After we got home from New York things kinda took a turn for the lazy around here. That's what happens, I guess, you just formulate routines and get through the day. For the most part I've been getting up early, exercising, cleaning, cooking, watching TV... just being a lazyass pampered housewife I suppose.
And then one day, Hal decides to go fishing in the cushions of the couch, and what does he find?
At first, he thought it was pretty amusing. "Honey, you're such a slob, I love you," blah, blah, gag me.*
(*I love late 80's valley girl slang, I have no idea why.)
But as he hands it to me, something immediately catches my attention... the fact that it's obviously not mine. I would know if I lost a bra in the living room sofa, and I know this is not quite Anne-Marie's size. There were only a couple of possible suspects as to the owner of the bra - it was probably "Julia," whom we'd hired to watch the house while we were in New York.
So I drove over there on the weekend, went up to her place, made sure Todd-2 wasn't around, and threw the bra down on her kitchen table. "Look," I say, "I'm a pretty open-minded person and all, and whatever you do in Julia's body isn't any of my concern, but for God's sake please don't leave your underwear in my furniture."
Seemingly unnerved, she glares at the bra a moment, then looks up at me with those big, brown eyes. God, Julia's a hottie. I think about what I've just said, then immediately smack my own face and correct myself. "I mean... your furniture. Oh, God, I mean, I know it's yours, I don't really think of any of this as mine... this is just very stressful."
"No, it's not that..." she says quietly, clearing her throat. "That's not mine."
I tell her again, "It's not mine."
She just shakes her head. She means it's not Julia's, either. She explained: Saturday night, when she was supposed to be looking after the house (the Adkissons have a cat and some fish.) "Julia" had to run some errands, so she had "Kalli" watch over the house for just a few hours.
We just sat there quietly a moment, realizing exactly what had been going on. About twenty minutes went by, neither of us hardly saying anything, just trying to figure out exactly how to deal with this, when "Kalli" and Todd-2 walked in the door, laughing. J and I were on the couch. "Julia" spoke up - "Hi Todd, could you, um, let us talk a while?"
"Uh, sure thing Jules," he left, uncertain exactly what was going on. He gestured at me, "Who's this? I'm Todd."
I gave him a firm, nonplussed handshake. "Anne-Marie."
"Are you two related?"
'Julia' - "It's complicated. Do you mind?"
"No, sure thing ladies," he said. "See you tomorrow Kal?" She nodded. He kissed her on the cheek as he left.
As soon as he was gone, I tossed the bra at her. "What's up, Kal? Thought you might want this."
She rolled her eyes and groaned. "Here we go."
"What do you think you're doing?" Anne-Marie/Julia started in, suddenly sounding very motherly, "He is way too old for you."
"Not that it's any of your business, Julia but we just went to the movies."
"What are you doing leaving your underwear at my house?" she continues. "You shouldn't be..." she let the ellipses complete her thought.
Ellie folded her arms across her chest. "I don't know if you've noticed, but I'm old enough to take care of myself," indicating Kalli's body.
I watched on as they proceeded to play out a typical-sounding mother-daughter argument, in the bodies and voices of these equally-aged girls. Apparently what happened in South Carolina is that they ran into Todd-2, who was looking to get back with Julia. Anne-Marie, however, was determined to stay faithful to her husband, and didn't want to complicate matters by taking on Julia's ex-boyfriend, so somehow, the affection gets shifted over to Kalli, and somehow nobody thinks at first what a horrible idea for a girl with the mind of a 14-year-old but a body a decade older to have a sexually experienced boyfriend, who would probably have some expectations.
Ellie/Kalli pleads innocent - they haven't had sex and she doesn't plan on it. I attest that all I found was a bra, which is hardly exonerating evidence and nobody's too thrilled about the idea of her letting him get to second base. She admits, yeah, it's been getting kind of heavy, but she never intended to go all the way, and was up front with him about it.
Then she did awful that thing ever teenage girl I've ever known does in an argument - takes it someplace else beyond reason.
"And so what if I did it, anyway?"
Now that's a Pandora's Box to open. As soon as Anne can say anything in response, Kalli is firing the salvo. "We've been living like this for months. I'm not the same person I was when I was Ellie, and you can't treat me like some dumb kid. Kalli definitely wasn't a virgin, so what point would there be in denying it, if I wanted it?"
Anne, suddenly overwhelmed, sat on the couch with her elbows on her knees. She collected her thoughts a moment before starting in, "You should be taking care of yourself... no matter whose life you've got. You've only known Todd [Jones] for a few weeks. If he's your first experience... and don't forget Kalli's experiences are not yours... it might affect you when we go back. These are just decisions too big for us to handle with lives that won't be ours forever."
I nodded along. Anne was seeming surprisingly wise.
Then Kalli pointed at me and asked, "Why is it okay for her to have sex with Uncle Hal?" I must've looked surprised for a moment, but she added, "Dude, I totally read the blog."
Anne sighs and says, "Because... It just is." Not really a good answer, but she continued. "Todd had experience enough to make the right decision, and because I know my husband, and trust him. We agreed."
"Weren't you worried she'd, like, fall in love with him because of the sex?"
I laugh quietly, self-deprecatingly. "Ellie, sex isn't love." It's the kind of thing a man is more likely to say than a woman.
Ellie got a little somber, sitting on the arm of the chair near me. "It's just not fair. I'm so free right now, and in a few months I have to give it all up and go back to the way things were."
I sit next to her and pat her shoulder. "I know it isn't fair, but you have a whole life of your own to go back to. You have awkward teen years to live out, and a terrible, terrible first time with a boy who is equally clueless as you to look forward to."
She smiled. "Todd, you're a goof." I've been called worse. "But I'm just worried that things aren't going to work out once we leave these lives. That's the big question."
I shrug and say that's a problem for Julia and Kalli to deal with. Ellie shoots me a look. "Didn't... Aunt Anne tell you?" I shake my head and look over at "Julia," who seems guilty of something.
Her voice turned grave. "Um, I guess I never mentioned it. Todd, I haven't been able to contact the original Kalli and Julia. We have no idea where they are, and we may not be able to get them their lives back."