I didn't really feel like I decided to stay Krystle Kamen for a second year so much as I can't do anything else - the guy who had been living as me since last summer knocked me up and I can't imagine what would happen if I went to the Inn like this. Jordan/Missy pointed me to a page online saying that at two months it's just an ounce of cells, but that's not what I was raised to believe. She asked if condoms also weren't something I was raised to believe in, and as much as it was a really awful thing to say, I can't deny she had a point. I tried to explain to her, and, separately, Benjamin, that when you don't think you're going to have sex until you're married, you just don't think of precautions.
But, this is my life for at least the next nine months or so, and while I suspect some of the other Inn people might have done something different, I was scared enough that Momma Kamen noticed, and asked me what was wrong. When I said I was pregnant, she... Well, she didn't look disappointed, at least, just resigned, looking around what was already a pretty small apartment considering Karla's kids, probably trying to figure out how to make it work. It's an awful feeling, knowing not just that am I not going to get my own life back, but I've made things harder on this good woman who is already struggling to keep her family afloat.
The good news is, contrary to what you might think from reading this blog, you can mostly get your life back if the times line up right and you're conscientious. For my friends, it happened on the Eighth of July - well, early on the 9th, technically. Everyone became themselves again, and then they came down to Boston to visit me, which they really didn't have to do. All the girls wanted to know what it was like, and asked to see my belly. At three months, I wasn't really showing, although I'm not quite as slender as I was when I first inherited Krystle's body, but I think that's mostly because I wasn't keeping in "stripper shape" so much. Still, they were all kind of cool about it, saying they wanted pictures and updates, and it didn't sound like it was in a mean way. One of them said she'd had a crush on me before, and now that I knew so much more, she really liked me.
Not that I'm likely to reap the benefits of that, although the new Jonah might. The weird thing is that the new Jonah is also the old Krystle.
I'd informed her that I was pregnant, of course, before posting about finding out here, and her first response was to send me the name of the doctor she went to the other time that happened, which didn't really surprise me but did shock me, if you know what I mean. I've been living her life for about a year and I still get people who see me holding down a job, not drinking or doing drugs, going to church, and saying I've really turned my life around. I say I figured it wasn't good for me to have a boyfriend right now, and they're like "what? you were always the biggest slut out of all of us", sometimes with malice, sometimes without. The point is, Krystle had a lot of sex and not the best reputation for being careful, so of course she's had at least one abortion. Still, I don't really know her, and in the back of my head, her past is kind of like me, too, and I would never do it.
At least, I think I would never. I've thought about it. I feel kind of awful even acknowledging that I've thought that, let alone telling my friends that, but being pregnant is terrifying. I mean, just look at the two-bedroom apartment I'm in that currently holds three grown women and three children! How can I add to that? And then I've started looking at Karla's books and listening to Penny, and it's even scarier. My body's going to go through all of those changes? I'm going to need to go to the doctor on a regular basis and worry that every single decision I make could affect the entire life of some kid? I'm going to wind up missing my last two years of high school, so how can I possibly handle this? You do the math, and you start to think, maybe, if nobody knew about it, I could do it; I've got my whole life to make up for it so that maybe I don't go to hell.
I eventually told that to Krystle, and she was not happy. I should probably be thankful that the Inn put her in a situation where she could get a little more grounded, because she at least tried to reason with me between claims that this was just an excuse for me to steal her amazing body and skip out on school. I think that when she first decided she was going to take over my life, it was just out of anger as much as anything else, like she was holding it hostage like the last me did, but soon she said that at least the room wouldn't have someone else in it while I made up my mind, and then, finally, she figured that this would be the best way for us to keep tabs on each other.
It was weird talking with her, though - aside from the whole "in each other's bodies" thing, the last person to wear my body had left me in this situation. You can tell she really wants to be herself again. We headed to the bathroom so that I could strip and she could look me over, saying I needed to work on my butt and that I needed a better bra because she didn't want to come back to saggy boobs. She doesn't like that I'm not straightening my hair, and no amount of Ashlyn and Penny saying they really liked the Pam Grier thing I had going on would dissuade her. Still not going for a perm, though - it costs money, among other things, which is also part of why I don't wear nearly as much makeup as she thinks I should. It was weird, kind of - I think I'm uncomfortably attractive like this, and she thinks I'm not doing enough, even if she really doesn't want me to get a boyfriend any more than I do.
I barely talked to Joseph, which is kind of fine - we barely spoke after he got out, and he just made sure to give me the keys to Missy's place so that I could give it back. I don't think he's talking to everybody else much, either. It sucks, because he was my best friend, but he seems like the only one who doesn't understand why I tempted fate like this. I think being in jail, not really being able to communicate with the rest of us that much beyond my visits (which I guess didn't come as often as they should have) really changed him.
It was only an afternoon and into an evening, but I have to admit, I felt really empty when they piled back into the bus and went back home. Aside from Krystle, they're going back to living their lives, and while they may find things have changed a bit, the counselors were talking about how, eventually, this will just be some weird thing that happened to them and how they'll probably get to a point where they don't think of it all, unless someone asks how you know something.
As to Krystle... Well, here's the funny thing - in the past month, since she's been in my life, we've kind of gotten closer. I think part of it was me emailing her about how to deal with Karla, who basically has brief moments of being helpful between longer stretches of making me feel terrible for all the times the real Krystle has said she'd never end up like her; it's like we've got a common enemy sometimes, although I can't bring myself to mention the things that Krystle says will get Karla off her high horse most of the time. She's also asking a lot more questions about my folks than the last guy was, maybe because my life is a little more familiar to her? Like, she knows about growing up in a black family so the differences between my life and hers sticks out, while the last guy just decided he didn't care.
She's not much help with the day-to-day, though. Ashlyn and Moira are being awesome at work, at least. As much as the business isn't quite so strong that Ashlyn can't offer me health insurance, aside from how the other girls would get upset enough if they knew I came in at a higher starting wage than they did, let alone if I was getting that, she makes sure I have no problem with the schedule around what doctor's appointments I can afford. Moira has been amazing defending me when anybody gets catty or starts to put me down, without needing any details about how it happened, and she still wants to hang out with me.
I'm not really a fun date, though. When Penny said that former guys made the craziest pregnant women, I figured it made sense, but not quite how. You'd think we'd be used to changes in our bodies and hormones, right, but the pace is totally different: Even the folks who stay up for the change at the Inn had it over in a matter of minutes, a half hour tops, so you either see it happening or get it all at once, while the stuff that made her feel like a girl rather than just a man in a woman's body happened over enough time to feel natural. Now it's like things are happening both too quickly and not quickly enough, and I feel like I skipped "woman" and went straight to "pregnant woman" at times.
Plus, I have had so much morning sickness! Penny says the same thing happened to her, and she thinks it's psychosomatic (which, I guess, means "all in your head"). Like on some level our brains and bodies don't entirely know how to be pregnant, but we know pregnant women puke, so we're puking a LOT. It's terrible, and I'm almost afraid to read up on other sorts of pregnancy discomforts for fear just knowing about them will make them happen more than they should.
Now that it's been almost four months, I'm starting to show, too. It's kind of weird - like, I feel heavier, and there's a bit of a gut there when I look in the mirror, but it doesn't feel like fat, at least not all the way through.
I don't know. I haven't become a complete disaster yet, but I really wish I could go home.