Well, back in Old Orchard, at least, although we should be back to ourselves soon enough. Since the luggage we found in the room belongs to a guy, the plan is for Andy to stay at the Inn first, and then when he turns into this "Arnold" person, I take over the room, turning back into myself as soon as there are 13 guests (which seems to be how it works), then having him take the room, and become himself again when the curse hits again. Kind of sucks for Arnold, who's going to have like two months of his life being out of circulation and a lot to explain when he eventually gets it back, but you can only plan so much where there's a cursed inn involved.
While one of us is at the inn, the other is staying at a place a mile or so down the road. It's a suite, but most of the time, only one room will be occupied for the most part, because Mom and Dad can't get enough time off between them to have one of them there all the time. Mom flew out with us to check us in, but both she and Dad have in-person commitments for their work today, so we've been on our own since she got into the Lyft for the airport this morning.
Are we excited? Hell, yes! Mom and Dad aren't exactly over-protective, at least not when we're ourselves, although they've been keeping a closer eye on us this year than they might have otherwise, although once they saw that we didn't need help or excuses and weren't going to screw up each other's lives just because we got mad about something, they stepped back a bit. Still, when we got back to the hotel room after dinner, she sat us down and pointed out that she and Dad were putting a lot of trust in us, even though they knew how important this was to us. She said they were going to be checking the activity on our debit cards and to call immediately if there was any problem. But when she left, we seemed to be in a different world.
We spent the morning sort of looking for stuff to do on our phones - there's an amusement park and the beach, but what were we going to do here for six weeks?
Our first stop on our own was the hot dog truck, and we waited until the line was finished before we walked up. Krys was working, and she looked at us for a few seconds before her eyes lit up. "Andy and Andi! You made it back!" Before we could even consider ordering, she was out the back door and hooking her elbows around our necks, even if it meant pulling my head down. Then she looked back and forth. "Your folks?"
Andy said they had to work so we were on our own. She was like "really?", then whipped out her phone, took a selfie with the three of us, and sent it off to Cary, saying some people have guardians who trust them, although she also said he wasn't really that bad.
We all looked each other over. She'd gotten taller than Andy was/I should be, especially with her shorts cut off about as high as they could be. She still had the freckles, and had a red ponytail coming out the back of her baseball cap. And then there was the way her t-shirt hung.
She caught me looking and laughed. "Hey, I'm not gonna be mad - a spent a while with a dick, too, ya know!" Andy and I blushed, which just seemed to encourage her, clasping her hands and twisting them so that her arms pushed her breasts out. "I don't think they're done growing yet, but even if this is as big as they get, it's such a relief! So many redhead white girls wind up 'petite' and 'slender', by which they mean 'flat', and that wasn't me!"
Someone walked up to get a hot dog, so she ran back into the truck, served the customer, and came back out. I had to admit, I was kind of amazed at how loose she seemed. We'd met her last year, while we were stuck in Old Orchard while waiting to get our bodies back, and while Mom and Dad weren't entirely comfortable with us hanging out with someone who was really in her late 20s, she was also the only person we could hang around with who would believe who we are. It was kind of weird spending time with her - it must have been like sitting at the kiddie table and being expected to have something in common with the pre-teens for her, except that when she forgot she should look at us as kids, she and I had actually did a lot of the same things in school. Andy, not so much, but he found her super-cute, even if she scared him.
We lost touch after the Inn screwed us up and we went home; most of what we wanted to text each other about was weirdo transformation stuff and neither of us were really good at explaining the messages when the phone notified us - and, again, Mom and Dad thought me having a friend twice my age was weird. So I hadn't really seen any pictures or talked much until we got there, and was kind of surprised at how everything seemed to be coming so natural to her now.
I told her that and she laughed. "Well, Cary says I never really grew up the first time, which pisses me off sometimes, but I dunno, I did go through a bunch of men and never lasted at a job and spent a lot of time drinking and smoking weed and never settled down. Maybe he's right, and I just needed my body to get to where my head is at. I dunno. It's funny, though - I decided to become Mackenzie after Jonah stole my life so I could have a sort of second chance, but it really feels like I'm just getting that second chance now, y'know?"
I didn't, really, but I was glad things were starting to work out well for her. It got busy for her again soon, but she gave us some tips for what to do with the afternoon and said we should hang out with her and her friends tomorrow.
I really hadn't realized how badly I'd wanted someone I could talk to about this that wasn't Mom and Dad. I've gotta remember not to fall out of touch with her when we're just two girls who had some weird experiences.