Foreign Territory (Part 1)
Ben crossed the threshold to the new chapter in his life. He was about to leave his country and everything he knew for months, and that was always hard.
He rolled his suitcase around the airport, looking for the appropriate gate. Luckily, it wasn’t that far away, as he was a bit late. He started walking a bit faster and saw that his flight was already boarding.
He ran towards his cousin Felicia, who was waving at him from the queue.
“I thought you wouldn’t make it,” she said after kissing his cheek.
“Sorry. I just packed this morning. I should have done it before, as you said…”
“That’s classic. Guys never prepare anything…”
They both showed their tickets and started walking towards the plane. Ben was glad for the long interruption, because when they finally found their seats and he helped her hoist her baggage in the upper compartment (Felicia being a very short girl), she didn’t keep talking about his unpunctuality.
“So, how awesome is that the both of us decided to study on England at the same time?” she asked.
“Well, that certainly will ease the transition for us both. We’ll have someone we know around.”
Ben and Felicia were close enough cousins, being about the same age. They were both 19, and Felicia was only 4 months older than he was. They also shared a lot of common interests, among them fashion. In fact Felicia was going to study in a prestigious school for fashion designers in London.
“I’m so envious,” said Ben, who in turn was to become an engineer. He had wanted to become a designer ever since he was young, but his parents had scoffed at the idea. Society wasn’t ready to allow a heterosexual male to pursue that kind of career without making him uncomfortable. Thus, he had abandoned his dreams, but he still wished he could go with Felicia. “I guess these are the moments you’re glad you’re a girl.”
“Yeah, but they aren’t many…” said Felicia smiling gawkily. A few months earlier, she had revealed to her family and friends she had discovered she was a lesbian. Her parents hadn’t been happy either.
“Well, you’re going to be away from them for a long time. You can find yourself a nice British girlfriend,” smiled Ben.
“I hope so,” actually, Felicia wasn’t too comfortable with her looks. She was pretty, but she felt awkward. She adjusted her glasses. “Anyway, I’ll let you come with me to some classes.”
Their conversation was cut short by the cries of a girl of about 8 sitting in the opposite row. Her father was sitting next to her and looked at her menacingly. She became silent immediately.
The little girl’s name was Violet, and she wasn’t really a spoiled child. She had just finally snapped. The way her father treated her was simply criminal. And her mother back home wasn’t much better.
The plane had already taken off and about half an hour later, tears were silently running down Violet’s face. In that moment, an attendant crouched next to her. Violet thought she was very pretty, with black hair and very green eyes.
“Hello, little one. Are you all right?”
“She’s fine, thanks,” answered the father dismissively.
The attendant didn’t take notice of him. She produced a small pack of candy.
“Here, have a mint.”
“There’s no need…” began the father.
Violet smiled and dried her tears with her sleeves. She took a small round mint and put it on her mouth.
“Come, the bathroom is vacant. You should wash your face.”
The father scoffed contemptuously and turned to the window.
The woman took Violet’s hand and guided her to the bathroom. By the time she closed the door behind her, the mint had already dissolved on her tongue.
She put some water into her hands and washed her eyes. She looked at the mirror and smiled. The attendant had made her feel much better. But then she looked at her reflection again, and her heart jumped. There was something wrong there.
For starters, she looked taller. There was also something different about her face, though she couldn’t place it. Then she realized she looked a bit… older.
Her instinct was to scream and run outside, but she remained quiet and in place, watching as she kept aging at a fast rate. She looked down at her legs, her knees and tights already showing below the hem of her yellow dress. She was much taller now, and she had to be about 11. Or maybe about 13, she thought when she noticed a swell on her chest.
Violet’s new breasts grew a bit more, as did her hands and feet. She had to remove her flats, and when she did, she saw her toenails were polished. So were her fingernails, and a bit of natural make up also appeared on her increasingly maturing face. Her tight dress started to expand to fit her new proportions, and she felt a shift on her chest and backside as her underwear changed. Her haircut changed just a little to better befit her adult face.
She was now a young woman in her mid to late twenties. She examined her new body, trembling a bit. She felt big but she also thought she was pretty. She noticed her flats had enlarged too and she put them on again.
One hand still probing her face, she opened the door of the bathroom.
“What did just happen to…?” she immediately bumped into the beautiful attendant, who put a finger on her nose and said “shhh”.
“Please don’t scream.”
“Yes, it was me. Or rather the mint I gave you,” explained the attendant. “I use them to fix wronged people around the world. They help you make your wishes true.”
“But… I never wished to be a woman…” Violet wasn’t used to her new voice, which not only sounded more mature, but also had a noticeably different accent now.
“No, but you need to get away from your abusive family. You’re an independent woman now. When you land on England, you’ll find you have your own life there.”
“Why didn’t it just fix my parents?”
“The mints work mysteriously. Maybe your parents were beyond repair,” said the attendant glancing back at the girl, who now was as tall as her.
Violet looked down at herself again. Maybe this wasn’t too bad. This couldn’t be anything but an improvement.
“Thanks,” said the new woman as the attendant smiled.
Violet sat next to her father, who looked at her and smiled friendly, quite different from the usual glared he gave to her daughter.
“Hey, I’m Paul. What’s your name?”
“Violet,” she answered coldly.
“Hey, that’s my grandmother’s name. So, are you traveling back home?”
“Oh, yes,” she smiled, glad that he had noticed her new accent. She turned her face away from his, clearly indicating she didn’t want to continue the conversation.
He simply got back to reading his tablet, and she fell asleep after a while. She remained that way during the rest of the flight. She would need to be rested to explore her new life.
“Hey, wasn’t there a little girl sitting there a while ago?” asked Felicia, not the only passenger who had noticed that fact.
“Yeah, that’s probably her mother and they just switched seats in the back of the plane, or something. They look a lot alike,” said her cousin Ben.
“Anyway, I was telling you about those girls I’m going to live with. They’re Austrian, I think. They were looking for a roommate and the flat was nice. I haven’t met them yet. I hope they’re nice…”
“And pretty,” winked Ben, and Felicia flushed. He noticed her discomfort, so he tried to fix it. “I mean, so you can introduce them to me… Anyway, that guy I don’t really know my roommate either, but we’ve exchanged a few mails. He seems fun.”
At that moment, a flight attendant bended over their seats. Both Ben and Felicia thought she was very attractive.
“Do you care for some mints?”
“Ok…” said Felicia shyly, taking one and putting it into her mouth immediately.
“Thanks,” said Ben, who smiled and also picked one. He put it on his shirt pocket, in case he needed it later.
“We’re about to land, I guess,” said Felicia looking at her wristwatch once the attendant was gone.
“Great, cause I’m tired. Thank God the hotel is near the airport.”
They had reserved a hotel room to spend the night. Then they would take a car to London the next morning, where they would each to their respective lodgings.
Sure enough, the plane didn’t took long to land. Felicia and Ben remained in their seats until most of the other passengers came out. In turn, the woman in the yellow dress seemed to be in a hurry to get away from the plane and the man sitting next to her. She beamed as she came out, stepping into her new homeland for the first time.
Ben helped Felicia with her luggage again.
“God, I’m so tiny,” complained Felicia.
Once they were outside the airport, they took a taxi and instructed the driver to leave them at the hotel.
“Well, our new lives are about to begin,” commented Felicia, as scared as she was happy.
"Hear, hear," smiled her cousin, taking the white mint out of his pocket and swallowing it whole.