Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Jonah/Krystle: Went and Made That Weird

Man, I wonder what the folks commenting on Andi's post think of me and all the times I've decided to stay Krystle even though the original really wanted her life back!  Think they'd say she should have been able to insist I have an abortion?

I kind of wish one of Andi or Andy had applied to and gotten accepted at Tulane or some other local school just so that I had a friend to talk to about stuff who wasn't in another time zone.  Sure, Ashlyn is only one hour off, but they run a bar/restaurant so they're on a schedule that's nearly as different as Jordan's sometimes.  And Jordan is literally on the other side of the planet; I send her a text and forget all about it until she responds the next day.

Of course, this latest situation is one I can probably ask regular girlfriends about, although they'll likely just say "shouldn't have done that".  Basically, I met a guy, Leroy Watkins, the day I moved in, he was obviously interested because I showed up in a sports bra and yoga shorts and was willing to flirt a little if it got guys I've never met to help me unload a truck, and he's been cool but obviously interested ever since.  On and off, of course - he's had a couple girlfriends in that time, I've never not been busy, and I sometimes feel like I bounce between "I want a man I can count on in my life" and "dating guys is never not going to be weird" depending on what hormones are going through my brain on a given week.  He pretty quickly took up residence in what Moira's namesake calls "boy-slash-friend" territory.

So it was kind of weird when he came to me last week, saying that his cousin was getting married and he'd figured he'd have a plus-one but his last girlfriend got back with her ex a couple weeks ago, and I'd really be doing him a favor.  It turned out that I had the day off and one of Moira's friends was having a birthday party/sleepover, so I could, and why not?

Like a lot of these things, it started out feeling weird; I've gotten good at dressing up but do it seldom enough that I still feel like I'm doing something I kind of shouldn't, and this is the first wedding I've been to since I was a little kid, when it didn't really register for me that you kind of dress for the reception but start out in a church.  I'm not unfamiliar with dressing to impress a bit for church - it's more a thing people did at the mostly-Black church that the Kamens attend than the mostly-Caucasian one my folks went to in New Hampshire, but I've been doing it for a while - but it was kind of weird sitting in the same pews where I normally have my head bowed on Sundays with my legs crossed because I'm in a minidress and wondering if maybe I should have worn a scarf or something to cover my cleavage.

It's a nice wedding, though - the bride is beautiful, their vows were sweet, and the flower girls and ringbearers were adorably serious about their jobs.  And then the reception was fun, although if I ever get married and am wearing a pristine white dress, I don't think I'll have the guts to have it catered with barbecue.  Leroy's friends and family are curious about me, naturally, but he's assured me that it's not going to be some goofy rom-com plot where we're pretending to be dating or anything.  We joke about it - whenever someone asks how long we've been seeing each other, it's "around the neighborhood? since she moved in a year ago", and if they ask how long we've been dating, it's "well, if things go well, then it will retroactively be around four hours".  He's funny.

And he's a good dancer!  We have a good time on the floor, although we're not glued to each other or anything.  I do keep drifting back his way because he's the guy I know and even if folks are hitting on me once they know we're not dating, nobody's really making me think I should get right on feeling that out.  Still, I've gotten a bit more willing to be kind of touchy as the evening goes on, until the DJ picks something kind a little bit slower and more sensual.  His arms come around me, and I step back a little bit so that I'm right up against him, grinding a little...

... and then I look up and see Leroy come up short as he's moving toward me on the floor, leading me to look up and see that it's his brother Larry putting his hands on my breasts and poking at my butt.

I'm kind of horrified, and thankfully he doesn't resist when I pull his hands off me and get out, but now Leroy is mad and runs off.  I follow him until we're outside the venue, actually telling to hold up because he's got the wrong idea.  He turns around and asks what kind of wrong idea he's got, that I know Larry is kind of a dog and that he's liked me since we first met.  I honestly blurt out that "I thought he was you", realizing just what a can of worms I've opened just as the words are out of my mouth.

"So you're saying you wanted to do that with me?"

"At that moment, yeah!"

"And now?"

"Now you're yelling at me and it's not sexy at all!"

"Well, I'm sorry I didn't recognize the exact right moment to grab your tits!"

Then he storms back in, and just sort of does this little "don't follow me" wave when I start trying to follow him.  Not having a lot of better options - I don't know anybody there but Larry and hell no - I call an Uber and go home.

So, obviously, I see him again on Monday, and we both just kind of shuffle past each other on the sidewalk, probably both hoping the other one is the one to apologize.  I kind of want to, but it kind of feels like I can't without acknowledging that he's got some sort of claim on me, and that will make him think that I owe him a date or something and I don't want to go out with someone who thinks I owe it to him.  But are we going to be friends again if I don't, or is that just going to make it worse.

Ugh.  I know regular girls go through this too, but I hate all this and sometimes I really wish my body didn't decide it liked guys when I changed.


Tuesday, August 01, 2023

Andi/Andy: Back Here for Probably the Last Time

Krys was waiting for me at the train station, looking annoyed that I was late, like I controlled Amtrak (although, yeah, it was a hot day to be that close to the beach and not on it). She gave me a hug and then asked if I would please call my folks so that they would stop texting her.

"No!  They want me to stay like this!"

"Andi, no.  They want you to not become a stranger and get into something you maybe can't handle.  They want to avoid having some series of randos that they have to introduce as their son in their house!"

I pulled away and started walking toward the Inn.  "I thought you'd be on my side!  Someone took your life, too!"

"I am on your side!  I'm fucking pissed for you!  I just--"  She groaned.  "Can we please go see Cary?  He's much better at this than I am!"

I kept stomping even though I knew Krys was right.  But I figured I was, too.  "Don't you get it?  If I change into someone, Andy will have to come and get his life back, and then i can get back to normal!"

Krys was running at this point.  "And what if it doesn't work out?  Look at us, we're both living proof that this shit does not go according to fucking plan!"  She caught up and got in front of me.  "Godfuckingdammit, Andi, will you tell me what is going on so that I can maybe help?  I'm not entirely a fucking kid, you know!"

There was a bench nearby and people were starting to stare, so I reluctantly sat down and put my head in my hands.  Krys exhaled and dropped down next to me. "Thank you!  So why is Andy doing this?  He didn't get knocked up too, did he?"

"No, and even if he did, I'm pretty sure he'd get it taken care of.  That's not illegal back home yet."  I looked over at Krys and reminded myself not to talk down to her, that she is really about 30 even if she feels like she's about my age.  "It's...  I mean, you remember Andy getting sick while we were out here last year, right?"


"Well, he never got better.  He and I and our parents all thought that all his lack of energy and not being able to focus and stuff was depression, just the grind of living someone else's life for a couple years and finding out your best friend is a real dick to women and stuff."

"Right.  Cary and me see a lot of folks like that passing through.  And you said he was doing better since graduation."

"He was, or so we thought, but then he collapsed during a hike, so they took X-rays and..."  I took a deep breath.  "It's long covid.  He's got, like, diminished lung capacity and mild brain fog and a couple other symptoms that don't explain everything, at least if you don't know everything else that's been going on in our lives."

"Oh."  Krys went from looking at my face to the ground. "Well, shit."

"Yeah, and once he realized, he said there was no way he could give me damaged lungs and make me take medicine for my heartbeat--"

"What?"  Apparently Krys hadn't heard the full list of what Covid could do before.

"It's mild, the doctors think it'll clear up within a year.  But, yeah, Andy wasn't sticking me with that, let alone the brain fog.  I said from all we could tell, the Inn would make your brain better but not worse, but he didn't want to bet on that for me."  I pounded my first on the bench's armrest.  "Just where does he get off deciding that for me?  And Mom and Dad are acting like he's doing such a good, unselfish thing.  Which he is, but...  Ugh!"

She grabbed my other hand.  "Hey, I get it.  I get it maybe more than anybody else.  It sucks so much!  It's been like ten years since I talked to Momma or my sister, but I have to hear about how proud they are of Jonah and Moira, and sometimes I just wanna scream.  And I didn't even get along with Karla!"

"I know, and I know I'm lucky, but...  I was really looking forward to being me again!"

"Yeah, I get it."  She leaned her head on my arm.  "You're cute like this, though."

"Thanks."  I kissed the top of her head.  "I guess I've still got a girlfriend, though."  I half-chuckled.  "God, I could wind up marrying Cindi, couldn't I?"

"You sure could.  Although, I may not be the ho I once was any more, but I still wouldn't recommend tying yourself down to the first person who sleeps with you.  Like I said, you're cute.  You could have options."

I sighed.  "I guess.  And we're just starting college so I can aim this life in a different direction."

She punched my shoulder.  "That's the spirit!"  Then she seemed to get an idea.  "Hey, I've got to ask Cary, but we've got a fold-out bed, so why don't you stay with us for a couple days?"

Cary, it turned out, was all right with that.  Mom and Dad weren't particularly happy when I said I wanted to stay here for a few days, promising that I wouldn't go near the Inn, but it's been nice hanging out with Krys's friends and going to the amusement park and stuff.

I overheard Cary talking on the phone to my folks last night, though, and he said that I just needed some time away from my family because I felt betrayed, and that word stung.  So I guess it's time to go back home, although Krys and I are going to spend a day in Boston first tomorrow.  She's joking about showing me all the places new students don't learn about, although we'll probably have more time for that once I'm actually enrolled in school there.

-Andi with an I (in my heart)