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Be a Man

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“Today is the day,” Avi kept saying to himself. He’d been trying to work up the courage for the last week, he honestly felt terrible keeping this from his friends for so long, but “today is the day.” He was scared out of his wits, but it was time to get the show on the road. He opens his phone to start calling his friends, so he can talk to them in person. Mitch’s number is the first to pop up, and his thumb hesitates over the dial button, trembling ever so slightly. The phone screen goes dark after a minute, and Avi realizes he’s just been staring. He clears his throat, pressing dial quickly before he could decide otherwise again. Mitch answers on the fourth ring, and Avi asks her quickly to gather the other three and meet him at his house. Mitch seems confused, but agrees, and he hangs up after a quick “See you later.”

Avi begins pacing around the front room, adjusting his binder and coughing a couple times. He tries to ignore how badly he’s shaking, until he hears a knock on the door. Freezing for a couple seconds, he collects his thoughts, before going to the door. He opens the door, and his four friends make their way in, continuing their conversation from the car, until Avi clears his throat, talking in his deep baritone. “Would you like to take a seat?”

Scott is the first to sit, Kirstie on his left, and Mitch on his right, with Kevin on the seat next to them. Avi remains standing, running a hand through his hair. He opens his mouth to speak, and blinks a couple times, before closing his mouth again. He runs a hand through his hair again before blurting out “I’m a boy,” much to everyone’s surprise.

Scott speaks first, after the moment of silence. “Yeah. We know. Is that new information?”

Avi takes a breath. That wasn’t what he meant to say. The words just aren’t coming out right. He sighs, before speaking again. “I mean to say that I. I, uhh.” He stutters for another second, before managing to get out that “I’m transgender.”

Having a bit more experience with this, Mitch speaks up this time, trying not to freak out the baritone. “Thanks for telling us. What do you want to go by?”

Avi lets out an irritated noise, his words kept messing up. He wasn’t quite sure what to say to his friends sitting in front of him, and he runs a hand through his hair for a third time. “I want to go by Avi. I’m a guy. I mean that I. How do I say this. I was... assigned female?” He tries, hoping they’ll finally get it. A slight flicker of recognition graces the friends’ faces.

Scott speaks again, a small smile playing his features. “Thank you. Really. Thanks for telling us. Means a lot.”

Avi takes a deep breath, smiling a little. He grabs a bottle of water, and takes a sip, finding Kirstie’s hand on his shoulder by the time he’s swallowed. The woman pulls him into a hug that he quickly relaxes into. She holds him tight for several seconds before letting him go. Mitch is right behind her, and he hugs Avi quickly, pulling away after a few seconds, her arms around his waist, as he speaks, “Talk to me any time. I mean it. I’m here for you, man.”

Avi wipes his eyes, nodding a little, wiping the tears off on his pants. Mitch lets go, and Kevin stands to hug Avi next. Scott stands after, hugging Avi much longer than any of the others, Avi resting his head on his boyfriend’s shoulder. They’re there for a few minutes, when they finally pull away, the three others are in the kitchen, the two of them alone. Avi chuckles a little, looking back at Scott, who leans in to give him a chaste kiss. He pulls back after a few seconds, looking Avi in the eyes. “You could have told me, it’s okay. I love you so much.”

Avi wipes his eyes again, clearing them of the built up tears. “Love you too. So much.”

Scott hugs him for another minute before leading him to the kitchen, sitting down with all of them. As it was around dinner time, Kevin, Mitch, and Kirstie were already in the process of ordering food. Avi looks over their shoulders to see what they’re getting, and much to his delight they were ordering chicken wings to be delivered in the next half hour or so. To pass the time, Avi sets up a game of Emerald, ordered from Germany. It had dragons in it, how could he possibly resist. And, even better, it could be played with 5 people. He’d be lying if he said it wasn’t one of his favorite games.

After the game, and a large amount of friendly trash-talking, dinner arrives, and the five of them eat. Kevin, Mitch, and Kirstie leave after eating, Scott still helping Avi clean. It was no secret that Avi had a little bit of a love for music, even going so far as to write some songs himself, that Scott frequently helped him with. Avi begins humming quietly, before singing low, “I counted the stars tonight...”

Scott comes in soon, singing with him, until Avi gets about halfway through, hitting a particularly high note. Avi has to wipe a few stray tears off his cheek, blinking a few times, before beginning to sing again, much quieter. Scott finishes cleaning the kitchen for him, rubbing his back slowly afterward, kissing his cheek, finishing out with him, “And then we’ll know... we’re standing by.”

Avi looks at him, smiling a little. “That’s my part,” to which Scott just shrugs a little, kissing his cheek once more.

“I like singing with you,” he says after a minute, looking at Avi. He nods, hugging him quickly. “And I like singing with you. In fact, I like singing with you so much, I wouldn’t mind you staying over to keep singing with me.”

Scott laughs a little bit, rolling his eyes. “Right. So eloquent. I’m swooning right here.”

Avi sighs, running a hand through his hair. “You know what I meant.” Scott nods.

“I’m in.”