“I’m Ellie Now”

Marissa Yeager

“Honey, I’m home come on out, look what I got for you,” she squealed, “you’re going to love it.”

“Mom, I swear, if it’s another pack of mens boxers then I don’t want it,” I walked furiously to the front room, “I already told yo-,” I stopped in my tracks and stared at the gorgeous flowing periwinkle dress hanging in front of me. My eyes darted back and forth between the dress and my mother.

“So, what do you think?” she asked with a beaming smile across her face.

I felt the tears cloud my eyes, “for me?”

“Yes”

“Really, mom?”

“Yes, anything for my baby,” she reassured me.

My first dress. It fits poorly right now, but once I begin to take the estrogen hormones it will fit beautifully. It’s been about two months ever since I announced to my mom that I wasn’t Eddie, I wasn’t a boy but that I was a girl. It took her a little time to adjust, but today she surprised me with the most perfect dress. I spun and adjusted the dress as I looked hard at myself in the mirror. I rested my hand to and from each hip and smoothed the dress down my legs.

The following days I admired the dress gracefully dangling from the hanger in my closet, but I finally mustered up the courage to wear it to school. School has always been an issue for me. I never fit in. I would always stand in the outskirts of the groups at recess that would endlessly talk about how queer I was. I would always sit at the very end of the lunch table alone, if I was even lucky enough to find a seat. It was as if nobody knew who I was, but for the longest time I never even knew who I was. 

I let out a large gasp, looked down at my dress bouncing against my legs as I approached the tall, large front doors of Stowe Middle School. I smoothed down my dress once again and walked in. Typically I would use the emergency stairs as my main route to my classes even though it was painfully out of the way, but today I took the main hallway. I kept my head down and watched as my shiney white flats scrunched as I took each step. As I passed by the collective groups of kids I heard whispers to my left and right and an occasional laugh, but I kept walking instead of turning around like the old me would do. 

When the final bell rang I was surprised to find myself unrelieved. I didn’t want to go home. Today, I wasn’t scared to raise my hand in class. Today I wasn’t intimidated by the idea of talking to other people. Today, I wasn’t horrified to sit in another seat other than the one on the very end of the table. Today, I wasn’t petrified to join the groups at recess instead of standing on the outskirts. Today, I wasn’t Eddie I was Ellie.

I walked home with a little more pep to my step and even got home five minutes earlier than usual. 

“How was your day? Did anyone hurt you? Did anyone laugh at you?” my mom pestered.

“No, today was,” I paused and glanced down at my dress, “today was great.”

“So, you’re okay?” she had a distorted, worried look on her face.

I kicked off my flats, “yes, I’m better than okay.”

I pranced over to my room and left my bag in the corner of the room. I stood in front of my full length mirror and carefully took off my dress and laid it down on the edge of my bed and turned back towards the mirror. I looked puzzled at the reflection staring back at me and turned every which way to examine myself. I turned toward the mirror once again and stared into my glassy brown eyes. I saw as the tears began to flood my eyes until that sad, desperate reflection was only a blur. I stumbled backward and collapsed on my bed. I reached over to my dress and held onto it tightly as my tears ran streams down my face and dripped onto the cotton fabric. It left a darkened splotchy pattern until I crumpled it up and craddled it against my flushed face. 

Today I was a pretty little girl, but now I’m a hideous nasty boy. Today I was Ellie, but now I’m Eddie. I know who I am and who I want to be, but it’s so out of reach.