Avril kicked off her pumps and sighed with relief, bending down to rub first one instep then the other. Reaching behind her with one hand, she undid the bra clasp, catching her breasts with the other arm as they fell loose.

“All right, Bobby boy,” she said softly as she sat in front of her vanity mirror. “Time for nighty night.”

Author’s Aside:
I think I’ve got a better handle on Avril now, thanks to a blog I found at https://transblog.grieve-smith.com/. Some interesting perspectives on what it means to be trans can be found there.

The ritual removal of makeup was soothing and allowed her to get a good look at that pimple she had popped the other day. She stared at it a moment, then shrugged, satisfied the blemish left behind would soon be gone.

The daily transformation from Avril to Bobby and back again was unremarkable to her after all these years. She’d had her conversations with social workers and doctors, working girls and drag queens, individuals ranging up and down the diverse spectrum that was the LGBTQ scale. More productive conversations than any she’d have been able to afford with an actual psychologist, for damn sure.

No one had the right answer, she’d decided long ago. Not for her personally, anyway. “Live your truth” was her motto and most days it worked well enough.

Today, though, had been hard. Seeing Granny again, pretending she didn’t notice the arthritic knuckles and slow step. The worry in those faded brown eyes. She loved the woman dearly—probably wouldn’t be alive if not for her—but any time she visited, the ghost of little Bobby Boyle haunted her even after she left.

Daddy had caught Bobby in a dress once—eight years old he’d been then. Beat the living shit out of that boy and locked him in his room for a week. Thankfully Big Daddy Boyle went on another bender soon after, and Granny had been there to unlock the door, dry Bobby’s tears, and take him shopping for a pretty pink ribbon for his hair.

Author’s Aside:
As I progress with this writing, it’s going to be tricky to post excerpts without giving away too much of the plot. Hopefully this last paragraph is more of a tease than a spoiler.

That’s why Avril knew she’d done the right thing. For now at least, that baby was safe as it could be anywhere. What came after, well—Avril scratched the irritating stubble on her chin and grabbed a razor before heading to the shower—that was a worry for another day.

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