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Ray and Janby: Frances El copyright 4-10-99
"You WHAT?" He could just hear Jan saying it, her words echoing in the room, her voice trembling with a mixture of astonishment, fear and bewilderment. Yet he knew he had to do it.
"What the HELL are you doing?!?" was what shed said the first time shed walked in on him, after seven years of marriage.
Strange how people never sense that their spouse is unhappy, he thought, forcing himself to turn into their street and drive toward their house. I always asked her how she felt because it was the most important thing in my life, and she never asked me anything about how I felt or why I was doing it. Bitterly, he continued, And ever since shes been the most vindictive person Ive ever known.
Mrs. Pietrantonio waved to him as he drove past. Seems like shes always out in the yard, raking or sweeping or mowing or edging or working the flower beds or something - and watching the neighborhood. Shes both a blessing and a curse, depending on how you look at her, he mused.
"Oh, shit," he said, for probably the 400th time since hed left Dr. Lormans office - just 35 minutes ago. And he heard her voice again, "Ray, you absolutely MUST do this, or stop coming to see me and wasting your time and money. This is your healing crisis. You have to do it. You know Jans only going to get worse."
Of course shes right, he thought, I cant throw away five years of therapy just because of cold feet. Yet strangely enough he felt chilled all over.
"Breathe, breathe, breathe, breathe..." he chanted softly to himself as he pulled into the driveway of their suburban home. Shutting off the engine, he didnt use the garage door opener.
Just walking in the front door will have more impact, he decided.
Finally feeling his breathing smooth out and pulse slow down, he began to gather his accouterments: keys, handbag, portfolio, and the large boxy container from the floor in front of the passenger seat. Looking in the rear-view mirror to be sure his face looked okay, Ray opened his door and swung his leg out. His rayon-blend slacks slipped sensuously over his nylon-covered legs, and he felt a definite twinge of the pleasure hed felt putting them on. As he swung his other leg out, his lacy pale pink nylon tricot panties slithered across the slacks rayon and he placed both feet on the ground near the car to stand up.
Easy, he cautioned himself, Dont want to fall off at a time like this. Carefully he placed his hand with the bright red polished nails on the car door and steadied himself upward, until he was standing comfortably in the two-and-a-half-inch heels.
"AAHHHH," he softly breathed out, both in relief for having gotten up out of the car safely and in pleasure from feeling his nyloned feet in the black leather pumps. Lord, dont let me EVER have to wear wingtips again! he silently prayed.
Carefully closing the car door, Ray began walking toward his front door. Glancing down at his delicate gold watch, he saw it was 3:30. Oh, boy - just enough time for the neighborhood school kids to be coming home. Funny how being outside in the daylight for the first time in my life just doesnt matter all that much right now.
Seventy million butterflies were lifting off in his stomach, joining the twenty million who had taken off in batches during this fateful day.
Ill have to be careful about what happens now, he admonished himself, remembering that first incident with Jan, when she had run at him, screaming.
"YOU DISGUSTING PERVERT!! YOU FILTHY SEX DEVIATE! WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING?!?!" Shed wound up yelling loud enough that the Martins next door had called the next day to ask if everything was all right.
"Everythings fine," hed replied, "Weve just had our first major spat after being married for seven years, and I suppose you could say were both still in shock."
Mrs. Martin had been apologetic for intruding but said shed felt compelled to ask.
"I understand fully, and I really appreciate your calling," Rayd replied.
The warm spring breeze blew his light cream colored silk blouse against him, cooling him a bit. He knew from experience that the blouse was outlining his bra, but he didnt care if the entire neighborhood was standing around. Right now he had a mission to complete. Today was the day.
The front door, this heavy wooden shield against the world that hed closed behind him almost every night over the past 11 years, opened easily to his key. The clicking noise his heels made on the parquet floor was a familiar sound, for hed been dressing up in this house for more than 9 years. One of his favorite routines was to get ready to go out, then walk right up to the front door and put his hand on the handle.
Hed never opened the door to walk out into his own front yard, even after midnight.
~ ~ ~
Today at 1:20 p.m. was Ray Hamiltons "D-Day." This was his turning point.
"D-Day!" My God, have I no shame whatsoever? Such a hackneyed catch phrase! But Doc said I had to have a special name for it, and D is just as good for "dressing" as any, he rationalized. Then he remembered the exercise hed done over a six week period, winnowing down the ways he was thinking about this day. And everything came down to ME liberating MYSELF from HER abuse, he told himself again, and he immediately felt anew the pride hed experienced when the name had come to him.
Working with Dr. Teresa Lorman had given him the courage to go into his past and find the starting point of his need to crossdress, then to work forward from there.
Hed had to do huge amounts of forgiving. Especially of myself for my own perceptions of what is okay or not okay, normal or not. Oh, that hideous Halloween date I had with Tanya! If Id only known that those sorority girls had that kind of reputation!
He shivered involuntarily, wondering if any of those photographs still existed. Standing just inside the front door, he brought his consciousness back to the present.
I wonder where Jan is? he asked himself. I dont hear the TV. I know shes here... maybe taking a nap.
Heels clicking, he walked toward the hall and turned the corner into the den. The room was empty, and he realized he was still carrying the handful of items hed brought in from the car. Putting the large boxy container on the floor, he stepped to the end of the sofa.
Put the keys away, he reminded himself, remembering all the times hed had to search the house for them. He placed the portfolio on the small table by the sofa end and opened his handbag, put the keys in and pulled out his compact. Using the small mirror, he checked his makeup.
Looking at his carefully made-up face, noting the understated daytime coloring, he realized he was checking his nose for oil - and immediately he heard in his head the old commercial for the gasoline company where the man sticks his head out from under the hood and calls out, "Oils Okay!"
The juxtaposition of the commercial and its connotations to his makeup, combined with the nearly unbearable stress of having chosen this day - TODAY - to confront Jan and tell her what hed decided, brought him horribly close to hysterics! But a sharp and prolonged bite on his tongue brought him back to a reasonable degree of control.
Ouch! he agonized to himself, while Whew! echoed in his mind. I should have asked Doc for a tranquilizer.
Taking several deep breaths, Ray managed to get himself back into a place of calm. Now you need to get yourself together, Honey, he thought, and put the compact back into the handbag. Opening the large container he carefully pulled out his frosted light brown wig and slid it on over his slowly growing natural hair. He knew it was in place when the tiny woven hair loops cemented to his scalp connected with the plastic hook strips, almost locking it into place.
Stepping back into the hall and turning right, the full-length mirror on the closet door at the end showed the full figure. As the right hand rose to the light switch on the wall, the red nail polish gleamed in the low light here in the center of the house. And then the light snapped on.
~ ~ ~
"Hel - LO, Robin! Youve been gone so LONG!" Her voice had immediately softened and the inflections were now very different. With the different hairstyle and subtly feminine clothing, the figure was for all practical purposes female.
Inside she felt comfortable, somehow "right." Its like being dressed up is the way Im most ME, she thought, remembering a long series of conversations shed had with Dr. Lorman.
And the time shed come to a session beaten to a bloody pulp, her face black-eyed and nose broken, an open gash on her chin, her anus bleeding in spite of the two maxi-pads. The Doctor had rushed her to the Emergency Room herself, and had come to visit her that night.
Over the next month Robin had told the Doc how it had happened.
"Jan tricked me into dressing up for her one Friday night. Id always prayed that she would at least let me show her how I am when Im Robin, and here she was acting supportive. We had several drinks and were laughing and joking, and she tried on a couple of my nicer outfits. I was in heaven! After a while we went into the den and watched some television, and Jan left the room a couple of times. I thought I heard her on the phone a time or two but it didnt seem important. I was oh! so happy!
"But then there were two guys walking into the den, acting like this was the right place. And Id never heard the doorbell, so I suppose Jan had let them in. I was introduced and Jan said the guys were there "to show me a good time." It took a minute but when one of them came over and started to kiss me, I was completely freaked out.
"That was when they got mean and dropped any pretense of being gentle. It was brutal, and awful. And it hurt when I tried to breathe."
Robin had ended up with broken ribs, kidney damage, tracheal abrasions and some patches where her hair had been ripped out. And one of Dr. Lormans contacts, a very good proctologist, had spent a lot of time fixing that one nights misadventure.
Following the Doctors advice, Robin had gone home after she was released from the hospital, then asked Jan about that night. Jan had been forthcoming, telling her that it was to show her that she was "really a girl" who obviously "wanted a sex change," and "should be shown what it felt like now." Jan told Robin not to worry about the guys, they were "clean" and she knew them, and that theyd gotten rough with her because she kept fighting them. The entire conversation, captured on audio tape, had been duplicated and the master was kept at Dr. Lormans office. One copy went to Robins lawyer and the third went to Jan.
Thank God Doc sent that tape to her, Robin thought, *or Id be a bloody pulp by now." Shivering anew, she stopped and looked at herself in the mirror again.
Remember, like this Im Robin. Look at yourself, Robin. Youre a normal American woman, you dont stick out in crowds, you dont dress flashy, you just fit right in. You arent the prettiest thing, you arent ugly, youre just Robin. This is you, honey. This is the way you are. Relax. Breathe. Remember, this is your right. Breathe. Its okay. Youre okay.
As she recited the mantra to herself, she felt much of the fear go away. Calmer, she reached up and turned off the hall light, then went looking for Jan.
The master bedroom was empty, but the beds sheets were twisted around and looked like two very horny teenagers had been having wild sex on it. There was a smell lingering in the room, which reminded her somewhat of the aftermath of sex, but she wasnt sure. Jans closet door was open.
Thats odd, she thought, Jans not one to leave her closet door open, and certainly not one to leave the bed messy. I thought today was Marcias day to clean.
Back in the hall, Robin went into the second bedroom, which was rarely used except for visits from Jans nieces. The room was barren as usual.
The den was clean, looking as though Marcia had just put the vacuum away. The magazines were still perfectly straight beside the recliners. The back door was locked.
Feeling certain by now that she was out shopping, Robin went into the kitchen to see if Jans car was still in the garage. Looking out the door, she could immediately see that the Ford was gone.
Okay, shes out shopping, she said, and decided to make some coffee to help fill the time until Jan got home. Dammit, she told herself, I was planning on being right up front and telling her this was it - were getting a divorce, youre moving out, Im not paying you anything because you make more at your job than I do at mine, and I want you out of this house now, you can pick up your things tomorrow with my lawyer here. Now I have to sit here and cool my heels until she gets home. Grrr.
Robin got the coffee maker ready, then poured in the water. Turning, she went over to sit at the table.
The white plastic tabletop almost hid the sheet of lined white paper. She picked it up and read.
Ive had enough of living with a guy who thinks hes a girl, and cant get better even after 5 years in therapy. Take this marriage and stuff it up your ass, like Jeff and Danny did to you. Im leaving you for Marcia, and dont try to trace us.
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