WARNING: mentions of self-harm and gender dysphoria.
My feet pounding on the floor, trying to escape his grasp, his slimy fingers reaching for me. "Please stop." I wail, turning back.
"You left me. You think you'll ever be a true wom-"
I wake up in a cold sweat, for the 4th time in a row. I shiver and sit up, reaching for my water. After trying to calm myself I try to go back to sleep, but I just can't.
'I'm not going to sleep, might as well do something.'
I sigh and slip out of my blankets, heading to my kitchen. I pour cold milk in a glass and find my precious Oreos. I switch on the TV while heading to the couch.
It automatically goes to a modeling show, and I can't seem to change it. Great, a show full of beautiful women is exactly what I need right now.
I try to change the channel, but my remote decided to die at this moment. Willing myself not to cry I find a blanket and throw it on the TV, blocking the view. But the audio is still working, and it's hell.
"And here is Kaitlyn King, one of the top models this year, and she..."
Ugh, I block it out, while finding some spare batteries.
"Finally." I go back to my living room and fit in the batteries.
Removing the blanket I change the channel, having to hit my remote a few times before it worked.
"Look at that walk, these women are-"
I frantically change the channel, before falling on my knees, tears staining my carpet.
'You'll never be a true woman.'
'Look at you, you think you'll ever be like them. Pathetic.'
'You don't even have any womanly features, your voice is a dead giveaway.'
All these thoughts swarming through my brain, I try to fight them off and tell myself it's ok. But nothing's working, I feel useless.
"I literally just want to shove the whole spoon in my mouth. If I was home, I probably would."
I look up, my thoughts being disturbed from eating me whole. It was just the Great British Bake Off, I struggled to pay attention, but I managed to get my milk and eat my Oreos like everything was ok.
When I woke up, my mouth had the rotten aftertaste of milk, and I was covered with oreo crumbs.
"You can get your 2nd one for 15% off if you buy-" I mute the TV, groaning and stretching my poor limbs. My back hating me, for making it sleep on the couch.
'God, what time is it?'
I turn towards the clock, and almost lost my mind. It was 10, I was going to be late! I run towards my room, desperately finding my phone. And then it hit me, it was Saturday.
'I'm an idiot.'
I sighed and fell on my bed, my life was a mess and I can't even keep track of the date.
Deciding to treat myself today, I shower and pick a nice outfit, I grabbed my keys and set out for my favorite cafe.
It's this quaint little place, not that far from my apartment. It's run by this old couple, who are opposites of each other in the cutest way.
It always smells like fresh cookies and is a wonderful place to work. Being a journalist, a new location is lifesaving.
I enter, hearing that familiar jingle and smile at Mrs.Laurie.
Who exclaims, "June! What a wonderful surprise."
I chuckle, "Mrs.Laurie-"
"How many times have I told you to just call me Laurie. It makes me feel old." She says, hands on her hip, giving me a mildly disapproving look.
"Sorry Mi- Laurie, it's still odd for me. And I come here almost every day, how is it still a surprise?"
"Your order isn't." Mx. Robin says.
"Robin!" She scolded. Shaking her head, she turns back to me, "You know how Robin is, so the usual dear?"
"Hmmm, maybe Robin's right, I'll go with something different today."
"Sure honey, what will it be."
"Um..." I scrunch up my nose, unsure. "Why don't you surprise me?"
"Of course, let's see how about..." I tune her out, staring off into space.
"June. June darling." Mrs. Laurie says worriedly.
I shake away from enveloping thoughts, apologize, and pay. I say my farewells and exit the shop. While taking a bite of the spectacular danish, I almost drop my Iced Coffee. Right across the street is me.
Well old me. The one that I thought died, the one from my dreams. And he was smiling at me as if nothing happened.
You're probably confused, so let me explain. My name's June Wallaby and I'm a trans woman from Utah(not that exciting, I know).
I transitioned last year and gender dysphoria still has it out for me. I know it's not normal seeing your old self, and that I should call my therapist of something. But I was too shocked to do anything. Fast-forward a few seconds, I get bumped into by a skater who just gives me the finger and rides off.
"Jeez," I mutter, thankful my coffee didn't spill. I look back and the only people across the street are this couple arguing.
Was I going mad? I'll just tell my therapist at the next session, but my mood was ruined for the day.
I head home with my thoughts jumbled, and the gnawing fear I was going mad.
I thought I saw "dead me" again but I just shook it off. I went home and decided to get some work done. After hours of writing, the usual ramen lunch, and cracking my poor back, I decided to go on a run.
I quickly change before I lose my motivation, and set out. With my earbuds blasting my playlist, I clear my mind and focus on one foot after another.
A couple of songs in I see myself again(the old one). And he's no longer smiling, he's indifferent. All of a sudden I feel like I got stabbed, trying to catch my breath, I try to convince myself it's alright. But it's not working.
"Hey, you okay?" Someone asks me. I look up, with a pained expression, and just nod. My chest heaves and my tears hit the pavement.
"Are you sure, do you want me to call an ambulance?"
I try to make the words come out of my mouth, just the word 'no' would suffice. I nod my head signaling no. But she isn't convinced.
"I'm ok." I finally say.
"Why don't you sit down?" She leads me to a bench.
I take a seat, actually looking at her for the first time. "Ma'am, are you okay?"
Ma'am. Ma'am! She called me ma'am!
"Did you say, ma'am?" I question stupidly.
` She's confused for a second, "Oh my gosh, I'm sorry. I thought that you-"
I assure her that those were my pronouns, and explained that I was a trans woman(I don't usually tell that to random people, but it was too late).
I briefly fill her in on my hallucinations, she nodded, and we exchanged names(not in that order).
"My brother's trans." She eventually says. "One time he told me, he used to see his old self when he was at his lowest points in life."
"Really?" I ask, grateful I wasn't going mad.
"Yep, honestly it scared me. He used to have panic attacks too."
"Used to?" I promptly ask.
Her face shades over, and I immediately regret asking. "Oh, I'm sorry I shouldn-"
"It's ok." She slightly chuckles. "He met this wonderful boy, and he was his saving grace."
"Oh." I didn't know what else to say.
She snaps back to reality, "All I'm saying is that it gets better. Even if that seems impossible. Time does wondrous things, it gives you the people at the right time."
"So you're alright?" She checks.
"Yeah, right as rain. Thank you." I warmly smile.
"No problem, um I was wondering if you wanted to get ice cream. Or anything else- anything's fine by me."
She hastily asks, while blushing.
"Sure Riley, I would love to." A surprising turn of events, isn't it?
Guess time does give you the right people at the right time.