Y’know, looking back, I’m really glad I decided to go to that party.

I’m an introvert. I don’t get along with most people. It’s not that I have anything against them, really…it’s just that we generally don’t have a lot in common, and there’s so much bullshit small talk you have to get through before you get anywhere real. So I generally spend most of my nights alone.

It means I spend a lot of time thinking. And jerking it, of course. And the one thing that never failed to get me going was imagining swapping genders. Over the years, I’d thought of so many possible scenarios-whether I was by myself or with others when it happened, whether it ostensibly happened voluntarily or involuntarily (because I did want it deep down, of course), whether my mind was affected…it was the one fantasy that always did it for me.

There’s a lot of material out there for those so inclined, of course. I tore through it.

I considered transitioning. A friend of mine did transition, and it explained a lot, retrospectively. And we talked, and I came to the conclusion that it was the process of changing, the transformation itself, that appealed to me more than actually being female. And of course, in all the stories and captions the transformation is always perfect, with the new female’s body being exactly like a cis-female’s, not the way it would be in real life, despite all the advances in medical science there have been. Still, I never completely put the possibility out of my mind.

And then I got invited to that party. It didn’t seem to be any different than all the others I’d declined to go to over the years, but I decided to go. I’ve thought back to the decision, and I don’t remember what made me go, but I thank it, whatever it was.

When I got there, everyone was crowded around a pad of paper with a fairly expensive-looking fountain pen on it. Different people had written things on the pad, things like “Liz has brown hair” or “Ed is four inches taller” or “Nick’s eyes are blue.” And I looked around, and realized that I didn’t remember Liz’s hair being brown or Nick’s eyes being blue, and I guess you could fake those with dye and contact lenses, but Ed was definitely taller than I’d remembered him, and he didn’t seem to be wearing lifts or anything that could explain his new height.

And then it hit me-the stories were true, at least some of them. Here was something that could change reality. The implications flooded me, and my jaw dropped.

Dan, the host of the party, turned to face me. “Hey man, come on over!” he said, beckoning me toward the group. As I got closer, he frowned at me. “You look like you’ve seen a ghost. Are you ok?”

I took a deep breath and sat down. “I’m fine,” I said. “So what’s this?”

Everyone explained how this pen had mysteriously turned up (as they always do) and how they’d discovered what it can do, but they hadn’t done anything really extravagant with it yet. It looks like I’d come at just the right moment.

I asked if I could try it, and everyone agreed. And so, with a trembling hand, half-expecting disappointment but holding my breath and tremendously expectant, I wrote, “Simon is female.”

Everyone’s eyes went wide, and then I closed my eyes as the changes took effect, and I felt my body reshape itself. It happened practically instantly, and when I opened my eyes again I felt unbelievably excited-it happened! it finally happened!-but I didn’t turn out how I imagined I would. My hair was still short, and I was still wearing my old clothes. I couldn’t help but feel a little let down.

And then I heard Nick say “don’t you think she would look better with longer hair?” And then Liz chimed in and said “Yeah, and her tits should be bigger.” And Dan, nodding in agreement, said “She could use some makeup.” And all their eyes went to the pen in my hand. I smiled, put it down, and let them get to work.

I’m back in my room now. I convinced them to let me stay like this for a while. The pen’s really good at interpreting open-ended requests like “Everyone but us will know Simon as a girl named Simone” and “Simone’s life will rearrange itself to fit her new needs.” Not a lot has changed-my room is still fairly bare. But now there are beauty products on my dresser, pictures from my new other life on my wall, and a strip of photo-booth pictures pinned to my corkboard.

Which is fitting, because I love the way I ended up turning out. When I bat my eyelashes at my mirror while I run my fingers through my hair and part my perfect, kissable lips, I thank the forces that put the pen into my life. I still don’t know if I’ll stay this way for good, but it is wonderful to know that, sometimes, the stories are true.


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