Man makes a shocking discovery at his old home and makes a decision about his new one
| (NOTE: This is an homage to the story "Parallel Lives" on Fictionmania and its derivative work on Tgstorytime. The general storyline is the same, though this has diverged from both stories. I would recommend reading them if you can find it, they are both good.)
My resolve to help this man, Terrance, became something of an obsession after that weekend. I spent it doing the best I could to learn more about him, what made the man tick, his thoughts, his feelings, what his dreams were, life goals...all the sorts of things that a person who worked in management would like to know about a candidate for promotion.
We spent that morning with the kids, taking them out to the park where I had often ran before and we did things that a normal, typical family would do. Jayson and Terrance would through the ball around while Hillary and I would either sit and watch the two or we would go for a short nature walk and look at the plants, flowers, and the small insects we found on the trail. We even met a few other mothers and children, spent some time talking with them, and interacting with each other became something that I fondly remembered. I still blushed a little as I introduced him as my husband to other people and they had small smiles at my embarrassment still.
In the evening, I took over the kitchen to work on dinner while he took the kids for an afternoon movie and it gave me the chance to peer into the life that Terrance and Myka Howard were living. Looking through facebook, Instagram, twitter, all their social media accounts, old pictures and albums that I had managed to find, I read up on what made us a couple, the lives we led, everything that got us to this point.
Terrance and my (Myka's) lives read like almost a fairytale story. Two kids born in the lower parts of Chicago, one to a broken home (him) and one to a single mother (me), both of us had little in the way of material possessions. Still, we both worked hard to get through school, Terrance on a basketball scholarship while I had gone through track and field (which explained why I, as Myka, seemingly lived for running) We apparently met in high school, sophomore year, and by junior, we were going out. Junior prom pictures, senior prom pictures, cheesy love notes and pictures with hearts on it...I even found a rather dreadful looking gag picture of Terrance with dreads and me with corn-rolls in my otherwise prim and proper hair style. (Never again!)
I set some of the journals down on the table and resolved to look through them later on after dinner, giving me something to do, and I finished just as they arrived back home. I rolled out some stew with bread and salad, something again simple yet surprisingly functional, and enjoyed a meal together. In the back of my head, I wondered if I was growing too accustomed to this and pondered whether the locket was somehow connected to everything. Still, the urge to investigate the locket sort of felt almost a lower priority than finding out more about my shared past with Terrance and figuring out how to help him achieve his professional success of getting that promotion.
When the kids were upstairs in the bath, I settled into a chair in the small reading library area that was in the corner of the house overlooking the garden (a tranquil spot I had found by accident and spent a few days making). Photo albums were open and I looked through some photos. It seemed almost weird to me that there could be these pictures and memories tied into them that were held by other people in the pictures, all of which was due to the simple act of opening and closing a locket. One moment, there was a group picture of me and three other girls in Cabo. The next, who knows if the Cabo trip even happened? It didn't really seem all that possible, how could a simple act of changing one person make such an event possible? I thought back to Amanda and what she was doing right now, none of which would be likely if I didn't exist. How did life explain her buying the house if I hadn't picked it out on a realtor's list? If I hadn't existed, we wouldn't have had the money for the down payment and her credit was too low to qualify for a loan.
I flipped through several more pages and looked at the smiling face of Terrance as we stood, posed together, in front of an altar. He looked resplendent in his black tuxedo and I definitely stood out in a very form-fitting dress that had a long train and the veil resting gingerly on top of a very intricate French weave styled hair do. I knew that, when I was Christopher, this entire picture did not exist, nor did the memories that come attached to it. But that led me to another question altogether: If I didn't exist as Myka, and Terrance never married me (or her, I corrected myself), then where did the children come from? He had to have met another woman, gotten her pregnant at least twice (or maybe two women pregnant once), but that didn't explain how they immediately knew me as their mom when I appeared in front of them the first time, or how Terrance just knew me as his wife.
That, also, didn't explain Amanda either. If I, as Christopher, was not there, where would that leave her? She would never have come to this place anyway because her job prospects were actually better if she had been in the city. She had only agreed to take the job because of my job being here in the county seat and that, in turn, caused us to get the house. No Christopher, no move, no house, no life here. Didn't that create a paradox too?
Hearing Terrance go upstairs, I took out the locket from a small little box I had hidden away and popped it open. I laid out the books and the photo albums and then closed it. A moment after the wave washed over me, as Christopher, I looked at the books. As I thought, the pictures were gone. None of the journals were there either, all of which led me to believe that the locket served as some sort of gateway between two separate worlds: one in which I was never born as Christopher but as Myka Robertson. The other, Myka never existed, I was Christopher Lassiter.
Deciding against changing back, I waited until I heard the door close upstairs before I slipped quietly out of the house and made my way down the street to my original place. Gone was Amanda's car, I had almost forgotten that she would be away through a double shift on Saturday nights, and I walked in. Everything was where I had left it the day before but, in the meantime, I noticed that there were quite a few empty containers of Chinese take-out on the counter. A simple check of our checking account (with my name on it this time), revealed that she had been buying quite a few takeouts every time I had used the locket.
I spent the rest of that evening working on trying to figure out where that locket came from, especially since I knew Myka's maiden name was Robertson, connected to one of the first families to live in the house I was currently living in. But that was odd, though...they hadn't lived in the house for over 9 decades and there had been at least 3 or 4 families that moved in prior to us buying the house. How could it have stayed there, unnoticed, all this time? The more I thought about it, the more I became confused as to why this was suddenly an obsession of mine and I instead turned my attention back to the problem I had on my hands.
Knowing Amanda wasn't going to be home for the night, I used the locket and then began to search the house. As I suspected, where there were pictures of us together doing things, like hiking or fishing, there were instead pictures of her with her sisters, a family photo, and even my books that I loved to read and often left on the bookshelf were replaced with some of her own classic books that she often loved to read. I wandered through the entire house, pausing to leaf through notes and papers on her desk, looking into closets where my things had been replaced by either more of her stuff or was just filled with some random boxes.
The biggest change, though, was when I reached the master bedroom. I had a sense that maybe something was going on when Christopher was not around but I didn't quite confirm it until I turned on the light and looked inside. Instead of the comforter and the lounging furniture we had spotted at an estate sale a few years back, the room was functional and had a warm touch to it that screamed my wife's tastes, almost immediately. I could appreciate her tastes and was about to turn off the light when my eyes fell on something that I knew, given what was going on, shouldn't belong there: a man's belt.
That night, I spent it back in my second home, wrapped in the arms of my husband. In the back of my mind, I had a raging argument going on and I used all of that emotion, that passion, into making love to this man who held me in his arms.
As a man, on the one hand, it was wrong for my wife to be having a relationship with another guy. It felt wrong, it WAS wrong, and there shouldn't have been any need to do so. On the other hand, though, as Myka, I was no longer her husband or a man at all. In the eyes of the world, I never existed. Amanda was a grown woman with needs of her own. Would it be any less wrong if she were to discover what I was doing? Turning into a woman, having a family, and being fucked nightly by a truly gorgeous young man?
When I awoke, I was still a bit preoccupied by it but then decided that I would shift my focus back on my task at hand: getting enough information on Terrance and how to help him work and handle the room of superiors to get that promotion. After that, I tried convincing myself, everything would be okay and I could go back to my life as Christopher. It was that easy.
As it was Sunday, I had gotten the kids up early and made them breakfast before we got them going to get changed and ready for church. Terrance had mentioned it off hand the night before and, never really being one for religion, I had merely gone along with the idea to see how he participated in such a setting. I knew that, for some in the banking lobby, religion went hand-in-hand with family as a key factor in suitability for a senior position or a fast-track to a corner office.
When we showed up, it was a Baptist congregation and we soon found ourselves enmeshed with other families from around the area. Terrance and Jayson were dressed in suit and tie while Hillary sported a nice pink and white dress. I had opted for a soft ivory color summer dress with a matching shawl and a one inch heel, not too overly dressed but yet still presentable. I decided that, starting this week, I would do whatever it took to get him noticed, to get him displayed around the local community, and to build him up in a way that few people who had never made it to middle management could ever do: I was going to mold my man into my old image.