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) 


Anonymous said...

Aw man, i’m extremely sorry to her the news, Andi. Long Covid is a nightmare. I hope you and Andy can either find a solution or at least you can shape your new life into something you want! I honestly feel deeply for you, but i wish the best for you and Andy. And hey, maybe not everything is super bad?

Anonymous said...

I think its undestandable and i can see where Andy’s coming from, i think it’s both extremely selfless to decide to deal with long Covid and not wanting to leave it for you to deal with. But at the same time its a bit selfish to make such a choice when that body isn’t even his, it’s yours! Man, this is a though situation, i hope you guys can figure something out…

Andi-with-an-i said...

Thanks, folks, and remember - I don't want to make it sound like Andy is completely unable to get out of bed or anything. He (or she, I guess, although there's talks going on about what to do if this is forever) has to take some things slow and isn't really up for a lot of physical activity, but the doctors think he'll be able to do okay in most cases. Just a quiet life as opposed to the really active one he'd intended.

And the hell of it is, it is his body, it just looks like mine, or the way I think of myself, or whatever, and if he decides he wants to keep it as it is, it's kind of got to be his decision, even if this hasn't been his life for the past two years. I hate that, and Krys hates that, but Cary and my folks have pointed out how we'd feel about anybody trying to say what we can do with our bodies in any other situation.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah i get it, dont get me wrong i dont wanna sound like im hating on anyone, but even if it is technically his/her body (just transformed), it is still your (original) appearance and identitiy he is taking. And I think its a bit selfish to make such a heavy decision without giving you a say, considering you’ve been wanting go back to being yourself for around 2 years now and considering you said the symptoms are mild.

Like, i get his/her intentions are selfless and i don’t doubt Andy cares very deeply about you to carry the burden of long covid for you, but he’s still technically hijacking your life and identity without giving you much of a say on whether you’re ok with leaving your old life behind or not, you know? He/she is making this decision that also affects you and your entire life, so…

Andi-with-an-i said...

Oh, believe me, I've had my say! I did everything I could to convince him to change back, but it's Andy's body and has been Andy's life for two years, and, like, what am I going to do, demand that the family hold a vote on whether or not we drag him to the Inn and tie him to the bed?

Anonymous said...

Yeah fair enough I suppose lol. Welp, in the end all i can say is i wish the best of luck for both of you and hope things work out! The transition to college might be a bit scary but im sure you two will do great!

Q said...

Ok so maybe im a couple of days late to this whole thing since i just saw the update but, seeing the comments, i feel like i wanna give my own two cents on the matter.

Firstly, I feel like it doesn’t matter if “it has been Andy’s life for two years now” when it was yours for longer, and the fact that you mentioned that you tried to convince him as best as you could but he still decided to stay that way feels like at this point it doesn’t matter if Andy is doing a “selfless thing” when in the end it is harming YOU.

What about your aspirations for the future? What about the fact that you now will have to live a constant lie? What if you want to go back to being a girl or hanging out with your friends as YOURSELF? You yourself said that even if it is “his body” it’s still a body that you percieve as yours and that has been yours longer than his.

Reading your previous posts, it seems like youve been wanting to go back to your own life for these last two years and i dont know if you specifically told Andy that while trying to convince him to swap back, but if you did and he still said no, then his actions immediately become selfish and hurtful and lose all good intentions behind them.

Even if his excuse is that he is trying to protect you, the actions he is taking are still harmful to you, because you want to be yourself again and you didn’t consent to being stuck like this. If anything, it sounds like Andy is just trying to find an excuse to stay like that for whatever reason and is dismissing the struggles you’ve been dealing with since this whole thing started, even if he doesn’t realize it or means to come off that way.

Also, your parents? I don’t think they’re handling this situation appropiately. They basically told you to suck it up instead of having a serious talk with your brother and making him realize that what he is doing is fucked up. He’s basically hijacking your life while leaving you stuck in a body you don’t fully feel comfortable living in and if anything your parents should take your side on the situation.

You have every right to feel angry and betrayed. Its not a matter of telling him what to do with his body or his life, its a matter of him taking a decision that involves BOTH of you but hurts you.

Anyways, that’s all i have to say, good luck.