Where would we be without our friends? (Cue "Friends" theme song)
Chapter Description: Betsy Gray has been ignoring her friends, lately. Janine visits to remind her of her obligations.
Janine stopped by Betsy’s apartment to see what her friend was up to these days. Betsy hadn’t contacted or joined their group in socialization for the last few months, and she was starting to worry.
Upon entry, Janine looked around and saw that her usually immaculate apartment, while still clean contained a large number of books, papers, scrolls, and even an actual ancient papyrus.
They cluttered up one corner and looked out of place. She read a few of the titles and got such things as “An orderly method of countering the effects of age”, and “Ye Olde Spell Booke: A grimoire of age magicks”.
The papyrus contained old hieroglyphs of an eye of Horus, Anubis in a “gifting” pose, a glyph of an elderly woman with an after glyph of a baby.
Turning from the paper and papyrus chaos in the corner, Janine noticed that Betsy’s laptop was opened to a URL called “The Age Regression Archive”.
“Do you want to talk about it, Betsy?”
“This fixation with reversing the aging process.”
“Oh, that!” answered Betsy, “I realize that I’m getting older and I just thought I’d see if it was possible to shave off a few years, is all.”
“You’re losing touch with your friends and acquaintances, I’d say that hinges on borderline monomania at the very least.”
“You worry too much, Janine, it’s just a passing fancy that I’ll get over. I’ll rejoin society soon enough.”
Betsy crossed her legs with a crinkling noise that tickled Janine’s ears. She sniffed the air and smelled the faint but sweet odor of baby powder mixed with urine.
“Betsy, are you wearing a diaper right now?”
Betsy went to deny it, thought better of it, and said, “Yes, what of it? It’s just my current choice in underwear, right now.”
“Hmm, do you fantasize about growing younger with them on, by any chance?”
Betsy’s facial expression underwent a change from “cool and confident adult” to “naughty girl caught with her hand in the cookie jar”.
She then asked defiantly, “What, are you my mother or something? In some of the literature, it says that in order to be young, you have to think young!”
Janine raised her hands in a calming gesture, “Take it easy, Betsy, I’m just asking! There’s no need to get offended by it. We can stop discussing it if you’re uncomfortable.”
Betsy realized that her friend wasn’t judging her and calmed down. Her face took on a childish pout for a second before she answered, “Sorry, sorry! I just don’t want my research to be made fun of!”
“Well, it looks like your experimentation may be causing you to act a little neurotic if anything else. Have you made any progress in your anti-aging research?”
“I wish I could say yes, but I’ll have to say no. It’s not like all those stories on that AR site about people wanting something and then getting it. It must be really cool for the people in the stories to experience.”
“Wait, you think the people in the stories enjoy it? In some cases, yes, but AR fiction is also a genre of horror.”
Betsy couldn’t believe what she was hearing; she crossed her arms and stared straight into Janine’s eyes. “Horror?”, she asked, “How could losing a few wrinkles and age-related problems be horror?”
“It’s all about control, Betsy. The people in those stories lose one form of control or another. Imagine that you succeed in reversing the aging process and you couldn't stop it?”
Taken aback, Betsy paused to think about what Janine had just said. Her crossed arms tightened as she thought about growing younger and not being able to stop or reverse it. She shuddered.
Janine just watched as her friend went through her epiphany. She knew that eventually, she’d come around and just be one of the group again.
“Patience!” she thought to herself.
For the next hour or so, Betsy’s mind raced and ran through all the age-changing scenarios that she’d read or fantasized about. Janine went into her kitchen and brought out a pitcher of lemonade and two glasses.
Betsy, lost in thought, sipped on the lemonade and peed herself. Her bulky diaper absorbed it all without complaint. Janine decided that she’d had enough horror for one night.
Getting up, Janine took Betsy’s hand and guided her to her bed, where she cooed at her and made small jokes about her being “Betsy Wetsy”. She changed Betsy’s diaper and found an adult onesie that fit her perfectly.
Betsy was oblivious to it all. When Janine handed her a teddy bear and a baba, Betsy sucked on it absentmindedly, staring straight ahead with wide-open eyes devoid of adult awareness. Her mind was still locked on the singular thought of getting younger with no control over the process.
Janine was enjoying her adult “Betsy Wetsy”. She entertained the notion that she might “adopt” her and raise her as her own. Long-lost feelings of being a little girl and taking care of her dollies emerged from her memory vault as she played with her.
She took Betsy’s head off her lap and got up with an urgent need. “Gotta go potty, Betsy, you wait here!”
She made it to the bathroom and came out of her reminiscing while she tended to her needs.
“Why, that little minx! She had me going for a moment there!”
Returning to the couch in the living room, she noticed that Betsy was still sucking away at her empty baba and lost to her flight of fantasy.
She made up a fresh bottle, muttered an incantation over it, and returned to give it to Betsy.
Picking up her adult dolly, she burped her and checked to see how wet she was. Satisfied that she had a way to go before she needed a change, she laid Betsy back down on the couch and gave her her new baba.
Betsy sucked on its contents with baby-like gusto.
Betsy awoke the next morning. As she slowly came awake, she remembered how Janine had caused her thoughts to conflict. She remembered very little of what her mind had locked itself into and realized that she was dressed in a diaper and onesie.
Janine came into her room to check on her.
“How’s Betsy Wetsy this morning? Have your thoughts cleared up yet?”
“Good morning, Janine. I take it you slept over in the guest bedroom?”
“Yes, you were still out of it at midnight and I decided to put you to bed and take advantage of your spare bedroom. You look good this morning! How are you feeling?”
“Like a great weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I’m still a bit groggy, but I can feel the energy starting to well up inside. In fact, I almost feel like a kid again!”
“Good, good. So are you going to have eggs and toast or would you like me to feed you some oatmeal?”
“Ugh, no oatmeal, please! Let me just get up and take a shower before breakfast.”
As Betsy got up, she could feel the weight of her heavily used diaper drag down the crotch of her onesie. In fact, the onesie and diaper felt a bit loose. She remarked on it to Janine.
“Oh, it probably got stretched out during your sleep. Diapers can get loose with use. I’m certain it’s just your imagination.”
Betsy concluded that Janine must have been right and didn’t think anything of it until after her shower. That’s when she noticed that her normally tight-fitting jeans and blouse were baggy.
“Janine, my clothes feel looser than normal! I’m certain that I’m not imagining it.”
“Hmm, let’s see,” said Janine as she checked the fit of her pants by sliding her thumbs down the front and pulling the waist out. Betsy had a flashback of her mother checking the fit of her clothes when they went shopping for the new school year. But that was decades ago; she shook off the feeling.
“No, They seem to be a good fit for you! I’m sure you’re just focusing on little things because of your temporal blowout last night. You’ll feel better eventually!”
“What did happen last night? I remember you saying that age regression was meant to be horror and little else.”
“Well, let's just say that you went into a funk and leave it at that, Betsy. You ready for breakfast?”
She was. At the breakfast table, she felt ravenous and ate several portions of bacon, eggs, and toast. She still felt hungry afterward and had a large bowl of grits with milk and sugar.
Janine cleared the table and washed the dishes. Betsy didn’t feel like joining in on the clean-up and went to the living room to watch some television.
As Janine finished up in the kitchen, she walked into the living room to see Betsy watching a kid’s show with rapt attention.
She went to the kitchen and filled a sippy cup with some apple juice and gave it to Betsy as she returned.
Betsy accepted the sippy cup and drank from it. No questions asked.
A commercial for a highly sugar-sweetened kid’s cereal came on and Betsy had the desire to get some so she could get the prize inside. She shook her head after realizing that sugary cereals were for kids and returned her attention to the kid’s show as it came back on.
Janine sat back and smiled at her. She wondered if she should tell her that what she had been researching so diligently the last few months had actually started to happen.
Betsy felt her bladder call out for relief. She got up and ran to the bathroom before she peed herself.
Coming back, she tugged up her sagging jeans and sat back down on the floor to watch the end of her show.
Janine pulled out the TV remote and turned off the set.
“Hey, I was watching that!” protested Betsy.
“I think it’s time we discussed your research, Betsy. This time in more detail!”
“Whaddaya mean? I’m through with that. After last night, I’m more than happy being the age that I am!” Protested Betsy.
Janine came over and pulled the protesting Betsy up on her feet. She guided her to her full-length mirror in her bedroom and stood behind her.
“Take a good look, Betsy. What do you see?”
“I already know what I’ll see,” said Betsy, “I’ll see my middle-aged, frumpy self that I always see…”
She did a double-take as she looked at the young woman in the mirror. She could easily be in her late teens, skinny as a rail and…
“Where the heck are my boobs!?” she said as she grabbed the front of her blouse. The bra that normally clung to them crumpled under her hands.
“What the heck is going on?” she pulled the sides of her loose-fitting jeans out and looked at the excessive amount of fabric.
“Looks like you got your wish to be younger,” said Janine.
“Ohmygosh! Wow, I am younger! I look like a teenager,” Betsy let her pants drop and admired the young body that was draped in her baggy blouse. She made a modeler's pose in the mirror as she admired her skinny frame.
“Ah, but Betsy, remember what I said about this genre’s horror?” Janine smiled at her with a not very wholesome grin.
“Oh! That the horror of age regression was that the person didn’t know if the process…” she halted as the realization hit her.
“Would stop,” added Janine, rhetorically.
“But, it has to stop! Hasn’t it already? This is it, right?”
“Only time will tell, my dear! What would you like for lunch?”
“Oh, I don’t know! Maybe some soup and PB&J’s?”
“Let’s get you something suitable to wear first, shall we?” said Janine with a smile of amusement at Betsy’s choice of meal.
Betsy didn’t have much left from her teen years in her closet. Janine seemed to find a pair of tight jeans and a tie-dye t-shirt to wear. She also found a training bra that fit Betsy perfectly.
The two sat down for lunch and once again, Betsy ate heartily. She went through two bowls of soup and several PB&J’s before she realized she was full.
Janine cleaned up the table while Betsy looked for something to do. She finally settled on a coloring book and crayons. She happily colored within the lines while lying on the floor and kicked her legs in the air while humming a tuneless melody.
When Janine finished up in the kitchen, she came into the living room to find Betsy happily coloring while waving her legs in the air. The fact that her pants had covered her feet and were now flopping back and forth hadn’t occurred to Betsy.
She suddenly stopped her activity and hurriedly ran to the bathroom. She left her pants behind, not realizing that she’d stepped out of them after standing up.
Coming back from the bathroom, Betsy looked at Janine with a serious look in her eyes.
“It hasn’t stopped has it?” she asked with a voice an octave higher than it had been previously.
“No, I don’t think it has my dear,” said Janine as she took Betsy’s hand and guided her to her lap.
“Do you think it’ll stop, Mommy?” asked the small tot as she cuddled into Janine’s chest.
“Oh, I’m certain it will. The question is whether you'll need diapers or pull-ups,” reassured Janine.
“I don’t wanna wear no diapy’s, I’m a big girl!” protested Betsy.
“Let’s just wait and see, dear.”
At a dive at the east end of town, a group of people gathered to be social and reinforce the bonds of their clique.
“Has anyone seen Janine and Betsy?” asked Cynthia.
“Oh, yeah! I’ve seen them around. Janine might join us tonight if she can find a babysitter for the night,” answered Richard.
“Despite being a single mother, Janine sure knows the value of friendship, that’s for sure!” piped up Anthony.
The rest all agreed. It is important to take care of your friends! If you didn’t, you never know what could happen.