Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Kat - Friends... part 2

After Friday's little revelation and sense of loss regarding my friends... my friends from my past as Trip - I started to think about all the friends I'd inherited, as it were, as Kat.

I have some idea of who her high-school classmates were... at least when she moved up here after her parents passed. I really don't know anything about her friends and classmates prior to that. Makes me wish I'd paid more attention to that stuff now.

I know that I've bumped into a few of her classmates this past summer, but the exchanges were always very casual... as if 'we' were just acquaintances and nothing more. From what I can tell this past summer, Kat didn't have as many friends... good friends, as I'd have thought. I haven't received any phone calls or email or texts or even snail-mail inviting me to any events, even though I know a couple of her classmates got married... and there is no way that more people Kat should know, didn't have a "gathering" of some sort.

I know that she and Jaci were... or seemed to be, best friends... something I'm not sure the 'new' Jaci and I have been able to maintain quite as well as the originals. It tough to try to pretend to be someone you're not - and being forced into that position doesn't make it any easier. Thank God the 'new' Jaci and I are at least close enough to be able to try now... without wanting to kill each other. Though, sometimes, I wonder if she's still bitter at me for being in this bizarre twist of life.

I sent an email off to 'Pete' regarding "Kat's friends", this afternoon. Some details about past interpersonal relationships could certainly come in handy should I actually encounter someone I'm supposed to know, and/or have shared some memorable experience with.

In a way, I hope I'm right and Kat doesn't have many friends. That would make it much easier for me to fit-in. It would also make me quite sad that my little cousin was so lonely. It sure would explain why she was so easily willing to give up this life to live another.

Maybe I'm just trying to read too much into things.

I better post this and get my butt down to the kitchen and help with supper.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Ashlyn--Temporary Insanity or “too much of a good thing”

Sorry for being away for so long, the last month has been a blur. I’m pleading temporary insanity as I let lots of things slip in the last month—not just this blog.

When I was a little kid—before my parents were killed in an automobile accident—my mother made homemade apple pie. It was my favorite, especially if it was still warm with ice cream. I still remember how the house smelled when she was baking. It still makes me smile to this day. I loved my mom’s apple pie so much that one day I got greedy for it. I wasn’t satisfied with just the slice I was going to get after dinner; I wanted more. In fact I wanted all the pie—I decided that when my mother put the pie out to cool, I was going to take it. I wasn’t an overly bad behaving child; sure I got my share of groundings—but for some reason I obsessed on my Mom’s apple pie, and I didn’t care what the consequences were going to be when I stole it. I had to have that pie and I didn’t want to share it.

So when my Mom left the kitchen, leaving her carefully prepared dessert on the kitchen counter to cool—I stole it and ran to some woods behind our house. Fork in one hand, pie in the other. I knew I was going to get caught. I was the only other person in the house at the time—but I didn’t care. All I wanted was to dig into that apple pie goodness.

I ate the whole thing. I was like a one man pie eating contest; greedily eating as fast as I could.
30 minutes later I was paying for my crimes. I had eaten far too much too quickly and my stomach was making me suffer for it. Worse, my mother—a normally patient and loving woman—had zero sympathy for me. She called me a “little thief” and said to me as I puked my guts out “too much of a good thing can be a bad thing.”

I was grounded for a while, but worse, my mom didn’t make apple pie for a long time after that.

Fast forward through my life and you will find that every so often I will obsess on something to the exclusion of everything. I can’t help myself. It was Lucy Crabtree in the seventh grade. She was a cheerleader and beautiful. I flunked algebra because she was in the same class and I had a difficult time concentrating. A few years later it was a car. For months I killed myself with an after school job trying to save up for a 66 mustang that needed a lot of repair. In college it was another girl—all my grades took a sudden fall. One of my professors took me aside and asked me if I was having personal problems. I think he suspected I might have gotten into drugs. I told him no, but deep down I knew I had a problem.

Which leads me to a month ago. A month ago Matt told me he loved me. I didn’t realize it at that moment, but he let the crazy, obsessive part of me out of the bottle. For the last month I couldn’t get enough of Matt. At first it was great—being in love makes even the most boring things fun. And the sex… the sex was mind blowing. But it’s too hard to maintain that kind of intensity in a relationship for very long. Sooner or later real life makes an appearance.

I’ve got lots to share—a month’s worth of catching up—too much to do all at once. Besides I got to get ready for work. Tonight is a World Series game, plus all the girls at headlights are wearing Halloween costumes—it’s going to be a busy night. I just wanted to drop a little note on the blog and let everyone know that I seem to be back from cloud nine.

More Later!


PS—Art, please call me. I’m so sorry for the things I said to you on the phone. I’ve been out of my head for the past few weeks. I really miss talking to my friend.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Kat - Friends

Today I ran into one of my old friends. It's weird, because here I was waiting in line to get unloaded and I wanted to go chat with him... to catch up on things. But I couldn't... not like this.

I'm Kat now, I'm not Trip... that life is no longer mine. I thought back to all the people I've met and all the friends I've made over the years. All the memories we share. Those memories betray me, for although they remain mine to recall at any time, they don't belong me... they belong to someone else's past now. The feeling of loss was overwhelming. I'm glad I was waiting in line - I couldn't see. I felt so damn stupid sitting there crying. I hope that nobody noticed - I don't know how I'd have explained it. Luckily, I didn't have to get out of the tractor for awhile and I was able to collect my composure again... barely. I checked myself with critical eye before stepping out of the comfort of that cab - I didn't want anyone to know that I'd been crying and start asking questions or trying to comfort me for something that I couldn't explain to them.

This is not going to be easy. Not easy at all.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Kat - Nocturnal animal

Sorry about the title, I couldn't resist that. Might as well have a little fun with the name, since it's mine now.

Anyhow, it's really weird. I can't sleep, and I feel as wired as squirrel on crack. I live in the middle of nowheresville... and it's a Monday night.

I don't have anything to write about, it was just another day on the farm.

I guess I thought that I might as well share my night-time energy with whoever is still awake out there. Hmmmm You all better not take that the wrong way either... I know what you're thinking - I used to be a guy too, remember?

So, what else can I talk about?

We got a new rooster, a big Rhode Island Red. He's annoying, crows all the time. The other roosters don't seem to be amused, but I haven't seen any fights yet.

Frank and Dorris invited me over to my old place for supper tomorrow. Dorris is a wonderful cook - dare I say she's better than my own mother... maybe, but I won't.


I'm not sure what else to write about. I'm sure you don't want to hear about me helping stack firewood or clean-up around the yard to prepare for winter, there's not much to tell.

I think I'll just post this little note and... well... I don't really know... maybe I'll watch TV or something - I hope there's something good on at this time of night.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Kat - Changing with the weather

There's a saying that if you don't like the weather in Iowa, "wait a few minutes and it will change."

A couple days ago it was nice autumn weather... wet and chilly. Yesterday it was nice and windy. Today... well, today it was almost like summer-time. I actually changed into shorts this afternoon. I was tempted to go with short-sleeves, but I'm glad that I stuck with the turtleneck. I think it would have been just a tad too cold when the breeze picked up, especially later this afternoon.

It was almost too warm for the turtleneck, especially with this thick mane of mine. At one point, I considered cutting most of this long hair off - After all, it is my hair now. I have to tell you, it's a really tempting idea. Brushing through the mess of it every morning, and drying it after washing. I won't even go into the pain-in-the-ass it can be every Sunday when trying to get ready for church.

I even tried putting my hair up and back in an attempt to determine what I'd look like with shorter hair. I'm not won-over by the idea, I just couldn't get it to look right. Besides, now isn't the best time to go with short hair anyhow - winter is just around the corner.

On that note, I'm going to go out and try to enjoy this wonderful weather. I think the dogs have been jonesing for a nice walk up the hill all day.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Kat - Rainy-Day Melancholy

It's been raining for the past few days, making the fields too wet to work. Since nobody was working in the field today, the afternoon found me home alone as Mom & Dad went to visit friends of theirs and Frank disappeared to do his own thing.

This last week has been a bit tough on me, and I know there were times when I'm sure I was on auto-pilot... just going through the motions. I guess I'm still trying to figure out who I am now.

I fixed myself a cup of hot-chocolate to soothe my mind and I got to thinking. The old Kat used to like coffee, I never have - I wondered if I would enjoy a cup now that I am Kat. I guess I'm still me to some extent, which is somewhat comforting, as this Kat will pass on the coffee.

So far, it seems that I continue to enjoy the things I've always enjoyed in the past - The same movies; trucks, tractors, and such; spinning my tires and slinging mud; great food... meat and potatoes... and deserts... I guess there are two exceptions to that... I'm not sure if I still enjoy sex, though I'm a little scared that I probably do... and girls.

I still admire an "attractive" woman for her beauty, but I find that there's less of a physical desire to be with her, to touch her, to caress her and excite her passion and lust. I see her and I feel an ethereal pleasure in her beauty, her soft silky smooth skin, the gentle curves and graceful motions that she displays... I look upon women more as if they were a piece of fine art.

Now guys, on the other hand... Well, I still find the idea of having sex with guys a bit unnerving. I can't, however, deny that some of them seem to invoke in me a similar reaction to those I once felt in the presence of an attractive girl. Then there's that eternally-curious part of me that wonders what it'd be like... of course, that's immediately tempered by the fact that I'll almost certainly be finding out soon enough.

I'll deal with that later, when the time comes. In the mean-time, I need to find a style I can live with, I'm sure I won't be on the farm the rest of my life... at least, I kinda' hope not. Then there's that whole "what should I do with my life?" question. That's the toughest question for me to answer right now... so many possibilities...

Friday, October 12, 2007

Arthur/Penny: Writer's Block

In my old life, I frequently told people that I didn't believe in writer's block. Part of that was because I seldom wrote fiction. It's not like once you've got things outlined and your research done, an informational article writes itself, but you've got your roadmap, there's not much doubt on what you have to do. You also generally have a deadline, and if you're a professional, "writer's block" isn't much of an excuse. Does a computer programmer get to say "writer's block"? Does an accountant get to say "sorry, guys, I've had a hard time getting into math lately"? Does a carpenter get to say that he's having a hard time making the hammer work for him?

No, no, and no. In fact, I probably had to hold to a stricter schedule than some of them, because if I miss a deadline, I might never work for that editor again, and don't think that word wouldn't get around. They will insist you return your advance and use someone else to fill your space.

Writing a novel on spec, though? It's killing me. I've changed the killer something like three times because even though it makes sense in the outline, once I've started writing and given a character a voice, their planned actions don't seem to fit half the time. And don't even get me started on the characters you plan to kill but enjoy writing. It's not even that I start thinking of them as real people; that would be kindness of a sort. No, this is selfishness - writing character X is fun, and if I kill her, I won't be having as much fun any more.

It's spilled over into this blog, too - I can't turn my computer on without feeling like I should be working on the book. After all, if there's something really important about the Inn situation, I can just call Lyn and talk to her directly.

Drew's saying that the best advice is probably to just put the novel aside for a while and focus on the career that pays me. It's a very practical attitude, but I don't know if I can. He's negotiating with CalSports about what the contingencies in my contract would be if the NLL (National Lacrosse League, which plays indoors during the winter; not to be confused with Major League Lacrosse, which plays outside in the summer) and their players don't arrive at a contract and I don't have games to broadcast, and, honestly? I don't much care. I didn't really enjoy calling MLL games, and traveling to San Jose sounds even less exciting.

All right... Back to the book. This has been a nice distraction, but I really want the book.


Thursday, October 11, 2007

Kat - Big step, long day, and "Who am I?"

Today was a long day. I got to drive the soybeans to the elevator... mostly a boring job, lots of sitting and waiting when you're getting loaded and unloaded. Actual road-time does take some concentration though - keeping an eye open for traffic behind you wanting to pass, making sure that you don't turn left into a passing vehicle, controlling a slow 80,000 pound vehicle on hilly and uneven terrain without destroying it or killing someone.

Normally, this wouldn't have been a big thing - I mean I'm used to this stuff come harvest time. I used to come home and help dad when I could. But since my problem with falling asleep, I've been scared (and prohibited) to drive for any length of time. On a tractor, every trip is lengthy trip. Anyhow, this medicine they have me on seems to be working, at least well enough that the doctors have okay'd me so I can help out with harvest. I was all excited - I finally got to do something important on my own again.

This year, I got more attention from the elevator crew than I normally do. I find it mildly amusing that this didn't cause me some internal conflict. Instead, I think I rather enjoyed being the center-of-attraction. I know darn-well that I probably made their day, just by showing up. Oh, if they only knew...

Since sitting in a tractor and waiting isn't exactly brain-surgery, my mind kept drifting. I kept revisiting my decision to adopt my new life, and wondered if it really was the right choice. I had to keep assuring myself that it was the best choice for everyone, including myself. Trying to figure out what to do about the future was another thing altogether.

At first, I tried to figure out how I could get my old job back with Kat's resume. I tried to think of ways of somehow listing my education and experience on my new resume - especially now that I no longer appear to be who I was, and since I don't remember any of the experiences of the girl I appear to be. I think I spent most of the afternoon on different plans and ideas before I realized that just yesterday I had decided to accept my new life... new life. I can't be me, but I'm not really Kat either, at least not the Kat that others used to know... I'm someone else, someone new. But who... Who am I now?

Physically, I'm 22 year-old Rebecca Katherine Green... that's what it says on my driver's license. I'm betting that my genetics and DNA and even fingerprints match any records belonging to that name. Inside - mentally... spiritually - I'm 36 year-old Jacob J. "Trip" Jensen... that's what I remember, who I remember being... that's the life I remember experiencing... at least, until that fateful stay at the Inn.

I've read how some of the others affected by the Inn have decided to use different variations of their new names to sort-of stake-out their own identity. I considered doing the same, and perhaps at some point, I still might... but I doubt that I'll be able to change the fact that, as long as I'm in this body, my family will continue to call me "Kat". I have adopted this body, this life... even this name. For now, I think I'll leave that alone - there's no reason to call attention to the changes that others are likely going to be seeing in me.

As for other changes... well, I'm going continue acting like a girl as best I can, since I am one now... I'm no longer going to consider the consequences my decisions will have on the former owner of this life if she were to return. All decisions will be made based on what I feel will be the best for my life. Right now, that means getting to bed so I can help with the farm tomorrow.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Trip / Kat - Cornered...

This morning after breakfast dad asked me if I had figured out what I wanted to do with my life. Never has that question had so different a meaning than the questioner intended. In his eyes, he sees his niece throwing her life away for some unknown reason. When I told him that I just wasn't sure yet, I could see the disappointment on his face. I guess his love for Kat was the same as it had been... is for my sister and I. What really hurt me, though, is that I couldn't tell him what was really troubling me... what was really causing this huge deviation in my life... our lives. Not because he wouldn't believe me (well, maybe that too), but because I, honestly, had no clue what to do about the future.

I could feel my emotions welling-up as I considered our exchange and my own current situation. I decided that I didn't want to lose-it in front of the parents, so I went for a walk up the hill. I used to go there to enjoy the wonderful views of nature at work, and to think and dream. Our dogs, ever vigilant, seemed to sense I was in need of comfort and accompanied me - I wonder if they know who I really am... I wonder if they'd even care... somehow, I think the answer to both those questions is "yes".

When we neared the top, the dogs took chase of a rabbit, leaving me alone to sit and think. I thought through what I could do about my future, trying to decide what to do. I weighed what I wanted and what I valued:

Yes, I could have my old life back... maybe. If I did that, I may have a bit to clean-up from not having been able to take care of things - but I would be me again. I'm sure that it would take a bit to get back into the swing of things after having to pretend to be someone else for so many months. But that would leave Frank in limbo, having to find another body and to adjust again. What would that body be like - he could end up worse-off than he's ever been. And Dorris, Dorris and Frank might be separated. I've seen them together and as weird as it is to see them together (I just really never see Jadyn & I being a couple), they seem to pull it off so well. If I got my own body back, that would mean that someone new would have to become Kat. Kat would almost-certainly get mad at me, but since she's the one who took advantage of me, and got me into this fine mess in the first place - I should be able to disregard her opinion about my life... after all, she did give it to me. I don't think I could do that though, I love her too damn much to hurt her in such a possibly permanent way. Barring that, what if the new Kat was completely different and wanted nothing to do with our family, or otherwise did something that was hurtful to the people I love. I'm not sure I want to live with that much guilt.

I don't know if any of you remember this, but I've long had this strange curiosity about what it would be like to be a girl. So it should be a certainty that I'd be happy if I got to stay permanently, right? Wrong. I don't like periods - I think I found that out the first day of my first one. I don't think Kat was ever as moody and irritable as I am. This hair is a pain, it takes forever to dry and the tangles. Having to deal with make-up and screwed-up fasteners, zippers, & hooks on some of the clothes is a major hassle - albeit, I get very lucky that I don't have to deal with them every day. It sucks being short, well okay, 5'7" isn't really short for a girl, but it makes it tough for me to reach things I used to have no problem with. If I decided to keep things as they are, I may have to wear make-up and style my unruly mane every day... and not just once a day, mind you - that stuff needs maintenance throughout the day.

What about having a family? I'd have to choke-down my mental aversion to making out with a guy, and somehow convince myself that what I was doing was normal. I would have to let this hairy, sweaty beast have sex with me. I would have to let him get me pregnant - and this wouldn't just be a try on a maternity-sympathy-suit thingy for a day or two - this would be 9-months of dealing with whatever changes my body would go through... living with it every day, 24-hours-a-day. Knowing that when the pregnancy is over, I'd experience labor and child-birth... not as a father who looks on helplessly as his wife struggles with effort... and pain - but as the mother who is suffering through the ordeal, wanting it to be done already. And this would happen for each son or daughter that we had. I think if it was temporary and I could experience pregnancy for a short period of time, a small slice of the pregnancy - I would be tickled - but having to live the entire experience is a bit... frightening, I guess would be the right word. Sure I could pass on the whole having kids thing - or even the getting-married part, but I don't think my body will let me. I know that if I decide to become Kat, it won't be long before I give in to my carnal desires. I just hope that I can convince myself that I'm her enough that I forget that I'm not... or wasn't.

I briefly considered suicide - it would end my problems - Frank & Dorris get to remain happy. But Kat would be pissed beyond belief, and my family would devastated. It's rather selfish, and sure as hell ends any aspirations I had of seeing many of the wonders of the world.

It's not much of a choice: Take a chance at regaining what I'd lost, risk hurting my family and friends and losing thing that I hold dear; or play with the hand that's been dealt to me, and risk... well, nothing that any other woman doesn't risk in her life... the only thing that I risk is losing myself... losing my old self.

And that's the thing, you see - I guess this is somewhat like losing a limb or a sense or becoming paralyzed or afflicted by some disease... it's a life-changing event, you will probably never be the same as you once were - and you can't go back... you have to just take that next step, you have to move-on. You have to set a new course through life and set-sail.

That's what I have to do. I have to accept that trying to go back to the way things were will hurt the ones I love and in-turn myself. I have to accept that this is my new life, and that I face no greater threat to my well-being than any other woman. I have to face the fact that I should re-examine my goals and then take that next step.

Given what I value most, I have but one direction in which to move... forward.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Trip / Kat - Shopping, and the road trip hits Iowa

Small towns are great most of the time. However, they're not so good for hosting meetings in a discrete manner. Everybody just has to know all the little details of who your guests are, how you met, why they're visiting, how long will they be staying... you get the idea.

It was for this reason that us Iowa victims chose to meet Jessica & Louisa somewhere else. After a short brain-storming session, we decided on Des Moines, as it was not too far out of the way for Jessica & Louisa, and provided the rest of us with a workable (and not too far from the truth) cover-story for the short trip. Des Moines happens to be a good place to get parts (for whatever piece of equipment Frank decides needs one), and for shopping for the fall and winter work clothes that Kat seems to be lacking, and for which, I am in need.

The plan was to meet Jessica and Louisa at Applebee's for lunch. Mainly because it was the most convenient for everyone - but also, because the menu wasn't as spicy, and it allowed us to be sociable without being rushed. Since this was supposed to be a parts-run for us, and we were actually in Des Moines before they were even in Iowa, we took the opportunity to run our errands before meeting them for lunch.

This was really my first shopping experience as a girl, and let me tell you - it was overwhelming! I've "been a girl" for months now, and that certainly helps - I'd hate to think of what it would have been like to try this those first few days... well, other than the fact that I would have, at first, been in heaven. Anyhow, I've just been trying to coordinate outfits from clothing that I didn't have to know the size of... shopping is that, plus having some idea of your own body's dimensions and shape... knowing what looks good on your body... and then trying it on to ensure proper fit and look... and the selections to choose from were much larger than the closet at home.

Dorris was a real trooper too. I wasn't sure she'd be any help at ensuring I didn't pick something out-of-style, but we both seemed to shy away from anything risky (or risque either) and stuck with some more traditional and timeless pieces. I really wish Jaci... Ja... I guess Jaci is probably the least confusing for everyone, she's been living as and going by "Jaci" now. And it's not looking like either one of those two are planning on changing things. I'm sorry, I guess I'm still just a bit bitter by Kat.. Pete's decision about my future. Even though it helps Frank, and makes... Pete happy... I'm still not sure I'm happy with it.

Anyhow, I should get back on topic here... I really wish that Jaci could have been able to make it down, she's been really good with fashion knowledge and general knowledge about how to not look out of place. I'm hoping that Dorris & I did okay. At least I had Dorris with me, more than a few times she was able to dispense some sage advice about making sure that I got the right size. Had I gone on my own, I'd certainly be in pain sooner or later. I'll have to try and get with Jaci later and see how bad Dorris & I did.

I was hoping that I'd recognize them when they arrived, but they had beaten us to the restaurant and a very perky Jessica called out and came down to lead us to our table. It was impossible to believe that she was anything but the super-charged, ambitious, teenage girl she appeared to be.

I hadn't been sure that we would have any useful information for our two sleuths, but it didn't seem to bother them at all. They seemed more interested in just having new friends with whom they had this whole unbelievable story in common. I can't disagree with that line of thinking at all. After ordering drinks, we took care of the business-end of things, by exchanging more detailed contact information - and information about Frank & Dorris' 'former' lives, and what information I had about 'Pete' & 'Chris'.

Louisa, Frank, Dorris, and I all discussed how we had been adjusting to our recent changes, and even prodded Jessica a little about how her recent changes in getting out of high-school were going. At first, a bit annoyed that we were poking-fun at her, she quickly shifted gears and shared her thoughts of relief and concern at moving on, to again another life. It was a bit reassuring to hear that and think that even without the changes the Inn effected, life has a way of changing in a very large way. I tried not to bring the mood of the meeting down when my turn came, but I think that they could all see the affect of my recent visit from 'Pete', and seemed to steer me around it. I could see in Jessica's eyes, that there was a glint of recognition... or familiarity... and once our meals arrived, I'd all but forgotten the moment.

Then again, I could be mistaken... and it was nothing at all.

After lunch we... well, more like Frank, decided to have some dessert and I became more of an observer as Frank, Dorris, Louisa, and sometimes even Jessica settled in on some menial topics of conversation. I think it was at that point, when I felt like a child who was lost to the conversation, that I realized just who the witty, geeky, brown-haired teen and the attractive, dark-haired woman with the big, brown eyes weren't the women I saw on the outside... They both possessed an air of wisdom that contradicted their apparent ages. I was awestruck, as if I'd seen proof supporting the old saying, "Never judge a book by its cover."

It seemed much too short that we had to part ways, and soon I watched as they drove off, heading North for their next stop and we had to head home to finish chores.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Trip / Kat - Scared...

I feel sick.

I've been crying off and on since Ka... Pete left Sunday.

It's a huge step, a huge risk... trying to just take over this life and live the rest of my life as someone I wasn't born to be.

Or maybe I was, who knows.

This is just... I don't know.

It's almost like when I moved away for college so many years ago... well, okay a bit different... in a weird sort of way.

Maybe what I need to do is to try an embrace this life, and make it my own.

That sounds so easy... yet it seems worlds away.

I don't know... I'm having trouble sleeping again... and now I'm just rambling.

Maybe I made the wrong decision... I just don't know.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Trip / Kat - Innocence Lost ???

Kat stopped by yesterday while Mom & Dad were visiting my sister.

I suspected that she'd want to talk about her plans for the future, and I guess that I've been totally up-in-arms about what I was going to do.

I'm not the type of guy who would kick a guy like Frank out into the cold - I'm not sure that I could force him to gamble at the Inn again so I could get my old life back. After what some of the others went through, I'm not certain that I really want to chance trying it myself either.

It feels like it's been so long ago... that other life. There would be so much that has changed, or that would need to change again. I remember how weird and foreign it felt when I woke that morning, and how long it's taken just to feel somewhat comfortable in this skin. I'm not sure I really want to go through that again. It'd almost be like becoming someone else again - and that's if my own form was returned to me.

So there I was, not looking forward to having to leave this body and take a chance at trying to get my life back... not looking forward to having to kick Frank out of my body... not looking forward to taking a chance at another life and hoping it's better than either one I've had... nor was I really looking forward to spending the rest of my life as Kat, either.

But there they were... really the only choices I had open to me.

Our conversation was guarded... almost silent as we sat there and sipped some hot cocoa.

I wasn't sure how to begin. How do I tell her all the things I'm thinking... all the things that eat at me everyday lately?

She smiled slightly before asking me, "Well, what do you think?"

My look of confusion as to the nature of her question was clear.

"What do you think, now that you've been a girl for while?"

I paused, thinking, before answering, "It's okay, has it's pros and cons... not too bad a place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live here."

The smile melted from her face as she apologized. "I'm sorry, I thought it's what you wanted."

I explained that I was honored that she would entrust me with her body... her life, allowing me to experience life as a girl... her life... to be her - for awhile. But that I never expected... okay, wanted, it to be a permanent change.

I could see the pain in her face ease as we talked more. I told her of my dilemma, told her of Frank & Dorris and how they had no body to return to, no life to return to now - and how conflicted I've felt about both getting my life back and living a lie... trying to keep her life intact.

I told her how I'd considered the prospect of keeping her life, given the current situation with Frank & Dorris.

She told me how she had found her new life very rewarding. She explained that the former owner of her new life had seemingly embarked on some endeavor, and that he wasn't at all interested in returning to his old life. She told me how odd it seemed, as the family has some money, and life has been "pretty cool" as she put it. I find it odd myself, that someone would walk away from a life where they could have it pretty easy.

But it's not like she could force him to take his life back... especially since she didn't really want to. I could see that there was genuine joy behind those eyes as he told me of some of the places he'd been, and things he'd seen and done.

The conversation turned, once more, to an awkward silence which Kat broke by changing the subject to something that I've tried to avoid... sex. Talk about awkward. I'm almost positive that she was imagining me naked. I'm not sure if my stomach feeling nervous was more from feeling ill from the thought, or from being flattered and perhaps a bit aroused. I mean, biologically... in our current forms, we're not related any more.

After a heated exchange as to why I didn't and she did try sex "from the other side", she showed me some of the items that she kept hidden from everyone - scolding me for being so damn uptight as she went. I told her that I hadn't been thinking of this as my body, nor was it my life to mess up.

I'm not sure when, exactly, I fell prey to her little game... but she definitely had my number. I'm not sure what I'd call where we ended-up - it wasn't really sex - but it was an absolutely wonderful feeling. I'd never felt more vulnerable and weak and scared as I did then - It was as if I had no choice, as if resisting would be futile... then I felt myself just surrendering and trusting him with my... with my very being. Amazing! I'd never felt anything like that in my life - I still tingle every time I think about it. And all this without disrobing.

It's difficult to think about not wanting to enjoy being a girl more - even though it can be a real hassle and sometimes even a hindrance. Barring things like a visit to the Trading Post Inn, every girl grows up through womanhood, and they all live through it just as fine as a boy or a man. Maybe it wouldn't be so bad.

I don't think Kat played very fair. It was like coaxing an animal into a trap.

I don't know... if we just leave things the way they are: Frank and Dorris can be happy; Kat can be happy... even I can find some happiness.