Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Just Desserts by Natasha J. Stillman


It was easy for him.  Too easy.  Tall, broad shouldered, brilliant green eyes, patrician nose, wavy auburn locks.  Girls practically fell at his feet.  At 20, Jacob had been using his looks to get what he wanted for 16 years, ever since that first woman had come up to his mother, put her finger under his fat little chin, kissed him on his forehead, “Well, isn’t he going to be a heartbreaker.”

And he was.

It was almost too easy, but Jacob had grown used to the perks.  He simply slid through life.  Even classes at the university were a breeze.  He certainly wasn’t a slouch in the brain department, but he’d learned that if he feigned just the right amount of helplessness, a girl or three would always help him.  And, inevitably, end up in his bed.  He liked the good girls.  They had the strongest resolve and the challenge was intoxicating. The stronger they were, the harder they fell.  He got off on it.  It wasn’t some revenge fantasy.  He enjoyed seeing the change in their manner.  Some – though not all - he endeavoured to talk out of their virginity as if it were it was a process, like simply chainmail he had to cut off piece by piece.  He didn’t care how long it took – but it rarely took longer than three weeks.  He never had to rape anyone – he detested men who had to force a girl.  He made sure they enjoyed it, but he also made sure there was no aftermath.  He simply didn’t text them again.  And the girls he chose, they weren’t the kind to beg. 

He wasn’t ready to be monogamous.

Jacob stirred in the bed.  The heat from his latest good girl warmed him.  He smiled.  Oh, that one had been more difficult.  Asian, closed up tight like a delicate, jewelry box.  In his Chinese language class, she’d been of infinite help.  The final was yesterday.  He wanted to celebrate.  It was the perfect excuse to have her over.  She’d declined at first, but he’d insisted.  Long, thick, black hair. Porcelain skin.  Always hiding a smile behind her hands.  And, those almond eyes - which she thought were shielded with tiny, wire-framed glasses when peeking at him while they were studying.  It was the best kind of flirt – accidentally on purpose. The small blush that came to her cheek whenever he flashed his brilliant smile was exceedingly satisfying.   He’d never been with a Chinese girl before.  She hadn’t been a virgin, but it had still been a challenge.  She’d had one boyfriend her whole life.  They’d broken up a few months ago.  He decided that it would be to her advantage to get over that with a night with him.   It took one month.  The longest ever.  However, this challenge had been worth it.  She’d been a tiger in bed.  Somehow, he knew that.  This one was going to be hard to ice.

He shifted uncomfortably.  He was getting very warm.  Too warm.  He turned towards the girl, but she was facing away from him, the sheet covering her up to her neck.  He blinked.  Was there a faint glow coming from her?  How much champagne had he drunk last night?  He’d gone all out and cooked seafood stir-fry and brought out the candle lights.  He was fairly sure they’d had sex sober.  He hadn’t wanted to get her drunk.  He wanted her to remember him.  Besides, when they’re drunk, he never knew whether they ended up with him because of the alcohol, or because of him.  He wanted it to be entirely because of him.

Now, sweating profusely, he threw the sheets off of himself. 

A half-scream emanated from his throat.  But, it wasn’t his voice.  It was definitely higher.  In fact, it wasn’t his body either.  Except when he moved, it moved.  Smaller, more delicate feet.  Long, slim, hairless legs.  A triangle of space at the top of those legs, leading up to…

He leapt out of bed…

and clutched his chest.

That hurt. 

He glanced down.

Breasts.  Big ones.

He ran to the mirror, but realized he couldn’t quite see.  His vision seemed to be a little blurry.  Alice had left her glasses on his dresser.  He picked them up and put them on.  His hands flew to his face.

He was no longer a young man.  He was a young woman.  His wavy, auburn hair had grown longer, to his shoulders.  His high breasts were uplifted.  His slim, torso curved in all the right places.  Looking at his reflection with man’s eyes still, his horror was tempered slightly by the relief that the person looking back at him least he wasn’t bad-looking.  Even behind the glasses, his face was pleasingly heart-shaped – although the slightly crooked nose (a hockey injury) remained.

Alice stirred on the bed.  It suddenly occurred to Jacob that this was all her fault.  He felt tears coming to his eyes.  What was this?  Crying?  He sat down on the bed next to her, pulled a blanket around his body and spoke, in his new, softer, higher voice.

“Alice?”

Alice twisted around.  Jacob froze.  Where had the girl gone?  In her place was a young man.  No less attractive than Alice, but nevertheless, a guy.

“How do you like the new you, Jacob?”

For once in his life, Jacob failed to generate the appropriate words.

“Sure, you’ve been as considerate to girls as you think.  But we think you’ve got some lessons to learn.”

“Who’s we?” asked Jacob.

“If I told you, I’d have to kill you.”

Jacob laughed.  “This is ridiculous.  Change me back!”

“Sorry,” answered Alice.  “I can’t.  I spent the last month observing you.”

“That was a test,” asked Jacob incredulously, running through the whole “courtship” in his head.

“Of course it was.  And, you failed.   I will admit, however, that you could have been much worse.  You can at least be glad of that.  This isn’t the worse sentence that we could have given you.”

Former-Alice got up out of bed and stretched.  Jacob noticed, not without a little admiration, that he was rather hotter as a male.

“One more thing.”

“What else could there possibly be?” asked Jacob, voice shaking.

“You are a virgin.”

Jacob frowned.  Well, he hadn’t been, so what was the big deal.
Jacob’s cell phone chimed.  Former-Alice handed it to him.

“You might want to answer this.  It’s Student Health.”

“What for?”

“Now that you are a girl, we’d like you to deal with some things first, medically.”

“Like what?”

“Well, for one.  You need to get a pap smear and a breast exam.”

“What?”

“And, perhaps, if you intend to continue in this vein, you might want to get a prescription for condoms.  Wouldn’t want to have a baby at 20, right? Don’t feel too bad. In spite of all this, you have a bright future.  We think you might still have a chance to turn out for the better.”

Jacob stared at his still phone in bewilderment, as if it were a grenade.  It had gone to voice mail.

Former-Alice put a card on the bed.

“This is my number.  I will be your counsellor.  Call me if you need me.”

“But…”

“You’re on your own for three weeks, though.”

“But…”

“Goodbye for now, Jessica.  And, good luck.  I really am rooting for you.”

“But…”

Former-Alice simply faded away.

Jessica slowly twisted to face her reflection in the mirror.

Her phone chimed again.

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