I'll start by saying I put both of my names in quotation marks up there because neither of them feels like they belong to me. The person who was most recently "Grant" has already returned to the Inn and gotten his life back... leaving my old body in limbo. I opted not to pick it back up for personal reasons, partly because I was lied to about my own background, and wherever I go next, it can't be backwards. But you knew that. I think that whoever becomes Grant... look, there's worse things than being a slightly awkward young white male in America. They'll cope. My plan is to go back later in the summer. I've got a reservation for late July. The original Sophie managed to modify her plans to go along with this. We're (knock on wood) set.
I've enjoyed being Sophie. I look at the woman in the mirror and I like her. I like dressing as her, wearing make-up as her. I like waiting tables as her, even if it's not always a picnic. Being a girl with a few extra pounds, especially one with a punky look, you get hit on by a lot of suspect guys who assume that just because you're not a 5'10 skinny-legged goddess you are desperate for anyone's attention. Living her life - not just dropping out of it and doing my own thing, but taking up some of her hobbies and social circle, has been really opened me up in a way that my buttoned-down life as Grant never could. I wish I had had more romance, but as Cal found out, that just doesn't work with our lifestyle. My experiences were... not as traumatic as his, but they were disappointing all the same.
But I know I can't keep it. It was a rental, and I assume my next one will be, too. Unless something unthinkable happens, or someone reaches a similar conclusion as me, I might be in for a long life of bouncing around, seat-filler in other peoples' existences. And I'm fine with that. I want to see the world, and not just other locations, but other lives. I have actively gotten excited for this journey since I decided it was how I was going to play this.
And then there's James.
Just as they were all gearing up to go back, James got struck with a bout of appendicitis. Really nasty, from what I heard, and he was rushed into emergency surgery. He's fine now, but he won't be traveling for a while. That leaves the fate of his body, as well as Keisha's, up in the air.
I went to see him at his apartment, because I figured he could use a cheering-up.
"Thought about what you're gonna do next?"
"Yeah, I thought about staying," he said, lying under a blanket, "Just saying, sorry, maybe next year... like, who cares if Keisha's pissed, I'm the one who's really getting screwed. But I don't wanna. I hate it here."
"It's not so bad..." I started to say.
"It's not bad when you got friends," he interrupted sharply, "You, Derek, Trish... even Cal, it was fuckin fun hanging out with you guys all year. Yeah, we got into some shit we shouldn't have... but it was cool. Without you guys? I'm just some asshole in a chick's body without any friends. All of Keisha's friends are gonna hate me. Mona, Robbie..." He started to get choked up.
"Yeah, I know that feeling," I said. Maybe I don't exactly, but I felt my entire life that nobody liked me because nobody knew who I really was. As it turns out, it was because I didn't know who I really was. I still don't. Sorry, this isn't about me.
I wrapped my arms around her and she rested her head on my chest. "I'm sorry this happened to you."
"Your boobs are like pillows," he said looking up at me with a cute little smile.
"Thanks," I blushed. "We're having a moment, don't ruin it."
We ended up having a pretty good hang-out session. The next day I rang up the booking agency and tried to see if there were any vacancies left for my week. I think it's far enough out that he'll be clear for travel.