From the burning desire to deconstruct a thing I like.
For those unaware, Randoms are short stories based on random ideas, concepts, and prompts that I either stumble across, or pop into my weird brain for whatever reason. They are a segment meant to contrast my novels and novellas, which require me to commit to an idea and generally take me forever to write. Going forward, Randoms will be published on the final Friday of every even numbered month.
This past year I have made it plainly obvious that I am deeply invested in TG Media, which I rambled on about back in January, and as a ‘connoisseur’ of said media, I have naturally been exposed to a lot of it, and am used to the assorted tropes and patterns that many creators fall into. One of the most perplexing of which is the rapid acceptance of one’s new sex and the adoption of a new gender, and as somebody who is transgender, this always struck me as odd. So I wanted to make a story wherein I play around with this concept by giving a ‘TGed’ character bodily dysphoria, thrusting them into a form they are not comfortable with, yet have had to live with for several years, and cannot do anything about it. But because that alone was not enough for me, I also borrowed a few ideas from the Student Transfer Scenario Osmosis, which in turn reminded me a bit of a plotpoint from Parasite Eve, thus leading me to incorporate some light ‘TGed into video game characters’ tropes. …Yeah, my creative process is weird like that.
Oh, and I should probably address the title. In short, I thought about calling this story J.J.’s TG Dysphoria or J.J.’s Gender Bender Dysphoria, but those names did not ring quite right in my mind, and I prefer the Japanese equivalent of those two terms, TSF (Trans-Sexual Fantasy) over the vastly more common western counterparts.
Disclaimer: This work contains adult material including strong language, sexual themes, and an internalized identity crisis. Reader discretion is advised.
Random #003: J.J.’s TSF Dysphoria
I let out a sigh as the sun beat down on my person with the intensity one would expect from a late summer’s afternoon, and without a speck of shade to offer me some relief until the next block, there was little I could do but take it. With sweat dripping down my face and lingering into my clothes, and an assortment of cloth bags pulling on my shoulders and arms, I tried looking internally for a momentary reprieve from my current situation and thought back on work earlier that day, trying to better formulate what I had to get done when I get back on Monday. Only then as I ran through my mental calendar did I realize what today’s date. A discovery that made the burdens I carried feel all the heavier.
Today was August 6th, 2004. The fifth anniversary of my… transformation. The most significant day in my life, where what I had abruptly ended, and a new beginning was thrust upon me. It was a story that I had mentally gone through dozens of times, and found myself blazing through as I trekked forward, hoping to get back home before the intense sunshine, humidity, and heat take their toll on me.
My name was, emphasis on was, Ji-hoon Jeong. 19-year-old, second-generation Korean immigrant, community college student, nerdy disposition, only about 160 centimeters tall, weighed a trim 70kg, socially inept outside a group of friends, and male in both body and mind. I had just finished my finals for summer semester and elected to spend what time I had remaining in my loosely defined summer vacation by plowing through as many games as I could. My pursuit led me to rent a game that one of my friends had praised heavily upon release last year, though I didn’t wind up playing it myself until then. I found myself almost immediately hooked on what the title had to offer. I plowed through the main path, saw the story unfold, and appreciated the assorted cast, but mostly the protagonist herself.
She was strong, confident, capable, and hot as fuck. She was the primary subject of my masturbation sessions the past few days, and in many ways represented everything I would ever want in a partner, despite being the type of person who she would likely want absolutely nothing to do with. Still, that did not stop me from fantasizing as I made my way through the optional content of the game, trying to get the most out of my $5 rental, and see everything the title had to offer. As I continued near the end of the dungeon and the clock trickled towards midnight, I verbalized my overstated lust for the protagonist. “I wish she was real and that I could be with her. Maybe then I could understand women better… and actually able to get my dick wet for once in my life.”
I groan as I reminisced over the fool that I once was, verbalizing my romantic frustrations while doing nothing to better myself, opting instead to immerse myself in escapism. It was a comment that I had made several times in the past, hoping that a sexy lady would just appear out of nowhere and love me unconditionally, while never actually expecting anything to come from such desires. Oh, but something came of my wish this time. Something far beyond anything in my wildest dreams… or nightmares.
The suppressed sound of a firecracker popped behind me, causing me to reflexively pause the game and spin my desk chair around to investigate. What I saw was a small figure floating in the air, one that I initially thought was an action figure as it was a foot tall at best, but as I looked at the figure closer and saw the detail it possessed, it became clear to me that what I was looking at was a living person. A foot tall woman clad in dark violet spandex, with demonic wings fluttering behind her back, a dark complexion, and short bushley green hair that contained two tan horns poking out from the right and left edges of her scalp.
“Ara ara. Now what do we have here? A sad little shit tick voicing their wishes for companionship. Ya sure don’t see one of those every day or anything,” the creature said in a shrill voice.
“W-What are you?” I barked back, almost falling out of my chair.
“The name’s Akumako, and you were fortunate enough to have your wish granted by yours truly. What was it again? You wanted to be with some big titty blonde because you are so inept that you need to rely on magic to lose your V-card? Nothing I couldn’t work up with my eyes closed, hands tied, and legs bound. Hmm… that sounded kinkier in my head.”
“Wait, I wasn’t trying to— I didn’t actually mean that I—”
“Blargle blah-blah gobbidly woo! I don’t give a honk, you made the wish, and I’m just here to make it come true. Seeya never fucker and thanks for the EXP.”
The floating demon lady, Akumako, then vanished in a puff of pink smoke that continued to billow out from where she once was, rapidly encompassing the entire room. The smoke naturally made its way into my mouth and nostrils, causing me to cough as the gas flowed into my lungs. I hacked and weezed, desperate for air as a sharp burning sensation began to fill my form. I felt like I was being held down by a torture rack pulling my arms and legs at lengths they were never meant to reach, but the feeling extended soon to my torso, stretching it out while spreading my accumulated body fat across my person.
It did not travel far though, with the bulk of my gut fat now resting on my chest and ass, where it began to firm itself, adapting what was already there into fleshy mounds. I nudged my eyes open and began to look at my torso as the transformation continued, glaring at the foreign body that laid beneath my clothing, which was both loose on my person and failed to cover much of it, namely my navel. It was lean, small, and devoid of any stray hairs that I would expect it to sport. I drifted my eyes downward to get a better look at the unmistakable breasts that resided on my chest, only to be distracted by the pain that intensified around my face.
The structure of my very bones began to morph and change, with my skull liquefying and reassembling itself as blood and tissue were tossed around in a disorientating manner. My eyes themselves began to burn partway through this process, causing me to let out a vicious scream. The sound was unmistakably my voice at first, but as the shouting continued, I found my pitch intensifying, intonation change, and inflections alter, to the point where it no longer sounded like I was screaming. Instead it sounded like the audio for some random porno.
Less than a moment after my bones settled and face finished rearranging itself, a new form of hellish pain began afflicting my skin. My body was both numbed and felt as if it was coated in pins and needles, causing me to squirm about until the sensation dissipated, only to be followed by a burning sensation that broke out across my body, and a pressure that afflicted my scalp. All I could do was unleash a scream that carried a degree of dissonance as it reverberated throughout my ears. By the time the pain subsided, I was left with my head aching, soreness covering covering every part of my being, and burning sensations lingering across my form.
I finally opened up my eyes again to investigate things, yet I could do little but gawk at my person, at the pale color my skin had turned, at the strands of blonde hair that fluttered into my peripheral vision, and at the bombshell body that laid beneath a poorly fitting t-shirt and cargo shorts. I was confused, scared, but most of all, exhausted. I wanted nothing more than to fall asleep and wake up from this bizarrely painful dream and be greeted with my Saturday. But if this was a dream, it has been preposterously long, and it only continued on as I soon heard footsteps coming from behind me, followed by a familiar male voice uttering the words “what the fuck.” I tiredly craned my neck back and focused my vision on the figure standing just past my door frame. It was my dad, looking down at me with a look of horror affixed across his face.
“Dad, I… I can explain,” I said in a weak drawl, my speech slurred as I tried to adjust my tongue to a mouth with differing proportions.
“Yeah. I know I look… completely different, but it… it really is me.”
“How in the—” My dad said before he was cut off by my mom, shouting in Korean.
Yeah, long story short, my mother wanted me to become bilingual, so she started speaking to me in Korean from a young age, and kept speaking Korean while at home, to make sure I didn’t forget or lose track of my ‘cultural roots’.
Before too long, both of my parents were in my room, glaring at me, still dazed and disorientated from my transformation. They began to shout at each other, drifting back into their native language as they often did while frantically bickering, offering me a second to breathe and mentally power through the many questions and concerned I had about my new person so that I could properly address my parents while their paranoia and confusion was still fresh and malleable.
What ensued was a frantic shouting match between the three of us in Korean, with me attesting to my true identity, my mother rejecting that notion, and my father mentioning that he did see parts of my transformation, and heard my voice change at some point. A deluge of secret sharing, questions about obscure childhood events, and questions about the plausibility of a sudden and unprecedented bodily transformation all followed throughout the night, lasting for hours until our voices became hoarse and both my parents began to accept the preposterous reality that they had been presented with.
Exhausted, the three of us eventually chose to head to bed at around 2 AM. Not that any of us could sleep very well, and led to us all groggily making our way to the kitchen a few hours later to discuss the ramifications of my transformation in earnest. While my parents, at least in a sense, believed that I was indeed their son, it would be hard to convince most others of that truth. People just didn’t spontaneously change sex, race, grow 10 cm, or lose 10 kg one night, let alone all of them at once. My mother, being the worrywart she was, quickly went through a list of things I lacked with my new form. I had no driver’s license, no social security card, and no birth certificate. I went from being a fully fledged citizen to an undocumented immigrant overnight, as she put it. While I ordinarily brushed aside her concerns, she did have a point From a broader perspective, I did not exist in this world, and there was no documentation for me. Or so I thought until, after the longest and most drawn out breakfast of my life, my father discovered a large envelope crammed into our mailbox.
It was addressed to somebody by the name of Jennifer Jonagold, and, out of curiosity, my father cautiously opened it, only to discover that the package was stuffed with assorted legal documents for somebody bearing the same name. A 25-year-old American citizen with no living relatives, a GED, and a checking account that, according to the register, contained $1,000. My father quickly took to the driver’s license, identifying the similarities between my new face and the woman depicted in the muddled photograph, indicating that, as part of this transformation, I had been given a new name and new documentation. It alleviated me of a callous weight that was stapled to my shoulders, but raised more questions about the legitimacy of this documentation, and why exactly I received it.
Further pilfering revealed a note on an index card that has been written on in pink crayon and read the following: “Boss said I needed to give you more than an unmanned truffle’s chance in a pig pen if I wanted to get to level 18, so here’s some documentation I magicked up for ya. No worries, it’s all legit, and I even threw in some extra cash so you can buy yourself some booby shirts. I gave ya some grade A tits, so you may as well flaunt ‘em”
Exhausted from the hectic night and fervorous morning, we all decided to turn in early for that night, as my parents had a lot of things they wanted to ‘sleep on’ and I really needed some alone time to mentally compress. At least that’s what I told myself. In the end, I wound up spending hours looking over my new body. Between taking a shower, trying to find something in a bin of old clothes from my mother and father that would fit my person, and masturbation, I wound up turning in around midnight, when I fell asleep with a hand in my ill fitting sweatpants.
An hour after dawn, I was woken from my stupor by my mom, who lectured me over breakfast over what I needed to do now that I was no longer legally their son, and how to keep my life from ‘crumbling around me’, as she put it. She gave me a list, a schedule, and it was by that document that I conducted the following, days, weeks, maybe even months of my life, trying to adapt to these sudden and unsolicited changes and pursue some form of stability. I would describe the beginnings as being a maelstrom of activity, between getting a new wardrobe, registering for community college again, and revealing the truth to the only other people in my life that I had any reasonable chance of convincing that the hot blonde in front of them was actually some chubby little Korean guy.
It was all a hectic and incredibly busy time for me, so much so that I wound up repressing and putting aside how I personally felt about the transformation. I’m sure that to many people, turning into a young sexy lady would be a dream come true, and while I voiced my affection for the character whom I now resemble, I truly and deeply never asked for this. I wanted to fuck her, not become her.
It is an enticing though, what it would be like to live as somebody else, see the differences in how society treats you based on your appearance, and get to know the more minute differences that come with being another person, at least physically. Hell, I found myself actively enjoying parts of this at first. I was a teenage red blooded boy so of course I was happy to have a pair of tits I could feel up whenever I wanted.
Then things went on and I began to notice the new sensations that my body brought with it less and less, and instead began to focus on what was missing, what was taken from me. I could go on to how weird it was to have itty bitty fat boy boobs to having a pair of D cups, learning to deal with long hair that craved attention, and a complete change in stature. From the texture of my face, the way my hips swayed as I walked, and even how my fingers felt as I typed away at a keyboard or sought escapism with video games. But the bottom line was that, despite this new body being better from a more objective and physical perspective, I found myself missing my old quirks, missing my imperfections, but most of all, missing what it was like to be male.
Over the preceding months, I had steadily gotten used to a lot. Being so limber and tall, being viewed as a white person, and even a lot of the minutiae that women need to deal with in order to be presentable to the world. I had breezed through my classes during my first semester as Jennifer, or Jen as I had taken to calling myself. And I had managed to acclimate to a new awkward yet stable dynamic between my friends and family. Yet I was unable to get used to the idea that I was now a woman. A fact as plain as day when looking at myself in a mirror, and I was constantly reminded of it whenever I interacted with the outside world. I would forever be called miss or ma’am, I would receive common gazes from males between attending class, going shopping, or even hanging out with my predominantly male group of friends, and I would be expected to act like a woman in any and all instances.
I kept reinforcing to myself that this is the way it had to be, that this was my new normal, and that there was no way I could go back to being Ji-hoon. I tried to pursue a new path, a new look initially, picking out overtly feminine outfits, and following encouragement from various store clerks, along with my mother, that I should embrace my newfound femininity. Yet doing so filled me with discomfort, and only exacerbated the bodily discomfort that was developing as time went on. As such, come winter my wardrobe veered towards a considerably more androgynous direction, not that anybody seemed to really notice. With curves like mine, even a heavy sweater and jeans do little to avert a male gaze, and while wearing baggier clothes, I was still reminded by my extreme features regularly.
I then began to look for other alternatives to make myself feel more masculine, and quickly took to my hair. Due to my mom’s insistence, I had only gotten it trimmed up until then, as she thought short hair looked unsightly on a woman. Then one afternoon I decided to chop off a lot of it, winding up with a far more masculine hairstyle that sent my mom into a tizzy. Following that night long argument and rant, I awoke the next day to find that my hair had miraculously grown back to its former length. This led me to do some experimenting that went as far as buzzing my head, but alas, no matter what I did, my hair would magically restore itself the next day.
This news made me truly wonder if it was even possible for me to make myself less feminine as it were, and following an awkward post-Christmas D&D session with my usual friends, I was called aside by one of the two, not including myself, girls in our group. Her name was Faye, and she was interested in how I had been adapting to this, as she put it, transition. I did not hold my tongue, and quickly divulged every detail I could to her, explaining my bodily insecurities, assorted day to day struggles that come with a difference in physiology, and being the subject of casual and culturally reinforced sexisms that I myself had perpetuated routinely back when I was known as Ji-hoon.
Faye listened to my story intently, regularly pushing me to extrapolate my feelings, and trying to pin what was the cause for my, as she put it, bodily dysphoria. While I had assorted gripes about the unwanted changes to my body, they all paled in comparison to my redefined sex. I concluded the discussion by saying that I could very much live with who I was, if I were not a woman. In the end, she thanked me for opening up to her, and claimed that she would start looking into a way to help me. When I next met with Faye, during the first day of spring semester at college, she offered me pills that would allegedly make my body produce more male hormones and less female hormones, along with what looked to be a sports bra that she claimed would flatten my chest. She admittedly was not sure if they would even work given how my body regrew my hair on a daily basis, and figured they wouldn’t hurt to try. But… they did. Oh lord did these two things hurt me.
The next day I popped some of the hormones over breakfast and managed to nicely fit my bothersome breasts into their bindings with little bindings. While they didn’t make my chest as flat as I was accustomed to, they did reduce movement, and made them seem considerably smaller. I went through my day as usual, and made my way to class, yet as my day veered towards an end, I began to notice an increased number of glares from my male peers, someone one starts to notice after a few months, and my professor seemed strangely flustered when looking at the class directly. I didn’t think much of it until I began walking around afterwards and noticed that my previously snuggly fit breasts were beginning to feel constrained by my bindings.
With classes done for the day, I walked back home in order to remove the binder, where I noticed some swelling around my breasts, indicating to me that I may need a larger size. I figured that I would bring this up to Faye, who I planned on seeing later that day for another D&D session. Unfortunately, Faye had to cancel at the last minute, and the other girl had gotten the flu a couple days ago, so D&D was cancelled in favor of semi-aimless conversations about assorted bullshit, mixed between sessions of Soulcalibur and Power Stone. At first, it was almost a bit nostalgic, just hanging out with my three male friends, but as our sessions went on, I began to notice that their usual acceptance of my predicament and ability to behave like, y’know, civilized people, began to wane.
I caught them staring at my boobs, stammering as they conversed with me, and more or less letting me win despite barely having played either of these games, on account of my Dreamcast funds going towards a new wardrobe. It was frustrating, and since I walked in I could tell that something was up with them, but when I asked them directly, they just murmured an excuse, or maybe said that I was looking better than usual today, which I didn’t buy. I eventually got sick of their behavior and bailed, getting out just a little after sunset. It wasn’t a very long walk back from this friend’s house, and I walked the path there and back so many times that I could practically do it blindfolded, so I let my mind drift was I traversed the snowy sidewalk and streets, not really paying attention to much, and certainly not hearing much as my long hair brushed against the inside of my hood. It was precisely because of this that I was caught off my guard and grabbed by the neck by one of my friends, Ryan.
Ryan dragged me away from the street and into the backyard of a corner house with no lights on, indicating that its owners were away. Once back there, he attempted to strip me, ripping away my coat, unbuttoning my pants, and fighting to pull my shirt off. I could not comprehend what was happening. My life as a man had done little to prepare me for anything like this. I was being taken advantage of by a friend of mine, and once I heard his pants zipper echo in the night, I realized that Ryan, that somebody I had known since grade school, was trying to rape me.
As that realization came to mind, I immediately rose one of my feet and stomped my snow boots into his nuts. As expected, he was yelling in agony from a pain that I had unfortunately felt at least twice before in my life, and while this represented an opportunity for me to reliably flee, I was seething with pent up aggression that I chose to alleviate by stomping Ryan’s nose into a bloody pulp filled with chunks of filthy street salt. Once he stopped resisting altogether, sobbing as he was writhing in pain, I realized what I was doing to my oldest friend, and I dashed back home, tears billowing in my eyes from an experience that I wish I never had the misfortune to experience firsthand.
Once I was back home, I tried to repress what had happened, trying to ignore this unfortunate event, and assure myself that everything would be fine tomorrow, that this was just another bad dream amidst the bad dream that had consumed just over 4 months of my life at this point. But I couldn’t hold it in. At dinner, I found myself unconsciously crying while attempting to stuff my face and lie about my day, and for as much as I didn’t want to, I explained what happened to my parents. For the first time since I transformed, they seemed to take pity on me and looked at me with immense concern.
Following a heartfelt talk about the unfortunate things that happened to women of this world, I cried myself to sleep, pining for what I had lost, and wrapped with sorrow at what my life had become. I somehow managed to get myself together enough to go to school the next day, and wasted little time finding Faye and telling her about what happened. She was shocked and horrified by my words, and wasted no time contacting my male friends, encouraging them to gather at the community college campus after school. All three, including Ryan, arrived with sullen looks on their faces, like children knowing they were going to be reprimanded for breaking a vase, and began pushing excuses for their perverted and criminal actions.
According to my male friends, something about me that day made me seem irresistible, so much so that they all wanted to have their way with me, but kept their dicks in their pants and simply ogled me like the timid dorky boys they were. They apologized, but justified their actions by claiming that I was doing something, that they simply could not control themselves, and that Ryan had a heated moment where he could not think about the consequences, he just wanted to fuck me because I titilated them so.
Through our conversation, we deduced that the cause of my increased desirability was the binder and hormones I was given, with Faye ascertaining that something about my body was resisting any attempted masculinization. That, as a countermeasure to the suppression of my breasts and alteration of my body’s chemicals, something caused me to exude a pheromone, something that made me more desirable to heterosexual men. It was a jump, but it fit.
My friends recognized their actions were wrong, but offered paltry excuses for being generally creepy towards me and, of course, trying to fucking rape me, blaming my biology for their spontaneous lust. While there was, in this one instance, a kernel of truth in their words, the pathetic way they tried to weasel out of responsibility for their actions filled me with a sense of disgust, and after repeated prompts for them to change their mind, Faye stormed off, and I followed behind her in suit.
Our departure caused this group to fracture, as tensions were high and grievances were aired in destructive manners. In the end, the only person I was on good terms with was Faye, who I got to know far over the following weeks. We helped each other get over our lost friends, became closer through our extended personal interactions, and, eventually, elected to investigate my body in more detail. In early on in the spring of 2000 we discovered that, yes, the hormones and binders did indeed cause my body to exhibit some type of intense pheromone, but this, along with my magically regrowing hair, raised a number of questions about my biology. Or more specifically, the character’s biology.
The character I was fantasizing about, the person who I physically turned into, was a strong, resilient, and beautiful woman with modified cells that granted her magical abilities, but also seemingly altered her appearance. One conversation throughout the game soon sprang to mind, where the protagonist voiced about how her biology would keep her attractive and effectively wanted her to procreate so that her modified biology would continue to be expressed in future generations, potentially overtaking all of humanity.
While Faye and I were both doubtful that anything that hyperbolic would occur, it was entirely possible that something about my body rejected anything that was done to it that would make me less of an attractive mate. Such as repressing my breast size, cutting my hair, or trying to make myself less feminine biologically, as doing so would, ultimately, rid me of my ability to reproduce. When threatened that I would not reproduce or under the impression that its genome would not carry onto a new generation, my body revolted against me, releasing a pheromone that caused people to want to defy social norms and procreate with me.
On one hand, this brought me a degree of clarity and closure. On the other, it abolished any and all remaining hopes I had of ever truly feeling comfortable in this body unless it managed to, somehow, alter the very composition of my brain, chemical production, and the way I thought. The following nights afterwards I had nightmares about my body defying my mental desires, and doing everything it could to procreate. Forcing me to have sex with men in order to form a zygote within my womb that would gradually grow into a fetus before being painfully removed from my person. And then doing that over, and over, and over again. This fear relieved me of whatever lingering sexual desires I still had, and despite getting occasional sexual urges, even to this day, I had chosen not to indulge in them. Doing so would be an expression of complacency, of comfort, and for all I knew, could lead me down the path of becoming an entity that only cares about fucking dudes and giving birth.
I could not voice these concerns or worries to my parents, and instead only ever shared them with Faye, who comforted me as best she could given the lack of any true solution that existed for my precarious circumstances. Instead, all I could really do was learn to deal with it. With the infatuated stares, with being quietly bad mouthed by various women my age, and with the sexisms inherent to modern society. Deal with it, accept it, and try to find my own happiness where I could. But unfortunately, complications arose in early May of 2000, after I finished my spring semester.
My parents had been becoming increasingly standoffish towards me over the past few months, which I assumed was due to the awkwardness of my life and bodily predicament. They finally chose to voice their concerns by announcing that, due to assorted questions received from their neighbors, questions from family friends and close relatives about where ‘Ji-hoon’ was, and their own personal struggles with recognizing a ‘stranger’ in their home as their own, they wanted me to move out of the house by August. I needed to get my own job, my own apartment, and while they promised to still visit me and help me with my bills, at least at first. The fact of the matter was that I was being kicked out of my childhood home, and from people who previously said that I could stay with them forever, so long as I pursued a career or education.
I did not fight back or object to their terms, and simply accepted them, only asking if they could help me find a place and an occupation to pursue while repeating the summer classes I took last year. They were more than eager to, having already begun the search themselves, and before May was over, I was working as a cashier and had reservations towards a studio apartment a few blocks away from my family home.
It was, again, a shake up to the established normal I had become accustomed to, and as such, I was quick to adapt to the rigormarole that came with working at a local grocery store. Families doing the weekly grind by gathering a cartful of food that wound up costing more than I’d make in a day shift. Teenagers picking up groceries for their parents and putting in impulsively grabbing a candy bar while at the check out. Old ladies who hold up the line complimenting me for my looks while complaining about how things were better back in their day. Old men who ask me to double check things, stack the bags a certain way, or anything to delay the process so they could check me out more. And people who looked over their receipts judgingly, as if they assumed that just because I looked like a hot lady, I must have been bad at math or some shit.
The pay was just a buck over minimum wage and the work was monotonous, but I tried to remain focus during my shifts, and made very few mistakes, most of them being attributed to customers who spoke broken English. With work settled into a new normal, my normal once again changed as I moved into an apartment on August 31st, 2000, which began my time living alone. It was rough at first, as I had to start doing my own laundry and learn how to properly feed myself and not rely on microwavable rubbish. I stuck with simple meals, made them in bulk, and steadily found a spectrum of dishes that were easy to make, agreed with my new taste buds, and were at least fairly healthy. Though considering my newly redefined biology, I wondered if I even needed to worry about what I ate.
Looking back, both a lot and very little happened over the following four years. I graduated with an associate’s in business administration back in August 2001. I got a job as an office assistant the following month, where I was once again exposed to copious amounts of the casual and culturally reinforced sexisms that I had gotten upsettingly accustomed to, except this time more directed and coming from the same people I saw every day. I had expected that, but I had not expected the women I was working with, all of whom were a good 10 years older than me, to be so catty and bitter towards me, while adopting a more cheery demeanour when around my male co-workers. The office politics I was generally immersed in began to suffocate me as time went on, making the actual work part, which I enjoyed, all the more frustrating. I tried to break away for a while, but couldn’t find a decent looking position until I landed a bookkeeper position at another, far nicer, company back in June 2003.
It was a job I learned about thanks to Faye, a person who, bizarrely, had remained my only constant over these past five years, being one of my friends before my transformation, and being my roommate afterwards. Yes, back in May 2003, she finally graduated with her bachelor’s, wanted to save up some money by living with somebody, and as one of her closest friends, she unsurprisingly came asking me to be her roommate. I accepted, and since then we have been around each other regularly in the mornings, where we alternate our bathroom times in the mornings, have dinner together in the evenings, and regularly do things together during the weekends. It was not necessarily a romantic relationship, but it was a relationship I cherished immensely. The awkwardness only seemed to grow between my parents and I as time went on, and while I had gotten friendly with a few of my co-workers, I never really sought to do anything with them outside of the office.
She was something stable in my life, a person to consort with, and whom I felt no need to hide anything in front of. She saw me at my most vulnerable, accepted me for who I was, and tried to make me comfortable with my life, aware of how fleeting joy was for me at times. Because aside from the escapist thrills of video games, she was one of the few things in this world that filled me with happiness. And… that was just my new normal. That’s just what my life was now.
The life of Ji-hoon Jeong wasn’t anything special. It was average, unremarkable, and even a bit pathetic at times, but it was my life. It was my body. I was Ji-hoon… but that was all taken away from me. Now I am somebody who shouldn’t even exist. A video game character turned the subject of male lust turned an actual person made of flesh and blood. As far as the world was concerned, I was Jennifer Jonagold. That is who I always was and, due to my own malicious biology, who I will always be. It is a form and a life that I can never truly embrace, but it is all I have left.
Those words echoed through my head as I finally made it back to my air conditioned apartment, sweat lingering across my brow, a puddle forming around my tits, and bags pulling on my shoulders as I plopped them down. With a hearty sigh, I kicked off my gym shoes, and made my way to put the groceries away. This was my life now. The life of Jennifer Jonagold, and while I knew that I would never be truly happy with it, it was all that I had.
With the frozen and refrigerated stuff put away, I took a momentary reprieve to the bathroom, washing my hands once more, and dousing some of the sweat off my face. Yes, the face that many have compared to that of a model or actress, a symmetrical visage that had not shown any signs of age since I first received it. A face framed by blonde hair that would regrown itself whenever cut too short, and was connected to a body that, due to seasonal heat, I clad in a simple yet revealing black exercise shorts and white tank top.
Right as I began to fall into one of my ‘moods,’ I was interrupted by the familiar sing-songy greeting of “J.J., I’m home!” It put a smirk on my face, inspiring me to look away from the mirror of despair and greet Faye as per usual. While happiness may always be a fleeting part of my existence, it was something that I always anticipated, looked forward to, and gave me the motivation to go on. And on and on I went.
Yeah, I can’t say I’m too happy with this one. Normally I try to set a very structured scope for my stories, dividing things along a small timeline, and keeping events contained accordingly. Here I wound up pursuing a concept that, technically, spanned several years of a person’s life, with the end result being more akin to an expounded synopsis, a la the summary characters from The Saga of Vincent Dawn. But I wanted to explore an idea, that idea was explored, and while it does, in my opinion, warrant a novella or novel, instead of a 6,500 word short story. I may revisit the idea in a couple years, but for now, it’s a thing, I made it, I finished it, and now I’m gonna make a bunch of other things.