Aunt Fey Changed Me Into A Girl — Intro
Everyone thought that I was gay. “I’m not gay,” I said. “I like girls. I’ll even prove it right now if you want to go find an empty classroom with me.” She gasped with disgust, and then I was asked to leave the table.
I wasn’t having my best year. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that I was having my worst year. It was my last year of high school, and it certainly started off terribly. I showed up for my first day of class and saw all of my friends for the first time since June. They were all three inches taller and probably thirty pounds heavier. They’d spent the summer in the gym packing on muscle, hoping it would help them with the ladies in their last year of school. I would have done the same, but my family dragged me across the country for a family reunion, and then my dad made me get a job flipping burgers. And unlike my friends, I didn’t get a growth spurt. It didn’t help that I was already a few inches shorter than all of the guys in my grade. Now I was shorter than most of the girls, too.
But I decided I wouldn’t let it get to me. I did my best to embrace my smallness. I was even planning on dressing up like a leprechaun for St. Patrick’s Day. My friends suddenly didn’t want to hang out with me. They all made the school’s sports teams. I tried out for a few but got cut almost immediately. So I tried to find new friends. I joined the chess club and the drama club, but even those guys didn’t want to hang out with me because I sucked at acting, and I sucked at chess.
So I ended up as the chess team’s referee and the drama club’s lighting guy. There were only two lights, so it was an easy gig. My year continued to go downhill. My parents didn’t have a ton of money, so they urged me to keep working my burger-flipping job.
So I would leave school as soon as the bell rang, and then I would work until about eight at night. All of that money went to my parents. It wasn’t until around Christmas that I realized they were spending it all on drugs, and I only found out when the coroner told me the cause of death. “They both died of a fentanyl overdose,” he said as I sat in the hallway and cried. I had to admit: they did a pretty good job of hiding their drug addiction until they died. I ended up moving in with one of my teachers because none of my old friends offered to take me in, and I was too afraid to ask. I slept on a pullout couch for the next two months as my grades slipped. I was surprised to find out that the school’s teachers weren’t willing to be lenient with my grades.
They still expected me to show up for all of my tests, though studying was terribly difficult when the only thing on my mind was the fact that I was technically an orphan. “If you don’t get your grades up, you’re going to have to come back next year to redo your classes,” my teacher said to me. My stomach turned. I still couldn’t believe that they weren’t cutting me a break. So I think it’s safe to say that I was having the worst year of my life. I was excited when the calendar turned over to 2019, hoping it would be the end of my troubles.
But my troubles were just getting started. I came home from school one afternoon and saw my aunt in the kitchen with the teacher who was putting me up. She rose to her feet and smiled when she saw me. “Kenny, so nice to see you. It seems like it’s been so long.” And it had been a long time, over ten years. I couldn’t even remember her name at first. It was a few minutes before I remembered that she was Aunt Fey. “Your Aunt Fey is going to be taking you home today. She’ll be your new legal guardian.” “But I thought you lived way over on Vancouver Island,” I said. “I do. That’s where we’re going,” she said with a big smile as if that was something I was supposed to be excited about. I nearly cried in front of her, and then it occurred to me that a change of scenery might be a good thing. It’s not like I had any real friends in Toronto anyway.
So I got into Aunt Fey’s car, where my suitcase was already sitting, and then we started the long eight-day drive towards the West Coast. It was a silent drive for the most part. She tried holding a conversation with me at first, but then she gave up when she realized we had absolutely nothing in common. “You’ll like The Island,” she would say a few times a day as if she was trying to convince herself more than she was trying to convince me. We slept in motels along the way. They were the cheapest motels Aunt Fey could find, all infested with bikers, truckers, and bugs. Aunt Fey would wear the same clothes day after day as if she only brought one outfit. And that’s about all I knew about her: that she was a hippy back in the day. It’s the only thing my mom ever told me about Aunt Fey. “She ran away from home when I was ten,” my mom told me. “To go live on a commune.
She was just sixteen. It was ten years before we saw her again. She came to live with us after the cops raided her commune. Apparently, it was actually a cult or something. Fey’s always been a bit weird like that, though.” We were on the ferry, leaving Vancouver when I finally asked Aunt Fey. “Is it true that you were in a cult?” I was worried that I was being taken to that same cult now.
She laughed. “That depends on what you call a cult,” she said. And I took that to mean ‘yes.’ “You’re going to like The Island,” she said again as if I would believe her this time. I already hated the damp air. My clothes felt wet, even though I hadn’t gone near water. My back was terribly sore from sleeping on crappy motel beds. I hoped that my bed in her place would be nicer than the motel beds. “So where do you even live on The Island? Nanaimo? Victoria?” “Somewhere in the middle,” she said with a little smile. And it was true. We had to drive for another two hours after the ferry to get to her little house on the west coast of the island. It was a very small house, with just two small bedrooms and a living room with a small kitchenette.
One side of her property was heavily wooded, and the other side was a surprisingly pretty ocean view. “This is it, your new home,” she said. My room was small, hardly big enough to fit the twin-sized bed that was stuffed into it. I wondered how she got that bed through the shockingly narrow doorway. Every single floorboard in the house creaked. There was nowhere in the house where a draught couldn’t be felt. I pulled out my phone and saw that I had no reception. “Is there a landline?” I asked. “No landline. The nearest reception is half an hour away. There’s no Internet, but with all this nature, you don’t need the Internet.” I had one hobby: playing video games. The only real friends I had were people I’d met playing League of Legends.
I’d never met them in person, but we would talk on Discord, sometimes for hours, even when we weren’t playing the game. Now, I had no way of communicating with them. “Where will I go to school?” “It’s a three-kilometer hike to the highway. There’s a bus that will pick you up, and then it’s an hour’s ride to school. Don’t worry, I got all of that figured out for you.” My stomach turned. “A three-kilometer hike and then an hour bus ride? Do I have to do that twice a day? Are you nuts?” “The fresh air will be good for you,” she said with her warm smile, which was starting to feel a bit condescending. But I was still hopeful that life would turn around for me in British Columbia. I went to my first day of school excited to meet the people who would be my new friends. But none of the guys wanted to hang out with me.
It was too late into the year, pointless to take on a new friend, with just five months left before graduation. I was shocked when a few girls approached me and asked if I wanted to hang out with them.
I was willing to take anything I could get, so I spent most of the lunchtime with them until one of the girls said, “It’s so cool that we have a gay guy in our school now.” My heart fluttered down into my stomach the moment I realized she was talking about me. Apparently, the rumor had already been spread around the whole school, in just a matter of hours.
Everyone thought that I was gay. “I’m not gay,” I said. “I like girls. I’ll even prove it right now if you want to go find an empty classroom with me.” She gasped with disgust, and then I was asked to leave the table. I’m not sure why I said it. Maybe I was just finally fed up with being pushed around. I was tired of having nowhere to fit in and ready to just accept that I would probably spend the rest of the school year alone.
The bullying continued over the next couple of days. Someone spray-painted ‘faggot’ on my locker, and then a few kids jumped me as I was leaving school. They gave me a black eye. So the next day, I decided not to go to school. I hiked out to the bus stop, and then I stood and watched as the bus went by. Then I started walking in the other direction, towards the small town where I hoped to get a bit of Internet, so I could get onto Discord and connect with my gamer friends.
I wasn’t just skipping the day; I was dropping out. I was done with trying. Maybe I could do online courses in a few years if there was even a course I wanted to take in college. But until my body started developing like the other guys’, I. wasn’t going anywhere near the school. And I was starting to think that was never going to happen. The body I had was the body that I would be stuck with forever. At least that’s what I thought.