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7. Explanations

6. Through the Looking Glass

5. A New Karyn's Thoughts

4. A Step Through The Sliding Doo

3. An Argument Between Friends

2. The next day after school.

1. You Are What You Wish

Living the Life: Explanations

on 2023-11-22 05:34:09

726 hits, 113 views, 5 upvotes.

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(Flipping perspective back to New Karyn here.)

Karyn was trying her best to break things gently to the Karyn of the old world, who was apparently now inhabiting the body of Jon Gibson, but wasn't sure how exactly to comfort him. She couldn't really pretend to be the Jon he knew; she hadn't been that person for a long time, and she was quite happy with who she was now, Karyn Black. In truth, she'd always felt awkward around Jon ever since the Gibsons moved to town, when she was in middle school. He was a reminder of things best left in the past. Him suddenly having the memories of the old Karyn was a bit of an unwelcome complication.

The new Jon gaped at her like a fish, clearly shaken by her revelation. After a moment he asked, "Jon what are you talking about?"

"I grew up again in this life," Karyn replied, gesturing down to her body. Then, politely but firmly she added, "and please, call me Karyn." She didn't want to be harsh with Jon but this was her life and had been for a long time. She had sympathy for her old friend and wanted to help him adjust, but they needed to be clear about certain things.

Jon blinked but didn't address the request, instead muttering, "so is that why the world's all bizarro, because you're on some kind of weird new game plus?"

Karyn resisted the urge to roll her eyes, "the world's not that different, Jon. It's not like we suddenly have a monarchy or magical creatures are running around. The only real differences are in our personal lives." Karyn paused for a moment, biting her lip before deciding to elaborate, "and I don't think it was just down to me. When you moved here from Wisconsin, you were already different from how I remembered. Like, I was never in to sports and you signed up for basketball the week you got here." She pointed at the boy's Bucks jacket.

"That wasn't me, that was, uh, bizarro Jon I guess," Jon replied, his brow scrunched up in thought, "who I guess I somehow displaced..."

"That's what I'm getting at," Karyn explained patiently. "I didn't have any proof, but I always guessed that you ended up as Jon if I was Karyn. When we finally met back up you didn't seem to remember anything, but you weren't a carbon copy of the old Jon either. You're a bit of a jock, you made different friends, and lots of other little things." She left out another big indicator of a difference, when this Jon had asked her out freshman year. It had been an embarrassing incident, not just because she turned him down, but because she'd been dating Sarah for a few months back then and he really should have known that from just asking around. Then again, some straight guys seemed to have lesbian blinders and assume she and Sarah were just really good friends unless the pair literally made out in front of them.

The fallout of that event was Sarah rather cutely engaging in PDA to mark Karyn as hers, and solidifying Karyn's ideas of what was up with new Jon. "My theory is that the Jon of this world was always you, making the decisions you would make in that life, just like how I'm now Karyn. You didn't have your old memories at first, but you still had some essential differences from me on like the soul level. In terms of nature and nurture it's kind of fascinating on an academic level." Karyn bit her tongue before she went off on a tangent. She was rather more academically inclined in this life than she'd been in her first one, a consequence of having her past life memories as a foundation and also the hardware of her new brain literally being sharper.

Jon ran his hands through his hair, trying to take it in. She understood this had to be destabilizing for him. When she'd shifted, she'd been a newborn and had all the time in the world to literally cry it out. Jon was going to have to hit the ground running. The boy turned back to her and exasperatedly said, "that's a great theory, but I don't have the memories of any Jon. What in the world are we going to do?"

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