Hawk and I spent a lot of time in the winery, my mother refused to drink any wine that wasn’t made specifically for her. She was stuck up in that way. But when it wasn’t being used to cater to my mother’s ridiculous standards, it made a great place to hide away.
“Have you talked to your mom since the other day?” Hawk asked as we idly played with our toys.
“No. But I heard her talking to Aloe, they wanna send me to therapy. They think I’m crazy or something.” I sighed.
“I think they’re the crazy ones. I just don’t really see you as a girl.”
“Thanks Hawk.” I smiled at my friend.
“So, have you thought of a name yet?” He asked.
“Oh, yea I did.” I remembered excitedly. I hoped Hawk would like my new name choice.
“Oh really, what is it?” He looked just as excited as I felt.
“How does ‘Thorn’ sound?” I asked.
“That’s perfect!” He exclaimed.
“You really think so?”
“I do, Thorn.” He smiled widely, making me smile as well. It was a good feeling, being accepted.
“Are you gonna tell your mother?” He asked.
“Yea, but I don’t think she’ll actually call me that.”
“Well it’s worth a shot.”
“Yea, I’m not giving up yet. Maybe she’ll come around eventually.” I hoped, but part of me knew that would never happen.
“Clementine, when did these delusions start?” My new therapist, Doctor Ass-hat or something, I’ve gone through so many therapists just this year I don’t even bother learning their names anymore.
“Don’t call me that. My name is Thorn. And I’m not having any delusions, I’m transgender.” I explained for probably the thousandth time.
“Clementine. You believe you’re a boy. You believe you’re something you’re not. Now, I’d say that’s delusional.” He smirked with his creepy little mustached mouth. He looked so smug, I wanted to punch him. But last time my mother had to pay him off so he wouldn’t sue.
“You see, but I am a boy. What’s a boy to you, sir?” I asked, faking respect for the douche-bag in front of me.
“A boy is someone born male, Clementine. A male is someone with a penis.” He explained, using a voice that adults use to talk to small children.
“So, basically you’re saying that people are defined by their physical attributes? You’re saying that people have to look and act a certain way because of what they have between their legs? I was always taught not to judge someone by their appearance, does that not apply here?”
“Physical appearance and biology are two different things, Clementine. People can’t just decide to change their gender, that’s not how the world works.”
“First of all, don’t call me that. My name is Thorn. Second, that’s bullshit. If I feel like, act like, and dress like a boy, I’m a boy. I shouldn’t have to be forced to be someone I’m not.”
“I agree, I don’t think you should force yourself to be a boy when you aren’t one.” He thought he was a goddamn genius, and I hated him.
“Sir, where did you get your degree? The University of Bigotry?”
“Clementine, this session isn’t about me. It’s about you and your issues.”
“Really? Because it seems like its about you, you keep trying to force your close-minded gender roles on me. You’re pushing what you think is right onto me, when I might not necessarily agree. So Sir, it seems like this session actually is about you.”
I could see the old man’s mustache twitch. He was getting angry, by now I could read therapists like a book. They would try their best to stay calm, but if I tried hard enough I could get them to explode.
But unfortunately, right as the doctor was about to respond, my library door swung open.
“Excuse me, the Queen has requested the session to end early today, her birthday party is starting in an hour and she needs Clementine ready before the guests arrive.” One of my mother’s servants, Reef Crane, stepped into the room. Though I didn’t get to thoroughly piss this guy off, I was glad to get out of here. But I wasn’t glad I had to go to this party.
I stood to leave and sighed. “Is my dress in my wardrobe?” I asked him, visibly and audibly dejected.
“Yes it is.”
I grumbled and rolled my eyes as I approached the door to leave. Reef held the door open for me and closed it behind us.
“I’m sorry, Thorn. I really wish we didn’t have to do this to you.” He apologized once the therapist was out of earshot.
“It’s okay, I understand how it is. Hopefully my mother will come around soon.” I said, but we both knew that would never happen.
“I’ll see you downstairs.” He gave me a sad smile as he headed out of my bedroom.
When I opened the wardrobe, a hideous pink dress stared me in the face. I wanted to burn it, or maybe throw it out my window. But unfortunately, my mom had my windows locked permanently after doing that so many times before.
Hopefully I’d just have to make an appearance at the party, then when things got crazy I could just slip away. I didn’t want to have to spend any more time in this thing than necessary.
When I got the dress on, I wanted to puke at the sight of myself in the mirror. I looked so… girly. I’m not a girl. My reflection didn’t match my perception of myself, and I hated it. My eyes started to tear up as I stood there, staring.
No. I can’t cry about this. I told myself.
I was gonna have to suck it up for a while, no matter how terrible I felt.
But sucking it up didn’t mean I had to pretend to enjoy myself. I wanted to be as pissy as possible, to let my mother know I wasn’t doing this willingly.
“Now Nutmeg, I want you to watch her, make sure she doesn’t cause problems with the guests.” My mother spoke to my nanny as if I wasn’t there.
“Yes your highness.”
“I want her to make an appearance, assure everyone that she’s alive and well, then she can leave. I don’t want a repeat of my twenty-ninth birthday.” She glared at me.
“I’m pretty sure that was your thirty-fifth birthday, mom.” I smiled smugly as she balled her fists.
“Clementine, dear, please be nice to your mother. It’s her birthday.” Aloe scolded, and my mother beamed at him.
“Thank you, baby.” She cooed sickly. I felt like barfing. “Listen to your dad, Clementine.”
“He’s not my dad. Aloe’s my step-dad.”
“He’s the only father you’ve ever known. He’s been here, and your real father hasn’t. He’s your father.” She glared.
“The man didn’t even speak to me until I was ten years old, I wouldn’t even consider him a family friend.”
“Clementine, would it kill you to be pleasant for once in your life? I’m so tired of this attitude.” My mother rolled her eyes.
“I wouldn’t have such an attitude if you actually let me be myself.”
“We are not getting into this right now.” She shot daggers with her eyes. “Now, why don’t you go with Nutmeg, she can help you get your makeup on.”
I glanced over at Nutmeg, and she nodded. “Come on now, Clem, let’s go.” She wrapped her arm around my shoulders. I felt a little better, I knew we weren’t actually going to put makeup on. She was going to let me sit in the kitchen while she got the food ready. It’s what we did pretty much every party.
“Fine.” I pretended to be pissed. We didn’t want my mom to get suspicious. She smiled smugly at me, thinking that she won. I couldn’t wait until I could sneak out of the party.
*A few hours later*
Once a lot of people crowded the ballroom, it was fairly easy to sneak out and into my room. I quickly changed back into my own clothes and instantly felt better.
When I finished changing, I made my way to the winery. As we got older, Hawk and I stopped playing in here and started hanging out in the tower room above it. Nutmeg and the other servants helped us furnish the little room, and we all called it the man-cave.
“Hey, mind if I join you?” I asked Hawk when I entered the room. He was completely absorbed in the video game, so I startled him a bit.
“Not at all man, take a seat.” He patted the bean bag next to him.
I grabbed my controller and jumped right into the game. “How was the party?” He asked.
“Shitty, as always. I really don’t see why anyone would enjoy something like that.” I huffed.
“I don’t either. When you’re king, you better not have parties like that.” He chuckled.
“Nah man, my parties are gonna be way awesome. Open bars, DJs, cool stuff like that. Not stuffy people standing around talking about politics. That’s what meetings are for.”
“Dude, you’re gonna be the best king ever.”
“Thanks man, I don’t really wanna be king but if I had to, I definitely won’t be boring.”
“If you aren’t king, what would you like to be?”
“I think maybe an artist. Or a video game designer. Something cool like that. What do you wanna do?”
“Well if I’m not a servant forever, I’d probably want to be a doctor. Or a therapist. But a good therapist.” He said quickly when I glared at him. “I want to actually help people, not make them feel worse.”
“That’s good, this world needs more people like you.”
“Thank you, Thorn.”