Ellen called for dinner a couple of hours later, and the two girls went downstairs and sat at the table, occasionally glancing at each other for reassuring looks, Vicky was absolutely petrified, this could be the moment she would be thrown on the streets, abandoned, with no family, no friends, nobody - but she had nothing to loose in her eyes, but she did have Emily definitely on her side.
"I have something to tell you all, err, after dinner" mumbled Vicky out of the blue, Ellen's ears pricked up at an instant over the sound of a voice in between the clatter of cutlery on plates and such like, she paused as she finished her mouthful and said
"Oh? What is it honey?" Ellen asked promptly but trying not to sound like she was jumping down Vicky's throat
"She said after dinner mum" Emily replied firmly to Ellen
"So you know something" Ellen answered back. There was no answer for a few seconds, until Vicky perked up again and quite placidly rather than getting annoyed,
"After dinner, please?" she sighed, Ellen frowned and also sighed and returned to eat her dinner in a half hearted manner, she had lost her appetite with recent events, Chris and James just remained silent not wishing to stir the fragile nature of the evenings of late. Nothing was said at the table, except for who wanted pudding and nobody did. So they sat quietly by now Vicky was clutching Emily's hand under the table quite hard for reassurance.
Chris took control of the situation and said
"Would you rather talk about this here or in the front room son?" he asked innocently enough, not realising his choice of last word was, not very apt.
"Ok, that would be better" said Vicky
"I'll make tea" said Ellen "and then you can tell us all together what is so wrong honey" she continued. Ellen made a pot of tea, placed it on the tray, five mugs and a milk jug. And carried it into the front room where everyone was sitting, Chris looking at the local paper that had come through, James reading his car magazine and Vicky and Emily on the sofa whispering and keeping each other's spirits up. Ellen poured the tea, but left it on the tea table, taking hers in hand and sitting in one of the armchairs, she sat down for the last time on that seat seeing a son and a daughter on the sofa, Chris read the paper, also seeing a son and a daughter, and likewise James saw his brother and sister, perhaps for the last time.
Chris closed the paper, folded it up and took his mug of tea and quietly asked after a sip of refreshing tea
"So son, why have you been so depressed, what do you want to tell us?" he said
"We don't mind, we just want to know so we can help you honey" Ellen continued. There was a long uncomfortable pause, Vicky took her tea too and sat back in the sofa, she put the mug down after a sip, put her hand on Emily's and then very slowly, painfully, began to mutter some words
"Emily, she knows about this - already. And, err, well she has known since she was seven, and I have erm, err. well. I have known since I was err four" Vicky painfully began
"Is it because you think you are gay?", Ellen asked, because she had wondered for a long time about this and was literally waited a long time for her chance to ask. She apologised for immediate jumping at her with her question and Vicky began to continue...
"Mum.... you are kinda, well not really right, but erm, well", Vicky paused and bit her lip in trepidation "you are right, I do like men, yes. But it's erm, errr, it's err..." Emily clenched Vicky's hand harder "...I'm not gay, I've known since I was four, that, err..." Vicky paused again, shaking with fear "I'm a girl." Immediately Emily hugged her poor sister so hard any air still left in her lungs was pushed out, and a very uncomfortable silence descended for what seemed like hours, but was only a few seconds.
Ellen gasped "A girl!?" she paused and then continued "you mean you think you are a girl!" repeating herself, Vicky jumped in saying
"I don't think I am, I know I am, I'm not gay mum, I'm transsexual" she uttered, bursting into tears, Emily hugged her again and said rather rashly
"Well I always will love her, no matter what, and she is my sister." Emily did not realise that her parents had about twenty seconds to take this in, and she had five years of taking it in
"Sorry, I don't mean to be harsh, just, care" Emily apologised realising her statement though valid and meaningful was not not very much help at that instant.
Twenty minutes had past, with various comments, some that were constructive, some that were based upon confusion, however Chris and Ellen were very careful not to get irate even if they felt it, they didn't want to find their son. no hang on, daughter now (although the thought past their minds, they were no where near ready to accept that this may be the case), lying on her bed, dead from another suicide attempt, they tried hard to take it all in. The theme running through it all was a fair amount on sex and her liking for boys, them probing it wasn't some fetish, or being Gay. Her parents had combined a number of messages from the media, and images and got very confused. They were just totally taken aside by the news that their daughter had told them, they probed Emily from time to time and wondering how she could have known from the age of four even! They had not even begun to rationalise. After a few hours heated debate, her parents though wildly confused, agreed they would have to 'do something' about this and they couldn't ignore it, and that they should help. After all in their eyes, this could change? Couldn't it? Their son, or rather daughter's feminine feelings or being could subside and turn out to be gay, which wasn't a problem really, just they did not expect their first born to be having boyfriends! Mind you, nor did they expect their first born, a son, to be a girl either. The debate was getting a bit heated after about two hours and Chris said that it would be a good idea to cool it off a bit and perhaps try to be a bit more rational, but that would take a few days and even then acceptance was many weeks away of the situation, and acceptance of their new daughter would take a lot longer still.
Emily stood close by Vicky; as they went to bed that night after many hours of rather heated exchanges, but the situation was controlled in order not to cause upset to Vicky's evidently fragile situation. She and Emily had explained she had felt this way ever since self awareness set in, by the age of four and had suffered tireless bullying at school, for her natural femininity and behaviour. She went through everything, trying to express her deep distress at having the wrong body, not being able to let herself out properly, the way she looked, everything, even to the fact that it wasn't that she was single and always had been, it was because if she did have a boyfriend, people would ridicule even more at her tender age, and it wouldn't be right anyway. And to try hiding it all, to try and be what everyone else wants... she just referred to the events of the past few days.
"Well, son, I think it's late and that we should try to get some sleep, otherwise we may end up arguing" said Chris, obviously still not seeing his son as his daughter, not unusual that either!
"We just wish you said something before now honey!" exclaimed Ellen still in shock, though more affected by the horror stories which Vicky had experienced at school she began to sob a bit and Vicky got up to give her a big hug.
"I know it's not alright, but I just want you to know I sincerely mean I love you, I don't want to leave you, I just need help!" Vicky said trying to be as honest and understanding as she could
"I know honey, I'm just, shocked..." sniffed Ellen.
Emily and Vicky stayed downstairs, as they had another cup of tea together in quiet, whilst the other three went to bed solemn and shocked, and not quite believing the week's events, first the suicide attempt and now this their "son" saying "he" is a girl. However it hadn't gone too bad, firstly Vicky wasn't now sitting on the streets, sure the situation was uncomfortable, but it was the biggest relief for Vicky that she would probably ever experience in her life, she just could not believe she had finally said it all, there was more to come, did this actually mean that one day, she would actually be able to walk out of the house and be called Vicky by everyone and be herself, buy clothes she liked, do the things she liked, and be able to have a boyfriend too.... The moment of euphoria was soon relaxed when it set in just how far away that still was, but if anything, she was now closer than ever before.
"So do you feel better" asked Emily
"A lot, a lot lot better" Vicky said with some relief as she took another sip of tea
"Don't worry about things, they will take time now, but mum and dad aren't going to kick you out!" Emily reassured her sister
"I sure hope not!" Vicky blurted out back at the thought
"Well you're still here on the sofa with me!" Emily smiled back.
"Yeah, I suppose I am" Vicky smiled "...do you think mum and dad will ever understand?" she then asked
"Yes, and they probably will a lot sooner than you think" Emily said with some hope
"I hope so" Vicky sighed as she held the mug against her chest to keep her warm.
"They will, they will see the truth soon enough sis", Emily said, still smiling that she could now call her sister, sister openly and maybe even Vicky in time, because she did not want to upset her parents and James too early on.
"Can I have a hug" asked Vicky also smiling, they put their tea down and gave each other the biggest hug anyone could have ever imagined. They walked upstairs to their bedrooms, and hugged again and kissed each other good-night.
"Night sis, love you" Emily said as she opened her bedroom door,
"Love you too honey!" said Vicky as she stepped in her room. She shut her door and turned her bedside lamp on, and turned off the bright main bedroom light, she sat looking out of her window, it was dark but she could see the stars twinkling in the heavens and the still life outside, something evoked beauty in that alone as she looked at the fabric of everyday life, and within a few seconds of looking around her room, at the cuddly toys and picking up her favourite teddy, she held it close, looked at the stars again and began to sob tears of sheer joy, euphoria, relief.... and at last happiness.
Things were going to be alright from now on for this girl.