"i just can't take it anymore," said Terry. We'd been dating for three weeks.
I knew what was coming, but since we were on the phone, it was easy to just
fall silent and play dumb.
"You know what I mean?" he asked.
"Yeah, I guess," I said. Isobel was sitting on my bed, flipping through a
magazine. Terry? she mouthed. I nodded to her, motioning for her to be silent.
"I don't really work like this," he said. "The women I've gone out with
before, it just was... I don't know. More predictable. It didn't feel like
"You don't have to get defensive."
"I'm not defensive."
He sighed. "I guess I'm just old-fashioned."
"But I told you where I stood when we started going out. I've never lied to
"Well, no, not really," he said, and the silence that followed was like a
giant bubble hanging in the air. "I know you're not sleeping with anyone else.
That's not it. It's just that ... you seem so evasive."
"Evasive! I told you, I didn't want a girlfriend/boyfriend thing. I said, we
could go out, and--"
"Yeah, yeah. I know. Sleep together. But no commitments. And none of that
phone call every night. And no asking about where you've been, and with
I was silent again. "It's just that, when I make love to someone, I have to
feel really secure about it," he continued softly. "I think maybe I even have
to fall in love, or just have the idea of falling in love somewhere in the
background. I can't stand the idea that you could meet someone tomorrow and
just ... go off with them."
"Well, I never made any promises. I thought you knew what the score was. Now
you're acting like I misled you, somehow." I sounded huffier than I felt.
Isobel raised a black eyebrow at me.
"I didnt say that. You're never around when I call, though."
"Hey, I have been extremely busy," I said. "Last week, I had three deadlines,
"Oh, save it, Courtney. You'd make time if it were important."
I frowned. Isobel was watching me closely. What was this funny, creepy
feeling running up my spine? Somehow, this conversation with Terry seemed so
familiar, like I'd dreamt it.
"I'd still like to see you," I said lamely. "Can we be friends? And, you
know, if you still want to, you know, I would still be up for that --" Isobel
shook her head at me, and groaned loudly.
"So we'd be friends who sleep together. How convenient for you." And with
that he hung up.
I followed Isobel to the door. "Well, I've just been dumped," I told her.
"Can you believe it? As if I lied to him, or something! So much for that. Oh,
well, he's got no right to be mad. Don't you agree? I never promised him
anything." I handed her her jacket.
Isobel stopped and solemnly shook my hand. "Congratulations, Courtney. How
did you do it? I think you're the first succesful transsexual operation
without the benefit of surgery or hormones. How does it feel to turn into a
I watched as she skipped down the steps. "Call me when you return to the land
of the living," she said. "Or at least, when you find your missing x