“I want you to but …” I bite into my lip. Trite pop floats on the wind from a party. One of my classmates’ boat. “Dag, I’m trans.” I search his face, expecting him to pull away. Instead, he turns me to face him.
- Solitary Duality
- Johannes Jarl, father
- Amina Jarl, mother
- Mia-Maria Jarl, sister (deceased)
- What's your name
- Yngve Jarl
- How old are you
- I'm sixteen
- What do you look like
- Afro mohawk with shaved patterns on the sides of my head, enough chains-and-studs to be seriously in trouble in a fight with Magneto, still-too-feminine features, and hazel eyes. A copper dragon climbing through and around my right ear, a ring through my left eyebrow, and a stud through my tongue. For other piercings, we’ll need to get better acquainted
- Where were you at the start of the story
- Celebrating summer by watching my peers, alone
- What did you want, when the story started
- To make a true connection, if only for a night
- Who are your parents
- Please don’t remind me. Dad’s in prison for killing my sister (though her body’s never been found, and he denies it, not that I believe him), and mom couldn’t handle the stress of that and me being trans (“both my girls are gone!”), so I was shunted into foster care when I was twelve
- What was your education like
- Okay, I guess. I’ve been through a few schools, but Tanum's is decent enough
- Do you make friends easily
- Not really. They’re generally too busy gossiping to care about me
- Do you have a best friend
- Can you get people to do what you want them to? If so, how
- Don’t make me laugh
- Do you have scars? Where did they come from
- Plenty, both burns and cuts from dad, but also a few scarification tattoos. My favourite is a series of runes on my right shoulder
- Can you navigate without getting lost? To what degree
- Sure, we used to sail a lot before Mia-Maria disappeared
- Can you bake a cake
- Not well, at least
- Do you know how to perform basic maintenance on a car
- No, but I do know boats
- Is there something you do that most other people don’t
- I dunno
- What is the most formative moment in your past
- Coming out as trans—and my sister’s full acceptance, my sister’s disappearance and the trial against my dad, or being abandoned by my mom
- Do you have any phobias
- No, not really
- What are some of your bad habits
- I don’t think I have too many
- Do you have a moral code? To what extent are your actions dictated by this code
- Doesn’t everyone have some kind of code not to hurt people if they can help it?
My peers mingle on the docks and streets below my mountainous perch. Music from the clubs littered along them blend into a cacophony of mating calls. I observe their rituals; alone.
Steps drum an even beat against the red granite. “I’m Dag.” His scent of sweat and musk flows over me.
“Go away. I’m not a girl.” In the distance, a boat sails towards the open ocean.
“I hope not.” The deep timbre of his voice sends shivers along my skin. “Do I want to know why you needed to say that?” He flashes white canines. I fiddle with my phone. He’ll probably go away in a moment. “Why did you?”
“The last hot guy thought I was a girl.” The moment the words leave my mouth I wince. Hot guy? Smooth, Yngve, real smooth.
“I don’t.” At the vividness of his blue eyes as he leers at me, I stare down at the phone again. “I’ll go if you want me to, though I prefer to stay.”
Come on, come on, say something witty. “Sure, if you want to.” Too late. I slip the phone away, my dignity dropping off the side of the cliff. “I’m Yngve.”
He’s tanned, though not as dark as my sepia shade, with a ponytail the shade of rye to match his trimmed beard. He towers over me, with broad shoulders and slim hips.
“Nice to meet you.” His right arm hangs, unusable, at his side. “Why aren’t you partying?”
I shrug. “I needed to get away. Some fresh air.” I run my fingers over my black mohawk. With his tight chinos and dress shirt I wish I looked fancier. Instead, I have torn jeans, a leather vest that obscures my forms, and enough studs and chains that Magneto would have an easy match with me.
“Something to do with hot guys thinking you’re a girl?” He flashes his canines at me again, offering me a hand up. “Let’s go down. We can dance.”
“Sure.” I wet my lips, butterflies somersaulting in my stomach. My legs tremble, and his fingers burn against my hand.
I was right. I reach his shoulders, only matching him in height if I count my mohawk. He slips his arm around me. My body goes stiff; what if he feels it? I pull away to lead us down the path.
Hot, gay—or at least bi—, and into me. What’s the catch?