Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Todd: Not very good news

Something bad has happened. Something I couldn't have imagined and I don't even know how to explain, so I'll start from the top. This is even worse than finding out my girlfriend had turned into a dude overnight. I was at least prepared for that. This came from nowhere.

So I was out at the produce market. Before all the changes, Alia always took it on herself to make sure we had fruit and stuff at our place, one of the many small things I miss about her. So I realized there weren't any apples in the apartment and I wanted some. I went down the block to the produce market and I got my fruit and as I'm walking out of the place, I run into this girl I know. Erica LaFleur.

Erica was one of those girls back in the early years of University who was always around. Part of the circle of friends, you might say. Now, I was always dating Alia so I never really thought of her as more than a female acquaintance, but she had a cute girl-next-door thing going on and I think at one point several years ago, Bryan may have had a thing with her. I really couldn't say.

I was glad to see her. It's not that I hadn't run into anyone over the past few weeks but whenever I do, I'm filled with this awkward "I haven't seen you in a year but who knows how long it's been for you" feeling. Like, I want to say it's been forever, but to them I was just in the states a few weeks. I just want to get over the awkwardness and see everyone I cam.

So I hugged her and gave her a kiss on the cheek and asked her how she was, and she said she was alright, but she seemed a bit dodgy about it. I started to say "You look good" but only got as far as "You look--" before halting myself, as I realized she'd put on a bit of weight.

She interrupted my awkwardness. "It's okay, you don't have to say anything. I look like I'm three months pregnant."

"...are you?"

"Yep!" she smiled, but a hidden note of weariness could be heard her voice.

I started thinking 'Maybe I should know this already,' because I've been forced to play along when catching up with people, but realistically, I -- Todd -- have been out of the country since early June, and I think it takes a while to detect a pregnancy. So happily, this actually was the first time I was hearing about it.

So I continued. "So, is there a... like, a father, or a man... whose..." more awkwardness.

"Well, I am seeing someone, actually. Sean Flaherty. But it's not his."

Sean Flaherty? Damn that guy gets around. "So whose...?"

"Well, that's why I'm glad I saw you. It's yours, Todd."


I felt my knees buckle. I leaned on a nearby garbage receptacle, I dropped my apples. How could this be possible? Three months ago I was in Connecticut. Three months ago, I was a woman. Three months ago, someone else was in control of my body, and that person definitely didn't seem interested in getting laid. I thought. My face flushed hot with confusion and fear and anger.

"Don't tell me you don't remember. I'd hate to think it was that boring for you."

Through clenched teeth I wheezed, "That whole time was kind of a blur..." (understatement.)

She explained, "Sean and I hadn't gotten back together yet, and you seemed really upset about something, but you never explained what. You were going on and on about your trip and how you weren't ready for something, and then you just kept babbling about how sweet and pretty I was, and it just... it just happened. Are you sure you don't remember?"

I barely managed to say "I... I remember things, sure."

The blood started to drain from my face as the reality of the situation washed over me. I asked, "Are you... planning on doing anything with it?"

She looked away. "I haven't decided whether I'm going to keep it yet, no. As you can guess, this probably isn't the right time for me to have a baby. But I wanted to make you aware before I reached my decision."

I could barely bring myself to form sentences. "Well... thanks for telling me. Um... keep me updated, I guess." I felt like my face was being held against the burner of a stove.

In a state of shock, I stumbled home hyperventilating and started pacing like a maniac. Bry was out so I called down to Florida to get the facts from Deb.

She answered the phone for the office supply place where she works. "Office Supplies, this is Amanda speaking." For those who don't recall, Deb and Amanda accidentally wound up in each other's bodies, which must have sucked, although not as much as this.

"Deb, it's Todd."

I proceeded to flip out on her, demanding to know why she didn't say anything, how she could be so irresponsible, basically venting all my rage at her. I was seriously in the mood to chew her out for being so irresponsible. She responded first by seeming extremely embarrassed by the whole situation, then by being offended I would call her at work for this, which is so completely not the issue.

Finally, she admitted that yes, she had had sex on at least one occasion with Erica, that she'd been a man, and a good, responsible, unassuming man for nearly a year but had let one night of frustration get the better of her, and she was negligent in securing birth control. And she apologized, but what good does that do me, since she doesn't have to live with the consequences?

Well there was nothing she could actually say that would calm me down, and since she was at work we had a limited window to talk, so I hung up feeling as frustrated or more than I already had. So I thought this blog might calm me down, and it hasn't.

How do you react to something like this? What the hell am I supposed to actually do? I've had enough problems trying to decide what I want to do with myself now that I have my life back, and it turns out I might be a dad? The kid is not even mine. But there's no way to tell her that.

I was hoping I could walk back into my life and pretend like none of this ever actually happened, but now the evidence is going to be there forever, if she keeps the kid.

Not good news at all.



Anonymous said...

In terms of legal obligations to the child, you'll probably want a DNA test for confirmation. It's entirely possible that Erica might have had more than one partner during the time she and Sean were apart.

Which raises an interesting question: does the inn's transformation also alter victims' DNA? Have any inn victims had their DNA compared to their "adopted" family's DNA since DNA testing became commonplace? The transformation obviously doesn't alter everything, because the mind doesn't seem to be significantly affected by it.

Anonymous said...

Let me be the first here to congratulate you on becoming a father.

The inn quite obviously alters DNA. At least enough so that transformed males can get pregnant. There would have to be a whole lot of switches turned on and off to get the right female hormone balance too. The question would be whether it'd alter DNA into an exact copy of the person they transformed into.

You'll most certainly be wanting that DNA test even if you don't care about investigating the powers of the inn. It may turn out the child isn't yours.

Oh, and despite what you may think right now this isn't necessarily a bad thing even if it changes your plans.

Anonymous said...

Clearly the inn must alter DNA somewhat,as Jeff had natural DD breasts when he was Brianna but the original brianna had implants.

Art/Penny said...

That's not DNA, though. While DNA may make you tend to be tall or short or thin or busty, there's room for variation due to environmental factors. When I was interviewing cheerleaders back west, there was a pair of twins who mentioned that one actually had to stuff her bra a little for the full "identical" effect, because there was actually a cup size's difference between them.

Besides, describing the Inn in strictly scientific terms can get you in trouble. The curse seems to mostly apply to living things, so stuff like implants and fillings and artificial hips get expelled from the person who has them, but the person who becomes that person has the empty space "filled in".

Anonymous said...

I guess there's a good side to the disbelief aspect of the inn's curse... can you imagine the identity and self esteem problems Erica's kid would have if he/she were to ever know the truth about their parentage? :-)