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Drama Coming of Age Transgender

“Nicholas Martin Hall, get down here right now!”

Nicholas froze as his mother called out for him. His brother, Malcolm, just started laughing at him.

“You’re in trouble!”

“Shut up!”

Trying his best to ignore his brother’s mocking, Nicholas left their room and quickly hopped down the stairs. Their mother sat in the kitchen, glaring at thick piece of paper. Nicholas could see the red marker bleeding through to the other side of the page. As he approached her, his mother lowered the paper onto the table, spinning it so that Nicholas could read it. It was an old school project from earlier that year. The large, circled D in the corner made him grimace. 

“So, care to explain why I found this in your bag, Nicholas?”

“...I’m sorry.”

Nicholas stared down at the ground, becoming completely passive and quiet. His mother rolled her eyes and let out a frustrated sigh.

“Saying ‘sorry’ isn’t going to cut it! You need to stop being so lazy and actually start caring about school, got it? I don’t want to see anything below a B from now on, or else I’ll get the hammer and smash your Xbox.”

Nicholas raised his head quickly, now starting to panic. 

“What? You can’t do that!”

“I paid for it, I can do whatever I want to it!”

Nicholas opened his mouth to argue, but the look on his mother’s face kept him quiet. She gripped the project in her hand, crumpling it slightly. Nicholas just looked away again, trying his best not to cry. Last time he cried in front of his mother, she smacked him across the face and told him to shut up. Instead, he turned around and ran back up to his room, his hand covering his quivering lip. He slammed the door behind him when he entered.

“Stupid. Stupid!”

Nicholas kicked over the small garbage can in his room, spilling candy wrappers and paper balls across the floor. Malcolm was taken aback. 

“Hey! What was that for?”

Nicholas didn’t answer. He climbed into the bottom bunk of their bunkbed and buried his head in his pillow. It was meant to muffle his crying and frustration, but he found that he wasn’t making any sound at all. Malcolm came up beside the bed, tilting his head and staring at Nicholas.

“...You okay?”

Nicholas turned his head over, expression sour. 

“Nicholas?”

Nicholas shook his head.

“I don’t like that anymore. I wanna be Nick.”

Malcolm looked a bit confused, but he just shrugged.

“Sure, you can be Nick.”


-


“Nick! Hurry up!”

“Yeah, yeah, just give me a second.”

Nick forced as much as he needed into the old suitcase, pressing down on the pile of unfolded clothes and miscellaneous nicknacks. He was just barely able to pull the zipper closed before handing it over to Malcolm, who took it and tossed it out of the window he was leaning out of. 

“That all of it?”

“Uh, yeah, I think we’re good.”

With a quick nod, Malcolm made one final check that the makeshift, bedsheet rope he made was secure before beginning to climb down to the front yard. Nick took one final look at their childhood bedroom before following. The cold night air hit him like a bucket of ice water, refocusing him and making him more alert of what he was doing. Once they reached the ground, they gathered their belongings and began sprinting down the road to where their ride was waiting. As his feet hit the cement, Nick couldn’t help but smile as the adrenaline pumped through his entire being. He glanced over at Malcolm, who seemed to be just as gitty. Around the corner and down the block, their mutual friend Tony was sticking his head out the drivers side window, gesturing for them to get in his truck. The brothers jumped in the back seat, laughing as they caught their breath. 

“How’d it go? Did she see you?”

Malcolm raised his head and flashed Tony a smile. 

“Nah man, we were out of there like nothing! She won’t be on to us ‘til morning, I’m telling you. Now come on, let’s get lost.”

Tony grinned at them, revealed. He hit the gas, driving down the quiet roads towards the edge of town and beyond, taking the brothers far away from this place. 

“So, I know a place we can crash if you want, or we can keep driving for the night and sleep in the morning. Personally, I can keep driving, but I figured you two might be a bit worn out.”

Malcolm shrugged. 

“I don’t care. I can sleep in the car. Nick?”

Nick frowned, thinking. He wanted to keep driving for the night, that part was easy. But something was bothering him. 

“...We can keep going. But, uh…”

He hesitated for a moment, considering the right way to phrase his thoughts.

“What if y’all started calling me Nicky?”

“Nicky? Man, my aunt’s name is Nicky! That’s a chick’s name.”

Malcolm rolled his eyes at Tony. Nicky felt oddly defencive, though he couldn’t quite place why. 

“Come on man, it’s gender neutral!” 

“Fine, fine, whatever you say, Nicky.”


-


“Nicky?”

Nicky wasn’t looking at Malcolm. He rested his head on his hand, looking out the dirty window of their crappy apartment. He knew what he wanted to say to him, but the words were caught in his throat. 

“I…”

Malcolm waited as patiently as he could, though the suspense was making him restless. It was clear that Nicky was troubled by something, though what that was, he had no clue. 

“Nicky...you can tell me anything, y’know that? We’ve stuck together through much worse than whatever you’re about to say, trust me.”

Nicky still looked unconvinced. He tapped his fingers anxiously against the table. 

“Come on man, we’re brothers! You don’t gotta hide anything from me.”

Nicky stopped tapping on the table. The kitchen became quiet as Nicky made up his mind.

“And...what if I’m not your brother?”

Malcolm looked taken aback. Panic set in behind his eyes. 

“What? What are you saying, you’re just gonna leave the only family you got left? Why?”

“What? No! No, nothing like that!”

Nicky finally looked at Malcolm. 

“I’m a girl, Malcolm. I’m trans. I just...That’s all I wanted to say.”

Malcolm’s expression was difficult to read. Nicky looked away again, tensely waiting for whatever he had to say. Malcolm just started laughing.

“Jeez, almost gave me a heart attack! Though you had cancer or some shit, what with how serious you were. Yeah, that’s fine, thanks for lettin’ me know.”

Nicky could feel the pressure coming off of her as her brother laughed. She finally let out the breath she had been holding, relaxing against the back of her chair.

“Thank God. You have no idea how much I was stressing over that.”

“Oh come on, give me a little credit! I’m no bigot, you know that.”

“Yeah, yeah.”

A smile made its way across Nicky’s face as the tense feeling the room disappeared without a trace. 

“So, like, is there anything you need from me? Like, I dunno, new clothes?”

Nicky nodded. 

“Yeah, I should probably do that. I also need a better name.”

“Yeah? Got any ideas?”

Nicky scoffed.

“No. Whenever I tried to think about it, I’d just get all stressed and worried about it.”

“Well, how ‘bout...Jane?”

“Nah, too basic.”

“Rose?”

“No.”

“Ellen?”

“Degeneres?”

Malcolm burst out laughing. 

“Okay, okay, nevermind. Lemme think…”

Malcolm brough his hand up to his face and began absentmindedly chewing on his thumb’s nail. He muttered a few more names, but dismissed them before Nicky could give her input. 

“Uh...Marilyn?”

As soon as she heard that name, Nicky perked up. 

“That’s a nice name! Yeah, I like that!”

“Yeah? Alright then, Marilyn it is! Can I call you Mary for short?”

Marilyn considered it for a second.

“...Only if I can call you Mack.”

Malcolm just grinned.

“Y’know what? Sure. Getting real sick of Malcolm anyway.”

January 31, 2020 17:40

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2 comments

Taylor Moore
23:43 Feb 05, 2020

Cute!

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Andrea Couture
13:05 Apr 01, 2021

I was intrigued to read this and it made way more sense once I read the prompt for it. Nice job.

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