I had had several opportunities to back out before now, I thought as I stepped into the elevator of a hotel near the airport. There had been plenty of time to call the whole thing off before it got to this point, and I had yet to reach that point of no return, but I continued on, pressed the 7 button, and waited for the elevator to take me to her floor, and eventually to Lina’s door.
I had never met Lina, but with her I was in the best relationship I had been in ages. I don’t think I would be wrong to say ever. There was something between us that seemed to slip into place, even across the expanse of the internet. We messaged each other constantly when we were online, text back and forth all day, and even talked several times on the phone. We exchanged pictures back and forth. There wasn’t anything that I had kept from her.
We met on a dating site my friend had suggested I check out. At the time, I had come off a pretty brutal divorce, and then a girl that I was interested in asked me out for drinks after work. We hit it off. She told me she liked me, we kissed goodnight, and then she flaked out, leaving me hurt and confused. She wasn’t ready to date, she told me. Then I found out she had started dating another coworker and didn’t want me to know. Probably hoped to keep me in reserve if that one didn’t work out. Fuck her, I thought and moved on.
I started playing around online, signing up on various dating sites, but my heart wasn’t in it. I was still nursing a broken heart and a bruised ego from being shunted aside by that bitch. I functioned, at least superficially. I made it through the day, but the moment I walked through my front door, I broke down. What’s more pathetic than the image of a grown man bawling his eyes out?
My friend, however, was adamant I check this site out, so in exasperation, I told him I would. When I found it, I discovered, to my horror, that it was a tranny dating site. I found the idea repulsive and quickly left the site, but my interest was piqued and I had to check it out for myself. Didn’t take me long to be told that all the terms my friend used, tranny, shemale, and a lot more vulgar terms, were insulting. Some of these women, as they wanted to be called, were transgendered in various degrees of transition, and some were simply crossdressers looking for a guy willing to make them feel like a woman, even if only for a night.
I was flabbergasted every time I looked up a profile. Some girls looked beautiful, putting my ex-wife to shame, and others were obviously a dude in a bad wig, horrible makeup, and ill-fitting clothes. I laughed to myself, wondering what kind of perv would be so desperate as to hook up with one of those freaks.
The thing was, I kept coming back. I soon stopped laughing as I was drawn in by some of the girls. I started talking to a few, not looking for anything, neither shallow nor serious. Some girls only wanted their identities validated and were content to remain anonymous, but a few were openly hunting for anyone interested in a good time, sexually. I learned to avoid them.
It wasn’t until a few weeks later that Lina showed up. She, like me, had come off a bad marriage. Like me, she had also suffered from a cruel game from woman he knew and was interested in, and had left the dating scene as a result. Unlike me, she had to accept the harsh truth about her gender identity. She started coming to terms with her femininity, accepting that her boyhood desire to put on her mother’s dress wasn’t a sick sexual fantasy, but her soul’s desire to be the woman she longed to be.
I found her story fascinating. Soon, like I said, we were talking constantly. It became intimate fairly quickly, but not in a crude, sexual sense. We shared all our secrets over the course of a year. We became friends, and somehow more. Even though we hadn’t met, we decided that we wanted to be a couple. Lina, a man who inside knew herself to be a woman, became my girlfriend.
Still, we hadn’t met. We didn’t need to. Our connection was real, more real than any I had ever felt. I memorized her face, gazing at every photo she sent me, knowing in my heart that I had found my soulmate. Finally, after almost a year and a half, we decided to meet. Lina would be in town on a business trip, or at least her male side would, and we agreed that it would be a perfect chance to see each other , face to face.
Then the day arrived, and I started getting cold feet. I wasn’t gay. I never felt the least bit attracted to other men. The thought of doing anything sexual with a guy was repellant. A gay friend confessed he felt the same way about sex with a woman. Even the thought felt unnatural, we confided to each other. What I couldn’t shake was my feelings for her. It wasn’t a sexual attraction, or simply a physical connection, once and done, but a mental connection, a spiritual unity of our souls. This was real in a way that none of my other relationships had ever been.
I tried to reason my way out of the meeting. Wasn’t our relationship built on a lie? Lina wasn’t a real woman, and I didn’t believe pretending to be one made it any more real. I listened to all the arguments made against the transgender community, but I instinctively argued against each one, knowing that it wasn’t only what we had between our legs that identified us as man or woman.
I countered every fact and logical reasoning with experience. Lina treated me better than any real woman ever had. I treated her better as well. I did worry that what made it so great was that we were never actually close, that there was no immediacy between us, but that last hurdle was set to be jumped in a matter of minutes.
I screwed up my courage as I stepped off the elevator on the seventh floor. I walked to her door, room number 726, and I knocked. I heard her unnaturally pitched voice, muffled by the door, telling me that she was coming. This was my last chance , to escape from the sham, but I couldn’t. I loved her, and she had confessed that she loved me.
It had come to this, a moment of truth, a moment of fear and exhilaration, and a rush of adrenaline washed over me. I heard her slip off the door chain, heard the deadbolt being opened, and then before I was ready she opened the door, looking every bit as apprehensive as I felt.
“Lina?” I said, unable to believe we were actually meeting.
“Yes,” she replied guardedly, not knowing how I would react.
“It’s good to finally meet you,” I smiled, my heart brimming with affection for this woman I just now got to see with my own eyes.
“You too,” she relaxed, extending a hand for me to shake.
“I don’t think so,” I laughed. I took her in my arms, noticing that though she was almost as tall as me, she still felt feminine in my arms. I looked her in the eyes, then stepped back to admire her. “You’re more beautiful in person, Lina,” I said, once my eyes had taken her in. “Absolutely stunning.”
She flushed, but otherwise looked pleased. She let me into her hotel room, wrapped her arms around me, and we kissed for the first time. “Damn,” I said, once we broke our embrace. “Never got kissed like that before.”
“Good,” she winked, and took me by the hand towards the bed.
“I thought we were going out for dinner,” I protested, both excitement and panic setting in.
“We will,” she hinted with a flirtatious smile, “but first let’s get to know each other. I’ve been saving myself for you, and I waited a long time for this. Make love to me, please. Afterwards, we can grab a bite to eat, and then?” She asked rhetorically, opening herself to the great unknown, and inviting me along to join her for the next grand adventure.