Nick put an indulgence down in front of Steph, an icky, sticky sweet gorgeous cinnamon roll. It was dairy free but full of nasty gluten and yeast.
“Thanks.” Her stomach was like a piece of rotting fruit, attracting every butterfly in the world. “See you… I mean her in a little bit.” After she'd eaten the gooey treat she was definitely going to smell like something was rotting in there.
His face was stricken with nerves and she felt sorry for him.
“Go on, hon. We’ll survive this. I promise.” She picked up the remote and unpaused the cooking show in an attempt to forget what Nick was doing upstairs. The sweet cinnamon roll helped to distract her further until an item on chicken breasts stuffed with a paprika and yoghurt filling brought her mind back to it. They reminded her of an interview with Michael Ball. When he’d been Edna Turnblad he’d been rather proud of his triple E with nipples chicken fillets. It had her wondering what Nick would look like with boobs and the thought of them with his hairy chest had her giggling.
“Come on, Steph, behave yourself,” she chided herself. It was important she got this right. No matter what happened in her marriage she loved Nick and she knew how hard this was for him. A wrong reaction could destroy him and she refused to do that to him. He’d been half an hour already and she was bored. The cinnamon roll had been demolished and she used her finger to clean up the coconut yoghurt topping. After licking her fingers noisily, she went over to Nick’s computer. It was one he… she… they… maybe they would be the appropriate pronoun after all Nick and the woman both inhabited his body didn’t they? Well anyway he had built it from bits of other old computers. Open on the desktop was a Reddit chat. One were transwomen put up pictures of themselves and asked for opinions from other transwomen.
The first was a woman with a big Roman nose and bushy eyebrows. Comments from the other women… how easy it was to say that about transwomen that weren’t Nick… either told the woman how beautiful she was and she should love herself as she was or they told her constructively and sweetly how to minimise her nose with make-up and provided links on how to deal with eyebrows.
Step read a couple of the links and winced like a man discussing castration. Her own bushy affairs were not quite a monobrow and the thought of waxing or plucking was a painful event too far for her.
Underneath the Roman nose was a beautiful woman, she was stunning physically. There were a few supportive comments underneath… But… Steph also read comments that were sexual in nature or doubted the authenticity of the woman – was she really trans they asked? There was an undertone of jealousy and bitchiness that hadn’t been present with the more masculine woman.
Behind her she felt him, his presence. He.. she… they hadn’t said anything. Their nerves were so palpable that Steph fed off them and it took a good bit of her relaxation breathing before she was able to spin round in the desk chair. And… she so couldn’t help it… all her good intentions went out the window. “All done in the best possible taste.” Her attempts at crossing her legs like Kenny Everett’s character caused her to fall off the chair and land in an undignified heap on the floor. Tears flooded down her face and she wiped them away. In between peals of laughter she tried to sing the Queen song: I want to break free.
Nick had put on makeup and they looked better than she did in the ugly maroon dress they’d chosen but they’d not shaved. Having been born in the US two years before Steph they missed both cultural references. Their face registered confusion and they blinked down at her. It was unlike him to be so ungallant and leave her on the floor; she guessed he was in shock.
Her giggles couldn’t stop, not even the inevitable bladder issues (she had had three children) were enough to halt all the emotion of the day coming out. At the corners of Nick’s mouth a smile was ghosting and they was fighting a desire to join in. After what felt like a long time she pulled herself together enough to ask, “For goodness sake, Nick, help me up.”
With a grin, they held out their hand and they pulled her up. She gave them a kiss and fought her desire to stop when she tasted the lipstick. Steph never wore it herself so it was a foreign sensation on her lips but she relished the tickle of his beard. Her hands moved down and stopped. Boobs! They were kind of squishy and felt fairly realistic. “Umm where did they come from?” She was drawn to them and couldn’t stop playing with them. “Boing, boing.”
They removed her hand but kept tight hold of it. Their face had relaxed and their confusion had gone. “They’re condoms filled with water. Don’t play or they burst. Did you mean it? We’ll be OK?”
“Think so. I don’t intend to go anywhere. Specially if you wash a few more dishes.” Steph took their hand. “But there’s some cultural icons you need to be introduced to.” One last kiss was in order because she loved his beard, she loved the familiar tickle but it was going to have to be the first change they made.
"Best Possible Taste" is very loosely based on real life events.