A youthful looking social worker reinvents herself as a teenager for an investigation. Note: This is a revision and expansion of the story Younger by Vivid Imagination, first posted over 20 years ago. I make no claim to the orginal story which still be read at https://www.asstr.org/~Kristen/12/younger.txt . As it's more of an outline, I wanted to flesh it out and update the story to the 21st century. Enjoy!
"I can't believe they carded me for cigarettes again," Erin said, returning to the car. For a woman of 26 she had a face that looked a good 10 years younger. It didn't help matters that her chest was almost as flat as a board. I always told her she should be thankful because when she's 40 she would probably look 26. She grimaced as I reminded her of that once more, as usual finding her youthful looks frustrating.
I met Erin in grad school so I had figured she was close to my own age, but I easily saw why she ran into so many problems. It was bad enough that she was always taken for a freshman on campus, but off-campus was even worse. She complained that whenever she went to bars, restaurants, movies or even shopping, people thought she was underage! I had tried not to tease her too much about it, but I sometimes couldn’t help myself– especially when we started dating and everyone always assumed she was my younger sister!
Now that Erin was out of school and working full time, she made a point of dressing ‘older’, being careful in her choice of clothing and makeup when she dealing with anyone for her job. She got her Master’s degree in social work and was now employed by the state, placing children in foster homes. Even with her best efforts to look older, families usually mistook Erin for some kind of intern when they first met her.
I still found it humorous, especially when she’d get so frustrated. To be honest, I even got a slight thrill from it sometimes. Typically, if it came up when we were out, people would still assume Erin was my little sister. But in the last year I’d had a few people ask about my ‘daughter’ if Erin was dressed down. I realized that it was partly my fault. Erin pointed out that I had put on a little weight (but was still very fit, I argued!), mostly due to the greasy food I got at work. I thought that the beard I had just grown probably had more to do with it – that and my receding hairline. ‘Thanks a lot Dad!’ I said to myself, hoping that I didn’t lose most of my hair by 40 like he had.
We were shocked the first time a waiter called Erin my daughter. It felt so bizarre that we both had a good laugh. Erin taunted me that evening in return for my teasing, calling me ‘Dad’ all through the meal. I think she got a kick out of it, seeing it as much a ‘humiliation’ for me as for her. On the other hand, I really didn’t mind it at all, though I acted put off by the situation to give Erin some satisfaction.
On the ride home Erin went through 3 cigarettes, so I could see that she was frustrated by more than just being carded. ‘Must be work again,’ I muttered to myself. She had told me few weeks earlier about one family that they were having trouble with. There was possible abuse going on but they couldn't prove anything since none of the girls would talk. She spoke to the investigative division but there was little they could do. Without evidence, there was nothing wrong as far as they were concerned. I could tell it was eating her up inside but she was helpless to do anything.
Erin was very invested in her job – too much, I thought, having told her many times that she needed to step back and get some distance. But she genuinely cared about happened to kids in the system, almost like she had a calling to help them. I admired her dedication but felt she often got carried away in her desire to ‘make a difference’. I sometimes worried about how consumed she became when she set her mind to something – she could become rather obsessive at times.
She remained tense over the next several days, so finally one evening over dinner I asked her what was wrong. She told me that the whole foster family thing was getting to her. "If I could only get proof by planting a camera or something," she mused.
"Yeah, and if you got caught there would be a major lawsuit against the state," I said. "You don't even know for sure if there is anything wrong going on there.
"I need to get proof somehow," she insisted.
"Look," I said, "Even if you visited the house every day, they are only going to let you see what they want you to see. Unless you can get one of the girls to talk, you're shit out of luck."
"There has to be some way I haven't thought of yet," she insisted.
Becoming irritated at how obsessive she was acting, I said, "Look, without you being a foster child inside that house 24 hours a day, you’re not going to be able to know what's going on.“
"That's it!" she cried.
"What's it?" I asked.
"I could pose as a foster child and live in the house," she replied.
"Are you out of you mind?" I asked incredulously.
"Well, you always told me I looked 15, maybe I could pull it off," she responded.
"Look, just let it go," I grumbled. "You're getting crazy now!" She didn't say another word and we left it at that. There was something that appealed to me at the idea of Erin pretending to be a teen, but her idea sounded so ludicrous that I dismissed it out of hand.
The next day she came home from work all excited, saying that she had talked to the investigative division and they were willing to give her crazy plan a try. "You can't be serious!" I scoffed. "I'm dead serious and there's no changing my mind," she insisted.
“You know Katherine, my former department head? Well, she’s now high up in the state DHHS and she gave her full support, even pulling some strings with the Department of Records!” Erin said with enthusiasm.
Of course it had to be Katherine. She had been a something of a mentor for Erin during her two years with Social Services and had always supported Erin’s almost obsessive enthusiasm. It didn’t surprise me that she agreed to this harebrained scheme.
Erin told me the department was going to take care of all the paper work. "They went into the state system and changed all of my records. First, they changed my birth year to make me 15 years old and issued a new birth certificate. To keep my cover from being blown I will be processed through another office and placed in the foster home. However, to make this happen, they had to legally make me a ward of the state and listed you as my current foster father. They also had to delete my driver's license record so that an error flag wouldn't blow my cover. “
I stared at her flabbergasted. “They changed your birth certificate? And made me your foster parent?!” you gasped.
She nodded as she dug out some papers from a drawer. “Well, I guess these are no longer valid," she said, cutting up her driver's license and birth certificate and throwing the pieces in the trash. “
"Are you insane?!?" I asked. “What are you doing?”
She looked at me with a determined expression. “I want you to see how serious I am about this. It’s all or nothing, and I am all in. There’s no going back now.”
I blinked several times. It seemed completely unreal. Had Erin finally lost it? This was extreme even for her. "When is this all going to happen?" I finally asked.
"The paperwork will be done in a few days," she replied.
"Not the paperwork," I said. "When are you going to be placed in the home?"
"I have three weeks to get ready," she replied.