Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Jordan/"Missy" Yuan-Wei: Bitches Will Pay for This

I should be in Hong Kong now, fucking my boyfriend and maybe starting to make contacts with film industry people for after when I graduate next year, but what does that matter now?  It's not going to fucking happen because I don't know where and who I'll be, but I don't really have much choice.

I was minding my own business Saturday morning, getting packed and getting other stuff put away because without Benjamin and Jonah around, I don't have as many people to house-sit as I would otherwise.  I had some music blasting, so it took a second, more insistent buzz from the security intercom before I hit pause and went over to the panel.  The image on the screen was Bingbing.  "What do you want?"

She smiled a little too widely.  "Got a girl here who needs a little Inn orientation, Jordo, and I've bumped my flight home to this afternoon and don't have the time."  The monitor showed a little pixelated commotion behind her, and I heard a woman ask if her brother was up there with Yuan-wei.

I got a rock in my stomach and a fire at the base of my neck.  "Max, is that you?  I'll be right down!  Don't you fucking let that bitch leave!"  I grab my keys from the hook and go right out into the hallway without closing the door behind me and race down the stairs without even looking at the elevator, but when I finally cross the lobby and get out the door, she's gotten back into a car and driven off, a suitcase hastily thrown onto the sidewalk and a woman on the walkway next to the door, trying to stop the blood coming from her nose, asking where Bingbing learned to hit like that.  I told her probably close to home, on the streets of Chinatown, but she looked confused.  I sighed, opened the suitcase, and found a t-shirt for her to hold up to her face.   "Let's get you upstairs and cleaned up and I'll explain everything."

I probably shouldn't use "she", since I sure resisted it and you all reading this have probably figured out that "Max" isn't just some gender-neutral nickname.  He still didn't quite get it, though, asking where his brother was.  I dumped some ice cubes in a dishcloth and handed it to him.  He held it to his face and sat down, looking at me for answers for everything from why he was an African-American woman to why his girlfriend had slugged him before driving away.

I squatted down before him and held his free hand.  I've never been any good at this touchy-feely shit, but figured I might need to stop him from running away.  "I'm right here, Max.  I'm Jordan Chang, or at least I started out that way, until I went to the Trading Post Inn with Ravi about three years ago."

He stared at me blankly for a few moments before speaking.  "No, no,  no.  No!  That's not possible!"

"Look at yourself, Max.  There's at least a couple of things that are possible that didn't seem that way before."

"No, I mean, Jordan's back in New York, he's working at a gym, he's on my 9-man team, he's..."

"Doesn't sound like me, does it?  That's Benny.  Not nearly as good at computer stuff as me, but he did a bang-up job getting into shape.  How's his Cantonese coming?"

He had a million questions but got distracted by the one I asked, trying to remember the last time he'd heard his brother speak anything other than English.  So I launched in with the whole story - becoming Deirdre, meeting Annette and Benny, Benny and Kareena falling for each other, discovering that the last person to be Yuan-wei had thrown a wrench into our plans, settling in, finding out that Yuan-wei and Bingbing weren't the originals, and that more or less brought us up to date, except for whatever happened to him.

"So let's see who you are."  I pulled a wallet out of one of the suitcase's compartments and opened it up.  

"Oh no."

"What?"

"You've turned into Elaine Preston.  She was supposed to be getting her own life back this time.  She is not going to be happy."  I handed him the wallet and the compact that was next to it so he could compare his face to the one on the driver's license.

He looked back and forth, astounded.  The first time, it's a little hard to get the hang of having become a specific other person, even though I'd told him about how I'd found the suitcases and actually made choices about who to become.  I don't know how much of what I'd said had really sunken in.  "But... why didn't Bingbing change?  Or did she?  Did she just ditch me because she's not my Bingbing?"

I told him I didn't know, and started opening compartments, looking for a note.  It didn't look like Cary had left one for Elaine - why bother? - but there was a piece of paper filed in half, written in Chinese.  I handed it to him, but his hand was shaking, so he handed it back.

"'Hey, Max, I'm writing this before we even get on the train, so I don't know who or what you've become.  I know you've got a lot of questions, but your brother can answer them.  The important thing is that you relay a simple message:  Carlotta wants to be Yuan-wei again.'"

I stopped there for a second, suddenly feeling like I didn't need to read the rest of it, but Max was looking at me, wanting to know what came next.   "'And while maybe you lucked into a nice life just like Jordan did, and maybe Jordan's just enough of an asshole not to care what happens to you, I'm sure you at least still care about your parents.  And just ask Jordan just how careless we can be where people who think they're Carlotta's father can be.'"

I went pale, and that makes Max even more frightened.  "What's she talking about?"

I'm no good at the vague story that can spare his feelings.  "The original Yuan-wei's father died from a peanut allergy.  I think it was an accident but Carlotta felt guilty, although...  Fuck."

"That's all you've got to say?  My girlfriend just threatened to kill my parents and all you've got is 'fuck'?"

"Of course not!  I'm just trying to think what to do!"

"Well, what's she say?"

"What do you think?  She wants me to check into Room 7 at the Inn on August 31st, not interfere with Carlotta/you checking in mid-September, and then, if nothing's amiss, you'll be able to get your life back when the Inn opens back up in May."

He stopped the ice-pack, looked at his hands, and then brought them to his breasts.  "I've got to be like this for a whole year?"

It started my mind racing.  "Well, we could check and see if there are any other vacancies during the summer, but that's the luck of the draw - the real Elaine was turned into a kid, for instance, although...  Do you still have your key?"

He grabbed at his pockets.  "I...  I don't think so."

"Shit.  Giorgia - that's Bingbing's real name, Giorgia Wong - probably won't turn it in until just before the next two-week block, so that would make camping out and hoping you get a lucky 13 in the next week and a half tough.  I suppose we could try to stop Carlotta from checking in as Sandra and get you back in there instead, but Giorgia will probably be watching us like hawks, and I do not want to mess with them; they've both been in prison.  I really wish we could get ahead of them."

"Is that it?  Or do you just not want to give up all of this, assuming anything you've said has been true?"  He gestured vaguely at my nice apartment.

"Hey, I'm just trying to think of a way to get get you back to normal safely.  These bitches scare me, Max - when I go to Hong Kong, there's a cop all up in this ass because of something one of them did, along with a widow who is apparently cold to the person she thinks is her daughter because what if that detective is onto something?  There's a sweet but messed-up gay couple in Montreal because the Wongs were clever and sadistic enough to tell them that they might fucking melt if they tried to get their lives back just days or hours after this happened to them.  I thought Bingbing was a cool best friend to inherit, but as soon as I figured out what was going on, she started taunting me about dating you because she liked watching me squirm.  Carlotta served ten years for manslaughter.  I'm going to call Benny to tell him to look out for Mom and Dad, but do you think he'll be able to convince them that you might mean them harm?  As much as we're fucked if we don't do what they say, we're probably just as fucked if we do.

"I mean, yeah, I'd like to stay Yuan-wei - it's nice having a trust find and having a boyfriend that really digs me and being able to study something that I really find enjoyable.  And for all I know, they've lined up some 90-year-old with cancer to stay in Room 7 before me.  So pardon the fuck out of me for trying to see all the angles here!"

"And if the best angle leaves me stuck like this?"

"Dude."  I grabbed his hand again, squatting so that I was looking up at him.  "I gave up my own fucking life so that Benny could be be worth the girl he liked, do you really think I'd do less for my kid brother?  Like Mom always says, easy come easy go."

I guess he believed I was who I said I was then, because he came down off the chair and hugged me.  He started to pull back a little after a second because the feel of our boobs squishing together was weird, but I pulled him back in.  "Brothers no matter what, even if you are bleeding all over my favorite crop-top."

He laughed at that, and then I laughed, although it only lasted a moment or two as he tried to sniff everything dripping from his nose back in.  "Sorry about that."

"It's okay, I got more.  Now, c'mon, let's get you cleaned up and dressed in something that fits.  I've got a spare room and a credit card that can absorb canceling a first-class flight from Boston to Hong Kong, so let's get you settled."

He did thank you and I said of course, and didn't start texting Benny, René, Benjamin, Ashlyn, and every single person who had ever been to the Inn that I know until he closed the bathroom door.

-Jordo/Yuan-wei  (for now)

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