Posted by: Nom de Plume on Saturday, February 07, 2004 - 12:06 AM
A troubled youth searches for clues about his past and discovers a shocking secret in the final installment of the Family Values saga.
© 2004 by Nom de Plume
This is the most difficult letter I’ve ever written. I only wish I had the strength to tell you what I am about to say in person, but I don’t have that kind of courage. That’s why this letter is wrapped around a video cassette. A picture is worth a thousand words.
Before you put the cassette in your VCR, let me try to prepare you for what you are about to see. The woman who will be speaking to you in a few seconds is me.
I didn’t want this to happen, and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve tried to overcome the impulses that have led me beyond the point of no return. I have to choose between living a lie and being true to myself. Living the lie would be so much easier on everybody but me. I suppose what I am about to do is selfish, but I have only one life to live, and I am going to live it as a woman.
You have been my lover, and now I hope that you will be my friend. All my love,
Jerry read and reread the letter, trying to fathom what his mother was trying to tell his father. Obviously she had written this to him on the verge of a breakup years ago, and they had gotten back together. What was on the video tape that was wrapped inside the letter? And what was the meaning of the next to last sentence?
“I have only one life to life, and I am going to live it as a woman.” Was she telling him that he wasn’t man enough for her? It was hard to believe that Captain Kit Parker, the dashing airline pilot, was anything but a stud. But on more than one occasion, Jerry had stolen glances at his father’s package, and it did look kind of odd.
As he tossed and turned through the night, Jerry came to an inescapable conclusion. His mother had threatened to break up with his father because he was unable to fulfill her as a woman. Somehow, they had reconciled and gotten married. Which meant that Jerry was adopted.
* * *
Chrissy Parker tossed and turned in bed next to her husband. Although he was tired from his trip, he was unable to sleep, knowing that something was obviously upsetting her. “What’s wrong, babe?” he asked softly.
She rolled over and tried to make out his face in the dim light. It was still as beautiful as it was on the day they were married, and she reached out and touched his cheek. The hint of stubble on his chin always fascinated her. “Come on, I know when something’s bugging you,” he said. “Are you that upset about Jerry having a girl in his room?”
“No,” she said. “I don’t think that’s what happened tonight.”
“I don’t get it.”
“After we finished talking to Jerry, I noticed something strange in my closet.”
“What do you mean?”
“One of my skirts was hanging at an odd angle, and when I went to straighten it out, I almost tripped over a shoebox. So I got a little curious, and when I looked in my hamper, I found the stockings I wore last Sunday on top of the things I wore yesterday. Somebody has been into my clothes.”
“At first I thought maybe the girl Jerry had over was trying on my things, but that doesn’t make any sense.”
“Which leaves one possibility.”
“Unless you’ve been dressing up for old time’s sake.”
“That would be a little hard, considering that I was on a trip.”
“Our son has been wearing my clothes.”
Kit started to laugh. For the second time that night, Chrissy was furious with him. “I suppose you find this amusing,” she said.
“Well, you have to admit, it is kind of funny.”
“You think it’s funny that our son is a cross dresser?”
“It takes one to know one. I wonder if it’s heredity or environment?”
“Kit, this is serious. We have to talk to him.”
“And just exactly what do you propose to say?”
* * *
Breakfast the next morning at the Parker house was noteworthy for the lack of conversation around the kitchen table. As soon as Jerry finished wolfing down his cereal, he was off to school, and his parents reminded him to come straight home afterwards. They were driving to Cincinnati to pick up his grandmother, and they would expect to find him in his room when they returned that evening.
One of the plusses of being grounded was that Jerry would have the house to himself for a few hours. He was fixated with learning something about his birth parents, so he resolved to search for information to back up his theory. After he got home from school, he started with the box in the basement where he had discovered the letter and video cassette. After a futile half hour, he realized that the VCR machine was broken, which explained why it had been replaced by a DVD player. He put the letter and cassette back where he found them and retreated to his parents’ bedroom to look for clues.
He knew that there was a strongbox on the shelf in his mother’s closet full of old papers and souvenirs. When he opened her closet door, he was overwhelmed by the skirts and dresses hanging before him. After his close call the night before, he had sworn never to try them on again, but suddenly the urge was irresistible. What the heck, they wouldn’t be back for hours….
Jerry’s pulse was racing as he tore off his clothes.
* * *
Jerry’s grandmother, sitting the back seat of the Parker’s BMW, could tell that something was wrong. Normally Kit and Chrissy bantered nonstop with her when they got together, but this afternoon barely a word was spoken as they drove through the Indiana countryside. When she could stand it no longer, she said abruptly, “Tell me what’s wrong.”
Chrissy turned around and put on a forced smile. “Nothing’s wrong, Mom.”
“Come on, you two. I can read you both. Is it something about Jerry?”
“Mom, do you remember that Halloween when I dressed up as a girl?”
“Yes, you were in junior high. I recall how much fun it was to pick out things for you to wear, and how darling you looked.”
“Do you think that’s why I turned out the way I did?”
“Of course not. Plenty of boys dress up as girls for Halloween, or for plays, or just to have fun, and nothing comes of it. I’m no psychiatrist, but I never thought your desire to become a woman had anything to do with me, or anything your father did for that matter. It was just meant to be.”
“Jerry snuck into my closet and dressed up in my clothes last night.”
“What did you say when you saw him?”
“Nothing. I figured it out after I found things out of place in my closet.”
“So he doesn’t know that you know?”
“My advice is to keep it that way. That’s what I did.”
“The reason I’m sure that Halloween didn’t matter is that I already knew that you were trying on my clothes for years, way before that night.”
“Why didn’t you say anything?”
“I don’t know. Perhaps I was afraid of traumatizing you. In retrospect, maybe things would have worked out differently if I’d confronted you, but somehow I doubt it.”
Kit finally spoke. “That sounds like a vote for heredity.”
“Heredity, environment, who really knows? Have you ever figured out why you always wanted to be a boy? Can’t you just be thankful that you both had the courage of your convictions, and the good fortune to find each other?”
“What shall we do about Jerry?” her daughter asked.
“That depends on whether you are prepared to let him choose his own path.”
Kit and Chrissy looked at each other. “Of course we are,” Kit said. “We’d be pretty big hypocrites if we didn’t.”
“Then why don’t you let it be. That’s what I did, and your wife turned out just fine.”
* * *
Jerry’s hands were shaking as he reached behind his back to zip up his mother’s dress. Finally he got it all the way to the top, and he paused to look at his reflection in the mirror before putting on some shoes. The dress was yellow, and it brushed the tops of his knees as he turned this way and that to admire his slim figure and shimmering legs. He kept his eye on his reflection while he slid his stockinged feet into a pair of white heels, overwhelmed by feelings of joy and yearning.
Her lingered at his mother’s vanity this time, experimenting with eye liner and shadow along with a darker shade of lipstick. When he was finished, his face was even prettier than he remembered it from the night before. He found a yellow ribbon to match his dress, which he tied in a bow on top of his head after using it to pin his hair behind his ears.
For the longest time, he was content just to walk from room to room, charged up by the electric feeling of nylon and lace against his skin. Eventually he remembered what had brought him into his mother’s closet, and he was excited to have a project to carry out as a girl. Jerry knew that his mother kept the key to the strongbox above the doorjamb, and aided by his high heels, he was able to reach up and retrieve the key. Then he took down the strongbox and carried it into the guestroom, where he sat down on the bed after carefully tucking his legs beneath his dress. He inserted the key into the lock and opened the box.
Sifting through some insurance policies and the title to his father’s BMW, he found his Cook County Certificate of Live Birth, duly recording the entry of Jerome Parker into the world thirteen years earlier. His father and mother were listed as Christopher and Kaitlynn Parker. That didn’t make any sense at all! Jerry knew that his father had taken his mother’s maiden name after they were married, which although unusual was hardly unheard of. It was their first names that threw him.
Totally confused, he continued to search through the rest of the items in the box. Near the bottom, he found his parents’ Marriage License. It was issued in Clark County, Nevada seven months before he was born. Wow, he said to himself, they had a shotgun wedding! Then it hit him. The couple to be married was identified as Mr. Christopher David Parker and Miss Kaitlynn Anne Mayo. According to this, his father was the bride, and his mother was the groom….
He was holding the birth certificate and marriage license in the lap of his dress when his grandmother entered the guestroom. Without batting an eye, she walked over to the bed and kissed him on the forehead. “Hello, dear. You look lovely,” she said. Then she returned to the hall, where Kit was just carrying her suitcase up the stairs. “I’ll be down in a few minutes,” she said. “I want to spend a little time with my grandson.” Before he could respond, she took her suitcase from his hand and closed the door in his face.
* * *
Chrissy was beside herself when she saw her closet. “He’s been at it again!” she said to her husband, who had just walked into the bedroom.
“How do you know?”
“Well, there’s an open shoebox, for starters. Let’s see, our son is wearing my white Joyce Selby pumps. What else…my yellow dress is missing, and it looks like he’s been in my hamper again.”
“Like father, like son,” Kit said. “He’s with your mother in the guestroom right now.”
“Did you see him?”
“No, she closed the door before I had a chance.”
“I’m going in there!”
“No, you’re not. Jerry is in very good hands. The best thing for us to do is give him a little space.”
“I don’t get it, Kit. Yesterday you were full of yourself because you thought our son was a stud. Now you don’t seem at all concerned that he’s going to turn out like….”
“Like his father?” Kit asked softly.
Chrissy started to break down. “I just don’t want him to have to go through all the pain and suffering that I did. Why can’t somebody around here just act normal?”
“You’re acting normal, Chrissy. You sound like any mother who’s afraid that her son or daughter is…different.”
“That’s just great, Kit. How can you be so damn smug about this?”
Kit knew when not to argue with her, and he was about to leave the closet when he saw the gap on her shelf. “Don’t you keep our papers in your closet?”
“Yes, they’re in that metal box up on the shelf…oh my God!”
* * *
Jerry hung his head in shame as his grandmother sat down next to him on the bed. “Can I tell you a story?” she asked, brushing a loose strand of hair away from his eyes. “It’s about a boy your age, who always wondered what it would be like to be a girl.”
“Are you talking about Mom?”
“Why, yes,” she said. “How did you know?”
Jerry showed her his parents’ marriage license. “You never know what you’ll find when you snoop in your mother’s closet.” Then he started to cry. Tears ran down his face, and his body began to shake with sobs. She took him into her arms and stroked his long hair, wondering what she could possibly say to him.
“That was quite a wedding,” she said when his tears finally subsided. “Kick off your heels and I’ll tell you all about it.”
* * *
“Stop standing there like an idiot and help me zip up this dress,” Chrissy said with exasperation. They were standing in the Bridal Dressing Room at the Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel, which was tastefully decorated in wrought iron and red velour.
“I thought it was bad luck for the groom to see the bride’s dress before the ceremony,” Kit said, nuzzling the back of Chrissy’s neck while he tugged on her zipper.
“Stop that! Let’s try to pretend that I’m a virgin for once, okay?”
“A virgin bride in Las Vegas? The odds on that are about as long as drawing an inside straight at Binion’s.”
“Shut up or I’ll make you wear this stupid dress! At least then our wedding pictures will match our marriage license.”
“Too late. I already shelled out eighty bucks to rent this tux, and besides, I don’t think I’d look very good in that dress with this haircut.”
“I can wear the tux, and we’ll get a veil for your head.”
“Is that what you really want?”
She turned around and kissed Kit gently on the lips, and he kissed her back hard. “Of course not, dummy,” she said after they came up for air. “I’m just nervous, that’s all. It isn’t every day a girl gets married.”
“How’s your mother holding up?”
“Amazingly well. You’d think it was the most natural thing in the world, learning that her son was going to be a bride.”
“Has she seen you yet?”
“You mean as Chrissy?”
“Yeah. Has she ever seen you in a dress?”
“Nope.” Chrissy steadied herself on Kit’s shoulder while she stepped into her white heels. “Wait, I take that back. There was that one Halloween when I was a kid,” she said.
“Sounds like there’s a story there somewhere.”
“Believe me, she never knew her son wished he was her daughter.”
“Are you sure? I mean, the way she took it in her stride when you told her about us…”
“Positive.” Chrissy straightened Kit’s tie and smoothed down a lick of his hair. “I think you’re ready for those wedding pictures, handsome.”
“I hope you like the arrangements I made. See you in the chapel.”
After Kit left, Chrissy made some final adjustments to her hair and makeup before she followed him into the chapel. Her jaw dropped when she realized what he had done.
Kit was waiting for her at the alter of the Viva Las Vegas Wedding Chapel. He had selected the Elvis/Blue Hawaii wedding package, which included two hula dancers and an Elvis impersonator as the minister. Mrs. Parker was yukking it up with the handful of flight attendants who were able to make it to the ceremony. One of them broke away to escort the bride down the aisle. “What has he done?” Chrissy gasped.
“Come on, the last thing you guys should have is a conventional wedding! Kit thought this would be a nice segway to your Hawaiian honeymoon. After the Elvis impersonator performs the ceremony, he’s going to sing ‘Blue Hawaii’ while you get into your stretch limo.”
Chrissy had a stricken look on her face as she walked down the aisle.
* * *
“Is that how it really happened?” Jerry asked his grandmother. He was sitting Injun-style on her bed, laughing so hard that his sides hurt. He looked down and blushed as he tugged his dress back down over his legs.
“Oh, yes. Now you know why you haven’t seen any wedding pictures of your parents. But it just so happens I have one with me.” She reached into her purse, pulled out her wallet, and produced a dog-eared color photograph of Kit, Chrissy and Elvis standing next to a fake palm tree. Jerry burst out laughing again, so loud that his parents heard him through the door.
“What’s going on in there?” Chrissy asked.
“I’m just sharing a little family history with my grandson. We’ll let you know when you can come in,” she said. Then, with a whimsical smile, she whispered, “They know all about your dressing up.”
“Shall we let them in?” she asked.
Jerry got off the bed, stepped into his heels and put the papers back in the strongbox. Then he walked over to the door. When he opened it, his parents practically fell into the room.
“Hi, Mom and Dad. I never knew you guys were so cool,” he said as he gave the strongbox to his mother.
She handed it to her husband and hugged her son. “Oh Jerry, are you sure this is what you really want for yourself?”
“I’m just having a little fun. Sorry I borrowed your dress without asking,” he said.
She hugged him again, and he looked over her shoulder to see his father grinning at him like a Cheshire cat. “Hey Dad, does this mean I’m not grounded anymore?”
“You can have your wings back. Do you intend to go outside the house like that?”
“No way. We don’t want people to start thinking the Parker family is a bunch of wierdos.”
“Heaven forbid,” his grandmother said, and they all laughed until they cried.
Note: TG crossdress series rated-M
Read Family Values. More Family Values. Read Extended Family Values.
From the author of The Jessica Project.