I was analyzing some of Simon's posts, looking for a mention of a person who looked like me before the change or someone who looked like Jennifer after the change, before I realized that my timing and dates were off. I called Jennifer in New York just in case and my old voice confirmed the reservation starting this weekend, two weeks before mine starts and right after Simon's group leaves.
(Also, hi Simon. I mentioned you twice before ever speaking to you. Welcome to womanhood, its a crazy ride but it doesn't have to be permanent.)
All that talk about reservations got me thinking about the inn and activated my over-attention to detail, so I decided to send Kari a message letting her know I'd be in Maine and to make sure her times and room were all lined up so everything went according to plan.
I got a response a few hours later:
"I'm not returning to Maine or my old life"
That sort of bombshell required an immediate call, which she didn't answer. I kept calling three times before she answered in a hushed whisper.
"I can't talk. I'm at work"
That didn't disuade me from bitching at her "YOU CAN'T JUST DO THAT! Abandon your life and take someone elses on purpose!"
"Erica doesn't want it back" she said defensively "Or at least she never made any effort to get it back. She never contacted me or anything. Her tone of voice made me think she was making things up.
I did a little digging later on the person Kari had becoem, Erica Jensen. She was about 23, fresh out of UC Santa Barbara, blonde, fit, and single. She worked at some company in LA that was tangentially related to the entertainment business. She was, at the time of the transformation, someone's personal assistant. These days the company website has her listed as "Social Media Director." It turns out spending all day on Facebook, the one thing Kari is actually good at, is a marketable skill in her new industry.
"I've gotten farther in a year in this life than I could ever go in that one"
"But this one is YOUR life. What about all of your responsibilities. What about Ashley?"
"What about her?" She muttered bitterly "She seems to be doing SO much better under YOUR brilliant guidance, according to your blog"
Her sarcasm made my jaw drop open. I didn't know just how much she kept up with the blog, but if I knew she read everything I would maybe have been less scathing and superior in my posts. Maybe. Sometimes I need to vent.
"She's your daughter" I chided "She's going to need her mom and you don't know who will wind up in that role if you don't take it."
"She's 17." Ashley said dismissively "She can take care of herself. I did."
I was about to tell her just how bad of an example that was when she hung up.
Tears welled up a little, and for a brief moment I blamed all this on myself, rubbing Ashley's accomplishments in her face as if somehow I was superior. That was only a brief moment though.
Kari is a flake and irresponsible. I know that because I'm constantly followed around by her reputation. This kind of thing is exactly in character for her and if my hunch is right she's screwing over not only Erica, but also Ashley.
I might have to take extra care to find out who is going to get this body instead.