“I know the perfect activity to do. It involves exactly zero stress.” Kenzie declared.
“And what’s that?”
“Good old bowling.”
“That’s certainly an interesting idea…” I said. “I don’t think I’ve been bowling for the last three years, but I’m game if you want to.”
“Awesome. The car should still be downstairs, I asked him to wait twenty incase we went down.”
She got dressed again and we went out after I gave my parents a hug and told them goodbye. My dad still had a few days before he had to leave so I could spare one to hang with my girlfriend.
“Say, Did you dye your hair?” Kenzie asked as we rode the car.
I couldn’t fault her for not noticing immediately, I’d gone from darkish brown to brownish red.
“Yeah, Chuan convinced me to. What do you think? I was scared of it at first, but now I like it.”
“Personally, I think that it looks great on you.” She said, leaning on me and exchanging a few kisses in the back of the car.
The bowling alley she’d had us brought to looked like it had been built in the fifties and hadn’t updated its decor ever since. It had a kind of retro, kitschy charm to it. Kenzy guided me by the hand to the shoes rental locker, checking our shoes in as collateral.
There were a quite a few other groups in the alley but it wasn’t packed. We got to our assigned lane and dropped our stuff.
“Want to see if the others want to join us?” Kenzie asked. “We’ll have time for a game ourselves and another with whoever shows up.”
She opened her phone and sent a text to the others, setting it aside. A few minutes later, it beep to inform her that Chuan had answered.
“Chuan and Jessie are up for a game.” She said.
We decided to order food before beginning and play a few frames before it was ready. Kenzie immediately began kicking my butt, generally managing to score spares on most frames, she wasn’t perfect but she was good enough.
My order was called first and I got up to get it, watching as Kenzie scored yet another spare.
“I’m starting to think that either those balls have metal in them or you’ve played way this game far more than any healthy person ever should.” I said, coming back with a basket loaded with sweet potato fries and chicken fingers along with a chili dip.
“Hey, cut me a break, bowling and minigolf are like the only two sports I can actually play normally and it’s a little too snowy for the latter.”
“I guess it’s fun enough even if you’re mercilessly crushing me.” I said, shoving a handful of fries into my mouth.
“You will receive no mercy from me.” She said as I took my next turn, scoring yet another gutter ball.
“So… I’m thinking about doing something very stupid.” Kenzie said, stealing a few fries from my basket.
“I saw that they have those giant milkshake things and I always wanted to try those.”
“Are you going to be okay with your lactose intolerance?”
“Yeah, it’s not going to be fun in a while, but not like an allergic reaction; it’s more unpleasant than awful or dangerous; it's cramps, bloating and et cetera. So, what do you think about strawberry and we share it?”
“That sounds perfect.”
She got up and ordered it, the guy made it right in front of us, with scoops and ice cream and a blender rather than rely on a dedicated machine. He gave it to use and she asked for an extra straw. The bowling alley wasn’t exactly meant for the mushy romantic milkshake drinking, it was a little awkward holding it between us as we sat in parallel and sipped from it, but still it was kind of fun.
We took our time, finishing eating and our game. Jessie and Chuan joined us after about fifteen minutes of wait. She was wearing a thick winter dress with equally thick striped tights. Chuan however was more surprising, he wore a long skirt, girly bracelets and a black tiered top, his chest was unbound and he had makeup on.
If you ask me, he looked really cute...
“Hey girls.” He said. “Having fun?”
“We are. One of those day, eh Chuan?” Kenzie answered.
“Yep. I felt like being cute today.”
“Mission accomplished.” I said without really realizing.
They all looked at me in answer and I focused on picking leftover crumbs from the greasy paper that lined my food basket.
“Awww… Paige likes me.” Chuan said, sitting down next to me.
“I didn’t expect to see you like that is all.”
“It’s kind of funny, and by that I mean it’s B.S, feminine gay guy, nobody bats an eye. but makes that a feminine transgender gay guy and now it’s weird.”
I wasn’t sure what to answer and bit my lip trying to think of what to say when Chuan wrapped an arm around me.
“Relax. Let’s just get this party started.”
We got the second game going, taking over an hour this time. Kenzie kicked our assess so the real contest was between Jessie, Chuan and I. She ended up winning by twelve points over me while Chuan finished last.
“Well that was fun, even if you guys kicked my butt.” Chuan said, getting his shoes back, “Jessie and I are going to the mall. It’s our girly shopping day. Do you want to come with, although Kenzie here is going to be bored out of her skull.”
“Girly shopping day?”
“That’s when I dress like this and shop the girl’s sections, I can do it in my normal duds, but it gets awkward and I sometimes have to argue, plus Jessie is a great second opinion.”
“I like ‘girl’ clothes, I’d probably wear them more often if it wasn’t for all the constant misgendering I have to endure because of them.” He explained, putting air quotes on the world ‘girl’ with his fingers. “I’ve always loved the way a skirt moves around, the feeling of freshly shaved legs, wearing clothes that makes me feel cute and sexy in my body.”
“Want to go with them?” I asked Kenzie.
We ended up following the two of them around the mall as they went to as many store as they could. Once in awhile one of them would insist I try something on and at the end of the day I was left with a modest bag of what I had agreed to let them buy me, having rejected quite a lot as to not get swamped by gifts.
When the mall closed, we took a taxi to my place.
“Mind if I go to sleep early?” I asked, yawning. “I didn’t sleep last night. Stress and all.”
“We can sleep early. Mind if I borrow your shower first?”
“Make yourself at home.”
I took the time to make the bed, which I’d left a mess all day and soon enough Kenzie came out of the shower, wearing nothing but a shirt, her panties and a towel around her legs. She sat down on the bed and undid her braces, having only worn them for the handful of yards between the bathroom and my room.
She pulled me gently closer and dragged me into a slow prolonged kiss.
“You know, I was thinking about what we said this morning and you offering to do it and I had an idea about something we could try.” She said once we broke away.
Before I could react, she put a hand on my shoulder.
“Don’t start panicking just yet. I’m talking about baby steps, no big leap into things.”
“Okay… What did you have in mind?”
“What do you say for now that when we’re sleeping together you take off your hoodie? You can keep your tee and your jeans and sometime down the road, when you feel entirely comfortable with me, you take another bit off. How does that sound?”
“It’s doable, I think I can manage that kind of baby step.”
I unzipped my hoodie and put it on the night table, leaving me in a tee and jeans. Kenzie wriggled closer and hugged me. It was nice, feeling her skin on mine and being a little closer than usual.
“You made your first step toward trusting me, now it’s my turn. Would you like to massage my legs?”
“Me massaging your legs is a step?”
“I don’t like when people touch my legs, call attention to my disability or when people help me with my with it.
When I ask for help it’s me admitting vulnerability and people often treat you differently when you do. When I was younger, I used a wheelchair and people change when you’re in a chair, they don’t know how to behave with you, they’re uncomfortable with your existence and they treat you like a child.”
“It’s alright. I’m just glad that we’re opening up.”
“I didn’t know you were insecure.”
“I’m not some invincible wonder girl, Paige; I’m insecure as hell, I’m scared out of my mind and I doubt myself a lot. I’m terrified of what people will think of me, my sexuality, my disability. So I put on a tough attitude for others to protect myself...” She hopped into position on the bed, using her arms to lift herself up and she rolled onto her tummy. Her bare legs were always nice too look at, despite her disability, she had good musculature and flesh. She didn’t shave, but that didn’t bother me.
“So, about that massage?” She asked playfully, taking me away from my admiring.
“I’d be happy to help you.”
I got up and retrieved the pot of cream she'd left here from it’s usual place as Kenzie rolled over onto her belly. I scooped some of the cream with my finger and put it on her first leg before gently rubbing it in. I focused on the task, feeling her stiff muscles under my fingers, trying not to think about how sexy she was.
“Like that?” I asked.
“Yes, that’s perfect.” She mewled.
“Does it help?”
“In the grand scheme of things it doesn’t do much of anything, but the temporary relief it brings helps me relax.”
“Well, I’m glad to help.”
I changed leg and massaged it with another helping of cream. She let out of small pleasured inspirations from time to time.
“Thank you.” She said, rolling around on her side. “Sleep time?”
“That would be great.”
She wrapped her arms around my tummy, gave me a gently kiss on the neck. I drifted into unconsciousness quickly, just happy that all the drama was finally over with for good.