Fresh Start Chapter 42

Opening day for Caldera de Gaia spa went pretty smoothly. There were some minor glitches with a few reservations, but they were quickly resolved by Judy.

Jirra was sort of surprised that many of the guests were single women. She had thought they would have more couples.

She had bought two maps, mounted them on cork boards, and hung them on the walls of her office. Next she began to press collared pins into the maps, designating the home towns of the guests. As she did this, she wondered how long it would take until she had a pin in every state.

When she finished, she stepped back and saw there where pins in eight states. The furthest one from New Mexico was New Jersey. The only pin she put on the world map was in Canada. Still, it was a start, she thought.

"What's this?" asked Judy as she stepped into Jirra's office.

Jirra explained the purposes of the maps.

"What a wonderful idea. I think we'll put up one in the main lodge. You sure come up with some great ideas, Jirra."

Jirra began to feel her face getting warm. "Thanks."

"I need to talk to you in private. Let's go to my office."

Jirra nodded and followed Judy into her office. She sat down across from Judy.

"Here is the list for next week's guests. Alexis is listed by her real last name," stated Judy.

"Is she still arriving on Sunday?" asked Jirra, as she read the list.

"As far as I know, nothing has changed," replied Judy. "I'll address the staff on Saturday. I'll remind everyone that their contract states that they're required to respect and maintain the privacy of our guests."

"I'll have the latest newsletter to you by Friday," stated Jirra.

"Good. Let's make that your weekly deadline."

Jirra nodded.

"I just want you to know that I want to expand your duties soon," stated Judy.

Jirra's eyebrows rose.

"Don't worry; it won't happen until after Alexis leaves. What I'm thinking of is having you assist me in liaison with the local businesses in promoting the spa. The spa will live or die based on the PR we get. It'll require you to go with me to various meetings, both locally and in Santa Fe. You'll be my PR assistant."

"Really?" replied Jirra. She was torn between being excited and horrified.

"The reason that I'm telling you this now is that it'll require you to dress for business. That will mean a suit and make-up. I understand you're slowly accepting what has happened to you and that you still see yourself as male inside. However, you have potential. I don't want to see you waste that. While it may not be fair, people do judge you on appearance. To be taken seriously, you need to learn to dress appropriately for the circumstances."

Jirra nodded. What Judy was saying made sense.

"The reason I want to include you in these meetings is to give you experience. I don't expect you to have all the answers, or even any of the answers. I do expect you to keep an open mind and listen and learn. Be a sponge."

Jirra nodded again.

"Now, let me make one thing very clear; as with the newsletter, this isn't a pity position. I see potential in you, Jirra. It would be perfectly understandable for you to want to feel sorry for yourself and hide here. Understandable, yes, but I'm not going to let you do it. You need to learn to socialize as a woman and as an adult."

Judy got up and walked around her desk and sat on the edge of it in front of Jirra.

"I'm a successful businesswoman, and I had to fight all along the way. I had to overcome many things; I won't bore you with the details. You have some major issues to overcome; however, you also have many assets, many of which you don't see yourself. You can't waste energy bemoaning what happened in the past. You're a woman now, and even though you may never totally accept this, you can't let it hold you back."

Jirra absorbed Judy's words.

"I want you to start practicing wearing makeup when you come to work on the weekdays. You can still wear shorts and a blouse, so long as you look neat. The nametag isn't optional either. I want the guests to see you as staff."

"Okay," replied Jirra softly.

"Good. Now, while the newsletter position will remain an unpaid position, I will pay you as my assistant. We'll discuss the actual details later."

"Thank you, Judy," replied Jirra.

"You're welcome, dear. One more thing, I'm setting up a scholarship fund for you. I've talked to Liz, and I want to ensure that money isn't going to be a hindrance or... an excuse for your not attending college."

Jirra smiled slightly. She tried to seek out the right words.

"You don't have to say anything, Jirra," stated Judy, as if she could read Jirra's mind, "other than to tell me that you accept becoming my PR assistant."

"I'll do it, and I'll do my best," replied Jirra.

"That's all I can ask for," replied Judy. She glanced at her watch. "I have to go schmooze the guests down by the baths. We'll talk more later."

Jirra nodded and returned to her office. She tried to work, but what Judy had just told her was too distracting. She decided to take a walk around the spa.

It was amazing to see it come to life, she thought, as she walked around the grounds of the spa. She overheard two women talking about the mud baths and how they couldn't wait to take one. Jirra involuntarily shivered. She hadn't gone back to the baths since her accident, even though up to the mishap she was enjoying the mud bath. It then hit her that she hadn't even tried the mineral baths.

As an employee, she could use the facilities anytime except during peak hours, which were noon to eight PM. The biggest thing holding her back from the baths was the fact that she hadn't yet gone out in public in her bathing suit. She knew that she had to do this before Alexis arrived, as she was sure that Alexis would want to use the baths. Great, she thought, this walk was supposed to help me think, not add additional issues.

Jirra swung by the main kitchen and was pleased to see that Lindsey was on a break.

"Sorry, I missed you at breakfast this morning, but I was cooking it!" exclaimed Lindsey.

"I thought it tasted funny," replied Jirra.

Lindsey smiled back. "Dave really likes you. Your football knowledge impressed him a lot. Just one thing, you were starting to act like a guy."

Jirra cocked her head. "What do you mean?"

"You started talking louder and more excited. It's okay for a girl to like football, I guess, but try to be more sedate."

"Even when the Eagles score a touchdown?"

"I'm sorry, I just don't get it. What's so enjoyable about watching a bunch of muscle-bound apes hit each other?"

"When the season starts, I'll show you," replied Jirra. "You keep telling me to adapt, so you need to too."


"Dave is obviously passionate about his Green Bay Packers. I imagine he'd love to have you share that interest. I can teach you about the game, and that way you can watch with Dave."

"The student is teaching the teacher," replied Lindsey.

"I may not like guys, but I know what they like," replied Jirra. "Think of me as a spy."

"Okay. So when does the season start?"

Jirra rolled her eyes in mock disgust and laughed. "Changing the subject, you going to the baths tonight? If so, can I join you?"

Lindsey nodded. "After a day in the kitchen, I need it. Why? I've asked you before, but you've always turned me down."

"I figure why waste living at a spa. I have another reason, but I can't tell you yet," confessed Jirra.

"Okay, we'll head over at nine. I'm warning you, you might be upset with yourself after going," stated Lindsey.


"Because you'll realize that you should have gone sooner!"

Jirra nodded. "I'll see you at nine." She then walked over to her mum's office.
Becnme Becnme
56-60, F
2 Responses Dec 10, 2012

That pep talk by Judy is universal, not just for a sudden sex change.
That could apply to anyone and everyone.
Well done.

together in the spa with very little on, how fun...