Summary:Jim’s got a secret. He’s a “Bender babe” — a man who recreationally takes a new pill called “Bender” that temporarily transforms him into the opposite sex for 24 hours. He enjoys being a girl. But conservative groups are against Bender and if his boss ever found out about this little habit, it could ruin Jim’s career and reputation. So Jim only uses Bender on the weekends in private — that was, until his roommate found out, and made a certain deal with Jim to keep this a secret.
Jim sat in rush hour traffic for an hour and half, to drive a mere 14 miles home. His boss may have been super rich, but Jim only earned a modest salary. Better than most jobs, really. But this was LA, and nothing was cheap here. He had a nice apartment in a good area of town. But not one he could afford alone. Fortunately, he only had one roommate – a big improvement from the crappy and cramped little apartment Jim started in when he first moved to LA. He used to share a single bedroom with two other guys in a rundown area of North Hollywood. But now he had an upper middle class two bedroom apartment in Santa Monica just a few blocks from the beach off Wilshire Blvd. He’d definitely moved up in the world. All those years of college, hard work, networking, getting coffee, and free labor for friends’ indie film projects finally paid off. And maybe in another 5 or 10 years, he might even become an associate producer. That’d be awesome.
As long as no one found out his secret.
That could totally ruin his career. All that hard work, gone, poof—in the blink of an eye—if anyone ever found out.
Well, honestly, he wasn’t sure what would actually happen if people found out. That was just his fear. Would anyone ever take him seriously again? Would they ever look at him the same way? Would he be passed over for promotions because of it?
He unlocked the door and entered his apartment. His roommate Peter was there. Sitting on the couch, watching TV, enjoying his evening beer, as per usual.
“Hey Pete,” Jim said.
Peter didn’t even take his eyes off the game. “Hey Jim.”
Jim dropped his keys on the counter and kicked off his shoes. “You had dinner yet?” He started rummaging through the fridge, to see what they had. Not much. A few leftovers. Some random fruit. And plenty of beer. Jim decided to grab one.
“I had a late lunch,” Peter said, still watching his home team, the Chargers, battle it out on the field with their rival the Raiders. “But I could go for some Chinese or something if you’re hungry.”
“I just don’t want to cook,” Jim said, crashing down on the couch next to him. “Long day at work. Even longer day in traffic.” He cracked open the beer and savored that first sip.
“I hear that. The 405 was especially bad today.”
Jim slouched into a comfortable position. “I’m just so tired. And, you know… whatever. Forget about it.”
“Everything okay at work?” Peter asked, actually turning to face his friend.
“Yeah. I just… we were recording Sarah Stirling today.”
“Oh, nice. She’s hot. Love her ‘You Can’t Beat Me’ song too.”
“The whole time we were recording her, I couldn’t stop staring. You know. How I wish…”
“You know. She’s lucky. She’s rich, she’s famous, she’s beautiful…”
“And she’s a girl?” Peter asked.
Jim shrugged sheepishly and quietly nodded.
“You know we can remedy that.”
“I know,” Jim said. “But it’s not the same. I always go back.”
“It’s supposed to be temporary.”
“I know, I know.”
Peter checked the game’s score. His Chargers were winning. Twenty one points ahead. Less than six minutes in the game. Yeah, this was a done deal. He picked up the remote and switched off the TV.
“Hey, what if I want to watch something?”
“I’ve got a better idea,” Peter said, leaning closer to Jim.
Jim’s eyes filled with simultaneous nervousness and hungry anticipation. He swallowed hard. “Yeah? Right now?”
“I think it’s girlfriend time.”
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