Family of Me

by Daphne
Updates Mondays and Fridays

Scene 114: Experimental Party

(Libra walks through a house party, carrying a pair of drinks as she floats around the other party goers. She stops for a moment to look around, soon seeing another girl wave at her out of the corner of her eye. She smiles at her, makes her way over, and takes a seat on a couch beside her. As she passes one of the drinks to her and starts chatting, I pull Ivy into the room and take a seat against the opposite wall.)

Ivy (The Companion): What a party! I don’t remember this night at all.

Mom (Me): It’s not a memory exactly — I constructed it from memories of parties I’d been to as a college student.

Ivy (surprised): It’s really busy though! Didn’t we avoid parties like this?

Mom: We did, but maybe we wouldn’t’ve if we had more emotional capacity back then. Libra wanted to give a scenario like this a try so she could find out.

Ivy (confused): That’s fair, but if we avoided parties like this, how can this be built from memories at all? Is it constructed from parties we saw in a movie or something?

Mom: It’s a little of that, but this is mostly one memory in particular. Remember that party our senior year? The one our girlfriend and her roommates hosted? It was intended to be a small gathering of a dozen or so friends, but somehow word got out about it and a hundred-some people showed up.

Ivy: Oh yeah! Okay, this makes more sense now.

Mom: Libra’s doing pretty well for herself, I’d say.

(Across the room, Libra alternates between listening and talking to the girl she’s with, occasionally stopping to laugh or take a sip from her drink. The mystery girl is smiling back at Libra with a gleam in her eye, and the next time she speaks she reaches out to touch Libra lightly on the arm as she makes her point, leaving her hand resting on Libra’s leg afterwards. Libra tries to glance down at it without being too obvious before looking up into her friend’s eyes again.)

Ivy (surprised): Oh wow, I guess so… Should we be spying on her like this though? I realize I’m her sister and we’re technically all the same person, but this feels weird.

Mom (smiling): Libra knows we’re here — she asked me to be here, as a failsafe. A forty-something woman might look a bit out of place at a college party, but the partygoers can’t see me, so we shouldn’t have much to worry about.

Ivy: Huh. That makes me feel a little better, but I’m still confused.

Mom: How so?

Ivy: It wasn’t long ago that Libra seemed terrified of getting attention from strangers. She refused to believe she was attractive, and panicked when someone showed interest in her on the Quad.

Mom: Scene 104, yes.

Ivy: Now she’s chatting up another girl, they’re both being *really* flirty, and Libra seems completely into it. What changed?

Mom: The situation changed. Libra’s still wary of attention from strangers, but that’s not what’s happening here. Amber here — the other girl — is someone Libra knows casually, from a couple shared classes and shared friends. They’ve spoken briefly a few times, but this is the first time they’ve gotten to spend any significant time with each other.

Ivy (confused): Do we know an Amber?

Mom: No, she’s made up. Some of this scenario is completely fabricated, as you guessed.

Ivy: So this is… Her fantasy then?

Mom: To an extent. When we met in the quad, we talked about how difficult it was to feel desirable and the various ways being desired could go wrong. Tonight is an exploration of how being desired can go right. The slow build of getting to know someone over a few chance meetings, growing more and more comfortable with them. Opening up to them cautiously about your interests and discovering you have things in common. Hanging out with them and realizing you have chemistry. Really falling for the girl, then realizing that somehow she’s just as into you as you are into her. Deciding to let her into your world, and accepting an invitation to hers.

Ivy (warmly): That sounds really nice. I understand why you had to build this scenario though — we never got to experience that while we were in college.

Mom (sighing): No, we didn’t. We had a couple girlfriends, but it’s different when you’re expected to fulfill a masculine role. We never felt we could be cute or pretty before transition. We always felt like we were under pressure to make the next move, or read emotional cues that seemed opaque to us. We were expected to be dominant, to act entitled, to get our way by pushing at our partner’s boundaries or wearing them down.

Ivy (disgusted): I hated those roles.

Mom: Of course; they never fit any part of us. We wanted to be pursued, to be caressed, to be swept off our feet. Consensually, and only by people we trust, but we want to be desired *as a woman.*

Ivy (playful): So we’re a bottom.

Mom (smirking): We’re a switch. It’s fun and satisfying to do all those things for other girls too. Still, topping seems completely different as a woman than it did when we were pretending to be a man. Back then we were trying to squeeze ourselves into an ill-fitting role, whereas *this* role fits us like a glove and we can focus on the performance. It’s *so* much more satisfying.

Ivy (satisfied): That sounds… Really nice.

(We watch Libra together for a bit as Amber turns and locks eyes with Ivy. She whispers something to Libra, who also turns to look in our direction.)

Ivy (worried): Uh, Mom? I thought you said they couldn’t see us.

Mom: No, I said they couldn’t see *me.*

(Ivy flushes with embarrassment as Libra smiles and stands up from her seat, making her way over to us.)

Libra (grinning): Ivy! You made it!

Ivy (mortified): Uh, hey Libra.

(Libra approaches and gives Ivy a big hug. Ivy reluctantly squeezes back as Amber hovers a few paces behind, watching Ivy intently.)

Libra: I haven’t seen you since you came back! It’s so good to have you around again.

Ivy (clumsily): Oh, uh, yeah. Thanks for your message, by the way. I really appreciated it.

Libra (smiling): I’m so glad! It’s good to see you too, Mom… Even if the other people at this party can’t.

Mom: It seems like your experiment is going well.

Libra (blushing): Yeah… I’m really enjoying the way this is playing out. I might want to come back to this again sometime…

Mom (happily): Now that it’s been built, you can come back to it whenever you like.

Libra: I look forward to it. Ivy, I wanted to talk to you about this experiment afterwards… I feel like between the two of us, we can figure out some way for Mom to apply what I’m discovering here.

Ivy: That’s a good idea, Libra. I’m curious to hear your thoughts.

(Amber, tired of hovering in the background, steps forward and wraps her arms around Libra’s stomach, her face at Libra’s shoulder. She turns her head slightly to whisper something into Libra’s ear.)

Libra (surprised): Of course, sorry! Amber, this is my older sister Ivy. Ivy, this is Amber.

Ivy (uneasy): Hey Amber.

(Amber smiles bashfully back at Ivy, then whispers something else in Libra’s ear, causing both of them to turn bright red.)

Libra (embarrassed): Uh… We’re going to find a room upstairs, I think… Don’t wait up for us, okay? Great seeing you!

Ivy (stunned): Likewise…

(Libra and Amber make their way upstairs, giggling to each other all the way up.)

Ivy (sheepish): Maybe we should head out?

Mom: Yeah, it feels like that time. Thanks for coming with me Ivy; Libra was excited to see you.

Ivy: You could have picked a less awkward setting… Honestly though, maybe this is good for me. I could stand to loosen up a bit around that sort of flirting and play.

Mom: We both could, dear daughter. We both could.