Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Alia: Let's try this

Oh boy. Where do I begin? Can I start by saying how much I already regret coming out here?

My name is Alia Frye. I'm a 25-year-old grad student from Toronto. I'm here in Maine because... well, it's complicated. I guess you could say I'm looking for someone. Or maybe some answers.

I don't wanna get too personal. I'm not one to write about myself, I had a livejournal for a while when I was in high school, but it was the kinda thing you grow out of. But I'm a different person now I guess. Grown up a lot. I'm not that shy girl I was back then, so let's try this. I'll open up.

When I first got to university (yes, we're going that far back) I was really intimidated. I was still shaking off all the social awkwardness from high school, trying to figure out who I wanted to be, away from my parents for the first time. The first person I met who really had an impact was a boy named Todd. I met him halfway through first semester.

He was the first guy I ever met who seemed to see something in me. I never knew what, because I was so used to people seeing me as "the smart girl" or "the shy girl." It probably has something to do with race. I don't know if you can tell based on my name, but I'm half Pakistani. Not that religion was a big thing in my household, I was just raised like a regular person, only vaguely aware how people saw me.

Well, Todd told me he didn't see the "Brown girl," just the girl, which was sweet, I thought. Not that I'm not proud of who I am... jeez now I'm rambling. Anyway, Todd. He was this, like, cool hipster guy with shaggy hair and a beard and he played guitar, and I never kne anyone like that who wanted to have anything to do with me. And he was smart too, way smarter than he looked, and probably even smarter than he knew. He had surprising self-confidence issues, which is one of the things we fought about when we dated, which we did off and on for years. And eventually I became the "whole other person" I mentioned, because of the influence Todd and his friends had on me. Oh, and my parents really didn't like him, especially after he dropped out.

Maybe we were never a good couple. Kind of mismatched. That doesn't excuse any of the things he did to me, or any of the things I did to him. The last time we broke up, it seemed like it was for real. I mean, he left the fucking country, clearly with the intention of hooking up with every skank on the East coast of the States. I didn't tell him at the time, but it hurt to think I really lost him. That was last year, about this time.

So a few weeks before he's due to come back, I got this call from him, like he's had a revelation about us, and he wants to try again. And I was feeling so vulnerable that I agreed, and I was so happy we were getting together. So he says "the last thing I want to do is go see this band in Maine, so Bryan (his friend) and I are gonna find a place to shake up there." And it was a funny coincidence that my parents were going to go to Maine, but they couldn't because of a minor injury, so it all worked out.

And then they get back, weeks later than expected -- not unusual I guess -- seeming really shellshocked from the trip. And I guess it made sense, they'd been away for a while, it must've taken a lot out of them, but they were really, really disoriented. And when I asked Todd about our little conversation, he said he didn't remember -- although for a while he acted like he did -- and I thought "Oh that makes sense, you were probably completely smashed." How stupid was I for thinking he was sincere? He never really wanted to get back with me. It's like he conned me into getting him that room in Maine without even realizing he did it.

So while I'm at home crying my damn eyes out because I got my hopes up, Todd and Bryan are just... acting strange. I mean, I never knew what to expect from those guys but this was a real shocker. They started kinda... getting their act together. Their place was nicer. They got better jobs, dressed nicer. As much as I loved the whole outlaw thing, this was... it was something else. Really impressive.

But it was clear he didn't really want me anymore. It really was over. Something about that trip had changed them. I tried to be their friend but it was so... wrong. I'm all for maturity, but we're in our 20's. It's time to enjoy life, to go out late and sleep in. Talk about frustration -- when I'm the one trying to drag them out to the bar?

So I started seeing other people, more seriously than I ever had before, and paying less attention to Todd. He didn't seem to mind.

It didn't work out. At least, it hasn't yet.

A while back, Todd told me he was going back to Maine, and he wanted to talk with me once he got back. But I said "screw that noise." I've got some money, I've got time. He wants a talk? I'm here to talk.

And he's nowhere to be found. The Honda he bought after he got back last year is, but he's not. Well, at least I've been getting some good reading done during the deluge. Maybe I can get my mind off feeling like a needy ex-girlfriend, if it stops raining eventually.

Oh yes, and a bonus feature of this wonderful Inn? All the creepy people you could ever hope for. There's the happy Asian redneck who helped me with my bags, the MILF who gave me the evil eye when she walked by my room and heard me playing the Ramones, and worst of all... the boy next door.

I passed this dude with his collar up and Oakley shades... surprisingly enough no faux-hawk... and I mention to him "Oh I see you've got a great view of the Ocean from your room. I was kind of hoping for one. Would you mind switching?" He says "Sure thing... if you don't mind spending the night with me." Then he points to his crotch. Has that move ever worked on anybody? Pathetic. I actually feel sorry for the guy. I'll take my view of the road, thanks very much Cliff.

So that's my story. I'll probably just chill here for a few more days, then head back. Nice opening up... I guess.


Monday, June 29, 2009

Cliff: Solitaire

So I've been kicking around this inn for a few days when I notice this flier under my door. Online guestbook project, huh? Well whatever. I'm bored enough.

The flier asks me to drop by and say who I am, where I'm from, what brings me to the inn. Well I'm not that interesting I guess. My name's Cliff. Actually it's John Henry Clifford, but there's so many Johns in the world, I usually go by Cliff. I'm from Buffalo. I work in IT. Awesome, right? Moving on.

I'm here because Justin and I booked the trip to Maine when we thought there was gonna be parties and stuff. I know it's not typically thought of as a party place, but you know, beach, ladies, toss a little booze in the mix and see what happens right? You go to a place like New York or Miami or wherever and it's crowded 'cause every jerk thinks he's a playa, but there's girls everywhere man. I thought Maine might be a little underrated.

Well, we booked the trip, then Justin met Randi. Actually, we both met Randi. Actually, I met her first, but it was the same week, and even though I thought there might be some connection with her and me... he won out. And good for him 'cause they're great together. So he brought Randi up for the week, to stay at the hotel we booked, and I wound up at the Trading Post Inn. There is not even a bar on the premises and it's pissing rain 24/7 all week. Ya. And every time I go out with Justin and Randi I feel like Mr. Third Wheel. So it's either go with them and feel awkward or sit here and feel bored. Wish I had a deck of cards.

There's not a lot of talent around here. I don't wanna be a jerk or anything but there's a bunch of couples, and a mom and her teenage girl. And then the other day this chick comes to the room next door. I think I might have a shot with her, but I've gotta play it cool. Beyond that I don't have much of an opinion of the place.

So the plan right now is to get home in time for 4th of July. I thought it might be nice to stick around for the fireworks here, but the reservation's up at the end of this week. Ah well. No place like home right?

(He said with a sigh.)

Nah, just kiddin.

Brandon: Success and how I did it.

For those of you who have wondered and speculated about my whearabouts, I'm here to tell you that I am back. I am once again Brandon Chase. My beautiful male body has returned in the exact same condition it was when i left. This all happened back in May and Im sorry I didnt tell you all about it sooner. Its just that I was so ready to leave the whole experience behind me and move on, plus i wasnt proud of how the manner in which i got it back. But i figured with Todd in Maine as we speak he could use a few words of reassurance.

February through May as Laura, I didnt post at all. Its not like I didnt do anything, I just didnt feel that I did anything that needed to be posted. Knowing my body was only mine temporary, I decided not to rock the boat too much, so no lesbian jam sessions for me. I DID have sex a few times, just to see what it was like. Nothing serious, just a few one nite stands with random bar guys. I told Laura everytime and was OK with it. It was educational and new, but not really mindblowing.

I had scheduled all of my personal days and vacation to coincide with the opening week of The Inn, and after saying goodbye to all my friends and coworkers (which they thougth very odd, since i was only going to be gone a month) I caught my plane to the Northeast.

Arriving at the Inn was both reassuring and creepy. I understood how it worked, but the idea that this place operated with a strange curse and supernatural energy still freaked me out.

I checked in at the front desk and got my key. Room 10. For those of you who remember the "cliffhanger" ending from my last post, my body is "in" room 8, or at least my luggage and the magic which will change whomever into me.

I went into room 10 and dropped off my Laura Luggage and immediately went to the closet. Invariably inside I found another set of luggage with a letter on top. No longer a slave to the Inn's magic, I read it. It was from Eliza Little, a 36 year old single librarian who had turned into somebody's husband. Im assuming that since Eliza hadnt re rented her room, she either didnt know how to get her body back or she didnt want it. If I couldnt execute my plan, I was looking at a year of Eliza. At least.

After dropping my stuff off in my room, I started looking around at the other guests. Opening Day at the Inn is a very busy day, and all the guests arrive early. Meaning I didnt have a several day wait like Todd and Bryan do, the Inn was at capacity and the change was happening that night.

I stood in the hallway and people watched for a few minutes, using my cell phone to look busy. After about an hour or so, a man emerged from room 8. A middle aged, chubby, balding man with glasses. The man, who, unless i managed my trick, would become Brandon around 2am tonite.

Im not proud of the following events, but I did them because I had to. I basically stalked this guy. Followed him around the beach, the restaurant, the town, and finally that evening to a bar.

Thats where I made my move. I sat down next to him and chatted him up. His name was Jack Stevens and he was from Chicago. He was recently divorced and was looking to find a distraction. I was going to provide just that distraction. I started buying him drinks. Strong drinks. I had lost some weight in the last year or so, but I was still a bit of a chubby girl. I didnt want to risk being rejected for that reason. And flirting with him like crazy. Finally, around midnight, I asked him if he wanted to come back to my hotel with me. He agreed and got that face that he was just about to get lucky. If only I couldve told him just how unlucky he was about to be.

We entered room 10 and started making out on the bed. A few minutes later we were both naked and I asked him if he wanted to get a little kinky. After he asked me what I meant I went to my purse and got out a pair of fuzzy handcuffs I had bought in a sex shop in Portland.

"For you?" he asked"

For YOU" i said firmly.

He seemed to be into it and I cuffed him to the bed. I then proceeded to...rock his world. Between the alcohol and the sex, Jack was out like a light. Still cuffed to the bed.

I reached into his pants and took out the key to room 8. I put on my bathrobe and walked down the hall to the room where my old body's luggage was housed. It was 1:30.

I hadnt experienced the change the previous time, at least not awake. So i decided to stay up for it. After all, its something you dont get to see often. I got naked and stood in front of the mirror in the room. At around 2am I felt the tingling. The skin crawling feeling described by Jeff and Art as they changed into Jessica and Penny, respectively. The first thing I noticed was the body hair. My legs, arms, and chest were covered in it pretty soon, which made me look like werewolf Laura. The hair on my head didnt fall out, it changed color and retracted, which was very weird. I remember being very sweaty as my body fat (breasts included) melted off and I stretched. My arms and legs were at first very skinny before my original muscle tone was added. The two weirdest parts were what happened to my face and what happened between my legs. My face cracked and reshaped itself into the one i had been born with, I actually saw my eye color change. My genitals were the last to change. I felt a pain in my pelvis as things shifted, my vagina sealed up and my clit grew larger in a short amount of time. After a minute, I had testicles again, and Im assuming ovaries no more.

After that ordeal, I saw my old body in the mirror. I felt myself up to make sure everything was still there. It was familiar but foreign. I heard the screams in the night and decided to go check on Jack. I got dressed in my old Brandon clothes and headed down to room 10.

Inside I saw a skinny brunette chained to the bed screaming her lungs out. "Help! She did this to me! Someone help me!"

"Calm down Jack, everything is going to be fine" I said

"How do you know my name? Who are you? What happened to me?" he said in terror.

"Im Brandon" I said "But for the last few months until tonite I went by Laura"

As he was frozen in shock, I explained it. The Inn. The curse. Why he looked the way he did now.I helped him the next day, but left that evening. I had everything I need. I feel bad for basically turning Jack into Eliza, but he was going to wind up in a strange body anyway, why should I have to? Besides, hell be able to get it back, i managed to.

So thats it. Im back in Arizona, looking for a job. My family all thinks I vacationed in Europe, but in retrospect I spent it in a place a lot more foreign. A woman's body. Ill admit I miss things about Laura's life every now and then, but that wasnt my life to live (Laura phoned me 3 weeks later to tell me she was back to normal too). I dunno if ill post here again. Ill keep an eye on it, its very informative and curious. Ill even offer support every now and then.

So long and good luck


Saturday, June 27, 2009

Todd/Anne-Marie: Still no change, but......

Okay. Where to start. I want to avoid the cliche, as much as I want to let the music journalist in me out, by eulogizing Michael Jackson. Bry had a fleeting reference to him in his entry. Here in Maine, like probably everywhere, it was on everyone's lips that night and over the weekend so far. As much as I respected the man and his music, and as much as we were all privately fascinated/freaked out by his personal life... that's not what this blog is about.

A couple days ago, we actually had some sunshine in the morning, and Bry and I lay on the beach in swimsuits, something we thought we'd be doing a lot more of. That's where we had the bulk of the conversation Bry was talking about. For the most part, I agree with her... it was a huge, horrible thing that we're probably better for having survived (if we do indeed survive and return.) I don't know how easy it will be to get back into my life, but considering my life was chaos before I became a housewife, I think I should be able to adjust.

One major part of the conversation though, was that I felt like I'd matured a whole lot. That it was a shame when we'd go back to Toronto, I'd have to restart all the progress I'd made winning Alia back, even possibly settling down with her, if she'd have me, because I feel like I'm ready... but that there was really no way to explain it all to her, what the last year has been like for me. I want to go back to being Todd Casey, but I also want to change, I guess, what it means to be Todd Casey... as much as Deb's probably already done that.

Bry scoffed at that, finding it hard to believe that after all I'd seen and done I would want to come back and settle down, that the entire experience hadn't scared any desire for marriage out of me forever. But it's the truth. It kind of... acclimated me. Being Anne-Marie wasn't just about being a woman for me, it was about being with someone (even someone I didn't really care about) and not... doing some of the dubious shit I used to do with Alia and other women. I'll leave it up to your imagination.

The idea of reforming myself a bit, of coming back to Alia and making the most of my life, was sort of my "happy thought" whenever I'd get bummed out about my state of affairs as Anne-Marie (which was often enough. Lord knows her name came up often enough in this blog.)

Well not long into the afternoon it started to get cloudy again, bloody hell, so we headed back inside, got properly dressed, and went out to lunch. When we got back, in the middle of yet another summer shower, I saw one of the most horrifying things I've seen since becoming Anne-Marie. Maybe one of the most bone-chilling sights I've seen in my entire life.

Alia's car. In the driveway of the fucking Trading Post Inn.

George himself was helping her with her bags. What the fuck.

Bryan didn't see her, but I walked by her. I don't know what my expression looking like, but her face... she looked seriously weirded out by however I looked at her. I haven't seen her in well over a year. She's still gorgeous. And she's here. Oh God. I'm fucked. This whole thing is fucked.

I can't let this happen to her. I can't let her go through this. I've got to tell her to leave this place, to get away. But if I do that, the transformation won't happen (as is my understanding) and this whole thing is for nothing. FUCK!!

A week from now, maybe even tomorrow, she'll be transformed into someone else. Could be an old man, could be a mother or a little boy or some shit. And she'll see me, and I'll have to explain everything to her and try to convince her I wasn't the guy she's known this past year, and tell her it'll be okay as long as she comes back... but what if she's one of those people who can't get their body back?! What if the girl I love ends up as one of those people who has to grow up all over again?!

This whole thing is fucked up. Oh God. What am I gonna say? What am I gonna do?

And I thought it was hard getting to sleep before.... fuck my life.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Bryan/Ellie: The man I used to be

Back in Canada, one of the big deals on the music scene is k-os. I don't know if anyone in the States really knows about him, but as far as Canadian hip hop goes, he's the ideal.

That song, "The Man I Used To Be" was big on MuchMusic when it came out... I tried it... couldn't fight it... I just wanna get back to be, back into the man I used to be... I've been humming it to myself since before we got to Maine, because hell, it's true. Pretty obvious right? Well in the song, k-os does, like a bit of a Michael Jackson tribute, so I guess he was in my head, and now today I find out he's dead.

What's weird is, checking Ellie's Facebook, even people who weren't born until after he was past his prime seem to care. It's sometimes weird how in-touch the generation can be with older music. Hard to believe it's not all about Rihanna and Kanye with these kids. Gives me hope... then again they learn everything they know about rock from Guitar Hero and Rock Band, which is troubling on some levels. No Zeppelin.

With all the friggin' rain, Todd finally got me to talk a little about the whole situation. I guess I needed a while to open up, to feel like I could get some of my shit out there. Maybe because of the therapy, you can understand I've been a bit guarded lately.

I can't believe that a year ago, when this all started up, I was the one who was really excited about it. Way back when she was writing about our "first day," it was pretty much exactly what Todd said. I was freaking out more with excitement than fear, although there was fear, I just... buried it. Not that I was like "zomg I can't wait to be a girl!" but like, the realness of the whole thing took a while to settle in, so until then it was like living a cool sci-fi fantasy. All the facts about girlhood brought me back down to earth, and that's when the depression set in, which may be why I took it so hard when I started to feel crappy about things.

A few days before we left, I was hanging out with Emily. We were watching Tropic Thunder, but she really hated it, even though I thought it was a really cool movie. When we started to talk about why I liked it so much and why she hated it, I kept wanting to say "I guess it's just a guy thing." No matter what the Inn did to my body it never really changed my mind. and yeah, it's okay for a girl to like action movies and dumb comedies and stuff, but I was also thinking of myself as kind of a lesbian, but most lesbians are really not into guyish stuff like that (or else would they really be lesbians? Haha, I kid.) I mean, those are cliches, but there are cliches out there people live up to. Trust me. You think your average lesbian can quote Die Hard? Well I'd settle for Ghostbusters, which I'd probably have better luck with.

My point is, as Ellie, I was never gonna find a girl I really got along with, probably. Leanne was great and all, for music and stuff, but she didn't like me, she liked what she thought I was. As much as I thought Ellie was a "clean slate" with me it was really just a whole new bunch of baggage I had no business handling. And since I wasn't into dudes (every time I asked Todd about Hal she'd get this look in her eye like suddenly she remembered she used to have a dick) it wasn't going to go well. In the end I couldn't make the two things - my mind and body - go together. I don't think Todd ever did either. At least to make it work she had to put out of her mind what she knew she really is. And that's not cool.

So that's the summary of a conversation Todd and I had where we basically talked about "what if we had to stay?" "what if I'd been the mom, and she was the teen?" And the big one "Was it all worth it?" Time will tell on that. It's been a really fucked up year, but I'll say this...... it isn't the worst thing ever, since I know it's going to go back to normal soon. I got some really interesting experiences, I lived the good life, for a little while I strung along/was strung along by a pretty girl. Now I'm ready to go back.

Last question, though, still unanswered. "What if the same thing happens to us that happened to Deb and Amanda? What if I become Todd, and she becomes me?"

Well I'd be glad to be Todd. Maybe we'd try to go back, but if we had to stay, I wouldn't mind. No matter what has happened, we've been good friends, and we can trust each other. You know?

Hopefully it doesn't come to that. I don't wanna be those people who keep coming back. I'm sure George and Jan are nice people, but they wig me out a bit... kinda like that Donna chick back in Connecticut.

Oh rain. When will this end?


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Todd/Anne-Marie: The Future of the Blog

I guess I'm kind of stuck. I thought I'd do more writing here, but all Bry and I have done is sit around inside because the weather has been raining pretty much nonstop since we got here. I swear it was nice last year... but if this is what Maine is like, why the hell does anyone ever vacation here? Especially given the likelihood of mysterious body-transformations. But I guess the word's still not out about that.

There are a few people milling around, but not surprisingly the Inn isn't at "Change everyone's body" capacity, which from what I can tell is 13. I would guess there's maybe 7 people here including Bryan and me, as well as our new friends George and Jan, another random couple, and one other guy I saw once but not since. I'm thinking it'll probably hit 13 on the weekend. That makes sense, right?

So Sunday night, George and Jan, I guess as fellow Inn-survivors, offered us a dinner at a place they like. It was a very nice gesture, although I can't help but think that if I looked like a man maybe George wouldn't have offered to pay.

As I mentioned on Day one, George is, from his appearance, a middle-aged Asian guy who dresses like a truck driver. His wife Jan is a younger Caucasian lady, maybe about my Anne-Marie age. Has kind of a midwestern look to her. The first thing I asked, as we headed out, was what they'd been before.

George paused, awkwardly, and said it was a long story, and they'd explain over dinner.

We got to the restaurant, one of the nicest restaurants I've been in (and as Anne-Marie I've been to a couple.) George and Jan had worn fairly nice clothes; I was wearing a black skirt and white blouse, and Bry was a bit underdressed because she hadn't really packed for this kind of thing. I ordered a steak and salad, Bry some pasta - George and Jan ordered lobster.

Now, I don't mean to judge, but it seemed like George and Jan were pretty blue-collar people. When I first saw him he had a Texas belt-buckle and worn-out jeans. He told me normally he was, but on times like these, he liked to treat himself - "Spend some money like there's no tomorrow." Then he gave a knowing smile. So I asked again where exactly George and Jan had come from.

George got this faraway look in his eyes as he told the story. Back in 1991, he and Jan were preparing to move to a retirement community down in Florida, but in the interim, they decided to come spend some time in Maine, where Jan had grown up. They were in their late 60's -- George had fought in Germany in WWII. And so one morning, they woke up, and they were... young. They were still man and wife, but suddenly George was the wife.

In time, as all of us do, they came to understand the nature of the Inn, but that didn't make them pleased about it. The first year was apparently very hard for them. So they did the fairly sensible thing; they went back to the Inn.

The only problem was, there wasn't exactly a ton of telecommunication going on back in the early 90's, and George and Jan wouldn't have been predisposed to it if there had. So they just went back, thinking maybe they would become themselves again. This time, they were father and son.

"Blacks, for what it's worth," she chuckled.

It became apparent to them that they would never be themselves again. They became consumed, I guess, by remorse for the fact that they were now young and able, and they had left their elderly bodies with some other undeserving victims they never knew. So they vowed to keep coming back, year after year - sometimes they've had to skip, but basically, for the past 17 years they've kept returning and getting new bodies, and helping fellow victims understand what has happened to them.

"Doesn't that get exhausting?" asked Bryan. "Don't you get tired of starting over?"

Jan smiled. "There's an old saying, you know. The number one killer of people our age is retirement. All this body-changing can be a tad much, but it keeps our minds sharp."

"And we had an agreement," George added, "First off, we try to get these people back in their proper place. Second, we know we can't always be together, in the same place or even the same marital bed, but we do our best to stay close. Absence makes the heart grow fonder, after all. Lastly, if we ever found ourselves in bodies close to our own age, we'd keep 'em."

"But so far," Jan laughed self-deprecatingly, "That no good Inn keeps keeping us young and able."

I was pretty fascinated. It was kind of an inspiring story. I didn't want to broach the likelihood that their original bodies are possibly dead, but they must have some really fascinating stories. They've been practically everything, between the two of them. young, old, different races and genders... they've gotten the kind of life tour most people could never imagine.

"It ain't an easy life," George admitted, "Knowing you're living with a timer, but hey, aren't we all?" By this point we were well into the meal. "I like to think of it as a service. Imagine how much easier things would be for people if they had someone there to tell 'em what's going on."

I thought back to that first day and how quickly Bryan interpolated the entire thing. I don't think that anything close to the norm. I said we'd be glad to help.

So I told them about ourselves, how we've been living these lives for a year, who we were originally. I tried not to make myself sound so pathetic in my previous life, or like I was taking advantage of this one. That I was quite close with Anne-Marie.

"I hope you got some good experience out of it," George said, obviously speaking from experience, "And I'm glad you're going back. I do hope it works out well for you two."

"George knows from experience that womanhood isn't exactly a cakewalk." Jan nudged him, he blushed and said "Nothing is, dear. But it has its finer parts."

Well, that just created an awkward silence. But anyway.

So I told them about the blog, how I'd been writing my experiences down, as had others, and they were most welcome to join on, given their ongoing experience. They declined.

"Don't get me wrong, I know how to do the e-mail and the websites, but I'm not one for going on about myself. I'll have a look, now and again, and maybe I'll drop you a line, but that's not really my thing."

I understand.

But it got me to thinking. In a few days, with any luck, I'll be good old Todd Casey again, and then... my life might not be so interesting to the readers here. And while I hate to admit it, everyone's probably noticed by now that my fellow Inn-mates Penny, Ashlyn, Brandon/Laura, Darren/Jaime and whomever else, have all gone off into the wild blue. This Inn is gonna need some fresh blood. if anyone out there reading this has ever been to the Inn... I'd ask you to drop me a line, but honestly I don't have the password to that e-mail up there, and I'm not very keen on handing out my personal e-mail here, so... I'll figure something out.

So yesterday, I made up some fake flyers at a Kinko's advertising an "Online Guestbook" for the inn, and slipped a few under each door, a trick Art used back in the day. It doesn't exactly explain why people should log onto this blog and detail their experiences, but I'm guessing they'll understand why when the time comes. I also left some in the lobby for the future.

So... here's to the future. I guess.


Saturday, June 20, 2009

Todd/Anne-Marie: The Ghosts of Room 5

Even though I knew there would be no transformation last night, I found it hard to sleep. Part of my deep down kept expecting something awful to happen in the middle of the night. This old building has kind of a haunted feel to it... and knowing what I know doesn't help when it creaks and groans in the night. I keep jumping at shadows.

In the daylight, I saw there were plenty more cars here than people, but I also noticed a few new faces just settling in. The inn's capacity is about 13, so it needs that many to transform us, if what I believe I know is true. So a few more randoms doesn't really indicate the change is imminent, so I guess it's more restless nights. In case you're wondering, there are a few different configurations of rooms... some with two twin beds, some with a double, some with one twin. Some rooms adjoin.

Soft rains made Bry and I stay in most of the day, trying to keep ourselves entertained. It was dreadful. This really isn't beach weather, so we stayed inside. Napping. At least I was napping. I couldn't tell you what Bryan was doing but when I woke up she definitely seemed to be up to something. Polite not to speculate.

I spent a fair bit of time this afternoon just... staring at my reflection, as I have a habit of doing. If I were writing a fiction about people who get transformed, I'd probably rely a lot on mirror references. I'm not going to have this face much longer, I'm not going to be this woman, or any woman. I feel as though I should make the most of my time remaining, but I have absolutely no idea what that would actually entail.

I feel like I should be trying to sum up this whole experience, what it's taught me about the world and myself, but I guess I'm going through a bit of writer's block... I keep trying to engage Bry in conversation about it but she's not interested. Maybe she'll warm up a bit after the change, if it happens, or perhaps before then.

George and Jan invited us to dinner for tomorrow night so I believe I'll have more to say about them then.

Sorry for the less-than-exciting post.


Todd/Anne-Marie: All my bags are packed, I'm read to go...

Yeah, I realize that song is lame, but how appropriate right?

Day One of Maine 2009 was... surprising. In a lot of ways.

I wanted to swing by Donna's place, to have some final words with her before I left. For once, she wasn't around. I have no idea where she might've been, or what I would've said to her. Chances are she would've just said something to piss me off anyway. I still don't know who she was or whether I'm going to go back to Connecticut after this trip to find out more about her.

But what I really wanted to say was how grateful I was that she had been... a friend, sort of, or whatever. It's been nice having her to talk to these past few weeks, no matter how much she gets on my nerves. No she's not the best friend I ever had, but knowing there was someone, other than Bryan, who had some idea what was going on, even given her different attitude about it... has been comforting. So in that weird way I'll miss her. I'll miss a lot of things, but I'm going to try to get on with my life. Once I get back to it.

I also saw Anne-Marie, and she wished me luck. That was an interesting scene but not really an important one.

I was really worried about going by Bryan's place and picking her up around 4:00, especially since Trudy was there. While I was helping her load her bags into the back of Anne-Marie's SUV, Trudy took me aside. It was tense.

"So you're really going, huh?"

"That's what we agreed on."

She looks at me like We didn't agree on anything but didn't say it. She went on, "I don't know why you're so fixated on this, but I want... I want what's best for Ellie. You... take care, okay?" And she gave me this look - disapproving, but accepting in a way.

All I could do was smile and pat her on the shoulder - kind of a masculine gesture - and say "Trust me. When she gets back from Maine, Ellie will be a lot better." She didn't believe me, but I guess she'd made her peace with it. Bryan climbed into the passenger's side.

"We ready?"

"Rock and roll."

Trudy gave off some motherly "Be safe" slogans as she leaned in the window and kissed her on the cheek. Bry gave a very authentic-sounding goodbye as I drove away.

I didn't even have the radio on. There was silence as I began to drive away from town. Bry was uncharacteristically reflective.

"We've been through a lot this year."

She scoffed, "Tch. I'll say." Just stared out the window at the passing houses.

"You gonna miss it?"

"Like what?"

"The house. The family. The life."

"The periods, the boobs, the horny teenage guys and the... equally horny girls? The bitchy moms and the homework, my God the homework..."

"Okay," I stopped her, "I get your point."

"I'm so done with this fuckin' place."

I didn't believe her, though. The way she was drinking in the landscape as we drove by told me there was something about this place she didn't really want to leave behind. I didn't want to press her, though. I wanted to say how weird it was, in those first couple days she had been the one so gung ho about this whole thing, she was the one who encouraged me to go with the flow and, well I'm not inside her head or anything but somewhere along the way she lost that.

I dug my iPod out of the glove compartment. The one I brought home after being transformed, full of my Todd music. I hooked it up to the radio and set it to "London Calling." As soon as that opening chord struck up, she started to bob her head. She turned to me and smiled.

"Oh hell yeah, turn that up!"

The drive lasted nearly five hours, after traffic and food stops. We put an unofficial moratorium on Inn-talk and got to talking about old times. People we used to know. Sometimes, the Inn came up, peripherally, when we'd link some old experience to a recent one, but we were really just chilling out shooting the shit like we always did. It was so nice.

We pulled up to the Inn around 9, when the rain was starting to let up. The clouds made night fall sooner. I got out of the car and opened the rear. I saw a figure coming toward me from the entrance of the Inn. It was a middle-aged Asian guy in a trucker cap and plaid work shirt.

"Need some help?"

"Um... sure." He grabbed some bags and followed after me. I was wary, but we did have a lot of luggage.

He commented, "Guess you don't believe in travelin' light?"

I laughed, "Guess not."

We got to the door of the Inn. There was a white woman sitting on a chair on the porch doing a crossword puzzle. She looked up and acknowledged me with a friendly smile. He paused and said, "This your first time at this Inn?"

I stopped and looked at him. "Nope. We've been here before."

He smiled and took off his cap, brushing his hair with his fingers, "Yep. You can always tell when someone's coming back. They have this... look on their faces. Like they're expecting something out of this place."

"So I guess you know about this place, eh?"

"Oh, I know." He laughed. "I know." We continued to carry things to the room. I hadn't yet opened the door. I asked, "Have you seen anyone else around?"

"You're the first souls we've seen around here today. I guess you're early for the show."

He paused, then continued, "If you need anything at all, don't hesitate to come find me. I'm George, the lady on the porch is my wife Jan."

I extended my hand and we shook. I've gotten so used to being under cover, so I introduced myself, "Anne-Marie," and then paused before adding, "Todd."

"Well, Anne-Marie Todd, I'll see you around." And he went back out front. Bryan caught up with me, giant bag trailing behind her thin little arm.

"So, who's that guy anyway?"

"He's like us, I guess." I'll have to make a note to talk to him, but at the time all I really wanted was to get my stuff put away.

I took a deep breath and opened the door. I don't know what I was expecting, but the room looked just how I remember it. Twin beds. Window. Closet.

Some very familiar-looking luggage sitting on top of each bed. On top of the luggage were envelopes. The one Deb left for me outlined her situation with Amanda - how they'd landed in the wrong bodies - and theorized that they had slept in the wrong beds. So our luggage was used to demarcate where we were to sleep. It gave a general status report on our lives and a "goodbye" or sorts, "Nice knowing you." Maybe I'll summarize it later. I cracked open the suitcse, and breathed in the heady scent of freshly-laundered male clothes. They were neatly folded in a way I'd never have done, but Alia had done for me on a few occasions.

I dug out my laptop - my Todd laptop, as Anne-Marie doesn't own one - the one that, a year ago, I had used to write my wandering memoirs, so I could get online and start writing this. The internet connection here is outdated and slow though, so I don't think I'll be doing much casual browsing... which is a shame since I'll need something to keep myself occupied.

Bry's note contained a pleasant surprise, indicating "Look in the closet." She did, and there she found a guitar case - an old acoustic we used to tinker with when we couldn't plug in, and when Bry was considering getting his busking license.

She immediately started warming up. Having little fingers and little arms, and only played bass the last few months, she was a little clumsy - still better than me though. "I'm feeling a little Beatley tonight," she said, and began to play "Two Of Us." We had a little singalong; our harmonies were atrocious. It's a good thing only George and Jan were around to hear, if they could.

That's all for tonight. I don't know whether people will show up immediately or just trickle in - I'd have thought more for a weekend like this, but whatever - but I'm guessing we'll at least have a few nights to rest.

I'll try to post every day while I'm hre, but don't get too upset if I don't, it probably just means nothing interesting enough happened to warrant me suffering these load times. I still have no idea what I'll do to pass the time, since Bry can't even drink.

We'll figure something out.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Bryan/Ellie: The Talking Cure

As part of my treatment after my little... freak-out... Trudy's got me in therapy on Tuesday nights.

I want to play along, but it's hard. She can't really understand where I'm coming from, so I have to go over all my little problems as Ellie, but even when I'm talking about them I come off as being totally uninterested. I mean, what can I say? This time next week I'll be in Maine. Hell, I could be myself again by then. How can I bring myself to care about all the stress I've been under as Ellie?

Dr. Westphal clued into this, after two weeks of "Um, well, I was really hurt, when I had this fight with Leanne I was really bummed out..." and laid it out for me.

"Ellie, it seems as though you think of your life more as a spectator than as a participant."

"Yeah, I guess so."

"Why do you think that is?"

I smile and look around the room. She's got a bunch of degrees and fancy books and really, she's in no way prepared to learn the truth about me. I just shake my head. "I... guess I just can't explain it."

We dance around it for a while and she keeps asking me why I seem to care so little about my life. Finally I decide, maybe she can handle it, so I ask if we have "doctor-patient confidentiality," and she says basically, unless I express a desire for self-harm, and I say good, because there's no way she can explain this to anyone else anyway. She asks what it is I have to say.

I took a moment to think about it, and took a deep breath and said, "Imagine there was... a place you could go. Like a hotel. And if you stay at this hotel, one morning, when you wake up, you're... someone else. You look like someone different than what you think you are. And there's nothing you can do about it, and you can't choose who you become..." suddenly I start to realize that my voice is shaking and my eyes are watering and I try to explain it as best I can in terms she'll understand, "And you just... you get told who you have to be, and you can't do anything about it, except be that person. Suddenly, your whole life is out of your control and there's nothing familiar, and there's nobody you can talk to... nobody who understands you. It's.... that's stressful."

"Are you saying you don't feel like the person you look like? That you'd like to change who you are?"

I sniffle a little laugh. "Yeah, I guess you could say that."

With a little bit of sympathy in her voice she tells me a lot of teenagers feel similarly, isolated from their peers, at odds with their bodies. I can't explain that's not exactly what I'm getting at... it was just nice to unload a little bit.

I couldn't say to her "I'm going away for a month, and when I come back, you'll be talking to a whole different person." I couldn't explain that whatever she's learned about me in the last few weeks, won't really apply anymore.

The last thing she said was "I know you don't want to seem like you care. I know for whatever reason you don't seem to want people to think you care about life, but I've seen the way you get worked up when you talk about yourself. I know you do care, and I want you to know that it's worth it. You only get one life, Ellie, and it's important to enjoy it."

Well, I guess someone who'd never been to the Inn might say that.

I don't know if it worked, or what, but like I said, it was nice to get all that stuff off my chest, even if it zipped way over her head. Stuff I've been waiting almost a year to tell someone.

Two nights from now, I'm in Maine. holy shit.


Monday, June 15, 2009

Todd/Anne-Marie: Complications

No sooner do I complain about not hearing from Deb and Amanda do I hear from Deb and Amanda. Saturday night, the transformation occurred, and Deb floated me an e-mail to keep me appraised of the situation.

There's been some... complication. It seems as though, through a confusion of sleeping habits with the previous Deb and Amanda, they wound up in the wrong bodies - Deb as Amanda and vice versa. So they're trying to figure out what they can do to resolve the situation and when. But they're probably very relieved just to have ovaries again, so there's that.

Which means, suddenly I can feel a new level of excitement that my body is officially waiting for me in Maine. It makes me wonder exactly what my body's status is... it's easy to think of as "limbo" but when there's a literal implication there, you begin to wonder what exactly that means. To think there's some kind of subspace storage facility where my body is being kept waiting... hmph. Maybe we're in the Matrix after all.

Sorry, this is the first time in a while that I've let my mind wonder about these things. For so long it's been "keep your head down and play Anne-Marie" that I forgot what a totally unreal paranormal experience I've been through. It's become sadly mundane and now that it's back again my way of thinking about it has changed. Is The Trading Post the only place on Earth that can do this? What is the origin of the curse? We may never know.

There are still a few different possible hitches in the plan but right now it's all systems go for me and Bry. That's not to say there haven't been obstacles.

Just last night, after a hectic yet subdued family gathering for Anne-Marie's birthday, Hal and I were getting ready for bed when he turns to me and says "So, you're really planning on taking Ellie to Maine next weekend?"

I give him the crook-eye and deadpan, "Yep."

"Are you sure about that?"

I roll my eyes. "What are you talking about?"

"Ellie's been through a lot these past few months, with school and the hospital and everything. Is it really a good idea to take her away from home for such a long time?"

I try to bury my frustration, "Of course. This is exactly what she needs. She's been looking forward to this for months."

"But things have changed."

I'm not keen on having this argument, because I won't let him win. "Hal. What is this really about?"

He looks somewhat embarrassed, "I was talking to Trudy and she's really worried. She doesn't want to let Ellie away from home, in case something happens."

I look him in the eye and try to use my soothing "mom" voice on him. "Nothing is going to happen to that girl. She's going to relax and get some sunshine. Trust me."

He grimaces, "I'm not the one you need to convince. My sister's feeling very protective. You know how she can get."

"Well, she'll just have to roll with this one, because if Ellie doesn't go, she'll be... heartbroken."

Hal won't let it go, saying, "I just wish you'd hear her out on this. You're a mom, how would you feel?"

Fortunately I have a secret weapon in situations like these where I just want to end the argument. I said "How does this feel?" and slipped my hand into his trousers.

Yeah, yeah, I know, I'm a devil woman. Using sex as a weapon. I should be above that, but it did the trick. He was satisfied, I was... not overly disappointed I suppose... and he fell asleep afterward, not breathing another word about it.

So sue me if, in my last week of womanhood, I want to use my femininity to my advantage. It's for a greater good. A month from now this is all history.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Todd/Anne-Marie: "Mom your skirt's too short"

I hate to admit this, as someone who still considers himself mostly male, but over the past few months, especially as the weather's improved, I've gotten more in touch with fashion.

I don't mean, like, runway couture or whatever, I just mean... as a man, clothes were generally an afterthought. Styles and whatnot. I wrote shirts and jeans, or maybe cords. Then I got here and found this overwhelming wardrobe. Maybe it's not overly packed as far as women goes, but as a man, sorting out all the different styles, and when to wear them was... unappealing. I tried to stick with what I knew.

Then as time went by I got really sick of the way I looked in those more gender-neutral fashions. As I began to accept the woman in the mirror as myself, not just the woman I looked like, I cared more about how people saw her. So, occasional trips to the hairdresser, more adventurous trips into the wardrobe. Not a lot of make-up, but there have been times when it's been necessary. Jewelery, though, yes, I was always comfortable with that. I got more and more into skirts and dresses and high heels because they were sort of convenient, more visually appealing to me. Once I started learning how, I dressed the way I would want to see this body, not the way I'd dress as a man. Comfort came eventually.

I'll tell you the biggest early adjustment was tight underpants. It's... humbling... to think I haven't had a set of testicles to worry about in months. I was big into boxers, never liked having my junk confined, except when Bry and I were playing as the Mercy Mamas. But that was special; we were onstage putting on a show.

I've lot a little bit of weight since being Anne-Marie. I don't know how much, not really enough to go down a size, but her clothes definitely feel looser on me than they did when I first got here.

That brings me to "Mom, your skirt's too short." I was out shopping with Hayley, we were walking thorugh the parking lot and there was a gust of wind, and I guess... passersby got a glimpse of my panties. Her voice was 60% amusement, 40% embarrassment. It started to make me feel like I'd gotten carried away with my "female fashion comfort level."

It's one of those things I wonder if I'll look back in six months and miss. It seems so inconsequential. It was far from my realm of interest as a man and I still try not to get too... invested in it, but it's hard not to enjoy all the options.

I'm kind of writing this to distract myself. I've been on edge for the last week because the last I heard from Deb and Amanda was that they'd arrived safely in Maine last weekend, and nothing since. I know there's a 2 week block but you can't help but wonder, can't they at least send me an update? Well, they're less technologically inclined than I am, I guess.

It's just been so stressful trying to start to mentally take myself out of Anne-Marie's left, even though I'm still in it. I feel like I've got one foot out the door. I'm sleepwalking, a little like I did back in the first few weeks. I feel like nothing matters, even though it does.

I like Hayley. And Conner. And, to some extend, Hal. Having had them in my life has been... interesting, even though the situations that caused it, and everything since, feels like one big awkward moment. I feel like I've made the best of it, and part of me is sad to see it go.

The other day was Anne-Marie's birthday, but I wasn't able to spend much time with her. There will be more in the way of celebrations on Sunday, I suppose.

Hard to believe that in a week I'll be back in Maine... and not long after that, Toronto. Sheesh.


Friday, June 05, 2009

Todd/Anne-Marie: Too tired to sleep...

As the days count down to my return to Maine, I'm finding it hard to sleep. Part of it is excitement, part of it is nerves... fear that something's going to go wrong at the last minute. I feel like I can trust Deb, but how can we count on the science of a supernatural hotel not to screw us over? I dunno... I guess I just get paranoid. Doesn't help that we haven't heard from that Brandon guy lately. Deb and Amanda will be going to Maine Saturday. I'm eager for their news...

So basically every night around 11 I head up to bed. Hal's overeager bedroom phase has long since passed so we just lie there and he goes to sleep, and I try not to hear him snoring. He's not that bad, but he's not exactly silent.

When I was a man, in these cases I usually just rubbed one out and fell right to sleep, but the female body has a whole different protocol... it usually just stimulates me more, and then I feel silly lying there quietly playing with myself from midnight 'til two.

So if I don't fall asleep by 12 or 1, I tend to get up and wander the house. I'll throw on my robe, go downstairs, surf the web, have a drink, watch free porn. Don't judge me that I can't just stand in the mirror looking at my own boobs. I've really passed out of the phase where I can fetishize my own body. That was from September (when the shock of being female/wife/mother started to fade) until Hal and I started having regular sex around February. Since then I've been kinda blah, even self-conscious about my extra inches around the midsection. Maybe Anne-Marie's done well for her age, and I've probably shed a few since being here, but deep down I still think thinner is better.

As you can imagine, someone in my situation ends up with a lot of body-image issues.

So basically what I do is sit around in the dim light, having a drink, feeling frustrated about my lack of sleep, just tired of being Anne-Marie, and fantasizing about the day when I can sleep in my own bed.

I've also been trying to use this time to write more posts, but this is the third time I've tried to write this exact post and I always just think "they don't need to hear this stuff." But I'm still writing, and maybe tonight I'll actually hit "publish."

The other thing I used to do on nights like this, (beyond, you know, the earlier option) is I'd call Alia and we used to have long conversations, sometimes until sunup. That was way back when we were in school, like first-year, and we didn't care about missing classes due to tiredness. A lot of this was before we started actually having a relationship, and then after a while, well, we stopped doing that kind of thing. I really miss those days... and what I want more than anything is to get back to her. One thing I regret about this past year is that I never up-and-went to Canada to try to convince her, curse or no curse. I guess the idea that I had to take responsibility for Anne-Marie's life grabbed me real quick. for that, I'm sorry.

I'm not sure that there was any point to getting this out there, but... well, there it was. I think I'll go try to sleep now. I've still got mothering to do in the morning...


Monday, June 01, 2009

Bryan/Ellie: Too much too young too fast

I was only in the hospital a couple of nights but when I sit down and try to make sense of it all, I get frustrated and put it away. So I've been putting it off - this will be my third or fourth attempt - and I guess the best way is just to begin at the beginning.

The conversation I had with "Kalli" at the funeral had been eating away at me for a while. It's hard enough being a normal teenager... when you don't feel like you have control over your life... I've been fighting that since I got here. But thinking about how this won't be my life anymore soon has made me that much less patient for all the little crap that annoys me, and all the major crap that is being secretly hung over me by the real Ellie. I didn't need her bitter, judgmental attitude.

So it probably didn't help put me in a good frame of mind when Emily and I were hanging out in her room, and there was a lull in the conversation and she just asked me point blank... "Ellie... are you gay?"

I sat up in shock. I guess I thought I had her fooled but she's always seen me as a tomboy and we always joke about how I don't date. I tried to play it cool but I was obviously off guard when I just started blank and asked "...what?"

She tells me, "My brother told me that girl who plays drums, Leanne, is a lesbian, and you're always hanging around with her and it makes things kind of awkward for him because he knows you guys hang out a lot, and then he asked me if you're gay. And I told him no, but then I thought... what if you are?"

She had this serious look on her face... almost like she was hurt by the very idea. All I could say was "I don't know what to tell you."

She just looked at me and said, eventually, "I want you to tell me the truth."

I couldn't look at her anymore, so I just looked at my hands, my thin little fingers on her bedspread. I just muttered softly, "The truth is... I don't know."

She wasn't having it. "What do you mean you don't know?"

I started to babble, "I mean, I'm... confused, and I didn't tell you because I thought you'd think I was too weird and you wouldn't wanna hang out with me, and... I don't know how it happened, I guess I just really liked hanging out with her, and I just... I don't know."

So she asked, "Do you... do stuff with her? Have you kissed?"

I hesitated before answering. "Yeah."

"Is it like... serious?"

"I don't know!" I started to get exhausted with her questions, "We don't go out, we just hang around her place, and sometimes we... fool around I guess."

"Like how we hang out?"

"...I guess so."

She scoffed and moved back from me. I tried to tell her there wasn't any connection, but I don't think my voice sounded like I believed it. I can't deny that the reason I was so drawn to Emily was somewhat the same as the reason behind Leanne. So now I start to feel guilty for peppering my friend with hollow words, so I just keep my trap shut.

She sits with it a while. Eventually she says, "I just wish you told me. I mean, we're friends, aren't we? You're like the only person at that school who wasn't immediately rude to me and I thought our friendship meant something."

"It does, I just... I didn't know how to say it. I guess I was trying to avoid this... entire conversation."

That got a half-laugh... a mixture of annoyance and amusement. Eventually the silence got too awkward and I just asked, "So... what do you think?"

"I don't know El, it's just... kind of a big deal, right?"

"I'm not even sure it is, it's just... one person. I'm still the same person I've always been." Well, that's just not true, but what does she know?

I looked at her face. I could see, slowly, her coming to terms with it. Her mind started to process what I was telling her. And what she said next changed the entire tone of the night.

"So..." she said, "Like... is she a good kisser?"

And suddenly, I felt good. I felt like coming to terms with my feelings, admitting them to Emily, was kind of like, my revenge on Ellie. I didn't like the way she'd handled me telling her this, and now it was out there, and whatever happened, she would have to deal with it. It's not the nicest thing in the world, but I'm sick of getting treated like I'm not allowed to live my life the way I want. And let Ellie deal with it.

So I was feeling all powerful and stuff, really on top of the world. And then a few days later I was... with Leanne. And the thing about Leanne is that her parents are out a lot, so when we hang out there's a lot of... well, we get pretty busy. So we're on her couch, and I'm all snuggled up, under her arm, watching TV, and I feel like closing my eyes and relaxing for a while so I take off my glasses and put them on the coffee table.

She kisses the top of my head and tells me how cute I look with my glasses off. She starts running her fingers through my hair and telling me I should consider getting contact lenses. I tell her I don't know about that, but I was thinking about getting my hair cut (while I was on this "take control of Ellie's life for now" kick.)

That didn't get a good reaction. So I try to convince her that I think I'd look good with shorter hair. And she says maybe, but... and here's where the trouble began... she tells me she wouldn't like it because she has short hair, and she's, quote, "The boy in the relationship."

Now that made me jump.

I have to admit, she doesn't exactly dress in pink frills. I just always thought of her as "a girl" like any other girl I've been with. But what I didn't realize was that I'm not a guy to her... I'm "a girl", and I'm "another girl." A different girl. She does have short hair, and I do let her lead the relationship a bit because it seems to be the way she's most comfortable while I'm still somewhat mystified by the fact that I'm even in a relationship as Ellie. So I guess somewhere along the way we just settled into this pattern, but her saying it was a real wake-up call.

I start huffing "What do you mean you're the boy, why can't I be the boy? Why does there have to be a boy?" I mean, that's the point, isn't it? and if there is, shouldn't it be the one who had a penis?

And she tries to get me to calm down and tells me she didn't mean it like that, and if I want to do something I should, but, well, the cat's already out of the bag and I can't forgive her about it. So I keep pressing the issue... I guess my freak-out was a little girly, actually. I start laying it out, like "What am I to you, anyway?"

And she just shut me down by saying "Ellie, I like you a lot, but... I think the real question is, what am I to you?" Then she points out, rightly, that her family knows she's a Lesbian, but she can't talk about me because I'm not telling anyone, and even though I'm so much younger, she seems to think that's, like, an immature attitude, and she's getting tired of it, and if I can't get serious enough to tell people about her, to be with her in public, then we're not really together.

And then she says maybe it's for the best that we end it now... she tells me she got into Northwestern University, in Chicago, so there's not really any way she can keep seeing a ninth grader.

So I tell her, well, congratulations... but I guess this is the end. I knew it was going to have to end sometime, but I thought it would be more my decision than this. So I walked home in the darkness, tired and frustrated and lonely. And then the next day I was doing some Math homework, and I got tripped up by a problem and started to get really pissed off... and I started to wonder what was the point, and why were things so hard, and why didn't anything seem to work, and it all just sort of... fell in on me. Every fucking bit of stress I've felt since I walked into this house, feeling trapped, feeling lonely, feeling like a fucking liar, it just all hit me at once and I... lost it. And that's when I lost my breath, when I blacked out, and when I woke up I was in a hospital bed.

I feel so stupid for losing it like that. Even in my toughest days back home I never freaked out that way. I guess I really liked Leanne... and all the better parts of Ellie's life I was starting to enjoy.

Well it'll all be gone in a few weeks, all my current problems will be Ellie's problems, and I'll have my own life to worry about.

That's pretty comforting.