Thursday, August 18, 2016

Tyler/Judith: Coming Home

I did my best to contact the real Walkers, sending them an e-mail to let them know that their bodies were in good hands, and tried to call the number they had left to confirm that everything was okay. It took until Tuesday for them to get back to me with an e-mail of their own. It was very... proper, to be frank.

Dear Mr. Blake,
I thank you for contacting me as soon as you could. My husband and I were waiting very eagerly to find the results of the next "change." This entire situation has been dreadful, and we needed good news. If, as you say, you bent over backwards to return your previous bodies where they belonged, I guess we're very lucky, and we thank you. I'm sure being in a female body is shocking for you - Adrian and I were very lucky in that regard, as we became a young couple. [I didn't see fit to mention that I had been a girl before.] I hope the young one in Livy's body will grow to see this as an opportunity to gain knowledge
We have been dealing with the situation as best we can. Our Olivia, like me and like the young family in the room next door, was placed in the body of a young woman in her 20's. She is a very mature young lady and almost - I swear - passes convincingly for the young woman she appears to be. But since Adrian and I know better, we are doing our best to protect her from the world. I am lucky to still have him by my side.
The real victims here are the O'Rileys, the young family in the room next to us, who had two younger children who met the same fate - I'm sure you saw who became them, and I hope only for the best. They will be glad to hear it is possible to get things set right.
If there is anything you need from me and husband, please let us know and we will help as best we can from here [Kansas City.] Adrian and I would appreciate you doing your best at our jobs and keeping the new "Olivia" at her same school. We would like to be consulted on any major changes you consider making, and alerted to anything that is beyond your control.
Essentially, we aim to be gracious hosts, and hope you will be considerate guests in our bodies, home and lives.
With thanks,
Judith Medeiros Walker 

To be honest, it was a little spooky how clear-spoken and sober that letter was. I almost reckon she spent all week drafting it, rather than just getting right back to me in a hurry. She downplayed the horrorshow that happened to the real Olivia (seriously, how na├»ve does that sound?) and thought maybe Dylan will have a grand old time as a girl, but at least she gave her sympathies to the Gautiers. But I reasoned, you've gotta deal with this situation somehow.

For the last week, Kitty - sorry, Adrian - and I have been holed up at the Walkers' residence in Concord. Even the drive to New Hampshire was something of a battleground between us. He insisted that he wasn't comfortable driving for an hour and a half through unknown parts of New England, since (in past lives) he'd been prone to fatigue. After all, driving was my job. So I had to climb into the big SUV, adjust the seat up and forward for my little stumpy legs, and let him "Navigate." Which really just meant echoing the GPS's directions.

Once that was done with, we started unpacking. Every item I put away, I rued, wondering how it was gonna look on me - unflattering, momlike. Kitty wasn't faring any better in bland button-ups and slacks. He caught sight of himself in the mirror and sighed. "Never thought I would actually go bald..." I didn't respond, because if we started one-upping each other he'd never win but also never quit. All I said was "You look fine. Just keep it short."

"You should wear earrings," he said. "You don't want those piercings to close."

"Yeah, maybe," I grunted. "One thing at a time. I'm sure they can handle a few weeks."

"Where's Olivia?"

"Dylan?" I answered, "He's downstairs watching TV."

Scoff. "Is that the kind of parents we're going to be? Let the TV babysit our daughter? It'll rot her brain."

"He'll be fine. And don't call him and her to her face. He doesn't like it and he's not ready."

"Give it a few months, I bet she starts insisting on it. I'm going to make being a girl very fun for her."

I rolled my eyes and changed the subject. "Hey, would you mind leaving the room for a sec? I want to try on some clothes."

Kitty took exception: "Why do I have to leave the room?"

"Because I'm really not ready to just hop right back into being a couple with you and I'd rather keep things private for now."

She huffed again as she headed for the door. "It's not like you have a choice."

Wrong... there's always a choice.

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