John and Silke
Part One


a voice spoke up in Silke's mind a few hours later,

(seems you make a much better best friend than boyfriend.)

She was lying, stomach down as was fast becoming her custom, on her bed. Anger was the first to answer

(bullshit. I was a damn good boyfriend to her.)

(during the three or four hours a month you actually spent with her, maybe.)

Silke tried to think back to her days as John, boyfriend of Ariana. Had she…had he really been that good for her? She wasn't sure anymore. Neither she nor John had every really thought about it, she supposed. John had been something of an absentee boyfriend. But wouldn't Ariana have left long before if it had really been that bad? How remote and unreal it all seemed now! Silke could not believe that only a couple of days separated this life and that one. Just this Saturday, she…John had been bored out of his mind furniture shopping with his girlfriend, and collapsed on the couch hours after carrying the new furniture into her house…

(had been…that doesn't even sound right. What tense do you even use for something like this? None of this ever happened, remember? John never went furniture shopping with Ariana on Saturday because there is no John. John didn't carry the furniture in for her because John never existed. Kevin carried the furniture into the house for her…for her and Silke…her and me.)

With this, Silke felt her neck tense up. Trying to grasp all of this was worse than Evidence. She rubbed her neck with her hand. Unsurprisingly, even that felt different. Her hand was so soft now, like a girl's.

(Not to mention the obvious, but you are a girl.)

What kind of boyfriend John had been, ultimately, was moot, because John hadn't been. There is no John, only Silke, the demon voice from Ghostbusters noted wryly in Silke's mind. And from what Silke could gather, she had clearly been a very good friend to Ariana. She grabbed her diary from the bedside table.

I've been in a pensive mood tonight. I can't help thinking about a lot of things after all Ariana did for me today. I spent what felt like a while looking at her across the table, and I just can't feel what I remember feeling for her…I don't really even have a clear memory of what it was I felt (Note to self: I really need to quit thinking of John in the first person. The confusion it causes just gives me nosebleeds). Not to say that I don't feel anything when I look at her. Far from it! I love her. I truly love her. This John and I clearly have in common. But there isn't even the slightest hint of anything romantic in it. Somehow, I can't even imagine that. When I look at her, I see

See what? What was it that came through so clearly when she looked into Ariana's eyes, basked in her radiant smile? What did she see? It wasn't John's girlfriend, and it wasn't all the nights they'd spent together (somehow, those had slipped her mind until just now). She picked up her pen again.

When I look at her, I see my best friend. I don't have siblings (at least I don't think I do), but this must be what having a sister feels like.

Yes, that was precisely it, she thought, shutting the diary and putting it back on her beside table. She sighed, and felt the same warmth as earlier wash over her entire body. Seeing that the clock radio by her bed read 11:30, she set her alarm, and prepared to go to sleep.

"C'mon, motherfucker, let me see you actually get it past me this time!" Kevin laughed, standing in front of the two trees they used as goal posts. John wiped the sweat out of his eyes with the sleeve of his t-shirt, blinked, and started dribbling the old, dirt-covered soccer ball toward him.

"Give me some actual resistance and I'll actually get it past you," John grinned, feeling the endorphin rush he always got after two or so hours with Kevin and a soccer ball. Kevin lunged in to take the ball out from under him, but John kicked it back to his right foot, safely out of Kevin's reach. John rolled it rightward, bringing Kevin immediately along. As soon as Kevin fully committed to his rightward lunge, John slammed the ball leftward, right between the trees.

John grinned widely, "How ya like me now?"

"Soon's I get the ball, you want to get cleaned up and get some beers or something?"

"Damn right," John laughed, "you're buying."

Fifteen minutes later, in the shower, John was still laughing to himself. He always had a laughing fit right after these sessions with Kevin. The endorphins, he imagined. He didn't want to take too long, so he just lathered up quickly with the Old Spice body wash that Ariana had left in his gym bag. He associated the scent unfailingly with Ariana, and it somehow always turned him on. As the blood rushed downward from his head, he closed his eyes, inhaled deeply, and ignored the sound of the alarm.


With her first breath of the morning, Silke already knew that it had all been a dream. She confirmed it by quickly feeling between her legs. The weight of her breasts was still there, the room was still there, she was still there. Suddenly, she had no desire whatsoever to leave the bed. Why did dreams have to be so goddamn real? She had had her life, John's life, back, as if nothing had happened, only to have it disappear, only to have to open her eyes to reality, this reality.

What a fucking joke!

She angrily brushed the hair out of her eyes and gave the alarm clock a whack. While the alarm continued its serenade, she had at least successfully hurt her hand.


With a sound of disgust halfway between a groan and a sigh, she made her way down the hall to the bathroom, which was fortunately unoccupied. She was too pissed off to be around other people. In this state, she didn't trust herself not to say anything hurtful to Ariana. Her hair was flailing in every direction, and wouldn't stay out of her face.

I've had about enough of this shit.

Once inside the bathroom, she didn't even dare look in the mirror. She didn't want to have to throw something at it. She jerked open the drawer closest to the drawer, which she had discovered to contain her hairbrush, toothbrush, and assorted other things, including, for some reason, a scissors.

While she brushed her teeth, Silke turned the water in the shower on, checking to see when it reached the right temperature. A shower sounded like the right thing just now.

Still dripping from the shower, Silke returned to the bathroom counter. The warm water had calmed her rage a bit, but only a bit. She took the blow-dryer out of the cabinet, plugged it in, and proceeded to dry her hair.

"Fucking hair takes too long…pain in the ass," she muttered as she moved the dryer from side to side for the tenth time. Once it was dry enough, she returned the blow dryer to its cabinet. The scissors caught her eye again.

("How ya like me now," John had laughed)

(I'm not going to cry not going to cry I will not cry even if it kills me I AM NOT GOING TO CRY!)

Choking back the tears proved a monumental effort, but she'd cried enough. She'd had enough of all of it. It was time to take back her life, by whatever means available. Just because she'd found herself stuck in the body of a girl didn't mean she had to be one. And it certainly didn't mean she had to fucking look or act like one.

The scissors.

Silke's gaze returned to the pink-handled scissors in her drawer. A wayward hair in her eye stiffened her resolve. She stared at the scissors. Slowly, her hand moved toward it.

(The hell are you hesitating for? Come on, take the scissors!)

Her hand closed the last few inches of distance, and her fingers

(so slender!)

slipped into the grips. This was the first step. This was the first step toward getting her life back. If she was stuck in this life, at the very least she could tend to be more butch. That would at least be something.

(What is this — The View? Stop beating around the bush and DO IT!)

She took another deep breath; it was time. She watched herself in the mirror as she moved the scissors up to her hair to make the first cut. This was it. The scissors moved, slowly but surely, toward the strands of soft


hair she held in her left hand. She ran her hand along the length of the strands she held, to straighten them out.

(MORE hesitation?? This is absurd. Take scissors. Open scissors. Put hair between blades. Close blades. Cut hair. This is not complicated. Just cut it, for fuck's sake, BE A MAN!!)

Silke opened the scissors, and closed it again, cutting a single strand of hair. She couldn't hold it in anymore. The scissors fell to the counter as she sank to the bathroom floor, wracked with sobs. She just couldn't do it. She didn't know what it was, but she couldn't bring herself to do it. Maybe she felt some kind of duty to the woman whose life she'd found herself living, but she just couldn't wreck the hair that she had clearly spent quite a while growing and caring for.


Her lower lip quivering, Silke put the scissors back where she found it, ran a comb through her hair, and put it up in a ponytail. The impulse, the will, was gone. She literally couldn't harm a hair on this woman's head; she was this woman. Be a man, the voice in her head had screamed. Much as she wanted to, she didn't know if she could. She wasn't sure anymore that she even had it in her.

("Your brain is positively swimming in oestrogen now. Wonder what that will do," Kevin had said)


Copyright 2006-2007, Élise R. Hendrick, All rights reserved.

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