Chapter Four: Latch Spell:

For months, Lenard worked on his transition. He and Tai saved the money on reassignment surgeries. Plus, the insurance was good in Japan.

“Are you ready to do this?” Tai asked.

“Yes,” Lenard said. Tai pressed his forehead against his.

“Good luck,” he said. Halloween was the last night Lenard would be a woman. At the end of the party, he came to another realization.

I can’t tell him until it’s done.

Step one surgery was on the tenth. Tai took Lenard to the hospital. He held his hand in the waiting room.

“Are you okay?” Tai asked. Lenard nodded.

“Remember what I said,” his roommate said.

“Yes,” the American man said. He took a deep breath.

“Lenard Perkins,” the nurse said. Lenard turned to Tai.

“I’m off,” he said.

“I will be waiting,” Tai said. His roommate let go and walked over to the nurse.

The operation went successfully. Lenard stayed in the hospital for three days. Tai came by for a visit the day after surgery. Lenard could barely keep his eyes open.

“Hey,” he mumbled. Tai smiled with flowers in his hand.

“How are you?” he asked.

“Tired,” Lenard said. His roommate sat next to him.

“And they are gone?” he asked. Lenard looked down at his chest. The bandages looked fresh.

“Yeah,” he said.

“When are you coming home?”

Lenard tried to think. “Um… Um…” Tai put his hand on his.

“Shhh. Just take it easy,” he said. “Don’t think, rest.”

“Yes,” the American said.

“I’m doing good,” his roommate said. “Work’s a little boring. Grandpa says hi.” Through his groggy haze, Lenard tried to smile. Suddenly, a nurse walked into the room.

“Oh, is this a bad time?” she asked.

“Oh, no, no,” Tai said. “It’s fine. Come in.” The nurse walked over to Lenard’s bed.

“Good morning, Perkins-san,” she said. “How are you today?”

“Tired,” Lenard mumbled. He fought to stay awake.

“Nurse, I think he’s still worn out,” Tai said. The nurse took notes on her clipboard.

“Fair enough,” she said. “I’ll be back later.” The nurse turned and walked out the door. Tai patted Lenard on the hand.

“I have to go to work,” he whispered. “I’ll see you later.” He got up and walked out of the room.


Three days later, Lenard came home. He wouldn’t let Tai see his chest until then. Tonight was the reveal. Tai lay back on his bed.

“Okay,” he said. “Let me see it.” Lenard smiled.

“Alright,” he said. “Brace yourself.” The American man unwrapped the bandages from his chest. Tai sat up with wide eyes. Lenard used to be a B-cup. Now, he had a nice flat chest.

“Well?” he asked. Tai started panting. Lenard had a confused look on his face.

“Tai?” he asked. His roommate leapt forward and kissed him on the lips. Lenard froze. What… What is this? His heart pounded against his new chest. His hands inched upwards. Lenard felt himself give into the kiss. Tai pinned him against the wall. Their kissing grew faster. Lenard’s mind entered strange place. He couldn’t figure out how this happened. He didn’t know what to do. Both were shirtless. This felt like a fantasy came to life.

But this wasn’t right.

Tai’s hands moved down Lenard’s bare torso. His right hand moved down his baggy jeans.

I… I’m not ready for this!

Tai pushed his tongue into his mouth. Lenard pushed him off.

“Stop!” he shouted. Tai stood blinking.

“What’s the matter?” he asked. Lenard shivered as he shook his head.

“Not ready?” his roommate asked. The American man shook his head. Tai drew back his hand.

“I get you,” he said. “I’m sorry to have done that.” Lenard shook his head.

“It’s fine,” he said. “Thank you.” Tai kissed him on the forehead. Lenard felt like melting. Could a good man like this exist?