ESCAPE FROM PARADISE

There I was.

There I was.

I was looking at myself. I wasn't looking at some girl in a dress, I was looking at myself! I belonged in flannel shirts, belts and jeans, and maybe even cowboy boots. Maybe even backwards caps and graphic t-shirts and muscles and everything in between. I truly felt like I belonged in my body for the first time in 13 years.

"You look butch," Mary finally said, snapping me out of my thoughts. "Really butch."

I looked at her, confused. I liked the sound of butch, but I didn't know what it meant. That was my very first time hearing that word.

"What does that mean?"

"It means you're like, a really masculine girl, I think. You dress like a boy, act like a boy, but you're still a girl."

She leaned into my ear.

"It also means you're a girl that likes girls, I think."

I blushed a bit. "Yeah, I do like girls a little bit."

"Me too," she leaned away. "Anyway, I have some combat boots you can also wear! Come on."