I wake on a Tuesday morning, my arms are wrapped around my fianceé. Her head is on my shoulder and her legs are tucked up to my abdomen. I kiss the top of her head before slipping away from her. I stretch my arms above my head, my mouth opens in a loud over exaggerated yawn. I shake my head a few times to wake myself up more and then slip my feet into my house shoes. I walk into the bathroom and look into the mirror. I see my scars on my chest, they’ve faded by now but the memories are still fresh in my mind. I slid my fingers along them slowly before moving them down my stomach. I move my hands away quickly not wanting to linger on the thoughts.
I grab my hairbrush and start to brush my shaggy brown hair back. I grab my gel and rub it in the palm of my hands. I spread it through my hair before brushing it again. I then grab my razor and trim my beard. I make the lines a little smoother and then make my way back into the bedroom. Michelle is sitting on the bed staring at me. She smiles at me softly, her hair is tangled around her shoulders. I walk over to the bed and lean over kissing her lips softly.
“Mornin’, angelcakes.” I say after I pull away. I walk over to the closet and grab my work shirt.
“Morning, my love.” She says stretching slightly. She pulls herself out of the bed and walks over to me. She wraps her arms around my abdomen, her head is on my shoulder. “Do you really have to go to work today?” She asks with a soft whine in her voice.
I chuckle softly before slipping the shirt over my head, my hair gets slightly tossed. I place my hand through my hand once more before pulling the shirt the rest of the way down. “Yeah, they called me last night. Said they were short on staff today. It’s extra money, so I said sure. They said they’d let me off early though.” I say as I turn around and wrap my arms around her waist.
She lets out a sigh “Alright,” She hugs me quickly before letting go and going into the bathroom to get herself ready.
I slip on my khakis and then slip on my blue, white, and pink vans. I grab my keys and make my way over to the bathroom, I stick my head in to see Michelle is washing her face. I kiss her cheek quickly and say goodbye. I walk out of the bathroom and bedroom. I pat the dog's head and give her some fresh water and some food before passing into the kitchen and grabbing a bagel. I take a bite into the bagel as I leave the house. I open the door to my grey chevy.
TIME SKIP- AT WORK
I’m at the cash register helping a young woman out when I see a familiar face. I feel a sudden panic rise in my stomach. I stare down at the food I’m ringing up. My eyes keep lifting up to watch them. I smile at the young woman as she pays for everything. Then the person that my eyes wouldn’t leave gets into my line. My panic increases. I quickly help everyone out and then when this person is next the panic is up to the brim. Her soft brown hair is in a short bob and her grey eyes are the same color as they were when I was younger, but they look sadder. Her olive skin is slightly more wrinkled.
“Hello, Thank you for shopping at Krogers!” I say as I grab the first item off the belt.
The woman looks up at me, the recognition is clear in her eyes after a few seconds. “Uh, thank you.” She stares at my name tag for a few moments as I continue to ring her up and bag her things.
The question slips out of my mouth before I can stop it “How’s dad?” I say my eyes never leaving the food.
Her face changes slightly and it takes her a moment to answer “He’s doing fine, still working.” She says “ He misses you, Simone.”
I shake my head “It’s Simon.” I say before continuing “He made me leave, and so did you.”
“You will always be my little girl, Simone. Change your hair, change your body, change your name, but you can never change who you are. My little Simone.” She says placing her hand on mine.
I pull away from her, my face still calm. “My name is not Simone, it’s Simon. I’m not a little girl nor am I a little boy. I am a grown man and I’m proud.” I say trying to keep my calm and not raise my voice. The customer behind my mom is staring angrily at my mom.
My mother sighs “You are just confused, this will all blow over and you can come back home. We miss you, we want you back. Get over this silly little phase and come home, please.” She says reaching out again. I move further away from her, still staying calm.
“I’m not confused, it’s not something that will blow over and I will never go back to that house again. If this were a silly little phase, I wouldn't have chopped my chest off or legally changed my name. I’m not Simone Grace Owens, I’m Simon Grey Owens. You need to respect that and stop making excuses for why you won’t accept me. What you should do is shut your mouth before you make an even bigger fool of yourself.” I say looking over at my manager who seems to have the same concerned look as the three customers behind my mom.
“I will never accept this, you are a disgrace to this family. I tried to give you a way back in, to forget this ever happened. Since you refuse, you shall never be allowed to come home, you will never be invited to any family gatherings or anything involving us. Do you understand Simone?” She says as she crosses her arms over her chest.
“Crystal clear mom, I don’t need you or anyone in that family. I have a new family now, one that accepts me for who I am. And for the last time, It’s Simon.” I say before handing her the bags and telling her the price.
She stares at me for a few more moments before paying and quickly walking away. I look at the rest of the customers in my line and apologize. They all shake their heads and give me a cheerful smile.
The rest of the day goes by smoothly and when I finally get home I slump against the door. Michelle is sitting on the couch. She turns to look at me and when she sees the tears on my cheeks she stands up and rushes over to me. She embraces me in a warm hug. At that moment I realized everything I said at work was true. I’m loved for who I am.