When she called my cell I was surprised. The picture in the Hudson’s advertisement was small but it was possible that she had seen the source. The mail distribution of the catalog was nearly a half a million. The photo set was initially for the company’s on-line sales. The published image was of me turned slightly to the left with my head and therefore eyes looking right and a bit above the horizon. The pose enhanced the view of my face without making my neck appear too wide. This image included my earrings; the small diamonds that Giuliana had given me on the first anniversary of our relationship. Most of the retailers requested that earrings not be shown. The dress I was presenting was a speckled black and gray sweater model in part acrylic. The neck was jeweled and the sleeves mid-length. As a model I had little to do with the final selections but I was happy with this shot.
‘Of course I knew it was you Mar, I mean Lenia. You’ve changed so much in thirty-four months but we were together for four years. You look good in the images. You’ve had some work done, huh?’
We hadn’t spoken in over two years but I explained about the trach shave, the rhinoplasty and brow lift I endured back then. For some reason I’d decided to talk with her for a few minutes.
‘The breast surgery was the easiest though Susan. The recovery wasn’t difficult or painful due to the size of the implants I’d selected.’
She seemed different and curious. I wasn’t anxious but on guard. She hadn’t been helpful when I’d started to dress publicly. Her friends hadn’t been harsh, just Susan.
‘Well your dream of modeling certainly required a modest chest Lenia. Most women would have chosen a larger breast size. I think you look great, I mean to say, actually you look awesome honey.’
She paused as I spoke of the latest assignment and Giuliana’s travel plans for the coming month, ‘You know Lenia you sound perfect. The timber in your voice has become feminine.’
The opportunity to become a model isn’t something I’d just casually wanted. I really worked to become thin enough for the work. My body changes were a bit painful but the affect was amazing. Forty months ago Susan had laughed when I’d suggested my intent to model.
‘Marc you can look convincing, I mean you can pass when you’re dressed but you’ve got to give up that silly notion. No agency will ever accept you as a woman.’
– – – – – – – –
Now she wanted to meet. I was resistive. My wife had been a seriously nasty person regarding my decision to dress as a woman. I now could understand why. Her husband decided to wear a dress and grow his hair. It wasn’t a difficult decision for me. I had been playing with makeup and doing some dressing since I was young. My girlfriend when I was in college had my attention and I would do anything for her.
The games Michelle and I’d played were forgotten when I’d met Susan and we began to fall in love. The marriage had been good for three years but she seemed restless and then I’d found a hobby. Her job as an accountant required more of her during the last two years we were together but she seemed to purposely stay way from me.
One day cruising the porn sites I saw an Internet ad for an Asian Kathoey that would be dancing at the strip club downtown. I hadn’t been to a strip club in years but I went out of curiosity. Something drew many others and me to the show. After a few women performed an announcer came to the stage and introduced the main act.
‘Ms. Tiffany has been dancing for three years but mostly in Southeast Asia. I’m happy to announce that she will extend her stay and be here for two additional nights!’
Tiffany was amazing to watch and though I had no reference point I saw the hundreds, maybe even thousands of dollars she collected from the stage. The level of acceptance by the men at the bar shocked me. She looked beautiful and her manner did not indicate that she was born a man but the billing on the door was clear. Her figure was all female though everyone kept looking at her thong for a tell, a glimpse of her true gender. I started to imagine what her life situation might be like. Living as a woman; well dressing and acting like one at least.
My wife’s attempts to change my mind weren’t aggressive but I could see her disappointment. Her words eventually became strong and harsh. She was not the same person I’d met and grew to love. Now speaking with her on my cellphone I was somewhat angry. She and I had hurt each other.
‘How can the past three years be resolved Susan? You said many mean things to me when I was the most vulnerable. I’m happy now and Giuliana has been good to me.’
I wasn’t always interested in modeling. Just since I’d decided to get fit. After four months I’d lost the first twenty-five pounds. During the time of my diet changes I’d realized something about myself. Maybe that visit to the strip club was in part responsible. It wasn’t something I’d thought of a lot before seeing Ms. Tiffany but I wanted to be truly feminine. After I reached one hundred and thirty-eight pounds I could fit into a size eight dress but the clothes looked too tight. One day I decided to focus on becoming model thin.
Over the months my hair had reached passed my shoulders. Susan and I were sleeping in separate rooms. Susan didn’t comment on the weight change. She only noticed how thin I’d become when I’d had my ears pieced. She’d missed the signs as I acquired a collection of heels and lingerie. I hadn’t bothered to hide these. I just used a lower drawer in the chest in our bedroom. The closet in the small room where I slept was full of dresses but there wasn’t a bureau.
Back then Susan hadn’t understood my need to work through this change. She was just distracted and didn’t question much of what I was doing. My job as a book reviewer and sometimes-contributing writer allowed me to dress when she went off to work. It wasn’t everyday but most days I dressed in my panties and a dress when I awoke, she having left twenty minutes earlier.
One afternoon Susan came in the door as I was walking from the kitchen with a coffee. I smiled and asked how her day had gone, ‘You’re home early dear. What’s allowed you to get on the train at two-thirty?’
She just stopped as the sound of my heels captured her attention. Her eyes focused on my chest, which was exposed due to the deep neckline of the Venus dress I was wearing. I wasn’t wearing a bra since I had not developed breasts. Then she looked at my face.
‘What the hell Marc! What on earth is going on? Whose clothes are you wearing? When did you get your ears pieced? Where are you going?’
I stopped and turned to face her, ‘Why their mine Susan,’ and I continued to my desk in the Library, my three inch heels clicking on the kitchen’s stone floor. Called back to her, ‘oh, I had them done yesterday Susan.’
She was still standing at the door holding her briefcase. She could see me from there, ‘But what, why? Can you please explain yourself Marc, ‘ her voice was urgent as she moved and shut the door.
Having set her case down in the kitchen she had followed me into the library so we were a few yards apart. I was standing at my desk, having placed the cup down. I hadn’t really considered now this discussion might happen. She hadn’t been around during the day for a long time and her evenings usually included a workout with her female friends. We weren’t spending much time together at this point. Occasionally we had dinner together but she seemed more remote each month.
I reminded her that she was out with women three or four night each week, ‘So you saying it’s my fault? I’ve got two or three female friends and that leads to this?’ She was now quite upset and had stepped closer.
I looked to her eyes and considered what we had had. Now my desire and her lack of attention had combined to end our relationship.
‘Susan, this is me and I can’t lead a dual life and lie. Your welcome to be with me and try and understand who you’re married to or whatever.’
She gritted her teeth, ‘There’s no way I’ll let my husband just become a woman. You’re saying this is a permanent change? You fucking weirdo, you faggy little sissy. I’ve got too much self-respect to live with a queer. I’ll never stay here Marc, never.’
Late that evening after she’d had a few glasses of wine we’d discussed my change of dress and she further expressed her anger, ‘So you decide something of this scale without concern for my feelings. That seems like a woman all right. But I won’t be sleeping here tonight.’
I was crying a little and my make-up was smeared, ‘No it wasn’t easy. You seemed to be uninterested in me. I just saw a new me developing and you were with those other, those girls, ‘
I wanted her to stay and love me but I could see she wasn’t into my life change.
As she began to grasp that I was serious she said, ‘I can now recall noticing other changes Marc, I mean other than your not visiting a barber.’ She sat down in the library near my desk.
I had wondered if she was sleeping with one of her friends but didn’t ask.
Then she stood up and started walking about and quizzed me, ‘I mean the subtle shift in your voice, the manner and the word usage. That should have alerted me that something was happening. I guess I was too wrapped up in my own conditions.’
After midnight she eventually exposed her liaisons with her three exercise friends.
‘Marc, it wasn’t planned. I just became interested in the first. She was sexy and after a sauna one evening we made love in the deserted locker room. The other two occurred in different places but I was the one who initiated the advance.’
I stood in the kitchen in my dress and heels. I had fixed my face hoping that she wouldn’t leave. She was packing a bag and as I entered the main bedroom Susan said, ‘How the hell did you lose so much weight. You’re as small as I am but I work out three days a week. Marc how much do you weight?’
Susan was near the closet as I said, ‘I’m near one-thirty-five.’
We had separated about three months later; about the same time I met Giuliana. Susan didn’t know of my new Mistress then. It was only after I’d moved out that she asked about where I was living. We let the apartment lease expire as Susan moved in with her lover.
After thirty months these details seemed far away, the past. We spoke for another ten minutes about her recent job and home changes.
Then she said, ‘Lenia I’ve realized that I was wrong to force you out of my life. I’ve never stopped loving my Hus, I mean I’m still in love with you.’ Then she paused and I could hear the soft sound of her crying.
I wasn’t upset but asked, ‘What happen to that woman you were seeing, I mean living with, Denise was it? She was your lover when we separated right? You’ve had a few Susan.’
Our relationship had floundered when Susan joined the women’s club and met several unattached lesbians. The first affairs I wasn’t aware of. I was too focused on my own issues. The day she discovered my pieced ears and me in a dress she acknowledged that she was sleeping around. By then I had accumulated a small wardrobe of women’s clothes and was thinking of modeling.
She seen me dressed to the nines one day about a month after the dress incident, ‘Marc you are going to need a new name. Something sexy and a little mysterious. You sure as hell don’t look like my husband any longer.’
I thanked her for the compliment but she interrupted, ‘Just remember real girls aren’t crazy about suspenders and stockings. Pantyhose are more flattering and with a tight dress like that everyone who’s looking can see your garter clasps.’
I looked to my thigh and realized she was right. A small bump was quite noticeable.
Our phone conversation could have lead back to those painful days over three years earlier but she stopped.
‘We can’t let the history interfere with our needs today. I mean it. I can’t stop thinking of you Lenia. The ad I saw clearly pushed me to try and open a discussion with you. Please agree to meet me. Just for an hour. No one else, just us okay? Please Honey, say yes?’
I considered hanging up. Being rude wasn’t attractive in anyone. As she continued I considered why I hadn’t hung up the call. I heard her voicing regret, sadness and maybe something else. Maybe there was something I needed from Susan.
‘At the Park, we could meet and talk. We could try to see how we each feel. I need to help settle the fears that may be in the way. Please at least think about it dear.’
She went on about her search of my modeling career. How excited she was to see that though only catalog work I seemed to have done work with quite a range of retailers.
‘They’re clearly calling you back Lenia and that must build your confidence.’
I explained that at least one manager had guessed about my gender change but her goal was to sell clothes not enforce a rule or control my private life.
‘That makes sense but it must have been difficult to get started. I mean, getting your figure to meet the requirements and then maintaining it. Models of your height need to be below one-twenty-five right?’
I was sixty-nine inches tall, ‘Actually I’m at one-twenty-one with a B cup.
‘It was Callie’s rigorous control of my diet and her insistence on the low impact exercise. That together with the voice training, posture and deportment work.
‘Working near so many nearly naked women allowed one or two girls to see my bits. My ad manager knew how to deal with the issues without me being affected.’
We discussed my diet and exercise, ‘It’s the coconut water and fruits that made that part reasonable Susan. The initial portfolio images Giuliana paid for were quite good. She’d found and hired a skilled photographer. Sarina was quite good with body shots. Her advice and the selection of the various images and headshots to include were essential.’
She was listening now and not interrupting, ‘At the first interview I was of course nervous but the second one was easy and the first shoot occurred that same week. My anxiety quickly passed.’
I considered whether I could handle the upheaval of Susan coming back into my life. As she talked I was aware that there was still some attraction in me and maybe a small love was covered deep within to protect me. I wondered when I could slip away without Giuliana being aware even if that seemed silly. I wasn’t trapped nor her slave.
When Susan finished her story about her breakup with her last lover I said, ‘Okay, sure we can meet. Let’s say Friday. Your idea about the Park is good.’
– – – – – – – –
I had met Giuliana in a chatroom. During the initial discussion, before we spoke, I’d wondered if she was transgender. She seemed to know a lot about my feelings and was supportive to my needs. Before I’d left Susan I had progressed toward my feminine self. I’d learned to speak softly and practiced my movements to simulate the women I’d so adored. Watching the runway shows possibly trained me to think and move like the models. My body had been slightly changed due to my diet and exercise and I’d stayed away from pills, alcohol and hormones.
One afternoon I was talking with Giuliana. She told me that I would receive an e-mail from someone named Callie. It included her cell number, ‘Giuliana has asked me to speak with you’. I called her within the hour.
‘Can you send me an image of your face and body, please? I’m assuming that you’re dressed. Please spend a moment and make yourself as best you can.’
The request was quickly sent for I had been dressed and fully made-up each of the last ten days. Susan had stopped sleeping in the house over a month earlier. Callie was very supportive.
‘I’ll need to help you with many details, Lenia is it?’
We talked and eventually she visited four times a week. I told her of my intent to model and she suggested that she might be helpful.
‘You’re posture has become nearly perfect and you move very well in heels now. With additional coaching we can eliminate certain male behavioral clicks. Can you do a split yet?’
Soon afterward I had moved to Giuliana’s Coop after Callie was comfortable with my manner, look and style. Two months later the voice coach was satisfied too. That was thirty-four months ago. I’d not seen Susan in over three years.
– – – – – – – –
Five days later Susan and I agreed to meet for dinner, ‘It has to be early. I won’t jeopardize my relationship with Giuliana. I’ll have to be back at the Coop by seven therefore let’s meet on the Upper Eastside. There’s a small bistro I know of.’
When I finished the late afternoon shoot I was able to simply walk across the street to the restaurant. Susan was waiting and she stood when I approached.
‘Thank you for coming Lenia. You look like you’ve just finished a shoot.’ The waiter helped us sit and brought the wine she’d ordered.
‘In your heels you’re a bit taller than me Lenia,’ we were nearly the same height barefoot. ‘I like that you dress so well, with style. At the Park the other day I was jealous that you could walk in heels that comfortably.’
As I settled I said, ‘I can’t drink much. The diet has been tough these past few days. I needed to lose a few pounds for the latest assignment. Next week will be easier but I’ve been on flavored water and salads for a week. I feel a little too weak after the fasting. Maybe we can ask for a cheese plate or something.’
After getting passed the awkward waiter’s starring at my boobs, since my dress had a deep décolleté and I wore no bra, we discussed the changes Susan hoped we could make.
‘Could you see us, I mean surely we’ll have much to adjust to. Your work schedule and wardrobe we can work around but we’d need to try and spend more than an evening together.’
She reached across the café table, ‘I’m shocked how beautiful you are Lenia.
‘The makeup artist who did you today is quite good.’
I shifted slightly closer and looked about, ‘Yes and she works with a filmmaker as well. She has tried to get me to do a sexy shoot with her twice. They’re a couple actually. I met her but I was pretty sure that she did serious porn, not soft stuff. She was so into my gender background that I said I’d have to pass. I didn’t want to end up on some tumbler page.’
Susan was smiling, ‘Having my husband look better in a dress than I do is the easy part. I can see why she wanted to film you Lenia. It’s the sexy body I’m drawn to, but I’d love to spend the night with you to find out how much of our love still remains.’
I listened to her and watched her lips carefully. At the Park last week I’d realized I was still attracted to her. I had been with women; I lived as a lesbian but had also been with a few men since we’d parted. Watching her speak was exciting. She had accepted that I was a woman.
I wondered as I sat listening to her if I could I control my appetite for cock? Could we find her able to penetrate me as I needed? How would I just walk away from Giuliana and the others? They were almost family now and Giuliana had spent a great deal on helping me become the woman seated beside Susan. But she was my first love and therefore as I watched her speak I wondered about how her mouth might feel. I wanted to kiss her.
I shifted my chair again to be closer and I reached my finger to her lips, ‘I want to kiss you Susan,’ we weren’t the only patrons but though near the street window we kissed lightly.
‘That was nice.’
She kissed me now and her soft tongue pressed into my mouth.