Need To Focus

They’d gotten here early enough that the busses hadn’t arrived yet. Sam and Jules weren’t there either, but it was just a matter of sending them a message. Anna turned her phone back on and was immediately assaulted by hundreds of notifications of missed calls from her parents. She did her best to pretend nothing was wrong, and quickly typed “smthin cam up regroup @ prof lab !!! important” as a joined message to Sam and Jules.

She saw her friends look through the window after receiving the message, and she quickly waved at them.

Jules’s reply came quickly, and confused by what it said, she found herself reading it aloud. “You two look so cute together…?” She looked down and finally noticed she’d been holding Lucie’s hand since climbing the slope to the school. Her cheeks reddened and she let her friend’s hand go, who quickly tugged it under her other arm, equally embarrassed.

The two girls took advantage of the mostly empty corridors to make their way to the lab first without gathering attention.

Once they made their way down the stairs, they found the lab empty - though most of the mess from yesterday had been triaged or sweeped in a pile.

“We might need to go fetch a few chairs…” Anna remarked. The lab only had two, and one of them had taken a beating during yesterday’s impromptu fight.

They climbed back up the stairs, got to the closest classroom and ‘borrowed’ four seats before making their way back to the door - only to find Jules and Sam waiting for them here.

“Hold on, let me help!” Said Sam, grabbing one of the chairs off Lucie.

“I’ll hold open the door.” Offered Jules, and so he did, and the four of them quickly finished their manoeuvre.

“You wouldn’t believe how my mom reacted last night.” Said Jules as he dropped in his chair, the others quickly following. “The entire time she thought Sam was a girl, and she spent the whole evening asking if we were a couple.” He rolled his eyes with great exaggeration and a smirk on his face. “Like, when will she finally grasp I don’t give a damn about that stuff, ha ha?”

“It was pretty funny.” Added Sam. “If annoying after a while. Maybe I should shave half of my hair just to make it clearer I’m not a girl nor a guy.” They smirked. “Though I’m sure there’s a few people it’d just confuse even more.”

The two girls stayed silent, not really knowing how to broach the subject.

Sam leaned forward, sensing their friends were a bit lost. “So… What’s the important thing that has happened? I’m guessing it has something to do with him, considering he’s covering his face...”

“Oh, uh, while we’re at it-” Added Jules, “You found a name yet?”

Lucie put her hand on Anna’s thigh in support.

“Yes.” She stammered out. Her friends quickly noticed her different voice. She removed her sunglasses, facemask, and dropped her hood. “I’m Anna.”

“Oh no.” They heard coming from a voice at the top of the stairs. “No, no, no, no, no...” Continued Mr. Robert in a panic as he hurtled down the stairs, a coffee mug in his hand.

He ran towards Anna and grabbed her by the shoulders a bit too forcefully, scaring her beyond death. “What the hell happened to you!?” He looked down and lifted the scarab jewel. “Is it the amulet!? How the hell did it do that!!? What even is it!!!?” He released her and sprinted to a table, dropped his mug, grabbed a gigantic sheet of paper and a pencil, and started frantically writing.

Anna found herself feeling uncharacteristically skittish, her heart racing at the sudden surprise from the professor.

Seeing her expression, Sam jumped out of their chair in rescue. “Are you okay?” They asked.

She took a moment to breathe slowly, relaxing as best she could. “I’m okay.” She replied. “I’m okay.”

Mr. Robert was still trying to write something down that made sense of what had happened. In the meantime, explanations needed to be given.

Anna took another breath and started. “So, uh… I just… Woke up like this this morning. At first I couldn’t move at all.”

Sam muttered, moving to sit back at their chair. “Like me yesterday…”

“And…” She wanted to avoid mentioning what she was about to say, it was embarrassing... But she needed to give all the details. “I grabbed onto Lucie while I was trying to get myself to move. And somehow, I managed to put an enormous amount of grip strength in it... I don’t know where it came from.” She realised Mr. Robert was listening attentively, still writing things down on his paper. “Then everything kinda fell back into place and I was in full control of my body again, like nothing had happened.”

“That part’s different.” Noted Sam. “It took me the whole evening to get all my strength back.”

The professor started rummaging in his boxes, looking through his various apparatuses. He grabbed some sort of electronic visor, and put and turned it on.

He approached Anna and looked in her direction, standing still for a few seconds. “...Did it just crash?” He muttered. “It crashed as soon as I made it look at you...” He straightened up, thought for a few seconds. “Does that mean… You said it was no longer Marcus, but Anna, was it?”

Her heart skipped a beat and she nodded. She didn’t expect the teacher too to change so readily. Actually… No, she was keeping that thought for later. They were in the middle of something important.

“Well, Anna, right now, there’s something about you that does not operate accordingly with the rules of physics of our universe.” He explained. “Stay here for the entire morning. I have tests I need to try out to understand what’s happening.” He started muttering again. “Whatever. The students will be happy they get to skip class.”

“That’s pretty convenient actually.” Realized Lucie. “That means no risk of blowing up your cover this morning.”

“Kinda defeats the purpose of showing up in the first place, though..” Anna lowered her head.

Jules rolled his eyes again. “Heh… Math is in the afternoon on thursdays. At least you won’t miss your favorite lecture.”

“Yeah, I know... But the other classes are important too...”

“Glad to see Anna is still as studious as she ever was.” He joked, making her blush again.

She quickly hid her cheeks with her hands. “I’m feeling emotional over the littlest things today…”

“That’s probably more due to the fact it’s now Anna we’re talking about instead of some weird stranger.” Interjected Sam. “I get it.”

She stammered for a while, unable to get any coherent words out of her mouth, red as a tomato. Sam looked a bit smug, thinking to themself they’d hit the nail on the head.

Jules took out his phone to look at the time, and thought about something. “Hey, could you three scoot over? I have an idea.”

Sam closed over to him, with Lucie following up quickly. Anna hesitated, but got out of her chair and carefully approached.

“C’m’here, closer. Just a bit closer…”

“You’re gonna snap a photo?” Asked Sam.

“What!?” Exclaimed Anna, taking a step back.

“It’s just a photo, Anna. It’s not dangerous.” Jules reminded her. Lucie threw her a comforting smile.

She felt tense, but in the end snuggled over between her friends.

“Alright, I just need to focus the camera properly…” He murmured, tapping on his screen and letting the phone do the rest. “Say cheese!”

“You think she’s going to give me back my phone soon?” Mock-complained Jules.

“I’m sincerely sorry... I guess I forgot to make her take a look in the mirror this morning.” Replied Lucie. “At least that means she’s liking what she sees, right?”

Anna couldn’t believe that cute smiling girl in the photo was her. It felt so surreal. Her eyes, her lips, her hair… She touched her face, it did correspond. And it was all so different. So… Unlike before. She didn’t know if it was quite right yet, but she couldn’t bring herself to care. She loved this way more than being Marcus already.

She spent a couple more minutes looking at this cute girl -at herself!- before giving back his phone with a whispered “sorry.”

They spent a few more minutes discussing about things - their situation mostly, but also other things when Anna hit her limit and needed to distract her mind with different topics. They talked school, Sam’s upcoming football match, video games, music -unsurprisingly, Lucie had so much to say on that one. Meanwhile Mr. Robert was sorting through his inventions, picking whichever he thought he’d need for Anna’s tests.

The bell finally rang. Lucie grabbed her bag, lifted herself up and came to Anna to give her a hug. “Stay strong, okay? I know it gets hard.”

“Thanks.” She replied.

They finally left, not wanting to be too late to class. Anna was now alone in the lab, with only the professor as company for the rest of the morning.


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About the author


Bio: I write the LGBTQ gender bending stories I wish I had when I was a teen, and all the internet had was cis gaze erotica. I write so that future trans kids have better stuff to look at to figure themselves out than what I had.

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