Published: October 20, 2014
Scene opens up inside a church as it’s raining hard. Everyone is in dressed in black. Focus in on RYAN FLAHERTY, wearing a suit. He is sitting in the first row of benches. Ryan is 12. Despite the rain, a large crowd of people sit on the wooden benches. Next to Ryan are his siblings Aiken and Kellen, both of them 19 as they’re twins. There is an empty space next to Ryan as well.
Rain (Narrating): My mom died when I was little. I loved her, just as much as my brother and my sister. Despite knowing her for so long, I only really remember a few things about her. The first is the rain at her funeral. When I was in school we talked about symbolism in books. Rain meant a change in a character. It can also mean that someone was about to die. A weird thing to focus on, but I was young. The second thing I remember about my mom was even as she dying, she still hoped that my dad would come back and help her in her time of need. I haven’t seen him since the night he learned that mom was dying. I don’t have many good memories of my dad, just the sound of a door closing in the middle of the night.
(Focus in on Aiken and Kellen. Kellen starts crying into Aiken while he comforts her.)
Rain: The third thing I remember about her, was how she made me realize I was different from everyone. Different in a bad way.
(Lightning strikes and the power goes out.)
Scene opens up with Ryan, Aiken and Kellen together at their house. He is roughly 3 years old while his brother and sister are almost ten. They’re all sitting on a couch together when his mom enters.
Mom (entering): Hey what are you guys doing huh? (goes over to Ryan and tickles his feet) I trust you’re all behaving or the tickle monster will get you!
Aiken: Nothing. We’re just talking to each other.
Kellen: Yeah we’re just talking to each other.
Mom: Oh yeah? What are you guys talking about?
Kellen: Fun stuff.
Mom: Oh yeah? What kind of stuff?
Aiken: What we want to do when we grow up.
Mom (tickles Ryan’s feet): Oh really? What do you guys want to be?
Aiken: I want to be a lawyer like dad.
Kellen: I want to be a doctor so I can help people.
Mom: You guys are so ambitious and smart too. I’m sure you’ll be able to go to law school or med school. What about you Ryan? What do you want to be?
Ryan? Ryan? Ryan. (Ryan stops laughing)
What do you want to be when you grow up?
Ryan (thinks for a second): I want to be a mommy just like you!
(Aiken and Kellen break out laughing.)
Mom: Honey, you can’t be a mommy, but I bet you’ll make a great daddy someday.
Ryan (Getting upset): But I don’t want to be a daddy, I want to be a mommy just like you.
Mom: It doesn’t work like that honey.
Ryan: I don’t care. I want to be a mommy!
Aiken (Still laughing): Oh geez, what’s wrong with him? Why would he want to be like his sister? She’s got cooties!
Kellen: I do not! (Starts playfully fighting)
Mom (Ignoring Ryan): Hey you two knock it off!
(Ryan gets up and leaves, crying)
Scene 3 (Optional scene)
The scene opens up with the Flaherty family sitting around a table for dinner. It is one year later. Ryan, Aiken and Kellen, Mom (LIRIEL) and his dad (MARCUS) are sitting together, enjoying a meal that Mom cooked. They’re laughing over a joke that Aiken and Kellen told. Ryan, while he does laugh, doesn’t really seem that into the conversation.
Marcus: Alright alright nice stalling you two. But you know that I’m going to ask you how you did in school today. You might as well get over it now.
Aiken: Well I did pretty good. How about you sis?
Kellen: You know what, shut up. And besides, don’t you mean “I did pretty well”.
(Aiken glares at her)
Marcus: I’m surprised at you Kellen, normally you do better on tests then your brother. What gives?
Kellen: I just didn’t study for it.
Aiken: More likely you kept thinking about Ryan being a mommy.
(Everyone laughs expect for Ryan who just glares at Aiken)
Marcus: Wait, am I missing some joke here or something?
Liriel: Oh knock it off Aiken, it’s just something Ryan said one day. He was joking.
Marcus: Ah I see. Is that so Ryan?
Marcus: Well good, because no son of mine is going to be some sort of freak.
Marcus: Ryan is there something you’re not telling me?
Marcus (Dawning on him): Ryan do you really want to be a mommy?
Marcus (Not believing him): Oh Jesus Liriel, look what your sister did. She’s got him believing all sorts of crazy stuff now.
Liriel: It was just one time-
Marcus: One time too many. Look at him, he’s got some crazy idea in his head now that he can become a mommy. Jesus what’s next? He starts wearing his sister’s clothing?
(Aiken and Kellen giggle, Ryan just stares down at his food.)
Liriel: Well then good thing she’s not coming over anymore right?
Marcus: Good thing indeed. You never know how impressionable a kid is until they start spouting out some nonsense that they picked up somewhere.
(Everyone has a quick laugh expect for Ryan)
Ryan: Can I be excused?
Marcus (beat): Yes you can.
(Liriel shoots a look across the table)
Marcus: Oh he’ll be fine.
Rain: I don’t remember why, but when I think of my mom, I feel a lot of shame. I learned to just ignore that little feeling that something wasn’t right with me for a long time. It wasn’t for years that I came to terms about it.
The funeral service is over and while the rain has let up a bit, it is still raining outside. The lights have come back on, but there are still candles lit, leaving a smoky atmosphere. Aiken, Kellen and Aunt FARA are near the exits, thanking people for coming. Ryan is still at the bench up at the front. There are only a few more people in the church.
Person #1(shakes Fara’s hand): My condolences for your lost. God takes people too young sometimes.
Fara: Thank you. I’m sure she enjoyed her life. No matter how short it was.
Person #1: I know it’s not my place, but you should probably check on her son there (points to Ryan). He doesn’t look too good.
Fara: I know.
(She gestures to him to shake hands with Kellen and Aiken. She then makes her way to bench where Ryan is sitting.)
Fara: Hey there.
Fara: How are you holding up?
Ryan: I’m fine. Just a little tired is all.
Fara: I think we’re all a little tired to be honest.
Fara: I’m here for you. You know that right?
Ryan: Yeah I know that. You’ve told me that for the last month.
Fara: Hey, no need to get snippy with me young man.
Ryan (shameful): I know, I’m sorry.
Fara: I know you’re going through a tough time. Your brother and sister are in college now. No one has seen your father in over a month now. I know things seem tough now, but they’re going to get better. (jokingly) I may not have had any kids, but it sure as heck looks like I’m doing things aright right there Ryan?
Fara: Do you want some time alone?
Ryan: Yes please.
Fara: Okay. I’ll leave you be. Just make sure you say goodbye to your brother and sister before they leave.
(Focus on Ryan)
Rain: At that moment I felt so miserable. I was afraid that something bad was going to happen to me. I was going to be moving in with a woman that I didn’t even know existed until about a month ago. I was losing everything. My family was leaving me. I had urges that wouldn’t go away. I felt like a freak. For the next two years I was always depressed. My body went through puberty. Every time I looked in a mirror, I hated what I saw back. It seemed like everything was going against me, and I couldn’t do anything about it. Aunt Fara did everything she could but I wasn’t going to let her in. Looking back I made a big mistake not trusting her sooner. But at the time, I couldn’t trust anyone. My sister came back from college during the time she had off. It was nice seeing her, but I ended up staying in my room when she was over. She looked just as sad as Fara whenever they talked about me. College for her was a struggle. She was used to having a huge closest but now she was living in one. Since she didn’t have a lot of room at college, Aunt Fara let her put stuff in at her apartment.
The scene opens to Ryan in Fara’s room, opening a box with various pieces of women’s clothing in it.
Rain (As Ryan pulls out clothing and sees how they would look in him in a mirror): I didn’t pay much attention to the clothing that my sister left behind at first. But as time went on, I had to try them on. It was an urge that never stopped, never rested. I used every single logical reason why I shouldn’t try on one piece of women’s clothing. I shouldn’t because I would be a freak. I would be weak. I wouldn’t be able to even look at myself in the mirror anymore. But they wouldn’t go away. I hated myself every single day because of that. Despite everything in my body telling me not to, I went to her closet and tried on some clothing one day. When I put on that dress, I felt alive. Like every single thing was coming into place. Unfortunately though, in my happiness I forgot something. Aunt Fara.
Fara (entering through the front door): Hey Ryan, I forgot something, would you happen to know where my keys are?
(Ryan, panicking, frantically shoves clothing into the closest.)
Fara: Ryan? (Beat) Okay. I’ll get it myself.
(She goes towards her room, with Ryan still inside. Desperate, he hides in the closet, slamming the door just as Fara enters.)
Fara: Who’s there? Ryan is that you?
(Walks towards closet.)
Fara: Ryan? Where are you? Why are your sister’s clothes all over the place?
Fara: Ryan, are you in my closet? (tries to open the closet door but it won’t budge)
Fara: Ryan, open the door. Ryan, open the door! (tries again to open it, more forcefully this time)
Fara: Ryan, honey, please. Tell me why you’re in the closet.
Fara: I know you’ve been going through a lot lately. You lost your mom. You’re living with a complete stranger. And now I find you hiding in the closet with your sister’s clothes everywhere. I don’t know what to do with you. I’ll love you no matter what you’re trying to hide. So if you want, I’ll leave. I won’t ask any questions about what you’re doing. I won’t say another word about it. I won’t mention it again. How does that sound Ryan?
Fara: Okay, I’ll leave you alone.
(As she starts to leave, Ryan opens the closet door, crying and still wearing the dress. Fara simply stands their eye stricken. After a brief pause, she hugs him. Ryan stops crying for a moment, before they start crying together.)
Rain: After that I told her everything. I never thought that I could find someone who would know what I was going through. When I first told her, I was still scared. I thought that maybe she was getting ready to bring my family together to talk me out of it. My fears kept taking hold of me. One part of me knew she wanted to help me, but another told me not to trust her at all and pretend like it never happened. Despite knowing a lot about what I was going through, she decided to take me to a therapist to help work out these issues.
(Lights up on therapy session between Ryan, Fara and Therapist.)
Fara (gets up angrily): We’re leaving right now.
Ryan: What? Why?
Fara: Because we don’t need someone telling you to hate yourself.
(Gets up to leave)
Fara: Oh by the way, that dress, with that blouse? Its summer time, you don’t have to look like a bulb from some crappy Christmas tree.
(Transition to Fara and Ryan going to her car.)
Rain: After that, she asked me one simple question.
Fara: Do you want to be a girl?
Ryan (pause): I don’t know.
Fara: Then how about this, why don’t you see what it’s like to be a woman?
Ryan: What do you mean?
Fara: I mean why not go ahead and live as a girl would for a month?
Ryan (surprised and joyful): Would you let me do that?
Fara: Of course I would. Why would I say something I didn’t mean?
Ryan: I don’t know, what if I got caught or you’re just saying that?
Fara: I promised your mom I would look after you. I’m going to keep that promise to her. If you want to live as a girl, even just to try it, you can. I’m not going to say no.
Ryan (pause): Thank you Aunt Fara. Thank you so much!
(Transition to the bathroom in Fara’s house. Ryan is in her favorite dress trying on makeup.)
Rain: After that the first thing I did when I got back home was put on a dress and try makeup.
Fara: No no no no no. First off, you have to shave. Then afterwards foundation. Then blush. Then eye makeup. Then you’re fine to go. If you’re going to be a woman then you have to know makeup.
Ryan: Okay. So is this foundation? (Holds up a bottle of nail polish)
Fara: Oh we got a long ways to go.
(Transition to Fara and Ryan at a piano with Fara trying to play a scale on a piano.)
Rain: Then we worked on my falsetto.
Ryan (In a fairly convincible falsetto): Why do you keep trying that? You can’t even do the scale.
Fara: Shhh. I got it this time. (Does not get it)
(Transition to Ryan waiting outside the bathroom.)
Rain: I even had my first “period”.
Fara (inside the bathroom): Why did I skip out taking the pill? Oh god this cramp is killing me. Ryan, please you got to go get me some of the pain relievers in the medicine cabinet.
Ryan (in a perfect falsetto): Geez why would I do that? I need to know what it’s like to be on a period.
Fara(yelling): IF YOU DON’T GET ME SOMETHING FOR THIS CRAMP RIGHT NOW I’M GOING TO COME OUT OF HERE AND SHOVE THAT TAMPON UP YOUR BUTT!
Ryan: Geez, alright alright already.
(Transition to Fara and Ryan passing as a female in Fara’s kitchen. Ryan is dialing a phone to a local pizza shop.)
Rain: Then finally, my final test to see if I could pass.
Ryan: Hi yes, could I have a delivery?
(Transition to Delivery Man with a box of pizza and a two liter soda outside their house. He walks up to the door and knocks on it. Ryan opens the door.)
DM: One medium cheese pizza with a two liter of Cola?
Ryan (nervous): Yes, it was $14 right?
DM: Yup, you have a nice day now miss.
Ryan (beaming): Thank you, goodbye.
(Ryan closes the door, walks to the kitchen and sets the pizza down.)
Ryan: I PASSED!
(Fara and Ryan jump up and down, hugging each other. As their embrace starts to die down, Ryan opens the soda bottle, spraying Fara with the soda.)
Rain: I don’t know why, but in that moment of the soda drenching us both, I felt more alive than I had ever before. No matter what the rest of the world thought, I felt like I was a real woman. I wasn’t scared, or felt like something was off. I didn’t cry anymore. I loved myself. Unfortunately though that summer ended and I was a freshman at the public school there. I went to school as a boy, but when I got back home I put on a dress. I was scared to make friends because I couldn’t deal with them judging me. Those were some tough years, but thanks to aunt Fara I was able to get through them. During the holidays or summer she helped me improve my womanhood. As I got better and better at passing, I started taking some risks. Going outside for the first time scared me. I will never forget the sound of the birds whistling in the trees without a window filtering it out. Or the time when I went for a ride with her in her car when she got a new job. She became the new art teacher at a private catholic school named St.Hallvard, about 2 hours away from where I lived. I remember waiting in the car while she went to her job interview, worried that I might be caught and burned at the stake for hearsay. When she got it, I was so happy that she was able to live out her dream. We were going to move out at the end of summer and I would just go to the public school there for my senior year. But I also wanted to live out my dream as well.
(Transition to Ryan and Fara having dinner)
Ryan: Aunt Fara?
Ryan: Could I go to St.Hallvard?
Fara: It’s pretty expensive but they’ll give me a discount. I don’t see why not.
Ryan: Would it be possible if I could go there as a girl?
Fara(pause): Do you think you could pass?
Fara: Okay. (pause) Then we can transfer you out. Lucky for you the school I work for gives me a discount on their tuition fees. It’s going to be hard though. I’m not going to lie to you.
Ryan: I figured. It’s just that I want this more than anything. I know that I can do this.
Fara: I’ll call tomorrow. I don’t know if they’ taking any more students but I think I can get you in for your senior year.
Ryan: Thank you so much! (Hugs her)
Rain is getting ready for her first day of school. She takes a shower, gets her clothes on, puts on makeup, styles her hair, etc.
Rain: I can do this.
END EPISODE 1