For reasons of scheduling, we waited until after the July 4th Weekend to trek up here. It was a long drive that exhausted us both, and I'm not really keen to actually go out and "enjoy" my vacation in any meaningful way. Which sucks, because after the inevitable shit hits the fan we are going to be too preoccupied to do anything anyway. And then there's the fact that we still don't really know what's going to become of Tyler.
He's being too casual about this for my liking. We had that whole talk about how it doesn't really matter how he ends up, but I think it does. He could find himself with a job or responsibilities he's not accustomed to, a family that he can't deal with, any number of things. I look at what's going on with Lane/"Kari" on the blog right now and I think that is the same future that awaits my friend. Not that he hasn't already been through enough. I could see the idea of being a bit numb to the possibilities now, but I feel like things are going to come crashing down.
But he's very quick to point out, he hasn't exactly got much choice in the matter. He doesn't get to pick his own body, and staying as Lauren is unthinkable. So it's a roll of the dice. I wish I could have his confidence.
I don't even feel sure if I'm going to get my body back. We arrived late on Tuesday, the only ones here from the looks of it, and I rushed to my room - at the far end of the hall from Ty's - and immediately tore it apart. And there it all was waiting for me. My clothes, my shoes, an ID saying "MEGHAN REIS." It's me in a bag. Just waiting for the cue. I want to thank Carrie for doing her best in this situation.
But I know things can go sideways, from reading old posts. I am camped out in this room, clutching my old life in case that's what it takes. Tyler is trying to talk me down and drag me out of the room, since the Inn does not yet appear to be "full," but so far I just can't bring myself to let this slip away. I would never forgive myself if I came home late one night and the transformation had already somehow been triggered and we lost our chance to leave these bodies with their rightful owners.
I've mostly just been enjoying the privacy, and I encouraged Ty to do the same. I've been in a scenario where I haven't had a good night's sleep in a bed alone in a year, and he's had to share a room with Lauren's little sister, as well as every other square inch of space with her family, so a little peace and quiet is really all I want.
We've been talking a bit, especially on the drive up. There was a lot I wanted to say, but I couldn't bring myself to spill it when we were in the car, because I didn't want him to feel trapped. It was hard to find ways to fill the silence for an 11-hour car trip (nearly 13 with breaks) but we talked a lot about our experiences this past year, things we liked and didn't like, things that surprised us, things we learned and maybe would carry forward in the future.
I learned a lot about being in a couple. About making sacrifices. Yes, I was resentful about some of those, due to it not being my relationship to sacrifice for, but still. I grew accustomed to putting someone else's needs before mine, and in return I found several occasions where he put my needs before his.
I learned what it was like to have someone look you in the eye, and tell you unconditionally that they love you, and honestly there were a few times I believed it was for me, not the woman I appeared to be. It kinda maybe messed me up a bit.
When we got to the Inn, it was nearly midnight and I was tired of driving. I laid down on the bed and clutched a pillow. I almost wanted to cry from happiness or exhaustion. Tyler started rubbing my shoulders, and that somehow made it worse.
"We were here a year ago," I said, "I can't believe how much has happened since then."
"Feels like just yesterday," he said.
"Or a lifetime ago," I answered. "So, did you check your room yet?"
"Enough bags for two people," he said, "It's only a one-person room, so who knows. I'm gonna wait before I go poking around in it."
"I don't know how you aren't just dying to know."
"I don't want to get my hopes up," he shrugged.
"I guess that's fair," I said. "It's just... what if you end up with someone that... God, how do I put this? ...Tyler, I think it's fair to say you have feelings for me."
He paused for a moment and bit his little lip, looking deep into my eyes with Lauren's soulful blue ones. "Uh huh."
I took a deep breath. "What if it doesn't work out?"
"It'll work out," he said, insistently.
"What if it doesn't?" I said, "What if you're a kid, what if you're an old lady. Do you expect me to be able to have a relationship with you like that? I don't want you to think I'm superficial, but there are limits, aren't there?"
"No, that's fair," he said, "I just don't think it's going to happen. If it does, we'll worry about it then."
I was getting frustrated. "What if you're someone who's married, what if you have to go across the country and keep pretending to be someone else again? Do you expect me to wait here for you?"
"We'll worry about it then."
"What if you realize you don't like the real me?" I could feel the tears really coming now. "What if you've gotten so used to seeing me this way that the real Meghan is a disappointment?"
He wrapped his skinny arms around me.
"I won't. You're not."
Then I said what was really bothering me. "What if I just want to be alone for a while?"
And he said, "Then you'll call me when you don't anymore."
That jerk was saying all the right things and it was pissing me off.
"I don't want you to feel like you waited for nothing," I said.
He paused for a while before saying, "You know my feelings. They haven't changed, except maybe gotten stronger the longer I've known you. You can do whatever you want with them, and obviously I hope things go a certain way. But it's up to you. Just know I will always be here for you, no matter what happens or what we look like."
"I don't want to hurt you," was all I said.
"It'll be okay," he said back, "It's all gonna be okay."
I almost believe him.
In the morning, I heard some other people start to come on. A couple, middle-aged I think, who were bantering loudly back and forth. It seemed sort of like a fight but maybe just the snippy way they communicate with each other is the result of being together for 20 or so years. There might be some others who stopped by to drop things off, but it's hard to tell how many from footsteps and murmured voices... I still have hardly left my room.