“So Jamie, how are you enjoying your little visit the past couple of days?” Karen asked patting her on the head in a condescending manner.
If it wasn’t for the fact that this girl was now nearly twice her age, nearly a head taller, and a girl, Jim would have punched her in the nose. “It’s been fine.” she groused.
“That’s good to hear.” she said, not really paying attention to anything but her own words. “Becky here called me in to help out at the store while I’m home from college. Evidently Devious Majik can’t survive without me.”
“College must have warped your mind because you forgot everything while you were gone.” Becky half-joked. “You couldn’t even open the register. I thought college was supposed to make you smarter.”
“I’ve just had way too much on my mind. Being a grown-up is so stressful.” she said patting Jim on the head. “One day, you’ll know what it’s like kiddo.”
Jim lost it. “The reason she didn’t know how to run the register is because she’s never done it before!” she said pointing an accusatory finger and ashamed at the tears streaming from her eyes. “She swapped ages with me!”
“She’s clearly delusional and needs help.” Karen tried to deflect the accusation.
“No… there’s something to this…” Becky looked at Karen studying her face. “It definitely explains why you were so clueless today.”
Karen tried to make a run for it, but Rachel managed to block her long enough for Becky to put her in a hold twisting an arm painfully behind her back.
“I’m remembering you taking Tae Kwon Do with me in 10th grade, if you really were there, then you’ll know how to break this hold without breaking your arm, right?” she said twisting a little harder causing the girl to scream in pain.
“Yeah, I didn’t think so you little liar.” she motioned to Jim. “Okay Jamie, pull out the cards and lets set this back to how it should be.”
Jim quickly fumbled for the cards and dealt them. She wondered how they were going to prevent Karen from making a malicious swap if she won the hand, but after the handoff and reveal, Jim had won with a flush.
“I want to swap ages with Karen.” she stated but nothing happened.
“Why didn’t that work?” Jim whined, noticing that her cards weren’t glowing at all and only one of Karen’s cards was.
“That’s weird.” Rachel said as she noticed the same thing and pointed at the one glowing card. “Is the game broken?”
Becky turned the rest of the deck face up and there was another glowing card buried in the deck. “Here’s the problem. The last swap needs to be made before the deck resets.”
“Dammit!” Jim said throwing her cards down in frustration and anger. “Sue fell asleep before we were able to swap. How will I swap back before everyone thinks I’ve always been a girl?”
“You were a guy???” Karen asked, clearly astonished.
“Oh… that’s right…” Becky said as the cobwebs lifted only slightly from here mind. “…that’s why you wanted to swap with Sue? I can barely remember that now. I think it’s already too late because I remember you clearly going to my sister’s slumber parties and even babysitting you all the time before your family moved away.”
Karen flexed her arm to get the soreness out. “That’s so weird because I remember you being Becky’s girlfriend.”
“Wait… what???” Becky did a quick double-take at Karen. “Say again??”
“You and Jamie were an item. My dad thought that’s why they moved away to break you two up because her family didn’t understand.”
“But I’m not gay.” Becky said contemplating the statement and recognizing that the girl was likely telling the truth now.
“No, not in this reality.”
Jim pointed at Karen. “Your reality isn’t right…” then swiveled towards Becky “and your reality isn’t right either!” She drew a breath in to gather her composure. “My name is Jim White and the reality is that I’m 23 years old, I’m a guy, and I am, or at least was, your boyfriend!” She huffed and puffed as the anger was released with each word. “Got it???”
Becky looked to Rachel in confusion. “Is that true?”
Rachel answered “Well, he was your boyfriend but you two had broken up. Karen zapped him into a middle schooler because she knew I had a crush on him, and she took off and wasn’t there when Sue swapped him into a girl. So now everyone has all different realities they remember.”
“Wow” Karen and Becky said simultaneously.
“So can we get everything back to normal before things get any worse?” Jim asked exasperated.
Almost on cue, her cell phone buzzed in her pocket. “Hello…? Yeah mom… okay…. what??? Oh no… it’ll be cheaper if we do it tomorrow… you already have??? But… but… oh-kayyy… no… I’m sorry… sure… I’m okay, I think… love you… goodbye…”
“What happened?” Rachel asked seeing a new tear stream down Jim’s cheek.
“My grandmother died. And mom has booked me on a flight that leaves this afternoon.”