Status: Updates weekly-ish.

S/he Screams in Silence

No Doubt About It

“Hey, what the fuck are we supposed to wear to the thing tomorrow?” Billie Joe bit his lip, frowning. Looking at Tré, he noted the vertically striped, tattered shorts, and the horizontally striped t-shirt with sweat stains in the armpits, and wished he could take back the question. Ever since he’d dropped out of school and there were no social standards to antagonize him, the drummer hadn’t exactly been a bastion of fashion. It was a miracle, sometimes, that Billie Joe managed to find him attractive.

Tré looked up from the comic he’d been leafing through to see Billie Joe standing near his open closet, transfixed by all his choices. “I don’t know, BJ, depends on if you want to impress the guy or not. Personally I never got much farther in that decision once you mentioned food. D’you think it’ll be, like, gourmet shit?” His mouth started to water involuntarily as images of succulent steaks and the world’s most beautiful cheesecake floated up before him.

Rifling through hangers, Billie Joe answered, “They’re taking us to La Rosa, dickbag. Didn’t you read the letter?”

“You know I don’t read shit.” Tré’s face fell. Cheap Italian shit. Billie’s mom cooked better.

Billie Joe turned around, holding a green button-down out for Tré to judge. “Then what’s that comic doing in your hands if you don’t read, huh?” he teased. “You think this is too much?”

Tré squinted at the shirt, as though considering it deeply. After a second, he said something that revealed the true extent of his intelligence. “Yeah. If this label wants us, wants Green Day, do you think they wanna see us cleaned up? We watch enough music videos, you should know this. What’s the biggest act out right now?”

Billie Joe didn’t hesitate. “Nirvana.”

“Exactly. They’re looking for the new Nirvana. That means they want fucked up, dirty little shits like us who just barely know how to pass for respectable.”

“Okay,” Billie Joe acceded, as he hung the shirt back in the closet. “What’s your definition of barely respectable, then?”

Tré tossed the comic onto the chair next to the bed and walked over to his friend. He wrapped his arms around Billie Joe gently from behind and nuzzled his neck. “Well, we could work up to that…,” he breathed next to his ear, “starting at not at all respectable.”

Emily kept her foot on the brake at the red light, even past when it had turned green. “What do you mean I’m not a girl?” she asked, staring blankly at Lucia. “Last time I checked I had a vagina.” She flushed, whether embarrassed by her own statement or by the fact that she had a vagina, Lucia didn’t know.

She supposed it didn’t really matter, since both pointed at boyhood, although one was certainly more immature than the other. Lucia bit her tongue to keep from giggling, while Emily threatened her with a glare that edged on curious.

A loud blare from behind the vehicle spurred Emily back into driving mode, and the car jolted forward as her foot landed roughly on the gas. The conversation would have to wait.

The two boys lay on their backs staring at the ceiling. Tré was playing with Billie Joe’s hair, which only a few weeks ago had been a whole lot longer, and contemplating something. “Hey Bill,” he whispered to cover what probably would have been a hoarse voice, “do you…do you think that…well…do you love me?”

Billie Joe rolled away from Tré, not wanting to meet his eyes. “Come on, man, you know I don’t like throwing around that word…”

Tré squeezed his eyelids tight and willed himself to have patience. “I know…but sometimes I need a little reassurance.” He moved in to spoon Billie Joe. “And I get that you’ve been stressed out lately what with the potential move to a major and all, but I just feel like you’ve been pulling away from me.” He tried to adjust his ramble: “Not that you’re ignoring me.”

Billie Joe stiffened as Tré ran his fingers along his side. He hated these moments, when Tré felt vulnerable enough to speak the truth they both felt.

“Like, I don’t know if you’re scared or something…,” Tré continued, doing his best to ignore Billie Joe’s obvious discomfort, something he generally tried to mend rather than bring on. “Look, I’m not going anywhere if you’re afraid I’m leaving,” he said, and timed it with a gentle squeeze around Billie’s torso. “I’m not going anywhere, or if that’s what you want I can give you some more space too.”

He admired Tré’s flexibility even as he thought that neither of those solutions would work, not really. He swallowed a batch of unspent tears, unable to tell Tré about the pockets of uneasiness—uncertainty—that bubbled up in his chest and between them when they hugged. The truth was he just didn’t know sometimes, how could you be sure, how could you be positive what love really felt like?

It was a problem Billie Joe chose to not think about most of the time, and most of the time he could forget it. But when he couldn’t it ate at him, and Billie Joe was bad at fending off teeth. “Can we not talk about this right now?” he pleaded.

As usual, Tré acquiesced without pressing the matter too far. “Okay. I love you, you know,” he said and held him tighter, mind whirling with theories. He prodded himself to remember that they were just theories.

Emily had waited to bring it up again until after the sandwich paraphernalia was gathered and put on the kitchen counter, but that was as far as her patience ran. She had opened her mouth to speak when Lucia broached the subject for her.

“Yeah, so what? You have a vagina. Small problem, really.” She waved a hand in the air to brush off the implications of owning a vagina.

Emily gaped at her. “The fuck are you even going on about?”

“Do you feel like a boy?” she asked, draping lunch meat turkey onto a slice of bread.

The question was met with a slight shake of the head. “I feel like I should be a boy, but…. What’s the point, I’m not gonna get a sex change.”

“Doesn’t matter,” Lucia said firmly. “Did you want turkey too?” She patted her finished sandwich, and Emily noticed how much less sloppy it looked than the sandwiches she made herself at home.

“I’ll just have pb&j, thanks. Where do you keep your peanut butter?”


Emily focused on her search outwardly, while her insides were fraught with turmoil trying to make sense of what Lucia was telling her. Sure, she had maligned her fate as a girl pretty much since she could remember, and she always played the teenage son during games of house, and she mimed shaving her face with her dad’s shaving cream before he died, and she cried when her mom made her wear dresses…. And there was that dream she had last night, where every small tear in her muscles amounted to one step closer to being free of the constraints of her body.

“Okay,” Emily said, surfacing with the peanut butter. “So now I’m a boy, what do I do? No one else is gonna think I’m a boy.”

“Whatever the fuck you wanna do, chico.” Lucia swiped the peanut butter jar from Emily’s unsuspecting hand and began to make his sandwich for him. “Too slow.”

Emily just stood there, processing the o on the end of chico. A strange feeling of relief flowed through him, one that started at his stomach and wound up at his shoulders. He almost missed Lucia’s question.

“I heard that band Don’s always raving about—Green Day—is playing nearby next week. You wanna go see them? I’ve been meaning to check them out for a while now.” She handed Emily his sandwich and motioned to the kitchen table.

“It’s not gonna be expensive, is it?” Emily checked, mouth full of bread.

“Nah, they’re not on a major label yet so it should be fine.”
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Yeah, so...I figure now's a good time to write a small disclaimer here and say that if anybody's reading this story and feels like they've learned something new about trans* people's experience, please remember that there is not only one experience and that many people go through different things/express themselves in different ways and it's not the same for everybody. That said, this is just one version of that. Alsooo, I don't particularly condone labeling someone's gender identity for them like Lucia just has. ;]

But anyway I hope you're enjoying the story! Shoot me some feedback and I'll love you forever in the meaningless internet sense of the phrase!