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Dana’s Bathing Suit – Chapter 4 – by lostandwhatever

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Continued from Chapter 3.

They got out of the water and dripped their way toward the blanket where Billy’s mom sat reading with a baby in a wide-brimmed hat sitting next to her. “That’s Stevie,” Billy whispered to Dana. “My baby brother. He’s two.”

Dana looked at Stevie and felt herself get woozy again. “Oh no!” she said, and stopped walking.

“What?” said Tommy. “What’s wrong?”

“It’s happening again,” she said as she shrank.

The three of them stared at her in amazement as she became a 2-year-old right before their eyes.

“Wow,” said Billy. “She’s Stevie’s age now.”

“She’s a baby,” said Cindy. “Can I keep her?”

Tommy knelt down in front of Dana. He seemed so gigantic to her now. “Hewp me!” she cried and reached up to him. “Hewp me, Tommy. I’m scarwed.”

“She sounds like a real baby too,” said Billy.

Tommy leaned in to her and hugged her to him. “It’s okay, Dana. I’m here.” She felt a few tears leak from her eyes. The whole world had become way too big and confusing all of a sudden, and she felt totally lost.

“If she keeps this up, she’ll disappear before the sun goes down,” said Billy, but Tommy shushed him quiet and picked her up.

“It’s okay, Dana,” he said as he gently bounced her in his arms. “I’ll take care of you. Don’t be scared.” His gentle voice and the bouncing motion helped to calm her down. “Let’s find a place in the shade where we can hide with her in until later,” he said to Billy and Cindy.

“Why?” said Billy. “Maybe my mom can help.”

“Your mom wouldn’t believe us. She’d just want to know where Dana came from. It’s easier if we just hide with her somewhere and hope that we figure out how to fix her.”

Dana listened to the argument, but she had a hard time following what was being said. “I wanna go home,” she moaned to Tommy.

“We’ll get you home later,” he said as he carried her off to a grassy spot under some trees at the edge of the sand. “I promise we will. Right now, we’re just going to sit in a cool place for a bit.”

They all sat down in the shade and watched Dana as she explored her baby body. Her limbs were short, and her feet and hands had stubby toes and fingers. Her belly was a bit round, and her face felt strangely round and flat, with her nose being little more than a nub. Under her bathing suit, she felt extra padding around her waist and between her legs. A diaper, she realized. “I’m uh baby,” she said after careful consideration of her new form.

“Yes, you are,” said Tommy.

“I wuz uh big gurwl,” she said as she faintly remembered her experiences from earlier in the day. Most of them made no sense, but she was sure that she had been bigger, like Cindy or Tommy and Billy. Bigger than all of them, even. “I wuz verwy big!”

“Yes, you were.”

She felt confused. “Why’m I widdle?”

“I don’t know,” Tommy admitted.

“Magic,” said Cindy.

The word didn’t make sense to her. “I feewl awl slow,” Dana said, while rubbing the faint hair on her head as if that might make her brain speed up again, but it didn’t speed up. “I’m tired,” she said. Thinking about the past and her current situation was too much work for a baby. It was all too confusing to her now. Instead, she just looked around at the bigger world she now inhabited. Eventually, when she started to feel bored looking around, she pulled at the grass under her and tried to put some in her mouth, but Tommy grabbed her hand before she could.

“Unh-uh,” he said as he pulled the grass from her little fingers. “Babies shouldn’t eat grass,” he told her patiently.

“But,” she complained. “I’m hungrwy.” She slapped the ground with her hands. She was bored. “I wanna pway. I wanna toy.”

“I can get some of Stevie’s toys,” Billy offered.

“Go,” said Tommy.

Billy returned a minute later with a small inflatable ball.

“That’s it?” said Tommy.

“It was all I could grab without my mom noticing.” Billy rolled the ball to Dana. She picked it up and examined the pattern on it. It looked like colorful paint splashes on a white background. She put it in her mouth. It tasted like plastic and sand.

“Ew,” said Cindy. “That’s gross.”

“You used to do that,” said Billy.

“I don’t do it now,” she said. “And, that was in Stevie’s mouth earlier, too. Gross.”

Dana ignored them and kept her mouth on the ball. Tommy took the ball from her and rolled it back to her on the grass. She rolled it back and giggled happily when he returned it to her. They all started to roll the ball around between them. Every time someone caught the ball after she rolled it, she giggled and clapped happily. It was so much fun.

“I’m bored,” said Cindy.

“Then, go,” said Billy. “Heck, I’ll go with you. I want to go swimming.”

“But, we have to stay with her,” said Tommy, although he was feeling just as bored with playing with a baby.

“You stay with her,” Billy said. “She’s your girlfriend. You invited her over before. You promised to help her.”

“She’s not my girlfriend,” he protested. “She’s my friend. And, yeah, I’m going to help her, and that’s that.”

Billy looked at him and sighed. “I’ll bring you some water.”

Billy left with Cindy and returned alone a few minutes later with a bottle of water. “Good luck, dude,” he said and left Tommy alone with the baby. Tommy drank some of the water and tried to get Dana to drink some, but most of it ran down her cheeks or splashed up her nose.

They waited. Dana lay down on the grass and closed her eyes. Tommy leaned against a tree next to them and tried to get comfortable with his bare back against the bark.

“You know,” he said. “Back when you were twelve, I thought you looked really cute.”

She looked at him, but didn’t respond.

“Even when you were eight, I thought you were cute.”

She grabbed one of his fingers and looked up at him.

“Maybe you could be my age sometime,” he said.

A minute went by in silence, and then she felt that familiar wooziness. “Tommy,” she said.

He looked at her, and his eyes went wide. “Hey,” he said. “You’re growing!”

She was. She sat up and watched as her body stretched out. She grew until she was the same age as Tommy. When the change stopped, she looked down at her long arms and legs and smiled at her big feet. How could she ever have not loved her big feet before? Her bathing suit was a two piece again, but her body showed no signs of puberty yet. Her tongue found a gap in her front teeth from where a baby tooth had recently fallen out.

“Well, then,” she said, getting used to her more mature mouth again. “This feels better. You have no idea how confusing it is to be a baby.” She felt overjoyed that she could actually think straight and pronounce words properly again, in spite of a bit of a squeak that she made through the gap in her teeth.

“You’re my age,” said Tommy. “I mean, you’re older than the last time we met in the water. You’re nine.”

She stood up, and he stood with her. They were the same height. “You’re right. Cool.”

He thought for a second. “That’s it!” he declared. “You must change based on how old the kids are around you.”

“But,” she said. “It only happens once in a while.”

Tommy thought about that and declared, “Maybe there’s a time limit between the changes.”

“Yeah,” she said, feeling excited that they were figuring it out. “That’s got to be it. You figured it out.” She gave him a celebratory hug. He hugged her back. They stood there in each other’s arms for probably a few seconds too long. “Um,” she said, feeling a bit uncomfortable at being so close for so long. The two of them blushed and separated.

“Sorry,” he said.

“No, I’m sorry.”

“I didn’t mean to… you know…”

“It’s okay,” she said and smiled her gap-toothed smile at him. He was so cute when he was nervous. She put a hand on his face.

“What are you doing?” he said, nervously.

“Close your eyes.”

Reluctantly, he did. She leaned in and gave him a quick kiss on his lips. He opened his eyes and took a stunned step back. She smiled at him again and said, “Thank you for protecting me, my hero.”

He smiled a giddy stupid smile, the kind of smile boys get after their fist kiss.

She took his hand, said, “Come with me,” and led him back to the shore. Then, as she had wished to do before, they walked together along the shore, hand in hand. She was so happy to be with him in that innocent way that children can feel affection for each other without sexual feelings getting in the way. Occasionally, they would pass by adults who cooed and awed, amused by the young lovers. They ignored them as best as they could and focused on each other.

“So,” he said, finally breaching the uncomfortable subject that they could only avoid for so long. “What do we do now?”

“Let’s just keep walking. I like walking with you.”

“And after that…?”

“We could go for a swim again,” she offered.

“No, I mean, what do we do about your body?”

“Well, I could just stay with you forever. We could always be the same age then.”

He thought about that idea. It seemed a pleasant thought, but he had his doubts. “I want to, really, I do, but we can’t. I mean, you have a life as a seventeen year old, and, anyway, how would I explain you to my mom?”

She nodded, sadly. He was right.

“Dana,” someone shouted. “Dana?” Hearing the voice, Dana hid behind Tommy.

“What is it?” Tommy asked. “Who’s that?” He looked at the teenager walking along the beach shouting her name and searching for her.

“It’s Kevin,” she said.

“Your… boyfriend?” Tommy said. The words were sour in his mouth.

“Yes,” she said, dejectedly.

Tommy knew what had to be done. “You should go to him.”

“What?” she said. “No, I want to be with you. I love you.”

“I…” Tommy hesitated a moment. “I love you, too. But, you don’t belong with me. You belong with him.”

“But…” she started to argue, hoping to convince him otherwise. No words came, though. She knew he was right. She had to grow up again. “I understand. I’m sorry, Tommy, but, yeah, I guess I have to go back.” He turned, and they hugged one last time. Then, he kissed her gently on the cheek.

“Go to him,” he said as they separated. “But…”

“Yes?” she asked expectantly, still holding his hand.

“Don’t forget me.”

“Never,” she said. “I promise.” She kissed him on the cheek and immediately turned and ran off to Kevin.

Tommy listened as Kevin recognized her and she told him to take her home before she changed again. Then, they quickly gathered their things and left the beach. She never looked back once.

Continued in Chapter 5.

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