Transference – Chapter 5 – The Homecoming – by lostandwhatever
- Age Progression
- Age Switch
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Continued from Chapter 4.
Katie hesitated at the front door to her parents’ home. Or, was it her home? At least, it had been her home, and it may be again. She was surprised to find that she felt like a stranger on the doorstep of the house she had lived in her whole life. She realized that it was the uncertainty of the situation that confused her a little, and that was what made her pause.
In particular, Katie wondered just who she was now. Were the two adults who lived here still her parents? They had no blood relation to her. Her own mother would not even recognize her now. Still, they were the only parents she had ever known, the only people she had known in fact. Who was she now? Was she part Julie? She had Julie’s body, Julie’s thoughts, and Julie’s life to live, but she had no history in that life, no memories, just knowledge. In some ways, she was just a tourist staying in Julie like a hotel room. In other ways, she was something much more, more than a combination of the baby she had been and the thoughts that had come with this body. She was something new; that was clear, even if nothing else was.
Katie checked the time on Julie’s phone, and saw that she was going to be late if she waited any longer. “Just do it,” she told herself. Finally, she knocked.
Moments later a woman opened the door. It was Katie’s mother. Well, the woman had been her mother. Now, who knows? “You must be Julie, the lab assistant. Right?” the woman who was her mother and not her mother said.
Katie responded, “That’s right. I’m Julie.” She noticed how it had become more and more natural to be called “Julie” as the days had gone by. Just being in this body seemed to make the name fit her better, just like the old pair of Julie’s shoes she wore. Nevertheless, it was not her name, not really.
Her sometimes mother opened wide the door to her sometimes home and said, “Please, come in.”
Katie stepped inside and was hit by a sense of déjà vu as she stood in the hallway. She had lived in this house her whole life, and yet, after only having been away for a matter of days, the place felt new and strange. She was seeing it fresh with new eyes, and she was looking down from a much higher perspective than she was used to. The impulse to explore around and touch everything was hard to resist.
“I’m Melissa,” the woman said and offered Katie her hand.
Katie shook Melissa’s hand and said, “Nice to meet you,” to the woman who had breastfed her her entire life.
“Nice to meet you,” Melissa replied. “Thank you for being on time. Our reservation is in a half hour. Let me show you around.”
Melissa led Katie on a quick tour of the house she already knew so well, pointing out where to find changing supplies and bathrooms. Mentally, Katie thought back to her experiences in all of these places. She thought about being bathed in the kitchen sink. She thought about how many countless times she had been laid out naked on the changing table or put down for a nap in the crib.
“And, here is little Katie,” said Melissa (her mom, her not mom) as she picked up a baby who was Julie and had been Katie.
Katie and the baby locked eyes. They were looking at each other from each other’s eyes. They had been inhabiting the wrong bodies, being called the wrong names, and living the wrong lives for days now. Yet, here they were together again. There was a force drawing them closer, like a magnetic pull. Katie reached out for the baby and Melissa handed the baby over to her. Katie cradled her old body in her new body’s arms and realized that the baby was feeling the opposite. Here was the baby’s old body holding her in what had been her own arms. There was a little more certainty to be found here, holding this baby. At the very least, the two of them understood each other better than anyone else ever could.
Melissa interrupted the moment, “I have listed out our phone numbers here along with the local emergency numbers.” Melissa handed a piece of paper to Katie, who took it in her hand without setting down the baby. “Contact us if anything comes up.”
“Of course,” Katie said, not taking her eyes off of the baby. “I’ll take good care of little Katie here. Don’t you worry. I’ll watch over her as if she were my own flesh and blood.”
“Good,” Melissa said, and then she shouted down the hallway, “Mark, are you ready to go now? We need to leave or we’ll be late for our reservation.”
“Coming,” Mark yelled faintly from downstairs. Katie carried the baby with her as she followed Melissa down the stairs. They rounded a corner in the kitchen just as Mark emerged from the basement door. “I was just doing a little tinkering on the equipment down there.”
“Hello, Dr. Smith,” Katie said to her dad who was not her dad anymore.
“Julie,” Dr. Smith replied. “Good to see you here. I’m glad you found the place.”
Melissa said, “Please tell me you didn’t get yourself all dirty right before we’re leaving the house.”
Dr. Smith held up his hands in defense and showed that they were clean. “I was just looking at some of the equipment and writing down some notes for myself. I left my notes by the computer.” He glanced at Katie briefly.
“Fine, then,” Melissa said, not seeming to have noticed his odd final statement. “Let’s get going.” She turned back to Katie and the baby and said, “We should be back around 11, after the movie. There’s some leftover pizza in the fridge that you can eat, or you can order something for yourself. We’ll reimburse you.”
“Thank you,” Katie said. “You two have a great night.”
The baby cooed up at the the couple.
“Bye bye, my dear,” Melissa said with a wave.
Dr. Smith gave Katie and the baby a knowing look and said, “Good bye, and good luck.”
Katie nodded. “It’ll be no problem” she said. “I have it all under control. Have a good night.”
Dr. Smith and his wife headed for the garage. When their car was gone and the house was silent again, Katie said, “Well, then, Julie, looks like it’s time for us to get down to work.”