PROOF OF AGE
A teenage girl makes a bargain to increase her age in the hopes of gaining freedom for her and her boyfriend to be together but being older is not all it’s cracked up to be and she may just have made a terrible mistake.
A female to female magical weight-gain and age-progression transformation.
“It’s just not fair mum!” cried Trinny, feeling more and more exasperated. “I wanna go to the disco with Andy!”
“I’m sorry Trinny,” replied her mother, not even looking up from her magazine, “but you aren’t old enough.”
“I am so! I’m thirteen!”
She couldn’t believe how unfair this was and how cold her mother was being. Didn’t she understand how important this was to her? She was in love with Andy, so much, but she had to show him how much as soon as she could or he might not like her anymore. That nasty cow, Heather Dalton, was always sniffing round him and even though Trinny knew Andy hated her, it still made her worry.
Her mother sighed, folding up her magazine. “Trinny, what you have to understand is that, as your mother, I have a responsibility to bring you up right. God knows, without your father around I have my work cut out for me. Life isn’t easy. I don’t want to keep fighting you all the time.”
“I just want to go to the disco,” said Trinny. “Please mum. It’s really important to me. I have to go to it. If I don’t then… I just need to, okay?”
Trinny’s mother folded her arms. “Katrina; I understand that when you’re a teenager, everything can seem crucially important, but I am your mother. While you live under my roof you will abide by my rules. When you’re old enough you can do whatever you want – you’ll be free to make all the same mistakes that I did if that’s what you want – but for now I am telling you no.”
Trinny glared at her mother, tears slowly filling her eyes, then she turned and marched toward the door of the flat, her little hands curled tightly into fists. “I hate my life; I hate being thirteen and I hate you!”
She threw open the front door and went out onto the external walkway that ran along the block of flats on each level, slamming the door behind her. Trinny fell against the railing and burst into tears, wishing she could make her own decisions. She was furious at her mum but she also felt guilty. She shouldn’t have said those things to her. She knew she should go back in and say she was sorry but she couldn’t now. It was too late. She’d said them.
She looked over the railing down at the grassy area below and out at the dirty housing of Barton Green. She hated living here. Up the opposite hillside she could see the posh houses of Nockton. It was there she should have been living. That’s where her daddy lived. She should have been with him.
Except he didn’t want her. That was what her mum said. But Mum was probably lying. Of course he did. He was just too busy to come and get her right now. He would come soon.
She sobbed, her shoulders shaking, thinking about Andy and his dimpled smile. He was just so handsome and he was a year older than her. She was so lucky that he was even interested in her and now her mum was ruining everything.
“You look sad darlin.”
Trinny stopped crying and turned to her left, startled.
Gloria, the old lady from the flat next door was sitting out as she often did on a dirty, plastic garden chair. She was smiling and staring and Trinny blushed and then shrugged.
“I heard you and your momma arguing,” said Gloria. “Grown-ups never understand, do they darlin?”
Trinny turned the corners of her mouth up, unsure what to say. She’d seen the old lady almost every day since they moved into the flat and she was always saying hello and stuff but there was something a little… sickly about her.
“I know exactly how it is,” said Gloria. “My mother treated me the same. I was after a boy, just like you are, and she stopped me seeing him. It ruined my life. I was never happy again. All these years and I’ve been alone.” She coughed and wiped her mouth crudely.
“I just want to go to the junior disco at the working men’s club with my… with my boyfriend Andy.”
“And your momma says you ain’t old enough; am I right?”
Trinny nodded. “She’s always stopping me doing what I want to.”
“Uh huh.” Gloria nodded. “Just cause she’s older than you don’t make her right, does it?”
Trinny shook her head, surprised how understanding Gloria was.
“Moms think they know everything but often they’re just too busy making up rules to listen to reason. Am I right?”
“Why can’t she let me make my own decisions?” said Trinny. “All I want is to be with Andy and have my own life.”
“I know sweetheart; I know,” said Gloria. “But this is your lucky day cause I think I might be able to help. Would you like that?”
“Help?” asked Trinny cautiously. “Help how?”
The old lady chuckled. “Well that depends she said. On whether you believe in magic. Do you?”
Trinny shrugged, chewing her lip.
“Come on inside,” said Gloria. “I’ll fix you a cup of hot chocolate and I’ll tell you a story that will knock those pretty pink socks off.”
Gloria’s flat was a mirrored layout for Trinny’s and her mum’s next door but there was no further similarity. Where Trinny’s flat had white walls and plenty of light, this was dim and dingy. The walls were papered with a brown flowery design that might have been forty years old. Every window had thick nets and partially drawn curtains. Every single surface was fully cluttered with knick-knacks and keepsakes, hundreds and hundreds of little ornaments collected over many decades.
Trinny waited in the cramped little lounge while Gloria made hot drinks, feeling uncomfortable and a little scared but determined to see this through. She wasn’t sure what she believed in terms of magic, and would certainly have denied its existence to her friends, but she was willing to give anything a try if it meant that she and Andy could be together. She loved him so much.
Gloria reappeared with a tray and two mugs. She took a seat and sat watching Trinny for a while. Feeling even more uncomfortable, Trinny sipped her hot chocolate and waited.
“When you live as long as I have you learn a few things,” said Gloria. “Some things prove useful right away and some things don’t. Some things you just hang on to in case you ever need them and this is one of those times.”
Trinny waited politely for Gloria to continue.
“You may have heard stories about this town,” said the old lady. “Stories that go back further than anyone can remember. They say that Nockton Vale is an enchanted place and sometimes things happen here that don’t make sense. Have you heard the stories?”
Trinny shrugged and nodded her head tentatively. Every kid had heard the stories and she’d even believed them when she was little. She hadn’t believed them for a long time now but she was starting to wonder again.
“Some time ago I came into possession of a… well, what you might call a magic spell; an incantation. It was no use to me at the time and for reasons that may come apparent, it wasn’t something I could use. It had to wait until I got the opportunity, like I have now, to help someone in real need.” She smiled crookedly. “I can see how upset you are Trinny and it breaks my heart. It makes me want to do anything I can to make your dreams come true.”
Trinny smiled, so glad that she’d run into the old lady.
“What this incantation does is allow one person to give another person a present. You’re frustrated because you aren’t old enough to make your own decisions and be with the boy you want to be with. Well this spell will let me help you. It will let me give you some of my years so that you can get what you want.”
Trinny’s eyes went wide, her mouth becoming a smile. “Really? Can you really do that?”
Gloria nodded. “I can.”
“But that would be amazing! If I was older then my mum couldn’t tell me what to do anymore. I could go to the disco. I could even move out and have my own flat!”
Gloria chuckled and coughed. “That’s right darlin. You could do anything you want and nobody could ever tell you what to do again.”
“When can we do it?”
Gloria pursed her lips. “Well, it will take me a little while to root though my old books and find the invocation but it could be today… if you like.”
“If I like?” Trinny jumped to her feet. “That’ll be awesome! I can’t wait to tell Andy!” She threw her arms round Gloria’s neck. “Oh, thank you! Thank you! It’s so kind of you to help me!”
Gloria laughed. “Of course child. It’s my pleasure. I couldn’t let you weep out there without letting you know how I could help. It broke my heart to see you so sad. And just you wait. Being older is wonderful. You’ll be able to do so much that you can’t do now. You’ll be able to earn loads of money. You’ll be able to drive a car. You’ll be able to drink proper alcohol and smoke cigarettes.”
Trinny giggled. She thought cigarettes were gross but she had to admit that they did look cool.
“Why don’t you go and fetch your little friend Andy,” said Gloria. “Bring him back here and we’ll do it. Just don’t tell anyone else what we’ve got planned. They might not understand and could ruin everything.” She put two gnarled fingers to her lips and made a shush noise.
Trinny giggled again and danced over to the door. “I won’t be long,” she said and then ran out gaily.
Gloria watched her go and settled back into her chair, shaking her head and chuckling. “Ah,” she said. “You can always rely on the optimistic idiocy of the young.”
Trinny skipped and ran round to Andy’s house, she was so excited.
He lived several streets away to the east, not far from Annbury High that he already attended and she was due to start in the autumn. Trinny grinned to herself to imagine how much older she was going to become. What year would she go into at school? Or maybe she’d even be old enough to go to Barton Tech. Or perhaps skip school altogether! That would be great!
She pounded on Andy’s front door and gave him an excited smile when he came out. “Andy, you’ll never guess what! I’ve found out how to solve all our problems!”
“What happened?” he asked. Andy was taller than she was and so good looking. He could have had any girl and that made it all the more magical that he had chosen her.
“I talked to my neighbour – this old lady – and she told me she has a way that we can become older – like grown-ups. A magic spell.”
“No way,” he said. “That’s not possible.”
“It is,” said Trinny. “She told me it was. She wants us to go round there now and make it happen. She’ll make us both into adults and then we can do what we want. We’ll be allowed to go to the disco tonight. We’ll be able to go out whenever we want and be together.”
Andy looked sceptical. “Really?”
“Yeah! It can really happen! Like in the stories about the Yellow Ghost of Barton, remember?”
“I don’t know Trinny,” he said. “It sounds like a wind-up to me.”
“No. It’s real. Think how good it would be to be older. We could drink beer and smoke. You could get that sports car you’re always talking about.”
Andy chuckled. “That would be cool.”
Trinny grinned happily. “Let’s do it.”
“Nah. It can’t be true. It’s bullshit.”
“I’ll prove it to you,” said Trinny. “Just come back to the flats with me. You can meet her and see for yourself.”
“I can’t,” replied Andy. “I’ve gotta have tea.”
“Oh.” Trinny hung her head. “Well maybe it doesn’t matter. I can go and see her and get her to do it to me, then when I meet you later you’ll believe me. Then you can come and do it too. How about that? I can meet you outside the disco at seven.”
Andy shrugged. “I guess.”
Trinny giggled and hugged him. “Oh Andy, I’m so happy. I can’t wait for us to be together. We can get married and buy a house and everything and you can have your sports car on the front drive.”
He chuckled again. “Sure; sure. Sounds excellent.”
“I’ll see you at seven,” said Trinny and off she went, skipping along the pavement back toward Barton Green, looking forward to all her dreams coming true.
Gloria was ready and waiting when Trinny returned. She let the thirteen year old into her flat and locked the door behind her.
Trinny skipped into the lounge and took a seat; then she stood up. Then she sat down again. “When can we do it?”
“Right away,” said the crone. “But we have to do a few things first in preparation.”
On the table were several unusual items that seemed totally out of keeping with the quaint and cluttered décor. There was a metal bowl, an odd knife with a serrated blade, several candles which Gloria was busily lighting and a selection of herbs, some loose on the tablecloth, some in small plastic pouches and a couple in jars as though they’d been bought at the supermarket for cooking. Beside all this was a pestle and mortar and a small stone figurine depicting a hooded figure.
Gloria started work on grinding the herbs with the pestle and mortar. “Where’s your little friend?” she asked.
“He couldn’t come right away,” replied Trinny dejectedly, but I was planning to show him how it worked and then bring him back tonight.”
Gloria went silent, patiently crushing the herbs.
“Will that be alright?” asked Trinny.
“Well, yes and no,” replied Gloria. “What we’ll do is just work it differently.”
“I’m happy to help you but it will make me… too tired to do the spell twice. Instead, I think it would be best if I gifted you with enough years for both of you. You can have enough of this mixture to transfer the years on to Andy. Alright?”
Trinny thought about that. She wasn’t sure it was a good idea or not, but she trusted Gloria – she was being so helpful. And being even older would be funny. It would certainly prove to Andy that she was telling the truth. And it would mean that he could change too before they went into the disco rather than having to come all the way back there.
“Okay,” she said. “That’s a good idea.”
Gloria smirked and went on mixing. Presently the mixture was completed and she split it in two. Half she put in the metal bowl. The other half she gave to Trinny in a small plastic bag. “Here,” she said. “That’s what you need to transfer the years to your beau. Just pay attention to what else I do and you will be able to replicate the effect.”
Gloria picked up the serrated knife and held it to her palm, blade in.
“What are you going to do?” asked Trinny fearfully.
Gloria swept the blade back, drawing blood with a wince. She looked Trinny in the eye as the blood dripped down into the bowl, not blinking. She said nothing. She wrapped a bandage round her palm carefully then handed Trinny the knife. “Your turn.”
Trinny took the blade, her hands shaking. She put the knife to her own left palm. “Do I have to?”
“If you want it to work,” replied Gloria.
Trinny looked down at the bloody knife. She did want that. She wanted it more than anything.
Closing her eyes, she drew the knife back sharply, cutting open her palm. “Ow! That hurts!”
“Life is pain dearie,” replied Gloria, guiding her hand over the bowl so that the dripping blood was caught. “Careful. That’s it.”
While Trinny nursed her sore hand, Gloria finished mixing in the blood. She heated it over one of the candles and then poured the resultant liquid into two crystal sherry glasses. “Here,” she said, handing one to the girl.
Trinny looked into the dark red liquid and then up into the bright eyes of the old lady. “What do I do next?”
“Drink it,” replied Gloria. “But before you do, you must state the number of years you wish to exchange. This is crucial for the magic to work and both people must say the same number of years or the magic will fail. Is that clear?”
“Right then,” said Gloria, raising the glass to her lips. She gave Trinny one last glimpse then closed her eyes and with great relish muttered the words, “Forty years.”
She knocked back the bloody liquid in one and then set the glass down.
Trinny gaped at her. “Forty years?”
“Yes,” replied Gloria. “Quickly. Before the magic wears off. Say forty years and then drink it down.”
“But that will make me… fifty three years old,” said Trinny. “I didn’t think it was going to be that much.”
“But you’re forgetting that half of those years will go to Andy darlin,” said Gloria, her voice kind and coaxing. “You’ll only be that age for a little while and then you and Andy will be able to start your lives together as adults and nobody will be able to tell you what to do; ever again.”
Trinny doubtfully started to raise the glass and Gloria pushed it up to her lips.
“That’s it darlin. Say the words and drink up; that’s a good girl. I’m being kind enough to give you these years and help you out. You wouldn’t want to be rude now, would you, after I’m going to all this trouble?”
Trinny looked down into the glass at her face. This was what she wanted – she was sure of that – but part of her was yelling at her to slow down and think.
“This is a one-time only offer dearie,” pressed Gloria. “This is your last chance to be with your beau. Don’t throw it away or you’ll regret it for the rest of your life.”
“You’re right,” said Trinny. “I have to do this.”
She closed her eyes, got ready to drink it down and whispered the words, “Forty years.”
The sanguine liquid was still warm as it slipped down Trinny’s throat.
Its taste was unpleasant; actually quite revolting; and as it slipped into her stomach she felt a rush of mind-crushing despair and regret, entirely counter to the chirpy optimism she’d had a moment before. She looked to Gloria who, by contrast, looked elated. For her, clearly, the potion had tasted wonderful. It was only Trinny who had tasted it as fetid and bitter; laced with decades of weariness, struggle and regret.
“Quick child,” said Gloria. “Slip out of those clothes. I’ve prepared a robe for you to wear while the change moves over you.”
Trinny gaped at her, uncomprehending.
“Get undressed girl!” snapped the old lady and she jumped to it, disrobing as fast as she could. The dressing gown she was offered belonged to Gloria. It was as ancient and worn as she was, an unattractive and bulky pale purple. It fell down to her feet and beyond. It was much too long and broad for her but at least it covered her nakedness.
“Do you feel any different?” asked Gloria.
“No, I— Yes! I feel… I feel funny.” Trinny gripped her still nauseous stomach and saw the flesh rippling there when she parted the robe. Prickles broke out down the backs of her legs and down her spine; in her hair. “Something’s happening to me.”
“Yes,” replied Gloria with triumph. “To me as well. Look.” She held up her hands. The wrinkled skin was flattening, the sag of depleted flesh tightening up. The hair on her head was thickening as her posture straightened.
Trinny looked away, distracted by her own transformation. She was becoming more erect too, growing taller and filling out. She grinned as her legs lengthened, becoming toned, as her chest and shoulders broadened. Her hair had never been thick but now it was blossoming, tumbling down around her shoulders. She squealed with delight when her chest started to expand, beautiful womanly breasts growing there.
There was a dusty mirror above the fireplace and Trinny ran across to it, her robe already fitting her new adult height. She looked amazing. Her face wasn’t a little girl’s face anymore. It was the face of a pretty young woman. This was how she was going to look when she became an adult and that day was suddenly here! She was so happy!
She looked across at Gloria who was giggling away. She didn’t look like an old woman anymore; she looked a ripe middle age, and colour was returning to her plump cheeks as she stood stronger and firmer. Her hair was losing its grey and getting blonder and blonder as it too cascaded around her face.
Still grinning, Trinny looked back to the mirror and immediately the smile dropped from her face.
The freshness her face had had moments earlier had gone. There was a sobriety to her features now and her hair wasn’t flowing free anymore; it only just reached the shoulder and was cut in a more formal grown-up shape. She still looked good but the energy that had been bursting from her was ebbing slightly.
Then as she looked, the tiny feathered lines around her eyes became more prominent. Her face thickened, her neck becoming slightly stockier. Her hair shifted again, becoming a short bob, then it grew out longer again. Trinny touched her torso. The slim waist she’d had as she passed her twenties was thickening up with the growing inactivity of age. Her thighs and buttocks were filling in. Her wonderful new breasts were rounder but they started to shift and fall, turning downwards as her stomach became more doughy.
“I don’t like this Gloria,” she said, and was startled by the mature woman’s voice that issued from her mouth. She sounded as old as her mum. She sounded like one of her teachers at school. “Oh God,” she muttered. What had she done?
The lines around her mouth were getting deeper and soft bags were forming under her eyes. She remained attractive but she was getting older and older, edging toward middle age. Her hair got shorter and shorter until it ended in a something full and dark still but ending at her ears and speckled with grey.
Her eyes were misting as her eyesight deteriorated. She could still see if she squinted but she would need glasses for general wear.
She felt tired and worn, not just from the transformation. Her body ached in ways she had never experienced before; in ways an adult wouldn’t have even noticed it was so expected.
The transformation and exchange was complete.
Trinny looked at herself; at her new fifty three year old body. She was still a handsome woman but she was forty years older than she had been. She was deep into middle age. This was not what she had imagined, but she told herself it was still okay. Andy would take half these years off her. They would both be young adults together.
Gloria, by contrast, looked amazing.
The forty years had stripped her back to her thirties. Impossibly now she was the younger of the two of them and she couldn’t stop laughing, touching her firm arms and face and chest. She looked odd in the baggy old-lady clothes she was wearing but that didn’t detract from her looks. She was almost beautiful. “Well how do you like getting your wish granted Trinny?” she said, grinning mischievously. “You’re older than me now.”
“Yeah. I guess,” replied Trinny forlornly. She felt it. The physical sensation of the extra weight and height as well as the new sound of her voice stamped her indelibly into her new identity.
I’m a middle-aged woman, she thought. I bet I’m even older than my mum.
“What should I do for clothes?” she asked.
“I have some you can wear,” replied Gloria, going out of the room and leaving her to continue examining herself.
Trinny didn’t know what to think. She wasn’t a little girl anymore. She was a grown-up. She could do everything a grown-up could now! That was what she had to remember. However down she felt now, actually her dream had come true. All she needed to do was go and see Andy and do the same spell with him. When he had twenty of the years she had taken off Gloria, they would be the same age. He would actually be a bit older.
She smiled a little. That made her feel better.
“Here you are sweetie,” said Gloria, coming back in. “I’m going to need to pop to the shops myself. Nothing I have fits me anymore but you’re a bit stockier than I am so these should be fine.”
Trinny’s face fell to hear herself described as stocky, but looking down at her new adult body she couldn’t disagree.
She laid a skirt and blouse on the sofa. They were much bigger than Trinny was used to and looked very old fashioned but they did look like they would fit.
“I can’t wear these,” she complained. “What will Andy say when he sees me? And I’m meant to be going to the disco. I need a party frock.”
“This is the best I can do,” snapped Gloria. “Now hurry up and get dressed. I’ve got things to be getting on with and I’m going to go shopping for a start.”
Trinny regarded the clothes and shoes Gloria had presented her with.
It wasn’t exactly how she’d imagined it would be but she still had what she wanted. That was all that mattered.
She took off the dressing gown, tried not to look at her sagging bloated body, and started to get dressed in the old woman’s clothes.
Trinny felt awkward and tired as she made her way to Annbury working men’s club.
She had worn heels before but only in play over short periods. The ones she was wearing weren’t high but they felt strange on her feet and pinched her toes. She was also unused to wearing formal skirts and blouses like this. The blouse had capped sleeves and ruffles down the front. It was terribly unfashionable but she had to admit that it was the kind of thing a fifty year old woman might wear and that was what she was now.
She tried to compare herself to the adults she knew to understand where her new age sat. She thought her mum was thirty five. She was much younger than Trinny was now. This filled her with mixed emotions but mostly a sort of dread. She wanted to be old enough so that her mum couldn’t tell her what to do. She didn’t want to be way older than that. She pictured the way that age had affected her mother and the deeper scoring that it had done to her.
Who else did she know who was old?
Mrs Jenkins, the headmistress of Corbridge Junior School was in her fifties. God, was she really as old as that now? It seemed inconceivable that she was as old as a teacher, even if it was only going to be temporary. Imagine if she had to stay like this! She shuddered at the thought of it.
There were one or two teachers older than Mrs Jenkins; really ancient ones; but only a couple. All the other teachers looked younger. Some of them were younger than her mum. Thinking of it in these terms made her feel more and more disconcerted. There was a switch-around going on inside her mind, she realised. Her self-image had always been that of a little girl. Suddenly now she was coming to understand that she was a mature woman. She recalled the face that had looked back at her from the mirror with the short, easy to manage, hairstyle and fleshier and careworn features. That was who she was now.
“I’ve really turned into a grown-up,” she murmured, and hearing her new mature voice underscored that. It didn’t sound anything like she normally did and not just because she had different vocal chords and more resonant chambers in her throat or whatever. She was talking differently; as though she was... more tired; not in so much of a hurry.
It was weird. She didn’t like it. The sooner she could give Andy some of these years, the better.
It wasn’t too far to the club now but there was a corner shop up ahead on the right. On a whim, Trinny decided to go in. She wanted to see how differently she might be treated now.
Normally when she went into shops the shopkeeper watched her like a hawk to see if she was going to steal anything and talked down to her. Now he smiled and said, “Good evening madam. How may I help you today?”
Trinny giggled to herself and said, “I’m fine thank you. I’m just having a look.” She giggled some more. She had sounded just like one of her teachers. This was fun after all.
She walked round the shop, looking at things. She didn’t have any money so she couldn’t buy anything but it was fun to browse. She really felt the difference with the way she was dressed and the more sedate movement her taller and broader body had. She caught sight of herself in the dim reflection of a glass-fronted fridge. Seeing this middle-aged woman looking back chilled her and made it all seem so much more real.
She headed for the door and the shopkeeper said, “Did you not find what you were looking for madam?”
“No. Thank you,” she replied and left, smiling at how easily she had fooled him into thinking she really was so old.
There was a floodlit car park at the front of the working men’s club. As Trinny crossed the road and walked onto it she could already hear the music coming from inside, but it was only now that something occurred to her that sort of ruined her plans.
The junior disco was for teenagers. Even if she gave Andy twenty of the years that Gloria gave her, she would still be in her early thirties. She would be far too old to fit in at the disco.
She stopped, scowling, thinking about that. This had all been about wanting to go to that disco.
Or had it? No. Not really. The disco was just the latest thing. What she really wanted was to be able to make her own decisions without her mum bossing her about. This particular disco wasn’t important. When she and Andy were made to be the right age they would be able to go to proper adult discos whenever they wanted.
Trinny grinned and walked on, scanning the front of the building for Andy. He was supposed to be waiting for her but she couldn’t see him any—
She stopped, squinting into the shadows where there was an alcove to the right of the front door. The light was so bright that it made the shadows darker and her eyesight really wasn’t that great anymore. In the shop she’d barely been able to read the bigger lettering on all the products. But she saw someone there.
She stepped closer. “Andy?”
There was definitely somebody lurking there. It had to be him. She grinned and strode toward him.
“Andy, why are you hiding back there for? What are you...?”
She stopped and she stared.
It was Andy. But he wasn’t alone.
He was kissing another girl. He was kissing Heather Dalton. And his hands were all over her. He was snogging her like he was in love with her. Trinny couldn’t believe it.
“Andy, what are you doing?” she said, her adult voice rising in pitch. “What the fuck do you think you’re doing?”
Andy broke off from snogging Heather as though he’d been physically jostled and the two of them stood there looking guilty and afraid.
It took Trinny a second or two to realise why he wasn’t reacting the way she might have expected him to. He didn’t recognise her. She was forty years older. He didn’t think she was his girlfriend who had caught him cheating; he thought she was some random adult he didn’t know – maybe one of the disco organisers – who had caught him being naughty. She might have laughed at the misunderstanding if she hadn’t been heartbroken.
“You!” she snapped, pointing at Heather. Trinny had always hated her and this just proved she had been right to. She was a boyfriend-stealing whorebag. “Get out of here, now!”
Heather didn’t move right away, sullenly trying to gauge what authority I had over her probably.
“GET OUT OF HERE! NOW!” screamed Trinny. “I DON’T WANT TO SEE YOUR STUPID FACE ANYMORE!”
Heather hurried away and Andy started after her.
“Not you!” snapped Trinny, knowing that he still didn’t know her. “I want to talk to you.”
Andy loitered looking extremely uncomfortable, his hands in his pockets. Trinny stood there, watching him, unable at first to gather her thoughts, then eventually, with tears coming to her eyes, she said, “How could you? How could you do this to me? I love you.”
He frowned, confused.
“It’s me,” she said, the tears streaming down her cheeks. “Trinny.”
Andy just stared, trying to comprehend what he was hearing, couple it with what she’d told him earlier when he hadn’t been able to believe it. “Trinny? Is that really...? Is that really you?”
She nodded. “Yes it’s me.”
“But you look so old.”
A tear came to her eye. “I told you,” she said. “I told you I had a spell to make us older. You were supposed to wait for me. We were meant to do it together. I brought the potion for you to take as well.”
“Me?” he said. “I don’t want to be as old as you.”
“We wouldn’t be this old,” she said. “We’re meant to end up in our thirties and then be adults and be able to do anything we want. Why were you kissing Heather Dalton?”
Andy shrugged grumpily, looking guilty and resentful. “I can kiss who I want.”
“But we’re in love! I wanted us to be married. We were going to be together. I was fixing it so that nobody could keep us apart.”
Andy sneered. “Married? You’re crazy. You’ve always been weird. I don’t think we should see each other anymore.”
“What!? But I love you!”
Andy shook his head. “Look at you,” he said. “You look awful. You’re so old. And fat.”
“I did this for you!” screamed Trinny, stepping forward. “We were meant to be older together. I’m not meant to stay like this. You’re supposed to take twenty of the years.”
“Me? Be twenty years older? No way!”
“But...” she was weeping freely now, her shoulders shaking with it. “I did all of this for you. You can’t leave me like this. You’re meant to do it with me. If you don’t then I’ll be stuck like this. I’ll be old.”
Andy looked her up and down and sneered. “You’re old already.”
He turned his back on her and walked up to the door of the club. Trinny stood there helplessly. Just before he went in he looked back at her.
“You should go and get your money back on that spell,” he said.
Trinny wept all the way back to the block of flats at the centre of Barton Green. She climbed the stairs to the third floor feeling weary and worn and stumped along to Gloria’s door. It was ajar and she pushed it open, going inside.
Gloria was in the bedroom with an open suitcase and a collection of newly purchased bags of clothes. She was dressed in cut-off jeans and a tank top, her blond hair tied high on her head. She looked radiant and healthy and carried herself with a far more youthful energy.
When she saw Trinny in the doorway, she paused in her packing and smiled sardonically. “I wondered when you’d be back. Being a grown-up not all it’s cracked up to be?” She chuckled. “I told you: life is pain dearie. It pays to remember that.”
“Andy was kissing Heather Dalton,” said Trinny and burst into tears. “He doesn’t want to – to be with me. He doesn’t want to take the years you gave me.”
“Oh dear. Well, that’s hardly surprising really,” said Gloria, lifting the mattress and retrieving some money she had stashed there. She took some more from behind a book on the bookshelf. “What did you expect really?”
“That he’d want to be with me. That we could run away together.”
Gloria chuckled. “You’ll learn darlin. Men can’t be trusted. Ever. I’ll tell you that for free and it’ll be the best thing you ever learned.” She went on packing quickly and carelessly. Trinny watched her in stunned and forlorn silence.
Eventually, as the tears started to dry, she said, “What are you doing?”
“I’m leaving,” replied Gloria. “I’ve been stuck in this shithole for far too long. There’s some stuff I’ve been meaning to get to; some people who did me down who think they’ve got away with it. I mean to give them a wake-up call.”
“But what about me?” asked Trinny.
“What about you?”
“I want to be young again. I made a mistake. I shouldn’t have agreed to take your years. I don’t want to be old.”
“You’re not that old sweetie. You’re only fifty three. That’s nothing. Come and see me in twenty more years. Then you’ll have something to complain about.”
“I am old. I’m ancient. Look at me. I wasn’t supposed to be like this. Andy and me were supposed to change together. I was only meant to be thirty and I only wanted to be about twenty. You made me take all these years.”
Gloria chuckled again. “Well I’m afraid it was a onetime deal darlin. There’s no way I’m taking those years back. You’re stuck with them.”
“But it’s not fair,” whined Trinny. “I didn’t want to be this old. It’s not my fault Andy wouldn’t take the years off me.”
“It’s your fault you were dumb enough to take them in the first place.” Gloria closed the case and carried it through to the lounge. “That’s all I need really. The rest of this crap is just junk. It wasn’t even mine.”
“Don’t leave me,” said Trinny. “What am I supposed to do now? How do I become young again?”
“Well...” Gloria put her hands on her hips. “I’m afraid you’ve got yourself a problem; the same kind of problem I had. It don’t matter that you have a potion that can trade years with someone. You need someone who will swap with you willingly and now little Andy has let you down, that’s going to be hard to find. I guess you’re stuck like that.”
“But I’m over fifty! I can’t be stuck. It isn’t fair. I’m only a girl. I’m not meant to be a grown woman.”
Gloria shrugged. “Sorry darlin. That’s just the way it is.” She lifted her case and went to the door.
“Please,” said Trinny with a whimper. “What can I do? Where can I go? I can’t go home. I don’t have any money or anywhere to live.”
“You can stay here if you like,” said Gloria. “Rent’s paid up for three more weeks. The landlord won’t care as long as you get a job before then to pay the next month.”
“Sure. You’re an adult now. You have to pay your way. That’s life. There’s plenty of cash-in-hand stuff round Barton.” She turned to go.
“Wait. Please,” said Trinny. “I just want to go back to how I was. I don’t want to be an adult.”
Gloria shrugged again. “I don’t know what to tell you. There’s no going back.”
Trinny went out onto the long balcony walkway and watched Gloria walk away, just starting to comprehend the realities of her new life.
There was no way she could become a teenager again. Nobody would ever agree to trade years with her. She had been a stupid little lovesick fool and now she was going to have to spend the rest of her life paying for that. And how much shorter would her life be? Forty years shorter! She had given up all trace of her youth in a moment of rash impulsiveness and now she was trapped as a middle-aged woman.
In no time she would be an old woman and soon after that she would be dead.
She might have started crying again but the tears all seemed drained from her now. Maybe now that she was an adult she was no longer as prone to weeping. She had too much responsibility.
The door to her own flat, next door to Gloria’s, opened abruptly and her mother stuck her head out. “Trinny! TRINNY!” Trinny watched her mother go to the balcony edge and peer down to the dark grass below. “TRINNY!
She wanted to reach out and say, Here I am, but she looked down at herself and realised her mother wouldn’t know her; would never believe she was her little girl. All she wanted was to fall into her mother’s arms and have everything be okay but she couldn’t do that ever again. She could never go home.
Her mother saw her standing there and raised her eyebrows, looking to the heavens. “Kids eh? They’re more trouble than they’re worth.” She came closer and Trinny saw a different side to her immediately; a different kind of body language when speaking as one adult to another. “She’ll be off at the working men’s club disco probably. I told her she couldn’t go but she doesn’t listen. Wilful child.” She chuckled. “Reminds me of me at that age to be perfectly honest.”
Trinny’s eyes went slightly wider but she didn’t respond beyond making a small polite smile.
“I try so hard with her, to be the best mum I can be, but it’s so difficult. She blames me for her father leaving but, well…” She shook her head. “Between you and me he was a really nasty piece of work. Trinny doesn’t remember but he used to beat us both. He broke her arm in two places when she was three years old. I did everything I could to protect my child but we ended up with precious little; living from hand to mouth; and now she hates me.” She gave a sad smile. “It doesn’t seem fair, does it?”
Trinny shook her head unhappily. “No. It doesn’t.”
“That’s the trouble with parenting though, isn’t it? You give them all the love you can and you try to protect them from making bad choices and at the end of it all they flip a coin in their mind. Heads, they appreciate it and love you back; tails they resent everything and never speak to you again. I wish it was better.” She sighed. “Maybe one day it will be. If she ever comes home.” She chuckled, raising her eyebrows again. “Truth be told I just miss her. I’ll tell her off when she comes back because I have to but really all I want is to take her in my arms and hug her and kiss her and pretend that she’ll never grow up. Does that sound silly?”
“Not at all,” replied Trinny.
Her mother took another look over the railing. “I’ve not seen you around before,” she said. “Are you moving in to the building?”
Trinny looked through the open flat doorway behind her. “Uh, yes. I’m moving in here.”
“To Gloria’s place? Oh, that’ll be nice. You can come round for coffee sometimes if you like.”
Trinny brightened. “That would be nice. Yes please.”
“What’s your name?” asked her mother.
Trinny hesitated, getting another shuddering sense of the person she was now. “Katrina.”
“Oh, that’s my daughter’s proper name. I call her Trinny but it’s meant to be Katrina.”
There was a pause. The conversation had dried up a little and Trinny’s mother was distracted by the search for her missing daughter. Trinny watched her go again to the railing and call her name and a realisation came to her that was utterly startling.
She was much older than her mother now; by almost twenty years. So, so much older than her.
“Well, I’d better go anyway,” said her mother, oblivious to the sinking feeling of dread in Trinny’s heart, “but it’s been really nice to chat. I’m glad you’re moving in next door.”
Trinny turned the corners of her mouth up again, trying her hardest not to burst into tears.
“Sometimes you just click with someone,” said Trinny’s mother, “and there’s something familiar about you.”
She frowned and had a closer look at Trinny’s face, eyes flicking from one feature to the next. Finally she smiled and Trinny’s heart leapt, that somehow, impossibly, her mother had recognised her.
“That’s it,” said her mother and laughed. “I know why you look familiar now. It’s because you remind me of my mother.”
This story is one of six stories in the compilation, A New You: Volume 3 by Emma Finn, a book of transformation and body swap stories available on Amazon, iBooks, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.
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