Short Fic by Liam Slade / Originally Posted August 30 2020
When I came back to high school for senior year, I thought I as a shoo-in to make starting quarterback. I had drilled all summer and was a favorite of the coach. It was my dream. First this, then college football, then hopefully get drafted into the NFL.
What I didn’t count on was Martin.
Martin Sloan had been a big deal quarterback for a team two counties over, but his dad got re-assigned at work and he moved here. I didn’t think it was fair that I had to compete for the position that was rightfully mine. And I definitely didn’t think it was fair when I lost out. When Martin got the position and I was stuck on the sidelines as a lousy second-stringer, I wanted revenge.
I thought about paying off the other guys to hurt him in practice, but they actually liked Martin for some reason and didn’t want to do it. Only my buddy Rick stood by me and helped me come up with other ways to get Martin in trouble. We decided it would be a simple matter to break into his locker and plaster porno pin-ups all over the inside, then “anonymously” tip off the Principal to the smut he was keeping on school property. The plan went off without a hitch, but Martin must have charmed them good at the office, because he got out of it with a warning.
Next thing I know, there’s superglue in my gym socks and I’m having to get them cut off my feet.
Coach found out about our little “Prank War” and warned us to knock it off for the good of the team. My mouth said “Deal” but my eyes told Martin he was a dead man.
Rick and I decided to lay low for a few weeks so that it really seemed like we were not going to retaliate. All the while we were working on what would be our next move.
“I’ve got it,” Rick said. “Why don’t we catfish him?”
“What do you mean?”
“We pretend to be a chick online and start talking to him, making him think we love him and stuff. Then we just mess with him!”
I didn’t know if I could pretend to be a chick online – I wasn’t sure I wanted to – but it seemed like a good way to get at him and torture him on a psychological level. So I was in.
“But we’ll need, like, a really hot picture,” Rick said. “Something that will get his attention.”
We tried scrolling through Facebook for someone’s photos we could use, but we knew that anyone we could find, Martin could too, and then the secret would be out.
Then Rick told me about this app he found that could take a picture of you and turn it into a hot chick – so our avatar wouldn’t be someone who really existed. We both tried it out and the pics of me ended up a lot prettier – I was actually surprised how my strong jaw and piercing eyes became such delicate, feminine features in the app – so we used that. Rick then used his photoshop skills to put her face on a hot body – nearly porn star level, a skinny bikini body with big juicy tits. We were able to source body pics that put her in bikinis, pajamas, casual clothes outdoors, and even lingerie.
“That one’s for later, if we need it,” Rick said with a wink.
I was surprised at how hot I found this fake version of me. Rick said he was starting to understand why girls like playing with dolls because it was so fun to dress her up and everything.
Once we had images, we had to set up an account. We decided to call her Cat – after catfishing of course – and decided that if anyone noticed her resemblance to me, we would say she was my cousin from the next town over, who I never talked to.
Finally the moment of truth came and we made contact with Martin, DMing him a simple message: “Hi” with a little heart emoji.
There was a long pause. We wondered what he would think of us. Finally, he messaged “Hey” back.
We told him we saw him playing football and thought he was really good. He said thanks and the conversation went from there. We tried to keep the conversation focussed on him, and designed our answers to any questions he had about Cat to be whatever we thought he would like. We told him Cat liked video games, Fast & Furious movies, and Doritos. And football. She loved football players. Especially quarterbacks (wink.)
“You’re really hot,” he told us.
A weird sense of delight shivered up my spine. I knew it wasn’t really me he was talking to – and I didn’t want it to be – but it felt good to hear that.
Rick and I looked at each other with a little bit of uncertainty – what did we say next?
Finally Rick did the typing. “Thanks, you’re cute too.” Heart-eyes emoji.
I gasped. “Dude! You can’t say that! That’s so–” I wanted to say ‘gay’ but my mom told me never to use that word in a bad way. And besides, it couldn’t be if we were pretending to be a chick… right?
“Why not? That’s what he wants to hear,” Rick chuckled. “We’re in character, remember?”
Martin wasted no time in replying “Wanna meet up sometime?”
Now Rick and I both froze. That was way too easy. We didn’t even really have time yet to fully mess with him.
We had to let him down. “Umm sorry…” we wrote. “I’m not ready for that…”
The conversation ended.
Rick and I looked at each other. Was that it? Was Martin just going to ghost us like that? After all that effort.
“Well,” Rick shrugged, “It was fun while it lasted.”
We thought that might be the end of it., but I wasn’t ready to give up. I still needed my revenge.
I carried the phone around with me all day the next day, carefully checking it to see if Martin had messaged me. When he still hadn’t by the end of the day, I decided to jump back in.
“Hey” I wrote. “Why’d you stop messaging me?”
“Had to go to bed” he wrote back. “Practice this morning.”
That was true, but it didn’t stop me from staying up late.
“You didn’t even say good night to me” I said, trying to make him feel guilty. “Are you mad at me?”
I smiled that that – when a girl asks if you are mad at her, it makes you feel like a total shithead. I wanted to put Martin through the wringer.
Unless he really was mad at me. I mean, at Cat.
“Of course not” he wrote back. “I barely know you.”
I wrote, “Well let’s change that.”
He asked “Why didn’t you want to meet me?”
I told him again I was shy.
“You don’t have to be… I’m a nice guy.” He gave a wink with a tongue sticking out. I shuddered. This kid was disgusting.
I wanted to change the subject. “I’m just not ready.”
“When will you be ready?”
I took a long while to think about what I could say that would get him off my case. I took a big gulp and wrote:
“I have a boyfriend. I don’t like him anymore but I can’t break up with him yet. You’re cuter than him.”
He took a moment in replying.
“When you gonna dump his ass?”
“Soon I hope” I said.
“Let me know” he said, with a smiley face.
In reality, I was actually seeing a girl – Lindsay. She wasn’t any kind of bimbo cheerleader like a lot of the guys on the football team liked. I was her only athlete boyfriend ever. She was quiet and liked art. We didn’t always have a lot to talk about and sometimes I wondered why she liked me.
I decided Cat was like Lindsay. She was with someone and she didn’t know why. They were very different.
That night I had Cat write to Martin, “At my school, my bf is very popular. Everyone loves him and I feel lucky to be with him. But I don’t think we’re a good match.”
“Is he mean?” Martin asked.
“No, he’s not mean. Maybe he’s too nice. He cares a lot about my feelings. That’s probably why I can’t let go of him yet.”
After a while Martin texted back, “I care about your feelings too.”
That was really nice to hear, even though it was to a totally fictional person. And yet it bothered me how quickly Martin was getting attached to this girl he barely knew. Even though that was the plan – to get him hooked on her and gain is trust, it was all too easy. All I had to do was put on a pretty face and share a little sob story.
“I’ve never been good with girls” he wrote to me. “I think you’re the first one who’s ever understood me.”
I raised my eyebrow. It was so weird to hear that he thought I understood him. But maybe I did.
“I’m a virgin,” he wrote. “Guys my age aren’t supposed to talk about that, especially if they’re the QB and Captain of the football team.”
I wanted to laugh – what a loser – but I knew Cat wouldn’t so I had to come up with what she would say in response.
“It’s okay” she said. “I know people who lost their virginity that always regretted it because it wasn’t with the right person.”
That was a lie of course. I didn’t know anyone like that. In my view, sex was awesome, and all my friends thought so too. But maybe a chick would sometimes think otherwise, so I pretended to think that way.
“Thanks, that makes me feel better,” he said.
A few days later, we had settled into a nice rhythm of checking in before school and making time for a brief chat in the evening – not always anything deep like that but just to keep the Cat identity active. I still wasn’t sure what I was going to do in the end but I knew the longer I could keep it going to better chance I had of destroying him.
One day Rick noticed I was unusually interested in my phone and grabbed it to see what was going on.
“Holy shit you’re still doing that?” he laughed. “Why didn’t you tell me?”
“I don’t know,” I stammered, “It was a good plan and I didn’t want to give up on it.”
Rick scrolled through the phone, laughing maniacally as he did. “Holy shit, this is gold! Where did you come up with this stuff?”
“I dunno, I guess I got it from movies and reality shows,” I shrugged. “Seemed like something Cat would say.”
He got nearer to the top of the convo and paused. His eyes widened.
“He’s a virgin? That’s amazing! We have to use this!”
“What do you mean?”
“Let’s write ‘virgin’ all over his locker! Then what’s he going to do, deny it? Everyone will know, it’ll be amazing!”
“No!” I said. “Then he’ll know Cat told someone! I’m the only person he’s ever told!”
“So?” Rick shrugged. “Then that’ll be it, game over. He’s ruined. Mission accomplished.”
“I don’t think that’s right,” I said. “I mean, I think we could do so much worse to him.”
“What are you thinking?” Rick asked.
“I don’t know,” I said. “I just know I could wreck him.”
Rick didn’t listen to me. Two days later, the word “VIRGIN” along with other nasty messages were scrawled all over Martin’s locker. I watched in the hallway as he approached it that morning, studied it carefully and then… shrugged it off. I don’t know what I pictured – him collapsing to the ground crying, screaming to the heavens, cursing Cat’s name? – but all he did was take his Bio textbook out and go to class.
I was careful about messaging him that night, but as always I asked him how his day went.
“Not bad…” he answered, “…but not great.”
“What happened?” I asked.
“Someone wrote some shit on my locker. No big deal, guys do it all the time trying to hassle each other. Probably that prick Chuck and his dumbass friend Rick. They’re the only ones on the team that don’t like me because Chuck wanted to be QB.”
Phew – I was out of the woods. Martin hadn’t connected Cat to the crime. And it didn’t even bother me that he thought I – the real me – was a prick, because I had been, to him. And I was starting to feel bad about it too. The longer this went on, the more I saw Martin as not a rival, but a real person, with hopes and dreams and vulnerabilities.
Less and less, I hated watching him from the bench. He was really that good – he could run, and throw like nobody’s business. I started to really enjoy watching him go and kind of wished we could be friends in real life but the idea of admitting he was the better man made me nauseous.
He would message me after a game to talk about his performance, ripping into himself if he thought he didn’t play hard enough. I would feel bad hearing himself be hard on himself, saying it was only a game – Cat’s opinion, not mine – but he would say that football was the only thing he loved… at least, until I came along.
“How are things with your boyfriend?” he would ask, clearly hoping I would tell him it was over.
“I think it’s ending soon,” I said.
This was true for me and Lindsay. We were definitely drifting apart. It barely even felt like we were together in the first place. The weird thing was, I felt like I understood her more and more the longer I spent time pretending to be “Cat” but my heart wasn’t really in the relationship. It wasn’t as open and honest as my pretend one with Martin. We didn’t talk about deep things. I found my mind drifting to the character I had created and wondering why I couldn’t experience for myself what I was experiencing as her. So when she said she wanted me to stop texting, I said it was fine.
One night I poured my heart out to Martin about all of this – twisted around so that Cat was Lindsay and I, Chuck, was her inattentive, distant boyfriend.
“It finally ended,” I said. “He found someone else, and I was fine with it.”
“That’s exciting,” he wrote. “That’s what you wanted right? Now you can move on.”
“I guess so,” I said.
“I would love to meet you in person,” he wrote. “Tomorrow night.”
I didn’t answer.
“I’m going to be at Mocha J’s. Meet me there at 8.”
My heart sunk.
I had no reason not to… except that Cat still wasn’t real.
It had been months since I started this. And at the beginning, if I had a chance to get Martin to fall in love with this girl and then stand him up, I would have been laughing my ass off. Now I thought it was a tragedy. I was the only girl he ever opened up to and I didn’t exist. I hated him at the start, but now I knew he was a sweet guy who deserved love.
The next night, I waited in the parking lot of Mocha J’s until I saw Martin show up. I didn’t know what I was going to do though. I thought maybe I would text him and say something came up, but then we would just re-schedule. There was no way out of this.
So what could I do? Anything that happened now would only break his heart. Disappearing or telling him the truth. Walking through those doors and showing him my phone full of his texts – his secrets, his truth.
I couldn’t bring myself to do it, but I couldn’t not.
I knew that sometimes the truth hurt. Maybe if we talked it out he would understand.
Maybe he’d kill me.
I walked up to the door and gently pushed it open.
I felt myself bathed in a warm, glowing light.
Something strange happened. I lost my breath for a second.
My whole body itched from head to toe. As if every molecule of my being was re-arranging itself. Little prickles entered my skin.
I felt myself losing my football player bulk. I felt my waist narrowing, my shoulders contracting, my hips widening and butt ballooning out.
I felt my pectorals softening and quickly widening into a pair of breasts, as hair grew longer on the top of my head, trickling down my shoulders like a waterfall. My face tingled like some kind of soothing balm was being applied, my skin softening itself.
All of this was over in an instant. When I looked down at myself I was no longer wearing my own clothes – my football jersey and jeans – but a faux-athletic midriff-baring crop top with a generic jersey number 08 (which had been my number) pressed out over a pair of massive breasts (supported, I felt, by a bra whose straps dug into my shoulders) and a pair of jeans that hugged my new curves.
I turned to face my reflection in the door and saw her there – Cat, the computer-generated face I had been using, which I knew almost as well as my own, partly because it was based on my own.
I turned back to the café and saw him sitting in a booth, waving.
I slowly made my way over. I gulped. I didn’t know what had just happened… and yet I did.
He stood as I approached and wrapped his arms around me – they felt so huge compared to my new body. My heart skipped a beat as he enveloped my little frame. I found I didn’t mind it, it felt like we fit together just right.
“I’m so glad to see you,” he said. There was a catch in his voice, like this was the relief he desperately needed in life. It was almost like there were tears in his eyes.
I took a moment to compose myself. I swept a stray lock – my new, luxurious, silky hair – away from my eyes and tucked it behind my ear. I hoped he would find it cute that I did so.
“Me too,” I said. I cleared my voice. This was my first time hearing Cat speak. It sounded so right coming from my mouth, that delicate feminine lilt. I pursed my lips after speaking – they were so full and probably very kissable.
With a smile I told him, “We have so much to talk about.”
Copyright 2020 Liam Slade, all rights reserved. To be reprinted only with permission of the author.