BILLIE and Stevie are not your regular couple. They meet at the club the year after leaving school. Billie isn’t looking for a boy. She doesn’t know what she wants.
Stevie flicks his strawberry blonde locks and giggles. “You’re fun,” he says. He’s dancing in his tennis shorts now his career is over. Someone told him they made him look hot. Billie wears a scarlet skirt with pleats that stops halfway down her thighs. Her legs are big. All her dresses are big. She’s a big girl.
“Should we move in together?” asks Stevie.
The other club kids assume she’s his fag hag.
“Such an ugly expression,” says Stevie. So he kisses her. The club kids are not impressed.
“What do you think this is? A straight place?”
“Get a room!”
Billie and Stevie are young and on their own in this tourist town where money buys pleasure and strangers come and go. They work nights, if you know what I mean.
“Anything is possible,” says Stevie, swallowing his little blue pill. “But I prefer to be the girl.”
“You go, girl!” says Billie. She has a latex allergy. “You can watch is all,” she tells the punters. It isn’t always like that of course. Money talks.
When they get home they snuggle. Stevie is always little spoon. He can feel Billie’s breasts against his shoulder blades. He feels safe in her arms.
Billie cradles her manboy. She suggests they get naked. “This is new,” says Stevie. Billie gives him a lesson about her body. “Wow, that’s amazing! I want one of those!”
Now they are working together. The punters pay more for a double act. Mostly Billie stands guard. She can fill a doorway. She wears black leather and red lipstick, sometimes she holds a strap. It’s a strange trinity of businessman, boy and bondage dominatrix.
The baby is a surprise.
“Is it mine?” asks Stevie.
“Of course it’s yours,” says Billie.
“Are you keeping it?”
“Of course I am,” says Billie. “I know what I want. What will we call her?”
“Is it a she? Maybe she’s an it. Maybe it doesn’t know what it wants to be yet.”
Billie gets bigger. Stevie listens to her tummy, his freckled face on her stretchmarks. He can hear the future.
“We have to stop working,” says Stevie.
“For the baby,” says Billie.
“Yup. For us.”
They both get jobs in a café. They are up to their elbows in focaccia and latte. Dancefloor nights give way to barista mornings. Stevie throws away his little blue pills.
“I want to be a girl,” says Stevie.
“Maybe it will be a boy,” says Billie.
“Not the baby, me!” says Stevie. “I want to be a girl.”
“Anything is possible.”
The operations are successful. Neither of them minds the pain. The baby gurgles and Stevie giggles. She breastfeeds from a bottle filled by Billie who stands guard over her family.
“Are we sisters or lovers?” asks Stevie.
“Mothers,” says Billie. “We’re mothers.”
This story first appeared in the OutStanding Short Story Competition, and was the 2014 winner.
Read the winning entry of the 2013 OutStanding Short Story Competition here.
**This was also published in the November edition of the Star Observer. Click here to find out where you can grab your free copy in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Canberra and select regional areas.