they'd earned the right to peek. I gave a final hug to BMW — then Hal drove me home.

I was silent during the ride, reflecting on all that happened. Hal kept giving me looks of concern. When we arrived, he turned off the ignition and faced me. There were tears in his eyes. "I'm so sorry, Stephanie... If the big guy hadn't shown up..."

I knew what was going on — I remembered from my own boyhood. There was a male imperative — a man was supposed to protect his woman, and Hal felt he'd failed me.

I smiled at him. "But you did save me, Hal. If you hadn't tackled him when you did, he wouldn't have stopped in time. You bought us the chance we needed. In all my life, I was never so glad to see anyone as when you opened that door. I know I can count on you. You're... you're my knight, my prince..."

Corny, yes. But that's how I saw him. We hugged again, both of us crying. Then I kissed his cheek and raced inside.

Fortunately, Mom wasn't home. I knew I could get BMW and Hal to back off on my request, but if Mom learned what happened, she'd be dialing 911 in seconds. I wanted to deal with Marks my own way.

Make no mistake about it — I was outraged and furious over what he'd tried to do. Aside from the horror of the experience (and I knew I'd be having nightmares) — there was something else I hated about it all.

He'd made me resent my own femininity.

He'd done to me what had been done to so many other women — forced me to regret my girlhood, made me wish I were a man so I couldn't be vulnerable to him. So I wouldn't be so damn small and weak.

There's a neat little movie called 'The Smokers' — about a group of teenage girls at a boarding school, coping with romance and boys for the first time. There's one scene where a girl is complaining to a guy what she detests about being female. She says to him, "You don't know what it's like walking around with a gaping hole between your legs, waiting to be filled by the likes of you. Once you're inside you have all the power."

It IS about power, and it shouldn't have to be that way. We girls should be able to celebrate and enjoy every facet of our bodies. We shouldn't have to feel helpless and vulnerable because we have vaginas, or because we lack the strength to defend them.

Yet that's how Marks had made me feel. And I knew it would forever haunt me until I regained the upper hand — until I had the power over him. Having some guy beat him up, or having him arrested wouldn't be good enough. I couldn't subcontract this to a cop or a boyfriend — I had to do the job myself.

I'd worked too hard at accepting my femininity to allow Marks such a victory.

Fortunately, I knew just what to do.

The next day, I got up and went through my usual morning routine, put on a pretty dress and made sure to place the item I needed in my purse. Then it was off to school, where Becky, Arleen and Sue all expressed support for me and dismay over what had happened. Rumors were already circulating around the campus — I aimed to set the story straight soon enough.

"Stephanie, you've got to report him to the principal or to the police," Arleen insisted. Becky and Sue seconded her opinion. I was pleased to see that Arleen had become a full-fledged member of our circle.

"Principal Grogan?" I smiled with irony. "I don't think he's my best alternative. Besides, I've got a better answer. Wait for me in the senior lounge during second period."

Guardedly, they said they'd wait.

Second period came and I headed off to the lounge. The senior class had a separate 'club' with a stereo, soda machine and such. One of the nice perks of being on top of the student pyramid. Most study halls found us in the lounge, reading, playing cards, etc. That was my destination today. I checked my purse to make sure my little item was ready. Then I took a deep breath, entered the lounge and walked right up to Andy Marks.

He looked at me warily. "What do you want?"

"The better question, Marks, is what do YOU want? I know the answer." I reached into my purse and pulled out my special item.

A pair of my panties.

His eyes widened as I held them up for him to see.

"Do you remember these, Marks? I was wearing them last night — when you tried to rape me." I spoke in a firm voice. Every one of the thirty or so kids in the lounge had fallen silent as they turned to the two of us. You could have heard the proverbial pin drop.

Marks had a confused and uncertain expression on his face. And that something else was there too. I'd finally reasoned it out.

Envy.

Marks was jealous of me — and that was how I intended to defeat him.

"It took me a while to understand why you were so hateful to me, Marks. Always insulting and mocking me after I changed. At first I just dismissed it as your usual assholic self — after all, you've caused a lot of misery around this place. But then I figured it out."

He continued to stare at me — mesmerized. So were all the other kids.

"You see, Marks, you're afraid of me. Afraid of what I represent. You're scared GB could happen to you too. You're afraid you might wake up with breasts on your chest — or have to spend the rest of your life wearing panties like these."

I paused for effect, then continued. "But your fear isn't because you're scared of becoming a girl. What you're really afraid of is this: that you WANT to become a girl. That deep down inside that sewer you call a personality, there's a part of you that's jealous of me that I got to do what you didn't. That I turned into a female."

He was still frozen in place — shocked.

"And because you don't have the guts to admit it to yourself — that you want to be female, too — you took it out on me. Hence, you staged Rape-apalloza '03 last night."

There were stunned gasps all around me.

"But you didn't have to go through all that, Marks," I said, shifting to a light, mocking tone. "Nobody's really sure how GB spreads. Maybe if you wear my panties, you'll get your wish. Maybe they'll turn you into the girl I know you're just dying to be. You didn't have to try to rape me — all you had to do was ask and I would have given them to you. I know you want them — so here you go."

And with that, I tossed my pretty undies into his lap. He recoiled as if they were a pair of rattlesnakes.

There's a moment in every track meet I've ever run that I call the 'turning'. It's when I'm racing next to an athlete and we're pushing each other to the limit. When I'm at my best, an instant will happen where both of us know I'm going to win. My will is stronger than my competitor. Often, this can happen as early as the second lap of a race. Once 'the turning' occurs, the outcome is inevitable — even if the fans don't know it until after we've crossed the finish line.

Of course, I've been 'turned' too, when up against a better athlete. But not today. At that moment — I'd 'turned' Marks — and we both knew it. I'd shown I was stronger than he — that I had the power. Elated, I felt the confidence, the belief in my femininity restored as I saw the look of anguish and shame cross his features. I steadily, relentlessly met his eyes — daring him to deny what I'd said.

He could not. With a strangled sob, utterly disgraced in front of our peers, he ran from the lounge.

To my amazement, I ran after him. I sensed it was not quite over. I found him in the hallway, leaning against a locker, tears running down his face.

I can't say I felt compassion for him — not after all he had done. But I'd reached a point where I didn't want to add to his pain. At the least, I'd forced him to confront his demon — that couldn't help but make a difference. I walked up to him and stood there firmly, my arms folded under my breasts.

"How... how did you know?" he stammered.

"It was obvious in hindsight, I guess."

"Once I heard you were going to be a girl — I... I found myself dreaming about what it would be like. I kept fantasizing about GB happening to me. I... I would obsess over it. And then you came to school as a female — and... and you were so pretty and so feminine and seemed so happy! I just got more and more jealous. And I couldn't figure out why! I'd never wanted to be a girl before — but when it happened to you, it was all I could think about. And boys aren't ever supposed to want to be girls — so I got more scared that others would find out how I really felt — and I got angrier and angrier. I guess I... blamed you for making me feel this way."

"Chances are, Marks, you felt that way your whole life — you just never accepted it."

"I'm so sorry, Stephanie. I... I just lost control."

"It's too late for apologies, Marks. But if you really want to make it better — then listen to me now. I've done my research. I know the transgendered are a peaceful, nonviolent lot. There's a darkness in you that has nothing to do with your sex. You've been hurting people for a long, long time. Even if you woke up tomorrow with a perfect girl's body — you'd still be a danger to yourself and those around you. You've got some serious issues you need to fix... fast. Get some help, Marks. If you want to make up for what you've done... get some goddamn help."

Then I turned and walked away. I still couldn't stomach his presence — the image of being bound and stripped half-naked before him remained. But now I could balance it with the strength I'd been able to prove to both of us. And who knows — maybe he would get the therapy he so desperately needed. I wasn't betting the farm on it — but there was a chance.

I gained high praise from everyone over my demolition of Andy Marks. It only took a couple of hours for the story to spread across the entire school — after which, no one was taking him seriously. Even the various nerds and geeks he'd tormented were eager to challenge his twisted authority.

But it turned out not to be necessary. Marks and his partners-in-slime essentially disappeared from that day forward. They showed up for classes, but otherwise they avoided contact with all the other kids. And it was for sure the other kids wanted nothing to do with them. In life, you reap what you sow. We'd all be graduating soon and they'd have a fresh start somewhere else. Perhaps they'd learn their lesson and try to act like human beings. Perhaps.

But in the meantime, things settled back to normal. I continued my intense workouts under Coach Bradford's guidance and accompanied the team to the various post- season title meets. Becky made it to the sectional race — the farthest she'd ever gotten. I cheered loudly for her and later, at the State championships, we all cheered as Hal finished third in the two-mile. And, for the first time in years, Milford had an athlete go all the way to the top — Big Mark Williams finished second in the shot-put and won the state title in the discus. We were all giddy with delight for him.

Of course, every silver lining has its cloud. Melody McCarthy won the championship in the girl's mile — with a 4:50 that nearly matched my 4:49 from earlier in the season. I watched with more than a little resentment as she received her medal. From the stands, I locked eyes with her — a brief battle of wills. Grrrrr. I couldn't wait for our showdown at the National meet next week.

During this time, I was moving deeper and deeper into my girlhood. I learned a whole new vocabulary: healing posts, scrunchies, applicators, clarifiers and so much more. The complexity of being a girl was still intimidating.

But it was also fun. I grew ever closer to Becky, Sue and Arleen as the final days of our school life passed by.

And then there was Hal. Each time we said goodnight, our embrace lasted longer and our kisses grew more passionate. Until one evening, after a dinner/movie date, I found myself necking with him along one of those quiet rural roads I used to take Sue on. We'd been parked in his car for about half an hour when he suggested we get into the back seat.

Now I'd still been 'attending' to myself at night to keep my hormones under control — but by this point I had no interest in pretending to resist. God, I was so hot for him! He was very gentle and never put any pressure on me for sex — which made him all the sexier to me. So I eagerly moved to the back of the car, where we resumed that delightful French kissing — the music on the stereo carrying us along.

I was in a daze, bedazzled by the wonder, the magic of his body against mine. So I shouldn't have been surprised when after a while I found myself sitting on his lap — wearing only my panties. He was down to his boxers and was staring with apparent joy at my chest. How had this happened? How had I let this boy undress me so easily? I couldn't even remember when my skirt and bra had come off!

All those questions were driven from my mind when he took one swollen nipple into his mouth. Oh! I felt as though my whole body had been reduced to a single point of flesh, where his tongue was ever so gently rolling over the tip. Mmmmm. Soooo nice. He cupped my other breast in his palm — the nipple hardened instantly. He carefully squeezed, sending sparks of pleasure across my entire chest.

And down below, too. Those cute little panties of mine were growing wetter by the second. It was almost like I was drooling — only between my legs. Our breathing grew ragged as I writhed on his lap — his erection pressing against... against... the one part of my body that wanted him the most. I needed him, oh! how I needed him... inside me — my vagina had gained an appetite of 'her' own, a hunger not unlike an empty stomach — that had to be filled.

He raised his face from my breasts and began to kiss me again. His hands ran through my hair and I felt an indescribable urge wash across me — to surrender to him. Without my willing it, my body lay back on the seat and I pulled him on top of me. Ohhh, yesss! Just feeling him there — his strength, his power dominating me — but at my command, at my will. What a wonderful combination of control and submission! I pulled his boxers off and saw his penis, sooo, so big and ready. Ready for me!

Only a thin layer of wispy nylon protected my vagina from the next, obvious step. I was just about to invite him to take off my panties, when something strange happened deep inside my psyche. A faint echo of Jack, of the boy I'd once been managed to make himself heard. And as far as he was concerned, he would make love as a girl only over his dead body. I could tell he... I... we... were terrified at a primal level... terrified of taking the ultimate feminine step.

A step designed by nature for one purpose.

Now love may be as grand as the poets say — but sex is the way the species propagate. All the passion and desire Hal and I felt for each other was very real on an emotional level. But on the physical level, there was a subtext. My body wanted me to get pregnant! The intense pleasure I was so deliriously enjoying was but a tool — my body's determination to manipulate me into spreading my legs and letting a boy come inside me — so I could be put 'in the family way'.

Millions of years of evolution had led to me — a girl so in thrall to her own passion that she couldn't resist her fate — a girl who would accept anything — even pregnancy, as long as she could satisfy her intense craving.

Intellectually, I knew that was hardly the whole picture these days. Birth control could protect women from the biological consequences of sex. And I knew from GRS that despite my periods, I couldn't get pregnant for at least a year after GB.

But the whole concept was still so alien to me, to the faint echo of masculinity that dwelled within — and I realized I wasn't quite ready. Hal, bless him, sensed it and immediately backed off.

"I'm sorry, Stephanie..."

"Don't you dare apologize, Hal — we're in this together..."

"I understand you're reluc..."

I looked over at this wonderful boy — who'd been so patient and thoughtful with me. And I looked at the erection still full and throbbing in his lap. I shivered as I contemplated it. My body was still screaming for me to embrace him — just the sight of his penis made my vagina gush with desire. To think I used to be like that! It seemed so... alien... to me now. Yet I remembered all my make-out sessions with Sue and how I'd struggled to control my own male sexuality.

I had to do this for him — he deserved some relief. And I was just the girl to give it to him. So this time, I had him lie down while I lowered my face to his hips. His eyes widened as he realized he was about to receive his first blowjob.

It was my first as well — but in my wildest dreams, I never imagined I'd be the one giving it! That faint echo of the boy inside me tried to protest again, but I was having none of it.

"You're a girl," I mentally told him. "Get over it — you're going to be having sex with guys for the rest of your life — you may as well learn what it's like."

And with that, I took Hal's manhood in my mouth. He instantly gasped and I found myself curious about what it felt like for him. Sue and I had never gotten this far. Still, I knew I had an edge over the average girl when it came to pleasuring a boy — and I put all that knowledge to good use. He actually tasted quite good — which I hadn't expected — salty and spicy and fresh and oh! I loved to hear the little gasps he made as I worked my tongue up and down his shaft. He seemed so big!

That in turn excited me — my panties were beyond wet at this point — they were drenched. A very female odor began to fill the car — which only turned us both on still more. I took him to the brink, then backed off — drawing out the experience for him. Finally, after 15 minutes of expert manipulation on my part — I let it happen for him. Lord, he was productive! I kept right on him as he came — making sure he got the most out of it. I loved the long, powerful groan of ecstasy he made — knowing I'd caused it was so... satisfying... to me in a very girly way. I didn't really care for the swallowing part, though — but he was in such heaven that I just couldn't stop.

Gasping, he and I embraced. He was smart enough not to thank me — that would have implied I'd 'serviced' him. I now had a sense of how the act could be degrading for a girl. Fortunately, I knew Hal's feelings for me were real — so I didn't feel the least bit 'used'. Instead, he just kept caressing me while we enjoyed our intimacy. After a time, we pulled our clothes back on and headed home. With a final hug goodnight, I headed inside.

Mom looked pointedly at me as I entered the living room. It was no use denying what Hal and I had been up to. My disheveled clothes and flushed expression were evidence enough.

"Well?" she asked.

"Um... well what?" I replied.

"Don't play dumb with me, young lady. I know you'll find this hard to believe, but back when dinosaurs roamed the earth and Reagan was young, I was a teenager. And I had my share of back-seat encounters with boys, too. So..." She paused expectantly.

I had to smile. She was playing the protective Mom to the hilt — but there was an undercurrent of humor about it all. Here she was, worrying about her son getting pregnant! Of course, she was aware that I had a temporary immunity for such things — but still...

"Mom — we're doing fine. Hal is a perfect gentleman and never pressures me. He treats me like a princess and... and... I'm having the most wonderful time with him."

"How wonderful?"

"Not too wonderful, if that's what you're worried about." A look of relief crossed her face.

"I know GRS covered some of these basics for you — but you do know that the first time can be... challenging... for a girl."

"I know, Mom," I said exasperatedly. Mom and I were closer than ever, but no teenager wants a parent prying into her sex life.

"Yes, Hal is a sweetie, and I do trust him to do right by you. I just want to be sure you know what you're getting into."

"Actually, Hal's the one who'll be getting into things," I smiled wickedly. "I'll be the one who's gotten into." I couldn't help but laugh as she winced.

Mom shook her head ruefully, then looked at me in wonder. "You really are all girl, aren't you?"

I shivered in recollection of my evening. "Yes... oh my, yes," I responded. Rather hard to deny, considering I'd just performed oral sex on my boyfriend. But the cool part was — I felt no desire to deny it in the first place.

We hugged and I went upstairs for a badly needed shower. Hal may have had his tension relieved tonight — but I was still on fire. My nipples were thrusting almost painfully against my bra and I could've wrung drops of... girl juice... from my panties. But Mr. Nozzle awaited me — just the memory of Hal brought me to my most intense female orgasms yet. God, I like having a vagina! Fortunately, the shower radio was able to mask most of my sounds effects — hopefully, Mom would dismiss the moaning as just the latest Christina Aguilera hit.

Which reminded me — it was past time for me to take down my Carmen Electra poster.

The Dream is Alive

But my passion with Hal would have to wait. For the moment I'd been eagerly waiting was finally upon me. The Nationals. This would be the last race of my high school career — and it would also determine what would happen for me in college. There would be plenty of scouts from all the top universities deciding which athletes would get what scholarship offers.

And there was my long-delayed rematch with Melody McCarthy as well. I remembered with bitterness how the Oxton injunction had blocked me from most of the track season. And I also remembered the insulting attitude Melody and her coach had adopted. Yes, my vindication in court had been delightful — but I knew the only place we'd really settle this would be on the track.

Just the way I wanted it.

But Coach Bradford had some cautionary advice for me as we drove through the placid countryside towards Cornell University. Much like the Olympics, the National High School Track and Field Championships were rotated from place to place. This year, the meet was right in our backyard. Cornell's Schollenkopf Field was the best outdoor track in New York, (even better than the Cortland track where I'd run my last race as a boy) — and was only a couple of hours away.

Anyway, my coach gave me a warning.

"Stephanie, you must remember that there's more to this race than Melody McCarthy. Every girl in this field has broken the 5-minute barrier. Four, including Melody and yourself, have gotten under 4:50. And two of these girls have run faster miles than you."

Coach was wise to point this out, though I knew all this already. Laura Swain of Virginia had done a 4:48 and Beth Hamilton of California had turned in a very impressive 4:46. Both were state champions and both were sure to be fierce competitors.

"Bottom line, Stephanie — you have to run your race. Don't get caught up in the early rush and keep in mind you're competing against 10 girls, not 1."

I felt the butterflies in my stomach again as we approached the beautiful campus. There was that electricity in the air I loved so much. And the crowd! The stadium was full — nearly 10,000 people were on hand. Many would be family, friends, and coaches of the 350 athletes competing today. Vendors selling programs and snacks were out in full force and there was a constant buzz of excitement. This was far and away the largest and most prestigious meet I'd ever attended — I saw uniforms from high schools all across America. There was even TV coverage — ESPN would tape the races for replay on one of their secondary channels.

I was nervous and a little intimidated. And yet, I was also thrilled. This was where I belonged — what I was born to do. I warmed up carefully, going through the stretches that were part of my pre-race routine. It helped to calm the jitters. I kept working on my focus while the other events were taking place — the sound of cheering as some athletes realized their dreams. And the groans as some athletes did not.

Before I knew it, it was final call for the girls' mile. We cleared security and made our way down to the high-tech synthetic surface of the track. Coach Bradford turned to me then.

"Stephanie, I want you to know how proud I am of you. No matter what happens today, you're one of the bravest, strongest kids I've ever known. You go out there, do your best and you'll be a winner."

As sudden tears came to my eyes I realized this would be my final race for my Coach. God, we'd come a long way together! In a way, he'd been the father I'd never known. I gave him a huge hug — then he gave me a playful pat on my butt — clad in those cute panty-shorts I'd grown to like so much. I giggled and headed onto the track.

By virtue of my 4:49 earlier this season, I was placed in third position from the inside rail, right next to Melody McCarthy. She attempted a staredown — I didn't bother. I just looked at her — gave a big grin to show she couldn't intimidate me, and took my place at the starting line. The two fastest girls, Laura and Beth, were on my opposite side, the other six were stretched out along the rest of the tape.

We were introduced to the crowd, and I spotted my mother, Hal and the rest of my friends in the stand. I didn't wave — I was already sinking into the trance, the focus that I embraced at the start of every race.

Then, without further ado, the gun went off.

The mad scramble began. I knew with a field this good the pack would be close together for some time. With every girl here a sub-five miler, it would take a while to sort the wheat from the chaff. I laid off the lead group, avoiding contact as much as possible. There was a lot of jostling and bumping of elbows as the rhythm of the race was set.

The pace was very, very fast — many of the girls were caught up in the excitement and had pushed out hard. Maybe too hard. That was fine with me — I wasn't the least bit worried as I finished the first lap in 6th place.

It was the time that mattered — "70 seconds," Coach Bradford called out.

Perfect. Even better than I'd hoped. When I was a boy, my target time for the mile was 60 seconds per lap — with four laps that would put me on a 4-minute mile pace. Those days were gone of course — my new goal as a female was 70 seconds — which would translate to a 4:40 mile.

As we began the second lap, I could sense some of the girls in front of me were tiring — the pace was too swift to sustain. I waited until the backstretch to move past two of them — never pass on the curve — why run farther than you have to?

That put three girls in front of me — Melody — who was leading, Laura from Virginia (rather nice butt on her!) and Beth from California. We were the four who had broken the 4:50 mark this season, which made us the likely contenders for the title.

As we finished the second lap, I was pleased with the time: 2:21. The pace had barely slowed and that was playing right into my hands.

Coach Bradford and I had meticulously rehearsed this. The one thing we didn't want was a slow, tactical race. Often, especially in the Olympics, the top athletes hold back — racing for the title, not the time. That meant a leisurely jog for three laps, followed by a frantic sprint to the finish.

The problem with such a strategy is that it leaves far too much to chance — the lesser runners are right there with the big guns, which means anything can happen at the end. In the men's 1500-meter race at the 1992 Olympics, the entire field was still bunched together for the last lap. During the chaotic dash that followed, the defending world champions and record holders lost to an unknown from Spain, who quickly became a national hero — since the Games were taking place in Barcelona.

So my goal was simple — don't just race the other girls, race the clock.

Race Mary Decker and her 4:42 national record.

Burn everyone out — if they want to keep up, make them pay. In pain.

As we started the third lap, Melody began to slow. Beth and Laura eased off as well. The rest of the field was far behind after two laps at this speed, so it was down to the four of us.

Time to get busy.

As we entered the backstretch of the third lap, I put on an enormous surge and pushed past all three girls. I kept my stride steady as I took the lead — focusing on maintaining the pace necessary for the 4:40 mile that was my target. I heard a roar from the crowd as they realized this would be no stroll through the park. Many of the fans were very knowledgeable and they could sense what I had in mind.

Melody, Laura and Beth now had a choice to make. Hang with me, and endure the pressure — or relax and hope I'd crash later.

All three came after me. This was going to be a slugfest. I entered the homestretch of the third lap and began to feel the pain. I was breathing okay, but my legs were quivering. We flashed past the wire and got the three-lap time: 3:30.

Wow — even faster than I'd expected. As we entered the backstretch of the fourth and final lap — the pain grew. My breathing became labored and my legs were now shaking. But I didn't relent — I concentrated with every neuron I could fire on keeping my form and maintaining the speed. My only consolation was that the other girls were hurting just as bad.

Behind me, I heard a feminine voice curse as Melody broke — the pace had snapped her and she fell back.

One down, two to go.

We entered the final turn. I was gritting my teeth and having to force my legs to reach full stride. Then Laura gasped, coughed and dropped behind.

Two down, one to go.

Beth was right with me as we headed down the homestretch. As the California state champion, I knew she had to be one tough chick.

But I'm a tough chick, too. It hurts, though — God, it hurts! As I raced towards the final hundred meters, I remembered all those years of training: the running in snow, blazing heat, pouring rain. Everything I'd endured, both as a boy and as a girl, to reach my dream.

So I swallowed down my stomach, which was trying to leap up my throat. I made my hands into fists, growled deeply (still soprano), bared my teeth and drank in the roar of the crowd — using that energy to master my pain and gut it out to the end.

Just a little bit farther... just a little bit farther and it won't hurt anymore...

I zeroed in on the finish line, knowing only there would the torture end. All I had to do was get to it... as fast as I could.

And then Beth snapped — I could feel her fading behind. Not much — just a few strides, but that was all I needed. Somehow, I found the strength for a final surge and broke the tape.

In first place.

I did it! I'm the fastest girl miler in the country! Gasping, I nearly plunged to my knees before Coach Bradford scooped me up into a huge hug. I felt like a little doll in his massive arms — I was too weary even to hug him back. But I did have enough in me to smile.

He set me down and pointed to the scoreboard, where the electronic clock had marked my time: 4:39.

My god — I've broken Mary Decker's record. I'm the fastest high school miler in history! For a girl, that is... but I didn't care about the damn qualifier. Elated and overwhelmed, I started to cry as I embraced my coach and basked in the cheers from the crowd.

Beth Hamilton came up with a big smile — she threw her arm around my shoulder. "I knew you were the girl to beat - congratulations," she said. "What a race!"

She'd finished in 4:43 — a new California State record. Laura Swain was there too — her 4:46 was a record for Virginia as well. Track fans would be talking about this one for years.

Melody had finished out of the medals — in fourth place. She had collapsed on the ground. I was very careful not to snicker as I approached her — but my effort at sportsmanship was wasted.

She looked up at me. "I don't care what anyone says. You don't deserve this — especially with those fake boobs."

For my response, I replayed 'Seinfeld'. I leaned over Melody, allowing her to peek down my bra. Which she did — at length, her eyes widening as she saw I was the genuine article. Then I spoke. "They're real... and they're spectacular."

Then I flounced away. I know, I know — it was petty of me, but Lord, that felt good!

I continued to be mobbed by officials, fans and the press as I made my way up to the stands where Mom and my friends awaited me. I put in more hugs than Leo Buscaglia and struggled not to cry as everyone congratulated me. A feeling of completeness, of satisfaction filled me. It had been so hard — but it had all been worth it!

Everyone was still talking excitedly while the boys' mile was run. I watched a little wistfully as Kevin Tilden (remember him from my last race as a guy?) won the National title with a time of 4:02. For all the hoopla over my victory, he'd finished 37 seconds faster than me. Though a tiny part of me was pleased to see my status as the only sub-4 high school boy in 30 years remained intact. But I was happy for his victory and went up to congratulate him afterwards.

It was the first time we'd met since I'd changed. My former archrival looked me up and down. Then he smiled, shook his head and whistled.

"You know, when I first heard you were going to be a girl, I was a little sad — because I knew I'd run better if you were around. But I have to say, Stephanie, that between the way you race and the way you... look — maybe this was for the best."

I smiled and gave the guy a hug. Then both of us went off to be interviewed by the press and to meet all the scouts. Since we had just become the fastest boy and girl milers in the United Sates, we attracted a lot of attention. I gave my phone number to a half-dozen college coaches, all of whom were dangling scholarship offers and other inducements in front of me. The next hour was dizzying, dazzling and delightful.

Finally, things calmed down. Coach Bradford walked my mom and me to our car. Mom looked up at him — they'd met briefly at my hearing, but this was their first chance to talk.

"Thank you, Coach, for everything you've done for my... daughter — I never really appreciated just how hard and how special all this is. You've really made a difference in her life — and you've opened my eyes as well."

"She's a coach's dream, Mrs. Lind — and I'm proud to have worked with her."

We said our goodbyes and Mom drove me home. We said little, the emotion of the day had been exhausting — but I could tell she was very happy for me. At long last, Mom and I were in synch on just why running was so important to me.

The following Monday began the final week before graduation. I wore my cheerleading uniform for the last time — I felt a lot more comfortable with the tights on, now that my hazing was over. If the silly little skirt flew up, at least I didn't have to worry about my panties showing. And all day long, just like when I'd cracked the 4:00 minute barrier as Jack — I got many congratulations and pats on the back. Winning a national title and breaking a special record had put me back where I'd been as a boy.

Well, almost where I'd been... I reflected wryly, primping in front of the mirror in the girls' bathroom with the rest of the cheerleaders. Some things would never be the same, I realized, as I listened the other girls talk and giggle. And you know what? That's cool with me.

Coach Bradford was inundated with calls from universities all over the country — not to mention the press. We did a few phone interviews and sorted through all the deals. I had plenty of time to choose, and with his guidance, I knew I'd end up at the right place.

But the glow from the championships faded quickly — life goes on and the next major event was rapidly approaching. The Prom.

Of course, I was going with Hal. He'd asked me last week — strangely shy — and I found myself flattered that he chose me. It made no sense for me to feel that way — we were already so intimate that our going together should have been matter-of-fact.

It wasn't until I was clued in by Arleen, Becky, and Sue - that I understood what was really on the table. In a small town like Milford, the race to adulthood is a bit slower than in more cosmopolitan settings — the connection between boys and girls likewise takes a bit longer. Bottom line was this — if a Milford girl was really serious about a boy, then prom night was usually when she lost her virginity.

Oh my.

It was already a foregone conclusion that Hal and I were going to make love. But to have a whole evening dedicated to that moment was another thing entirely! The prom represented one of the classic rituals of youth — the clothes, the dancing and... everything else. I'd dreamed of going to the prom with Sue — in my fantasies I would woo her with such skill that she'd melt into my arms. I'd carry her off to a feather bed, where she'd remove her beautiful gown and I'd see her in all her feminine glory. Then we'd be together the way I'd always dreamed...

But in all my fantasies, I never imagined I'd be the one to be 'wooed'! I'd be the one in the fancy gown, the one who'd 'melt' into the arms of her lover.

Yet that was now my destiny. And the other girls knew it. All week long, I got all kinds of feedback on the dress, the flowers, the make-up, the hair and everything else that would go into the preparations. And there was also a lot of good-natured teasing about what would happen after the prom. Becky, Sue and Arleen kept giving me sly looks and naughty comments — and some rather earthy advice. When it comes to discussions of sex, girls can be a lot more explicit than guys.

And so I found myself on Saturday getting ready for the last social event of my high-school life. This being the prom, I'd allotted 6 hours for the task. Mom and I got to experience yet another classic mother-daughter moment as she helped me along. Bubble bath, nail polish, skin conditioners. Up went my hair — then down — then up again as I alternated from smiles to tears and back. I was very emotional as I prepared — the girlishness of the moment was almost overwhelming.

Finally, it came time to get dressed. With trembling hands, I put on the white lace garter belt with matching bra and stockings Sue had bought for me. I noted with fascination how the outfit served as a gilded frame surrounding my... girlhood. I'd learned enough by now to put the silk white panties over my garters, to allow easier access to my... Then I looked at my reflection, clad only in the ornate underwear.

Mom said it for me. "My God, Stephanie — you're so beautiful." She was beaming with pride as we both drank in the extraordinarily feminine image that was now mine.

My crinoline, with an underslip was next — followed by the gown — a white mini-dress, lavished in lace. It ended about two inches above my knee — with the crinoline pushing it out from my legs — creating a delightful swirl as I moved. The whole outfit had a wonderful mixture of sophisticated woman and innocent schoolgirl — all wrapped up in one.

The picture was further enhanced by my upswept hair — with a couple of bangs brought forward to showcase my face — skillfully made up by my Mom. She embraced me as my eyes filled with tears over the wonder, the joy of the lovely girl I'd become.

What a journey this had been! A couple of months ago, I'd been a normal boy. Now, I was a girl about to take the ultimate feminine step. I thought about all the other girls across America — getting ready on their prom nights. They... we... were girding up our courage for what was to come. That moment when our beautiful dresses would be raised over our hips, our pretty panties pulled down, our thighs parted, and that indescribable, terrifying, exhilarating moment when we would be transformed from girls into... women.

I shivered at the thought. Yet I could hardly wait. Besides, turning into a woman really shouldn't be that big a deal for me. After all, being changed from a boy into a girl was far more dramatic — and I'd survived that, hadn't I?

Hal arrived. Let me tell you, the expression of 'jaw dropping to the floor' isn't always an exaggeration. I loved the impact I had on him — and I couldn't deny the one he had on me. Standing there, so tall and elegant in his tux, with his dark hair carefully cut and combed and a whiff of aftershave — I felt a crashing wave of feminine desire sweep over me. God, he was hot!

We exchanged the wrist corsage and boutonniere, then with a final hug for my Mom — we were off. Hal had a special surprise for me though. A friend of his worked in a bookstore and had gotten an advance copy of this week's 'Sports Illustrated'. And halfway through the mag was my story — a full page with color photos documenting my race for the title and the new record I'd set. Comments from my Coach and myself were included, along with predictions of future glory from the reporter.

A delighted smile spread across my face as I realized my dream had come true. And then, as I looked into Hal's eyes, I realized another dream was coming true as well. We arrived at the gym decorated with crepe paper (remember, this is a hick town) and hooked up with the rest of the gang. Becky had arrived with Big Mark Williams (BMW) and they were very cool together. Sue and Arleen had decided to go stag, so they hung out at our table. Everyone looked just smashing as we danced and laughed the hours away.

The gossamer silk stockings and the frothy crinoline made me feel more girly, more sexy and more feminine with each moment. Hormones were bubbling all over the place as the dozens of couples moved closer to each other. I noted Becky and BMW were definitely connecting — and I suspected I was not the only girl who was going to learn what it meant to be a woman tonight.

I also noticed Sue and Arleen looking at me a little wistfully — though for obviously different reasons. In the bathroom, Sue and I chatted.

"I'm so happy for you, Stephanie — you and Hal are perfect for each other."

"Thanks — though I must say I do miss you still. I mean, I'm so glad to have you as my friend — and you've done so much for me. But... you're also one amazingly wonderful and... sexy lady — and there's enough of... Jack left in me to wish we could... still be together."

She looked at me with sad but shining eyes. "I love you, Stephanie," she said simply.

"I love you, too, Sue — thank you for everything." We embraced, both of us in tears.

It was bittersweet — not just the lost romance with Sue, but everything else as well. Tonight was the last time we'd all be in one place. Graduation was just a few days away and after that we'd scatter to the winds. Our childhood was ending and there was a sense of loss.

Yet it felt right, too. There's a time and a place for everything in life and we all felt the call of the future — we knew that saying goodbye was part of growing up.

Though not just yet. The final slow songs of the evening were played. I made sure to dance with BMW — feeling lost in his massive arms. But the big guy moved with surprising grace, and I knew he'd be just right for Becky. I thanked him again for his heroics on my behalf and wished him the best with his new lady.

Then came my dance with Hal. We said nothing, just snuggling against one another. We were beyond words at this point, our passion waiting for but one release.

One final song to go — and I noticed Arleen looking at me again with that expression of wistfulness. I walked up to her and extended my arm.

"Arleen, would you dance with me?"

Her look became one of astonishment as she realized what I was offering — a moment where she could be herself, truly herself, in front of everyone. Meeting my eyes steadily, she smiled and took my hand.

Boldly, I led her to the center of the gym, where all the other couples were swaying together. I looked at her carefully.

"Are you sure?" I asked.

She nodded happily. So I took her in my arms and danced with her. Cheek to cheek, breasts to breasts, enjoying the novel sensation of our silk stockings brushing together as we moved across the floor. We drew some startled glances — while girls routinely dance fast songs together, they never do for slow ones — at least not in Milford.

But I wanted Arleen to have this — this chance where she did not have to hide who she was. And I could tell by the way she pressed against me that she was more than ready to be 'outed'. The song finally ended and she looked at me with dazzled eyes. Still touching, I raised my hands and cupped her face. Then I let that faint echo of Jack within me have one last male moment — I kissed her. A long, slow, sweet, romantic kiss — our tongues playing gently together. There were gasps all around us — but I didn't care. And neither did she.

I ended our embrace — but not before I thanked her for her friendship. Arleen would forever have the memory all girls should have — dancing at her prom and being kissed by someone she cared about. The expression of rapture on her face made it all worthwhile. I smiled, said goodnight and grabbed a startled Hal's hand. I told him it was just 'girl business' as I laughingly dragged him out to his car for the evening's final chapter.

For which he had planned well. There weren't any hotels to be found in these parts, and we both wanted something more than a lover's lane encounter in a car. But Hal had just the thing in mind. Way back in the woods, at the end of a logging trail, was an old hunter's cabin known only to us runners. We'd found it years ago — during our time on the cross-country team. Hal drove us up and doused the headlights — then he led me inside.

He knelt over the fireplace and my eyes widened as the room lit up. The windows had washed and the floor swept. A full bed with a soft comforter had been prepared. There were flowers in vases everywhere and a sheepskin rug in front of the fire.

It was perfect. For the final touch, Hal lit a candle and set it next to the bed. Then he looked at me and said, "You're too beautiful to love in the dark."

I felt my knees go weak.

My turn. Slowly, without breaking eye contact, I undressed. My gown, then my crinoline, then my bra. His gaze grew more intense with each item I removed. At the end, taking a deep breath, I slipped out of my silk panties.

I stood before him in only my garter belt, stockings and heels, my body fully visible to him at last. His eyes widened and he gave a small gasp as he saw just how female I really was. Then, with equal slowness, he undressed — finally removing his boxers and allowing me to admire his body in return. I loved his flat smooth chest and the corded muscles of his legs. His manhood seemed even larger than our last encounter — yet while I was apprehensive, I was not the least bit intimidated. The thought that just the sight of my body could inspire such a reaction in him was very pleasing to me.

And then we were in each other's arms — kissing hungrily. I felt his hardness pressing against me as his hands gently squeezed my breasts. Oh! The sensation of skin against skin was so, so sweet. I gasped as his tongue found my breasts, while I reached down and stroked his penis. Wild how it was so soft and so firm at the same time! I was careful, though — as a former boy I knew how easy it was to lose control.

Both of us were making little cries of pleasure as we caressed and kissed each other everywhere. I felt as if we'd been transported to another universe — one where the only objects that existed were our bodies. We fell onto the bed, he on top in the classic male position of dominance — me on the bottom as the submissive female. My thighs parted without my telling them to — they just moved apart for him.

Oh yes! More... please more...

His kisses moved away from my rock-hard nipples and slowly down my belly to the little tuft of hair between my legs.

Oh! Was he going to? Would he? Oohhhh yesss!

I cried out as his tongue began to explore my vagina, which was already dripping. I knew this was Hal's first experience with pleasuring a girl this way — but he certainly seemed to know what he was doing. Oh my god! It was so good! I could actually feel my clitoris swelling and a wonderful glow began to unfold as his lips dashed across me from top to bottom. I found myself pressing his head against my groin — bedazzled by the incredible feminine delight.

The more he tongued me, the hotter and wetter I got. I could feel the walls of my new vagina drawing apart — my hips bucking upward. And I realized that I didn't want his face down there — I wanted his penis there, instead. Right now!

The indescribable need to be penetrated, to be taken as a female became too much to resist. I pulled his head up to my face and presented my hips to him. He knelt over me, looked deeply into my eyes and gently pushed his manhood against my crotch.

This was it — the moment of truth. I was about to lose my virginity as a girl, about to accept my new gender in the most profound of ways. Yet I didn't even contemplate resisting — I smiled up at him in invitation.

And with that, he thrust carefully but firmly into me. Ohhh! There was much less pain than I expected, though I did hurt a little as my hymen was torn. But I was so wet and so ready for him. And then... the glorious sensation of being filled — that terrible emptiness, that feminine longing finally being satisfied. It was as if my body was a puzzle and his penis was the last piece.

Please... oh please, my lover... yes...

Hal began to rock back and forth and my pleasure reached heights I'd never imagined. My solitary masturbation was nothing compared to this — with him I felt complete, fulfilled in every way — emotionally and physically. My hips rose to meet his as our lovemaking grew more polished — the ancient rhythm of male and female coupling.

He controlled the pace of our intercourse, while I was just along for the ride. Yet somehow — yielding to him made the experience all the more intense — and exhilarating. Perhaps there's something primal in a girl's soul that makes the very act of surrendering so arousing for her.

Breathing heavily, both of us sexually charged beyond belief, he paused. Then, while staying inside me, he sat back on his heels and lifted my hips onto his lap.

Ohhh!

Somehow, that drove his beautiful penis still deeper into me. Then he reached his thumb forward and began to caress my swollen clitoris.

That took me to an even higher plane of delight.

Oh my God — how can it feel so good to be a girl?

Oh... don't stop... please don't stop...

I remembered to my astonishment that Hal and I had read of this position in an issue of 'Playboy' last year — supposedly guaranteed to bring a girl to ecstasy. We'd both vowed to try it for our first lovemaking. I just never imagined he'd be trying it on ME!

My body was spasming, the muscles on the inside of my thighs jumping as he continued to thrust into me while simultaneously stroking my clitoris.

Oh Hal, oh my lover — oh, I'm so lucky to have you!

And with that, I felt my vagina begin to tense, the lips of my vulva began to quiver, and I exploded into my orgasm.

Flame swept across me from head to foot as I gritted my teeth and curled my toes. The small cabin was filled with the cries of female passion as I trembled and shook.

Oh God — I love this!

Oh, I love being a girl... oh my body... my wonderful feminine body... ohhhh YESSS!

It seemed to last forever — much longer than ever before. A river of fluid poured from my vagina. My entire crotch felt like it had turned to warm butter as the hyper-intense orgasm continued to dominate me. Oh... even more amazing than I'd hoped for... oh! What a miracle this is!

Finally, my body calmed down — but right behind that came Hal — literally. I felt his penis twitch deep inside me — then he gasped and groaned as his male orgasm overtook him. Yet I knew — however good he felt, I felt even better. I loved the sensation of his warm manhood slowly withdrawing, while leaving his seed within me.

Is this heaven? I wondered, as he collapsed onto me. We continued to caress and stroke each other — both of us were near tears with amazement and happiness. He asked if I was all right. Silly boy. I'd never been better in my life. We told each other how special the experience had been — for a couple of virgins, we'd done very well indeed. Especially considering how my body was nearly as much of a mystery to me as it was to him.

One advantage of being teenagers — it doesn't take long to recover. After a time, I could feel his erection rising again — and a corresponding need in me rise as well.

Amazing. My cheek was raw where his young (albeit shaven) beard had scraped me. My bones felt a bit bruised from the weight of him on top of me. My vagina was still sore from the taking of my hymen. My crotch felt a little messy from a variety of secretions.

And I couldn't wait to get him back inside me.

As I spread my stocking-clad legs once again and joyfully welcomed him into my body — two thoughts kept whirling through my mind.

The first? I'm a woman!

The second? I wouldn't have it any other way!

Epilogue

Summer, 2008 — Beijing, China

I stood at the end of the track with a dozen other women who hailed from all over the world. We walked down the homestretch to take position on the starting line. All around us were 100,000 spectators, anticipating the event to come — the women's 1500-meter run. A sense of excitement filled every corner of Olympic Stadium.

As I prepared to begin my race, I reflected on this strange and wonderful journey.

After graduating high school, I took a full scholarship to Stanford University — which had one of the best track programs in America. I quickly learned it was better to be a big fish in a small pond than vice versa. But I got great support from my new coach, and Coach Bradford was also there for me in spirit. Slowly but surely, I climbed the ladder — moving from also-ran to division leader to NCAA champion.

Once I earned my degree (computer science — always have a backup plan!) — I moved to Colorado Springs and the US Olympic Training Headquarters. The altitude and the experts helped me to the next level — international competition. Last year, I'd finished second in the US Championships and a respectable sixth at the World Cup.

That, of course, just made me hungry for more. So I trained still harder, ran more races, refining my skills. It paid off. Two months earlier — I'd won the US Olympic Trials — and three weeks ago, I'd defeated most of these women at an all-comers meet in Europe.

The announcer introduced me to the crowd, first in Mandarin, then in English.

"Representing the United States of America, currently ranked second in the world, Stephanie Lind!"

A thrill of pride and anticipation went through me. I spotted my Mom waving wildly from the stands. She'd made the long, long journey to be here and I couldn't have been happier. We were as close as ever — constantly calling and e-mailing each other when I was on the road. My first commercial endorsement (with Nike) was inked just a month ago — so I set up a college fund and practically ordered her back to school. She was so excited about finishing her degree and all the new opportunities ahead. She was, in her forties, coming into her own at last.

Hal and I made a valiant effort to keep our relationship going — but reality did intrude. Going to college on opposite sides of the country made it impossible to sustain our intimacy and we reluctantly parted ways. But only romantically. We remained close friends — in fact, packed in my luggage was a wedding invitation — for I'd become very fond of his fiancÈ as well. I just hope she'll show some mercy with my bridesmaid dress!

I always knew Sue was destined for big things. She went straight to the Ivy League and graduated from Brown, followed by Yale Law School. She was living in Washington now, learning the ropes as she prepared for a career in politics. I was sure to visit her whenever I passed through the city — we stayed in touch, sharing everything as we advanced in our respective fields. She really had become a sister for me and I was so lucky to have her.

Becky and BMW had married two years ago, when he was drafted by the Buffalo Bills. I'd made the journey back to New York to revel in their wedding. Becky was expecting their first child — and her husband already had a weight set picked out. Boy or girl, that kid was destined to be a jock.

Arleen played out the cliché to its logical end — she'd moved to San Francisco. I'd met her partner — an equally sweet and adorable young woman who would have percolated my hormones as Jack. Arleen had finally escaped Milford, and she had blossomed as a result.

Tamara from Girl School had gone all out — she was married and had her first baby, a boy — last year. Every once in a while, when I looked at their pictures, it still amazed me that she'd once been a normal male — and now she was a mommy. But the glow on her face made it clear she was delighted with the way things turned out.

Not so for Jeri. I made a special point to stay in touch with her — because I knew she was struggling more than anyone. I wasn't surprised when she went to West Point — a military academy was just the place for someone trying to avoid having to be all girly. She became an outstanding cadet, taking to the hyper-masculine environment — and she was now a commissioned second lieutenant in the Army. We'd gotten together a few times over the years — and we always had fun. But I could tell — she still saw herself as a man trapped in a woman's body — and she forever would. Sigh.

As for me? I certainly didn't feel that way. I'd taken a couple of lovers during my college years — and I currently had my eye on a very cute marathoner who worked out with me back in Colorado. I'd really come to enjoy my sexuality as a woman and I took a particular delight in lovemaking with a nice man. Especially when I got to play a submissive role with a dominant partner. My experience with Principal Grogan had only whetted my appetite for such games. I love having a man take control over me in that way. But only at MY choice, and only in bed. I suspect my desire to be sexually dominated has less to do with my femininity and more to do with my own needs, innate from birth.

That passion sure is a lot easier to express as a woman, though. Of course, periods and bras remain frustrating — but cute panties, pretty dresses and those amazing orgasms make up for it. I train hard, but I also love to get all dolled up and indulge my girly side. At the end of the day - I'm very happy to be in this female body. But I'm going to wait before I settle down. I look forward to the time when I'll have the husband, the 2.4 kids and the white picket fence — but not yet. I've got other things to do first.

GB remains a mystery to this day. No one has ever figured out who's behind it — in fact, it seems to be spreading just a bit. The first reported cases of girls turning into boys appeared last year, and if an answer isn't found eventually, the implications for humanity will be very interesting indeed.

The starter called us to the line. I began to sink into my race-trance, while the other women took their positions next to me. The stadium grew hushed as the moment I'd dreamed of arrived at last.

The gun went off. And I was on my way.

It's a great life... for a girl.

Impressum

Texte: Me
Bildmaterialien: Me
Lektorat/Korrektorat: Me
Übersetzung: Me
Tag der Veröffentlichung: 28.03.2016

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Widmung:
I dedicate this book to myself, because I truly believe that, were I somehow turned into a girl, I would be the most attractive, talented, quick witted and intelligent female to ever strut the streets of the world. I only know this because I already am that girl. Minus the girl part.

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