When the school year ended in late may, I had a decision to make. Probably the biggest one of my existence. Obviously I was going back to the Trading Post Inn, but the question was, when?
My original plan was to go the last weekend in June, with Dee having gone in the block before in the same room. That way my body would be waiting for me when I got there, obviously that plan backfired. And when it collapsed, so did the chain of transformees to some extent.
Dee not going to the Inn meant that whomever stayed in that room (or closest to that room) meant that the would transform into her, and I would transform into them two weeks later.
The thing is, I had no way of knowing who would be sleeping in or near that room. Let me reiterate that I was terrified of the inn to some extent. There are dozens of awful scenarios that could land me in a body or life that would be a million times worse than just turning into an Indian girl. I really didnt wanna roll the dice, especially with "Pygmalion" floating out there. I did have one other option. Go to the inn 2 weeks earlier and turn into Dee.
This was by no means an easy decision to make. The idea of turning into and living life as the woman who ruined mine was and still is loathesome. But it was knowingly turning into a woman in her 40s with good health vs. rolling the dice and winding up a child or an old person. Weve already had one person in this chain die from a heart attack in the body they inherited, I wasnt about to take that risk. I went with the devil I knew. (Or at least her body)
I packed up and left for Maine in mid-June, telling Priya's friends and family that I enjoyed last years trip so much that going away by myself seemed like a great idea again. It was weird knowing I was saying goodbye to them forever.
Saying goodbye to Amber was painful, but I made it through it. I guess it was because Id already said goodbye to her in my mind so many times. I still said some pretty sentimental things that probably seemed really cryptic to her, as she believed id be back in 2 weeks. I kissed her goodbye on the cheek, and then I turned to Tony who was there, gave him a hug and told him to be good to her. With that I got in the cap and headed to O'hare.
Arriving at the Inn was the weirdest feeling of deja vu out there. I knew I'd be back, but never under these circumstances. Getting the key to the room was tricky, since the reservation was under the name "Greg Armstrong" and I didnt look anything like him. I simply told the lady at the desk at the neighboring hotel that gives out the Inn keys that I was in the Armstrong party, and after answering several security questions about date of birth and mothers maiden name stuff, I was able to get the keys to room 9. When I got to the room, I opened the closet and saw luggage inside with 2 notes.
For the past year, the person living as Dee was a girl from Detroit named Susan Phillips. I dont know much about Susan, only that shes around my age. We never talked much, never had reason to talk much. But after I had made my decision to become Dee, I told her about it and we coordinated. Apparently she did get her body back and was on her way back to the motor city. The first note she left was a typical inn note giving all the details and ins and outs of Dee's life. The 2nd note was much shorter and said
"Greg, hope this finds you and good luck with all this
I smiled, unpacked, and left the room.
The coast of Maine is really beautiful in the summertime, and despite my circumstances I had resolved to enjoy my vacation. I had adopted the motto "Omnes una manet nox'
which is Latin for "The same night awaits us all". What was gonna happen was gonna happen, and I wasnt about to stress out about it. Not while the weather was nice and I looked good in a bikini.
I explored the town, ate at restaurants, enjoyed the bar, sunbathed. Getting back to the inn that first night, I was a bit wary. I wasnt sure how many people were there that night, and was unsure if the 13 needed to start the change were present. That meant the change could happen that night or it could not. The suspense wouldve kept me up all night.
Fortunately, I had a bottle of prescription strength sleeping pills that I got from a kinda shady friend of mine. A couple of those babies and Priya's little body was out like a light. I had no desire to see the changes of the Inn, I slept through them last time and was content to sleep through them again. I did that every night of my stay, and I hope her body doesnt have an addiction now.
Anyway, the next morning, I awoke and hadnt changed. I was both relieved and annoyed. Relieved that I didnt have to face it just yet, annoyed that I would still have to. I spent that Day around the inn, observing the other guests. I didnt talk to them much, mostly because I wasnt feeling particularly social and also because I didnt want anyone who had been there before to recognize me from the blog and ask a billion questions and then post answers to the blog (I was still mad at the blog). It was weird, you could tell which ones were first timers, they were the ones who looked like regular vacationers, totally unaware of the fact that their lives were gonna be changed forever soon. Like lambs to the slaughter almost.
Anyway, I continued in aloof vacation mode for the rest of my stay up until the 8th night. That night was "change night, I of course didnt know until the next morning.
Waking up to the changes was different than last year. Last year, when I changed genders, I immediately knew something was way wrong. The smoothness of my skin coupled with breasts and curves as well black hair in my face was an instantaneous message that I was different. This year, the thing that tipped me of as I emerged from my pill induced coma was the digging of fabric into my hips.
I had slept like I always did as Priya, in just a pair of panties. When I opened my eyes and looked down to see the source of the pain, I saw pale white skin rather than the soft brown Id gotten used to. I sighed, took off the panties, and went to the bathroom to assess the damage.
There, in the mirror, I saw for the first time the face of Dolores Henderson. I gave my reflection the finger instinctively. Looking back at me was a naked, 44 year old woman. It didnt feel all to different from Priya just standing there, all the body parts were the same, but it sure looked different.
My hair was now long and curly, with a few gray ones in the mix. My face had wrinkles on it, not a lot but definitly noticeable around the eyes. My body was wider and less in shape than I was. I wasnt fat or obese or anything, but a woman in her 40s who has had kids is gonna show it somewhere. Not to mention the sagging, especially in the breasts. It wasnt ideal, it wasnt even close to what I wanted to look like, but I shrugged to myself and thought it could be a lot worse.
I opened up my new luggage and got dressed, and went out to greet the chaos. I didnt do like Alia did, and give a great big speech explaining what had happened, I wasnt in a leadership mood. But I did give some advice to a few people, and filled them on the details of the curse, and even gave a few links to the despised blog. After that people started figuring things out the best they could.
That left me with 6 days left on my vacation. I wasnt about to head off to my new destination just yet, like some guests were just itching to do. I had a flight in 6 days but until then I was content to enjoy the town.
Finally, when my time was up, I wrote my 2 notes. One detailing everything about Priya's life, another one that said:
Hope this letter and this body find you. Take good care of yourself and never let Amber forget how much I love her and no matter what I look like shell always have a place in my heart. I know you cant tell her directly, but show her.
-Your friend forever, Greg"
With that, I went to the airport. I did find out that later, Priya did make it to the inn and is now back in Chicago with her life intact, but her apartment was kind of a mess. As far as I know, the girl she had been, Emily David, is at the inn right now and got her old body back the other night. So while my life got turned upside down, at least those two got things back on track.
So now Im here in Missisippi. My next post ill give details on Dees life and where I plan to go from here