You guys voted that the theme for the next Jake and Jessica story would be inspired by Ice Cube’s Today was a Good Day, and here it is.
New readers may want to catch up with what’s been happening :
Chapter 3 – It Was a Good Day
Jake reclined on Jessica’s couch. He was exactly as high as he wanted to be and he zoned out into the comfort of it. The TV was on, but it hadn’t held his attention all morning. True to her word, Jes had packed him a bowl and it was waiting for him when they came inside. He felt bad about being so emotional at her, but the Annihilator’s death hit him hard.
Jes was right, he spent all his time chasing women, and now his oldest friend had died and he wasn’t even there for him when he went. Hot grief settled into all his muscles along with the buzz from the pot. He’d done the same thing to Jes, he realized. Yeah, he had been there for her when she came out, but how much had they hung out lately?
With an effort of will, he moved his head in her direction. “Jes.”
She mumbled an acknowledgment.
“You’re right… About the girls, I mean. Dude, half the time I don’t even really like them. It’s just something to do.”
Jessica considered him. Obviously this was something he needed to get off his chest.
Jake sighed and continued. “And… we used to do that together, I mean chase girls. And we had so much fun, you know, hanging out. And now…” he looked at his lap.
All the bars and games and events they’d gone to had been under the auspices of getting laid, but there were times they ended up going home empty handed because they’d had so much fun with each other that they’d ignored the girls. When she’d come out as transgender to him, he’d been as supportive as he thought a person could be, but hitting the bar with his fave wingman turned wingwoman seemed somehow innapropriate.
“um” Jake stalled
It felt weird talking about girls with her now. Everything he said about women around her had to go through the added scrutiny of being said to a woman. He only wanted to be supportive of his best friend, but he wasn’t sure how to talk to her. So, for the last year, they hadn’t done much more than keep in touch.
But what kind of asshole tells his best friend that her transition made him uncomfortable? He realized that was exactly what he was telling her… He was too high and he wasn’t thinking, and he’d gone and said something incredibly rude to the only person who would care enough or know enough to smoke him out on the morning of his cat’s death.
He looked into her eyes, she didn’t seem offended, only listening patiently.
He backpedaled. “Not that.. um, not like…. Shit. Look, I just didn’t think you would want to, you know, come out to the bars like we used to. And all this girl stuff….” he took a breath “Jes, you know I’m always there for you, man, whatever you need. You’re, like, my best friend. Well, you’re basically my only friend now. And, I just wish we hung out more.”
Jessica nodded her head. “I didn’t want to keep going out to bars with you either.”
“Jes” Jake said, trying to stop her from thinking what he thought she was thinking
“I’m not offended.” she reassured. “I did that shit to prove something I no longer have to prove. But I did wonder if you were just being my friend because you didn’t want to be the douche that stopped hanging out with me because I’m trans.”
“No, dude, I’ve always liked hanging out with you. But I’m worried, you know, that I’m gonna say the wrong thing.” Jake said.
“So you stopped talking to me altogether?” She asked.
Jake played with a fraying hem on his shirt.
“Sometimes people just grow apart” she continued. “I wouldn’t have any hard feelings if you moved on. But I can’t be your pity friend.”
“You’re not my pity friend. You’re, like, my only friend.” Jake said.
“That’s not a good basis for a friendship” Jessica answered.
Jake sat up. This was a serious conversation, and the high he had previously welcomed was now getting in the way. “I realized something last night at Amber’s. Girls are awesome. Women are awesome.”
Jessica nodded her agreement.
“Amber is fun, but we don’t talk. None of the girls I’ve been with this year would talk to me. We were all trying to impress each other so hard, and to prove something to each other that it became this weird ritual, and we weren’t even friends at all. You’re probably the closest friend I’ve had as an adult. And I was going to let that go just to avoid being awkward. That’s fucking stupid. Jes, I miss you.”
“Dude, I miss you too. The Ladies Auxiliary is awesome, but I feel like I have to be… so positive around them. It’s fucking sickening. And there’s always drama. Sometimes I just want to smoke a bowl, turn on the TV and talk about tits without thinking about what that means. I miss not having to look good all the time. I even miss calling people a fag on multiplayer.”
“Woah.” Since Jes’s transition, Jake had come out staunchly against the F word in all situations.
“I’m not going to,” she said. “I just miss being able to completely avoid dealing with this shit sometimes. There were things about pretending to be a straight white dude that were kind of nice.”
“I wouldn’t know. “ Jake answered, pointing at his own face as if to emphasize his blackness.
Jes sighed. “I’m tryin’ to have a serious conversation over here…”
Jake laughed, but his tone was somber when he said “There are some things that neither of us will ever be able to avoid.” He paused. “I just want you to know that I’m done trying. I’m here for you.”
“Not just because you need me to be there for you?” She half-teased as she reached for the pipe.
“I can buy my own weed.” Jake laughed. “I just like yours better.”
“I can give you my guy’s number… ” Jes offered
“nah,” Jake said. “For some reason it’s only better after he’s sold it to you.”
“Oh shit.” Jes looked at the clock. The Ladies Auxiliary was coming over at 5 and they’d spent the entire day watching TV, eating pizza and playing video games.
Jes’s trans friends had started to call themselves the Ladies Auxiliary, even though there were a few female to male members. No one seemed to mind the overly feminine title.
“Either you’re going to have to help me clean, or go buy snacks for the Ladies, because they will be here in 30 minutes.” She said to Jake.
“What are you guys doing?” Jake asked.
“We’re going to watch the Lakers whoop the
SuperSonics* The Raptors.” Jes said.
“Can I stick around?”
“I don’t see why not” she answered.
“Cool.” Jake said. “It’s been awhile since I watched a game.”
“Brenda really gets into it.” Jes warned as she started picking up the living room.
Jake followed suit and by the time the ladies were scheduled to arrive, the house was spotless and Jes was in the bathroom getting ready. Jake leaned on the door jam, watching her put the finishing touches.
“I didn’t know you had to get this fancy to watch basketball game.”
“I will close this door…” she said, doing her best to look stern while holding the curling iron close to her head.
“Is there somebody special gonna be there?” Jake teased.
“Yes. There is. Now don’t be fucking weird.” Jes snapped as she gently shook out the curls she’d made.
“Now, why are you taking them out, you just went through all that trouble to put em in!” Jake gestured at her head.
Jessica closed the door. “This isn’t for you.” she answered through the barrier.
“So who’s it for, then?” He demanded.
“Kelsy” Jessica shouted. “So don’t be fucking weird. She’s not like the girls we trolled. She’s awesome, so don’t do anything that might scare her off or creep her out or whatever.”
“You can’t see me.” Jake said “So I’ll just tell you that I am extremely offended by your insinuation. I have never let you down in the girl department.”
“Okay, she didn’t like you anyway.” Jake answered. “That had nothing to do with me.”
“If you’d just left her alone, we’d know that for sure, wouldn’t we?” Jes countered.
“Alright. I get your point. I will steer clear of your dream girl.”
Jessica opened the door.
“How did you get your hair that big?” Jake asked, reaching towards her face.
“Hey” Jessica batted his hand away. “I don’t try and touch your hair.”
“Point taken.” Jake said. “But it’s literally twice the size it was when you went in there. It’s like magic. Girl magic.”
“We’re almost thirty.” Jessica replied.
*The SuperSonics and the Lakers haven’t played each other since the 1998.
Due to your amazing support for Jake and Jessica, I have been able to publish Volume 1 on Amazon. Chapters 1-6 are available for $1.49.
At that price, I make about $0.50 a book. I’ve set the price more than a dollar lower than Amazon suggested because I want the story to stay as accessible as possible in all its formats.
You can still read the entire story absolutely free on the blog, and I have no intention of changing that ever. But if you want a more portable, searchable, note-able format, it’s available to you on Amazon. I’ve also made it lend-able, so you can lend it to your friends.
Even if you don’t intend to buy the book, I’d appreciate it if you could go and give me a favorable review so that more people can find it.
Thank you again for your constant encouragement and good will. You guys are awesome.