“What are you doing here?”
“I’m here to pick up Noah for our date?”
“Hmm… I don’t recall such a thing.”
“Wh-what? But… I’m supposed to…”
“Sorry, get lost.”
“Mom, stop.” I sighed, walking into the family room where mom was at the front door.
My mother had her arms crossed and was eyeing Abigail who was standing in the entrance with a confused look. She was wearing a pretty dress. She had done up her hair and even put on makeup.”
Mom turned to me and chuckled. “I’m just messing with the girl. She gets it.”
Mom suddenly slugged Abigail in the boob. Abigail looked slightly pained, but she gave me a helpless smile as she noticed me there.
“Um… you look amazing,” Abigail said, her cheeks turning red.
Why was she acting so awkward? Everyone was acting strange today. Bethany was peaking out of her room, her brow furrowed unhappily. The twins were also both sneaking a look. The only person that seemed to be completely fine with my date was Mackenzie, and she was the one I had been aiming to make uncomfortable.
“That’s my son right there!” Mom turned to Abigail and scowled at her. “Don’t be trying to get in his pants.”
The watching Kelsey made a choking sound as she fought back a laugh. Abigail’s face turned red. I was about to say something like ‘too late’, but I was pretty sure that was the wrong thing to say.
“Mom!” I glared at her.
“Sweetie… I’m just looking after you.” Mom put on a pitiful look like I was wronging her by glaring at her. “I was once a young girl too. They all only want one thing from men.”
“I-I assure you… I… um… have only good intentions for your son!” Abigail responded tightly in a strangled voice.
This was the same Abigail who had wanted to record us having sex, had tried to blackmail me, and also had bought a bunch of inappropriate clothing for me to try on. Yet, you wouldn’t believe any of that seeing her act so flustered here. I didn’t understand it.
“Uh-huh, I’ll believe it when I see it.” She declared. “You just make sure he’s back at eleven.”
“Mom! Mackenzie is going to be with us. Nothing is going to happen.” Well, I didn’t know if that was true, but in theory, it should have been enough to calm mom.
She rolled her eyes. “That might be true, but this is the first real date my precious little Noah has been on. How can I allow you to leave without at least checking her out and keeping you safe? My baby boy is just growing up so fast.”
“Are you tearing up?”
“Dust in my eye. Now, stand over there and I’ll take a picture.”
“This isn’t prom.”
“Prom is coming up soon though. This can be considered practice.”
Before mom could forcefully shove Abigail and me together and take our pictures like this was some kind of important event rather than just another weekend night, the doorbell rang again. I was fuming inside though. She was acting as if I had never been out with a girl before. It was making me feel like a loser. Wait… had I? before the switch, I had never been on a date. I had snuck away and snuck out to meet girls. I had gone studying at Samantha’s house, left once with Abigail, and took off with Anna, but had I ever actually flat out been on a standard date? I couldn’t remember one.
Mom had opened the door, and she greeted a boy in a voice completely different than how she had talked to Abigail. “Well, aren’t you a handsome man? Come on in, come in.”
At this point, Mackenzie walked into the family room from the kitchen. The boy who walked in was her date and my enemy, a boy I only knew by the name George. Seeing him was enough to put my hackles up. Of course, I had tried to put some feelers out to find any dirt on him, but all of my friends were girls, and I was shunned by just about every male social group. At this point, I had a bit of a reputation as a slut, and apparently, that was a death sentence. Even the guys I had considered myself on good terms with before the switch wouldn’t take a second look at me.
I was never popular, and I was always a bit of a loner, so it didn’t hurt my feelings too much. Besides, I wasn’t into hanging out with guys who were acting like girls. I knew in the grand scheme of things, it didn’t make them different people, but the nuances were enough that I always felt just a bit more comfortable being around the girls. Men just seemed… well… catty.
Mackenzie barely looked in my direction, and she didn’t look in Abigail’s direction. Abigail was the girl she had deliberately warned me to stay away from, so it wasn’t surprising how the pair reacted around each other. Abigail was a bit timid, kind of like a rabbit. It was clear that she was still afraid of Mackenzie. Mackenzie had once beat Abigail up. According to her, Abigail was stalking someone. Admittedly, I now know the kind of girl Abigail was, a borderline pervert who fantasized and also stalked the one she loved… actually, now that I thought about it, Mackenzie’s worries were completely justified!
However, I liked the perverted Abigail who was just a bit obsessed with me. It was kind of hot knowing she was fantasizing about me and wanted to see me in lewd positions and such. Since the change, I had begun to understand women’s feelings regarding a lot of things, but one thing I didn’t think I could ever see eye to eye on with women was perverts. A girl who thought about sex and wanted to try dirty sex things was hot, not gross. Well, at least as long as she was cute, which Abigail was. Maybe if she was five hundred pounds, was hairy, and smelled like a goat, my feelings would be different.
Either way, Abigail was worried, and Mackenzie just had a permanent frown plastered to her face with her arms crossed, looking not unlike mom did when she answered the door for Abigail. When she looked at George, her expression softly slightly, which made me feel even more annoyed.
“Are we ready to go?” She asked, sounding like she didn’t even care that we were going on this double date.
“Ah… but Noah isn’t ready yet?” George looked at me.
“Huh?” I glanced at George who had suddenly glanced at me. “I’m ready?”
George looked me up and down and made a face that made me want to punch him. “You’re not going like that, are you?”
“What’s wrong with this?” I frowned.
I took a bath, combed my hair, and even wore a button-up shirt. Abigail even said I look amazing. What was with that look?
“Oh, you poor boy.” George sighed, smiling with a look that also made me want to punch him. “This must be the consequences of growing up in a family of girls. Didn’t your father show you how to do these things?”
Mom visibly tightened at the mention of dad, and I had a flash recalling the last time I had seen him while he was sneaking through our home.
I tried to put on an expression that hid my irritation. “Dad took off a while ago.”
I left it at that. Abigail glanced at me, but no one else noticed her look. She had been there when my father had returned. She likely had questions, but she was smart enough not to say anything.
George rolled his eyes, smiling in a way… you know, let’s just assume every expression on George’s dumb face makes me want to punch him. His face is just a long string of irritating looks. Worse, he reached out and wrapped an arm around me. I felt that given the atmosphere if I shook him off I’d be perceived as being rude, but the smile on my face was straining.
“Come on, I’ll take you set up.”
Mackenzie frowned. “If we don’t go now, we might miss the reservation.”
“You made a reservation?” Abigail blinked.
Mackenzie shot her a look for the first time and she turned white and glanced away.
“Sweetie, this is a boy thing. You should be expected to wait on us boys. Duh!” George giggled, grabbing my arm and pulling me away and into the bathroom.
When George reached the bathroom, he froze, his mouth falling open.
“Oh, wow… no wonder you can’t take care of yourself.”
The bathroom was a disaster zone. I had to give him that. The counter was filled with cosmetics and supplies of six different women. Even before the switch, it hadn’t been a clean place. Now that the women stopped caring, there wasn’t a day that the sink and tub weren’t clogged by their hair. Pulling a clump out before I used any running water was becoming a daily routine. In fact, on most nights, I’d just go to the kitchen to wash up.
“I have a vanity in my room.” I coughed.
“Good!” George let out a breath of relief, grabbing my hand and then pulling me over to my room.
It wasn’t hard to find, because my name was on the door. Neither the vanity nor the name plaque was mine. Rather, I should say they were the Noah before the switch that had set those things up. The vanity had sat unused ever since, but it did have various beauty products in it as well as a mirror. I didn’t know what to do with most of those products, so I ignored them. I had a feeling even if I knew about female beauty products, the beauty products for men differed.
As I said, the beauty standard for men and women hadn’t changed. Women still kept long hair which they did up. They still wore dresses, and they still wore makeup. They just weren’t as careful about it as they had once been. Meanwhile, men were just more concerned about keeping nice. Their nails were always clean and well-trimmed, their clothing was usually nice, and men wore makeup more frequently. This wasn’t the colorful makeup women wore, but more the stuff a movie star would wear, in a pal imitation every guy tried to look like a Brad Pit.
I allowed George to lead me to the chair and sit me down. He started going through my stuff in the vanity. I didn’t care about any of it, so I didn’t care he was touching it. I felt irritated, but I didn’t stop him as he started picking out things and then using them on me. I worried that he might be trying to make me look like a fool, but then I was thinking that if he did try to embarrass me that way, wouldn’t that just backfire on him.
I only paid attention to some of the stuff he said about cuticles and maintaining a hairstyle. It was a bunch of nonsense. However, while he was doing my nails, which included a clear coat, he smiled at me.
“I never had a little brother. This is kind of nice.” He grinned, and when I didn’t respond he leaned closer. “I’d like it if you started to see me as your brother.”
I fought the urge to gag. This guy was seriously too much.
“Okay.” I gave a noncommittal agreement.
His smile slipped slightly and he pulled back for a moment as he continued to do my cuticles. “You don’t like me very much, do you? You think I’m stealing your big sister away from you.”
“That…” I was caught off guard by his sudden change of conversation.
“When I set my eyes on Mackenzie, I heard you could be a bit obsessed with your sisters. They say you won’t let any guy date them.” His eyes turned intense for a moment. “I’m going to be dating her. You won’t be getting rid of me that easily. So, it’s best if we get along.”
“Ow!” I hissed as he pinched me with one of the tweezers a bit hard as he yanked off a piece of dead skin.
“Oops.” He responded, but his eyes were locked on mine.
“Are you coming?” Mackenzie shouted into the room.
“We’ll be right there!” George shouted without looking away from me and then leaned forward. “Just think about it. You don’t want to hurt Mackenzie, do you?”
He put the tweezers down, stood up, and then walked to the door opening it to an impatiently waiting Mackenzie. I let my other hand relax from the fist I had been making. If he wanted to do things this way, it’d only make it easier when I destroyed him.