Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Mike: The last to leave

I know there were a lot of people shocked on Sunday morning when we all woke up the way we did. There might have been a few others who had experience and decided to get out before people started asking questions. Lila and I decided to take the initiative and explain to everyone what happened, what they could do about it, how things were going to have to be. Nobody wants to hear that, and believe me we didn't want to say it. That look on those guys' now-female faces when it dawned on them that they were looking at a minimum of a year in this state... trust me, I know that look.

But Lila and I tried our best to be reassuring, explaining how we got back and they can too. I don't know if those Agency people Tori warned me about are constantly mucking things up for everybody or if they just pick and choose, but I'm glad that this group of people saw that it's possible. Best case scenario, it's possible.

So we helped them make their arrangements and waved them goodbye, and then we finally talked about the elephant in the room.

Because I'm not in my own body. The face I'm seeing reflected in the computer screen right now? That's Lila's, and she's got mine. Like I said, it's possible... we just didn't succeed.

I noticed right away. The long blonde hair was a giveaway. So without even checking my face in the mirror I knew the whole plan went to hell. We agreed not to dwell on it, though, at least around the others. They needed our help, so we pretended as each other - as the people we looked like. I feel bad for lying, but lying is kind of second nature to us now. Explaining the truth would have made them freak out. Hell, pretending everything was all right kept me from freaking out. But it's sinking in, now. This has happened.

We need to fix it. Somehow.

I don't love the idea of looking at her face in the mirror every morning. I am not pleased to have to go back to St. Paul, Minnesota - great place to visit, wouldn't want to live there, with my mom and her boyfriend. I worry about her traipsing around in my body more than I would a stranger, because there are sides you just don't want to let family members see, you know? My sister's smart and well-adjusted but she's still my sister and I don't want to give her all access to my world any more than I want all access to hers.

But it's not about what we want now is it. You gotta do what you gotta do.

So to all of you out there heading for Vancouver, I'm sorry I lied. I didn't want to take hope away. I still believe there's a way out of this.

"Don't worry about it," she says in that optimistic way of hers, "How many people does the Inn change every year? A hundred? Not a lot of them probably get to be people they know, people they can talk to about it. People who can look them in the face and say it's all right, I trust you."

I'm gonna have to remember that.

"Just be really careful when you're poking around in my room. You might not like what you find."


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