Today I suddenly had the urge to delve into one of my WIP’s, Love Me As I Am, that had been pushed to the side. I always like to read what I had written so far (kinda to catch myself up I guess) and after reading the prologue I thought “I should post this on my blog – see what people think”.
So here ya go! I’d be tickled pink… oh, no, too girly for me… I’d be ecstatic to hear what y’all think. 🙂
Love Me As I Am
January 2, 2195
Anna Holt pulled the folds of her worn-out hoodie tighter around her, the chill of the empty room seeping into her bones. The cement walls that closed her in had her heart racing, the feeling of being lost here, underground, was a weight that was slowly pushing harder on her chest. Rubbing her eyes, she tried to focus on why she was here, focus on the excitement of how Asek was going to change her life for the better…she hoped. She had sold all of her possessions—including her tiny townhouse—just to be here. There was no going back now.
For as long as Anna could remember, she’s never been comfortable in her body. Deep down inside she knew that this was not who she was supposed to be, not who she wanted to be. Yet who she wanted to be seemed so far out of her reach, that she thought it’d be best to just keep it to herself. She’d never even told her parents, which was fine with her since they never got along anyway. The relationship between her and her parents was dismal as best, and the moment she turned eighteen and was old enough to live on her own, they had run off on her.
That was seven years ago, and she hasn’t missed them for a single moment, because she has Emery.
She and Emery Davis had been best friends since grade-school. Emery had come to her rescue when a bully was picking on her, and they’d been inseparable ever since. That’s where things had gotten difficult for her.
Anna has been in love with Emery ever since she knew what love was. There were two problems with that, though. One, Anna knew that Emery never even remotely thought of her as anything but his best friend. And two, Emery was straight. Most would think that his being straight wasn’t a problem for her, but it was, seeing as it clashed with her secret—that she desires nothing more than to be a man.
Ever since she was a little girl, Anna knew that she was a boy living in a girl’s body, and every day she hated being stuck behind these soft curves and delicate features. This was not who she was, and she didn’t know how much longer she could take it. What bothered her most was that the answer to her problem lay within Covelt Incorporated—a legitimate business that had been taken down not too long before she was born.
Covelt Incorporated had been founded twenty-five years ago by Blake Anderson. Blake was a scientist, and a man who loved other men. But he was also a man that held the same problem she did, only he wanted to be a woman. Blake had always said that sex-reassessment surgery was a wonderful step in the right direction, but he never felt like it was enough. He didn’t want to be a woman that was tall with broad shoulders and an Adams apple. He wanted everything a woman had—a small frame, petite hands, and, most importantly, the ability to have children.
Since Blake was such a brilliant scientist, he found a way to make it happen. Somehow, he had found a way to change one gender into the other. A man could become a woman in every way possible, and a woman could become a man just the same. It was an amazing transformation that rocked the world.
Unfortunately, that new transformation barely got a chance to get its feet wet when the World Government fell to Ian Gustavo.
Gustavo was the definition of all that was malevolent. He and his army, the Elite, charged in like a plague and wiped out all that was good on this godforsaken planet. He turned propriety into poverty, beauty into black. He sucked out every last hope humankind had at freedom with one rule—obey him.
Beyond their world turning grey, Gustavo took away freewill. He reminded Anna of a man she’d read about in history of Earth that once was, Adolf Hitler. Just as Hitler had hated the Jews, Gustavo hated homosexuals. So, when he came into rule, he deemed anything relating to homosexuality illegal and punishable by death.
Since Blake Anderson was a homosexual, Covelt Incorporated fell into that list and therefore had been shut down. But Blake, being the strong-willed man that he was, would hear none of it. He carried out his lifelong dream, had gone through the x-procedure, and had become a woman. He then moved his corporation underground, and it’s now known as Asek. Everyone knew it existed, even Gustavo, but the ill-leader could never find it.
To this day, Bethany Anderson, formally known Blake Anderson, still preforms the x-procedure, but her subjects have to live in secret thereafter, because each person carried on two distinct identifiers as to who they previously were—their DNA and their eyes. Then there was the more noticeable identifier as to what they are now. The process of the change consisted mainly of a drug that was delivered through an IV in the left wrist. Naturally, the human body was not meant for such a drug, so the drug’s first contact with the body resulted in a portion of the skin and muscle to die. The flesh was permanently marked black, a splotch of proof that told the world what you were.
So they hid.
People that only wanted to live their lives as who they were truly meant to be, had to live it in silence.
Anna could only imagine the turmoil people have had to go through just to be who they really are, the secrets and fears they have to carry just to be happy. It was dangerous…and she was going to do it. She couldn’t stand to be stuck in this body anymore.
Her greatest fear, though, wasn’t hiding from the Elite…it was losing Emery. Her love for him was stronger than any force known to man. She wanted him, all of him. She’d only hoped that when she goes to him, he accepts the new her. Her first step would be to make sure their friendship was still bound, and then she’d find a way to work her way into his heart as more than a friend.
Memories of the time they’ve spent together were the only things holding her together at that moment. She so badly wanted to feel his arms around her, holding her tight, protecting her like he always had. She thought of his smile. How genuine it was when he graced her with it. Her heart fantasized that it was a look of love, that those tantalizing brown eyes were begging her to lay out her heart for him to take.
Her mind wandered to more sinister things. She pictured Emery lying on his bed, the one he’d share with her so many times before—just not for the reasons she’d wanted. She pictured him running his fingers slowly up the span of her bare chest, his fingers brushing over her nipple, the little nubbin puckering under the touch. He’d lean down and captured it between his teeth, then circle his tongue around it to ease the sting of pain. Emery’s hands came up and threaded through her hair…but it was no longer the long, wavy brown locks that it is now, instead it was short and messy from their play between the sheets.
Anna wiped a stray tear that ran down her cheek. She wanted Emery’s love more than anything, but would he accept the new her? And if he didn’t, what would she do then? She didn’t know if she could go on living without him in her life—in her new life. She needed him.
But she needed this just as much…if not more.
Once again, she pulled her hoodie tighter around her. She’d been in this room for too long, so they were bound to come get her soon. And then… Then she would no longer be Anna. She was not looking forward to the time she’d have to spend there underground, away from Emery for so long, but she needed time to heal where it was safe.
Anna was more than grateful that she’d stumbled upon her ‘in’ into Asek, and she was ready to move on with her life…and praying that Emery would still be in it.
She started as the door to her room suddenly opened, but a wave of relief filled her as she watched Bethany enter.
Holding out a medical gown for her, Bethany smiled and said, “It’s time to change, dear. Everything is ready for you.”
With a shaky hand, Anna reached out and took the flimsy material. After changing quickly, Bethany guided her from the room and into another. With its bright lights and sterile instruments, the new room wasn’t nearly as dreary looking as the last one, but it was just as cold. Without the warmth her jacket provided, she now shivered as she lay down on the operating table.
“I know you’re scared, dear, but I promise it’ll be okay.”
Anna looked up towards the doctor. “It’s going to hurt though, won’t it?”
“I won’t lie to you, it will hurt. The human body was not made to go through such a change as this. But you’ll be out for the entire procedure, so you won’t feel a thing.”
Anna lay as still as she could on the table while Bethany prepared her. If the blood pounding in her ears was any indication as to how hard her heart was beating, then she feared she might have a heart attack before the procedure even started. Her body trembled from head to toe. The hairs on her arms stood on end as she watched one of the assistants fill a large needle with a green colored substance.
“Okay, first I’m going to give you a little something to help you sleep.” Bethany patted her hand comfortingly, then injected the anesthesia into her IV. The seconds ticked by, and the friendly smile on the doctors face slowly faded. Bethany looked over to her assistant. “Check the monitor.”
Ann felt her breath catch. What was going on? Was something wrong? Oh god, she was going to die before she really ever had a chance to live.
A skinny, gangly man stepped over to one of the machines and looked it over. “Her heart rate is off the charts and her vitals are way too high.” The man looked over to Bethany and shook his head. “I don’t know how she’s doing it, but she’s fighting the anesthesia.”
Bethany glanced back down to her and smiled again. “Anna, I know you’re scared, but you have to calm down. Everything is going to be just fine. I know you’ll be uncomfortable when you wake, but it’s nothing that you can’t handle. Plus, we’ll have plenty of pain medicine to help.”
Pulling her bottom lip between her teeth, Anna chewed on it—a nervous habit she could never seem to shake. Nodding her head, she tried to take a deep breath to relax herself, but in the end it came out to be a more shuddering gasp than anything else.
Bethany leaned in closer and placed a comforting hand on her arm. “Listen to me,” she said softly. “I know that you can do this. I know that once you wake, you’ll feel more alive and like yourself than you ever had. Look at me.”
Anna trembled uncontrollably as she stared up at her doctor.
“What is your name?” Bethany asked.
Anna frowned at her and replied, “Anna.” Why would she ask that? The doctor knew who she was.
Bethany shook her head. “No, dear, what is your name?”
Pale green eyes stared down at her, seeking out an answer Anna wasn’t sure she could give. Her mind raced as she tried to think.
And then it hit her. Gradually, she felt her heartbeat begin to slow. The tremors that wracked her body before began to calm. The answer was so simple, and the knowledge that she’d soon be living it seemed to put her at peace.
Anna looked up to Bethany and returned the kind smile. “Rayne,” she stated. “My name is Rayne.”