The wooden dining room table was lit by just a single cinnamon candle where a reflection bounced bent out of shape from a glass of wine. The uplight in the corner of the room made everything soft and warm. I pushed the spoon down hard to the bottom of the glass of the home made cheesecake cutting through the biscuit base and pulling a slice on the end of a small spoon. I thought for a moment.
Something had sparked it off. Whether it was a smell from the food of diner lingering in the air, the taste of the wine, the flakes of a Flake on the cheesecake or may be it was just music coming from the living room. I remembered Carl and Amalie. I could never work out how to pronounce her name. Carl would say how she went by two pronunciations, one was an Englishified version and the other her authentic Swedish name. Knowing Carl he used this to show off the fact his girlfriend was not only Swedish but she had two names that she went by. Both which sounded completely different and not resembling the letters in any way and two different spelling which were interchanged depending how he wanted add importance to how great they were. It was like her gorgeous near bleach-blonde hair and Abba-like looks weren’t enough. But they were my good friends from University and so nothing ever changed how I viewed them.
They were almost the perfect couple until one day they broke up. He took me aside. We were walking through the park just a few streets from their perfect home with a perfect cat and perfect bed linen while we waited for Amalie to finish work. He gave me his side of the story, another man, behind his back, someone who was an acquaintance of his that he’d met at one of their perfect and expensive house parties where everyone in their circle of friends were at the heights of upper middle class with clothes and cars to match.
There was another conversation between us a few weeks later. It seemed like he had taken me aside away from earshot of others during his brother’s dinner party.
“She wants a threesum.”
“What? Really?”, this just didn’t seem like her but I guess you never know.
“I was going to suggest my friend Nicola. She’s really hot.”
“Carl, it’s your choice but these things – it usually destroys a relationship. Things will never be the same.”
The cards were on the table. I didn’t see it at the time because it just sounded like another Carl-trying-to-impress things. I really didn’t think anything of what was supposedly happening would actually happen. Some months later, when they finally did break up, I heard a completely different story.
This was Carl all over. Don’t get me wrong, I like him. He’s exciting, positive and forward-thinking and even kind at times despite appearing to be a little selfish but with that sometimes comes an ability to fudge the truth a little. They broke up some months after I had broken up with Maddie after years of the I’m-not-sure-where-I-am phase of my gender issue. It was almost like Carl was keeping up with the Jones and wanted to split up with Amalie.
I dropped the spoon in the empty glass now smudged with thin layers of cheese-cake cream cheese after I tried to get a smearing onto my finger desperate for a little more; that was the negation of my evening run. I flipped open the laptop and typed their names into Facebook. I knew Carl, some time after the break up, travelled seemly to ‘find himself’ and ended up in the far east. This was his entrepreneurial side. Rarely afraid to do anything. I admired that side of him but it meant we lost touch. There was nothing I could do.
It took a little more work to find Amalie. I chose the English spelling but nothing came up. I went back to Carl’s page and his friends list and there she was. So they hadn’t broken their friendship. I wondered what the truth really was. She is now working for a large house-hold name back in Sweden, married and a child. She’d found what she wanted, what Carl couldn’t give her, and that was a marriage. I still find it sad that they broke up. I was also annoyed they chucked it away. She was good for him. She kept his volume in check and he gave her confidence. It was a match made in San Antonio.
I looked at her profile picture, jealous to the ends of my teeth at her looks despite the signs of ageing just a hint like a slice of lime in a glass of water. She still had her shoulder length blonde hair which the bitch in me wants to say she is keeping well topped up. What struck me was her obvious care in working-out. Her arms while not mannishly muscular had tone and shape which contrast against a beautiful feminine satin dress. It hit me at that moment how being a woman doesn’t mean worrying about build and shape. This wasn’t just cross trainer built, let there be no mistake, she’s been doing some weights but neither did she have the arms and build of a squaddie back from foreign shores.
If she can glow with her tone, can I? I’ve always had skinny arms with female looking skin dotted with beauty spots and the lack of any pop-eye arm bulge to compliment no matter how hard I tried but it hasn’t stopped me being afraid of how I exercise just incase those baby spinach leaves in a Tesco salad bag suddenly spring into action and give me the silhouette of broad shoulders.
At that moment I found the photo engaging. It told a story that enough words just couldn’t. It was practically shouting at me that I really don’t have a problem with the body I have for passing as the woman I should be. In fact it’s not passing, it’s being. Hell, once I get my weight back to where I want it I’ll even feel extra comfortable in my skin, my gait and have confidence in my decisions.
It was just another small simple move forward in my way of thinking that has a magnified profound effect on who I am and caring less what others might think. It’s January and soon I’ll be back in that psychiatrists office for another appointment. I’ve no idea what the session will give me. It might be some decision about whether I’ll be going off to see the gender clinic for some formalities or it could be another hum-drum ‘nothing has been decided yet’ days but may be Dr Neil will want to talk and I’ll have something to say.
Until next time.