Another Way, Another Day

by: BackToBabyHood | Complete Story | Last updated Jun 16, 2022

Chapter 5

(Silverstone Household, May 4th, 1994, 12:00 p.m.)

Jocelyn Campbell stood in the backyard of the Silverstone home.  As instructed, she arrived at noon and waited for Amanda’s mother to come out to greet her.  Jocelyn’s eyes widened as she emerged from the house’s back door and walked towards her. 

“Ms. Silverstone……you look so young!  You’re beautiful!” she exclaimed, looking her friend’s mother up and down as she walked to greet her.  The last time she saw her she was in her early 40’s.  Now, she looked like she was in her mid-20’s.

Amanda’s mother blushed, noticing a look on her daughter’s friend’s face that almost seemed lustful.  She shook off the awkward thought, then began to straighten her bangs.  “It’s been quite an adventure, Jocelyn.  I really don’t know how to explain it to you, but whatever they do there, it works.” 

Jocelyn continued to stare in awe at the woman who used to be more than twice her age.  “It’s so trippy……. you kind of look like Amanda if she was….um, how is she?  My mom was talking to Ms. Hart yesterday and she said Meghan is 8 years old, but that can’t be right.  Is Amanda, you know……”

Amanda’s mother crossed her arms, looking down at the ground and worriedly twisting her body while digging her toe into the grass.  “She is.  She’s about that old I’d say.  I’m constantly taking out old photos of her to see where she’s at and I’d say she’s about eight right now, just like Meghan.”

Jocelyn’s mouth formed an “oh” of disbelief as she attempted to process the idea that her friends had been turned back into children.  Now, she was about to see for herself whether or not it was true.  Amanda’s mother looked up, noting that Jocelyn looked apprehensive.

“Please, before you go in there…….I know it’s going to be shocking but you have to try your best to pretend that everything is normal, ok?  I don’t want her to think that you’re here to babysit.  Just act like you’re here to catch up, hang out, whatever.  I’ll be gone for a few hours, so I left some money on the counter in case you want to order pizza or something.  If anything happens, you can page me.  The number is on the fridge.”

Jocelyn looked past Amanda’s mother, staring at the house behind her.  “So, I’ll just ring the doorbell, you’ll answer and we just act like everything is the way it always was?  Does she think like a little girl, too?  Will she even remember me?”

“She hasn’t lost her memories.  Not yet, anyway.  She might not lose them at all.  The doctor told me that it’s different for everyone.  With Amanda, it seems like she has all of her memories, but she’s definitely been acting more and more like a little girl than an adult.  Just……do your best, Jocelyn.”

“But what am I going to do with her?  What does she do these days?” Jocelyn asked, uncertain as to what she’d be doing for the next few hours.

“Well, right now she likes to color and she likes Barbies so…….”

Jocelyn covered her mouth, giggling uncontrollably.  “I’m so sorry, I don’t mean to………look, it’s ok.  I’ll be fine,” she assured, regaining her composure.  “I guess I really am babysitting.  I just won’t tell Amanda that.”

Jocelyn’s mother began to chuckle.  “Yes, exactly!  Gosh, I could have made that a lot simpler if I had just said that in the first place, huh?  No wonder you’re going to Harvard!”

With that, Amanda’s mother returned to the house and Jocelyn walked around to its front door.  Jocelyn waited a few seconds, then rang the doorbell.

“Mommy, she’s here!” she heard a high-pitched voice exclaim, followed by the sound of footsteps approaching.  Amanda’s mother opened the front door, feigning delight at seeing Jocelyn for the first time.

“Jocelyn!  Thanks for coming!  It’s been so long!  Amanda’s waiting in the living room.  Come on in!”

Jocelyn entered the house as Amanda’s mother shut the door behind her.  She walked towards the living room and saw Amanda sitting on the floor, clutching a Barbie doll in one hand and the TV remote in the other. 

Jocelyn’s mouth was agape.  There was Amanda, clad in overalls and a white t-shirt with her hair in a ponytail, aided by a scrunchy.  They had really done it.  Her mother was right.  Amanda was a little girl again, which meant Meghan was, too.

“Sooooo………what’s up, MandaBear?” she asked, using one of Amanda’s pet names.

“Not much, just watchin’ TV and playin’ Barbies” she said, holding up the doll to show Jocelyn.

“Wow, cool Amanda!  That sounds like a lot of fun!” she said in a tone that was unintentionally patronizing. 

“Wanna watch Full House?” she asked, flipping through the channels to find the sitcom.

“Yea, that sounds good.  We can hang out and watch Full House” Jocelyn said, taking a seat on the couch. 

Amanda’s mother gathered her car keys and purse, then made her way towards the door.  “Amanda, Mommy will be back in a few hours, ok?  You two have fun!” she said before mouthing “Thank You!” to Jocelyn.  Jocelyn shot back a thumbs up and a wink and with that, the two were watching TV together. 

(Ponce’s Drug & Pharmacy, 2:00 p.m.)

Amanda’s mother stared at the array of items displayed on the shelves.

“There’s so many more choices now………Pampers, Huggies, Luvs…….” she said to herself as she browsed the various disposable diapers that were available for purchase.  So far, she’d only placed a few bottles of baby powder and some wipes in her shopping cart, but now she had to decide what brand of diapers her daughter would be wearing once she reached the end of her treatment.  She examined the various boxes and bags, turning them around and reading about their purported merits.  She ultimately decided on Pampers Phases for girls.  After all, Amanda wore Pampers her first time as a baby.  It seemed fitting that she wear them the second time around. 

Additionally, she realized that her daughter would enter a period where she couldn’t be in cotton panties anymore, but was also not diaper dependent.  Amanda had basically been potty trained by the time she was three and a half years old, but she would still have accidents even at four and five years old.  She thought she’d have to buy cotton training panties like she did the first time Amanda was learning to use the toilet, but she spotted something that wasn’t around when Amanda was being potty trained the first time: Pull-Ups.  She picked them up and stared at the little girl on the package, her hair in pigtails and flashing a big smile.  The appeal of not having to wash soiled trainers appealed greatly to her and she decided to add them to her shopping cart. 

She then remembered Doctor Gembella’s advice about letting her daughter lose her independence in a gradual, natural way.  She walked to the end of the aisle where the plastic training potties were displayed and added one to the cart.  She knew Amanda would eventually be too small to sit on a normal toilet, so she decided to let her use a training potty until she was ready to be put back into diapers. 

Afterwards, she stocked up on bottles, baby food and formula.  She also grabbed pacifiers, as well as cream in case Amanda developed diaper rash.  When she was done gathering the remaining items she needed, she went to the checkout, paid for her things and went out to the parking lot to load the car.  Amanda’s new furniture was being held at the store and would be delivered the same day she requested so, right after Goodwill came and took away Amanda’s bed and dresser set, along with the clothes within them.  Amanda’s mother prayed that she could distract her daughter while all of this was going on, so she bought her a multitude of toys to play with in the backyard as the last remnants of her former life were taken away from their household without her having to watch.  Her shopping complete, she got in her car and made her way back home.

(Silverstone Household, May 4th, 1994, 2:00 p.m.)

After an hour of Full House and another hour of Saved by the Bell, Amanda asked Jocelyn if she wanted to color with her.  Amanda laid out the crayons and construction paper while Jocelyn went to the bathroom, taking her purse with her.  She emerged a few minutes later, although Amanda noticed she seemed different somehow.  Soon, the pair were each working on their respective pictures.

As the two sat and colored in silence, Amanda looked over at Jocelyn and noticed her crayon was already worn down halfway.  Jocelyn was pressing very hard on the paper and coloring very fast, which caused the crayon to snap.  Jocelyn turned to Amanda, dropping her broken crayon.

“The police came to my house a few days ago, Amanda.  Isn’t that weird?” she said, switching to a different colored crayon. 

Amanda stared up at Jocelyn, confused.  “Why’d they come to your house?  Did something happen?” she asked innocently.

“They asked me if I had anything to do with what happened to Evelin” Jocelyn replied, tapping her fingers on the table rapidly.

Amanda began to feel uneasy by her friend’s seemingly agitated state.   “But…… would they know?” she asked, putting her crayon down.  She pushed her chair back from the table a bit, frightened by the look Jocelyn was giving her.  Jocelyn looked almost as big to her as her mother did, which didn’t bother her before.  Now, though, she began to feel uneasy.

“Anonymous tip” Jocelyn replied in an angry, snarky tone.

“But…….but I didn’t say nothin’ to the police man that night.  He asked where I got the pill and I said from a boy at another school……..”

Jocelyn stood up and walked over to Amanda, grabbing her by the arm.  “Hey…….Jossey……let go……’re hurting me Jossey!” she stammered, her eyes wide with fear and confusion.  Jocelyn lifted her from her chair and pulled her towards the couch. 

“Jossey?  Jossey, stop!  I didn’t tell anybody!” she pleaded.  Jocelyn ignored Amanda’s pleas, then sat her down on the couch.  Jocelyn stood above her, towering over Amanda with her hands on her hips.

“Listen, you little bitch.  I don’t know if it was you, or if it was Meghan.  All I know is that you’re the only one I had a problem with that night, ok?  You threw a little shit fit because Gavin was flirting with me and ignoring you.  Meghan pulled me aside and told me to stay away from him because of how jealous it was making you.  So, I guess you didn’t say anything to the cops to get back at me for stealing your crush?” she accused with her eyebrows raised, waiting for Amanda to answer.

Amanda shrunk back in the couch, terrified by her friend’s sudden aggression.  “I didn’t, Jossey!  I swear I didn’t!  I promise!”

Jocelyn continued to stare down at the little girl, unconvinced by her answer.  “Cut the shit, Amanda.  I know how you are.  You always hated it when boys paid attention to me!  You’ve been trying to get with Gavin since we were sophomores.  You were just pissed that I got him before you did and that’s why you tried to rat me out!”

Amanda began to tear up, hurt by Jocelyn’s accusations.  She had tried to protect her friend and now she was accusing her of being a traitor.   “Jossey……I was mad but I knew you weren’t doin’ it on purpose!  You took X and it made you wanna kiss Gavin……we’re friends, Jossey!  That’s why I didn’t tell on you!”

“Friends?!  You think we’re still friends?  Do you think I care about our friendship?  Look at you!  You’re a fucking eight-year-old!  What do you think we have in common now?  I’m going to Harvard this year and you’re playing with Barbie dolls!  You think I came here to hang out with you?”

Tears began to flow down Amanda’s cheeks as Jocelyn yelled at her.  Her words hurt her to her core and her heart was a mess of pain and confusion.  “Then…..then why’d you come?  Why’d you come if we aren’t friends anymore?” she asked with teary-eyed, naïve innocence.

Jocelyn rolled her eyes, then turned her back to the little girl.  “I came here to make sure you don’t fuck up my future…….” she said, walking to her purse and taking out a plastic bag filled with white powder.  She put a line on the picture she had been coloring, then snorted it right in front of Amanda.  She rubbed her nose, clearing the excess powder away and then walked back towards the sniveling child.  She tossed the bag on the table in front of Amanda, took a Polaroid camera out of her purse and snapped a picture.  Amanda sat on the couch, staring at Jocelyn in confusion. 

“Pick it up, Amanda.  I said PICK IT UP!” she screamed, startling Amanda.  She picked the bag up, holding it in her hands as Jocelyn snapped another Polaroid.  She then placed two bottles of pills on the coffee table, photographing them along with Amanda holding the bag with the white powder.  

Amanda began to cry again, confused as to what Jocelyn was doing.  She didn’t understand but knew something was very wrong.  She started sobbing as Jocelyn took the bag away from her, along with the pills and placed them back in her purse.

Jocelyn sat down on the couch next to Amanda, putting her arm around her.  “Shhhhh, there, there, MandaBear.  Here, sit on Jossey’s lap.  She’s not going to hurt you.”  Amanda did so, not out of a desire to be consoled but out of fear of what would happen if she didn’t.  Jocelyn gently grabbed her by the chin, turning her head to face her.

“Now, I want you to listen carefully, ok?” she began, speaking to Amanda in a narrative tone, as if she was telling her a bedtime story.

“The police are going to come and take a statement from widdle MandaBear soon.  They’ll want to know if you lied about who gave you the X.  They’ll want to know if your friend Jossey helped you spike Evelin’s drink.   And when they do, what’s MandaBear going to say?”

Amanda tried to look away, but Jocelyn firmly turned her face back towards her.  “But……but I’m ‘sposed to tell them the truth if the police come.  That’s what the judge lady said.  She said that if the police come and ask me any questions, I hafta…….”

Jocelyn clenched her teeth, as if restraining herself from biting Amanda’s nose off.

“I could give two FUCKS about what the judge said.  You’re going to tell them what you told them before, that it was just you and Meghan.  You.  Meghan.  That’s it.  No Jossey.  Because if you don’t, I’m going to make sure the police see these” Jocelyn said, holding up the photos in front of Amanda’s face.  Jocelyn regained her composure, returning to her “story telling” voice while grinning.

“Do you know what would happen if the police knew your mother was raising you in a house with drugs laying around?  Do you?”

“No……” Amanda squeaked.

“They would take you away from your mommy.  They’d take poor little MandaBear and put her in an orphanage.  You’d never see your mother again, Amanda.  Wouldn’t that be awful?”

The thought was too awful for Amanda to even fathom.  She nodded her head as she began to cry at the thought of being separated from her mother.  Jocelyn released her chin from her grasp and held her in her arms, stroking her hair and shushing her. 

“Shhhhh, shhhhhh.  That’s a good girl.  No more crying.  No more tears.  Now, what’s little MandaBear going to do if the police come to her house and ask if her friend Jossey had anything to do with Evelin getting sick?” she asked in an insincerely sweet tone of voice.

“S-say it was me and M-Meghan and that Jossey didn’t want us to do it.  J-Jossey told us it was a bad idea but we did it anyway………..” Amanda answered, her little lips trembling.

“And where did you get the X from?”

“From a boy at another s-school” she whimpered, wiping her nose with her sleeve.

“Good girl.  Such a smart little girl, aren’t you?  Maybe when you grow up again, you’ll get to go to an Ivy League school!  Now, you go back to coloring.  Jossey is going to watch TV until your mother comes back.”

Amanda jumped off of Jocelyn’s lap and ran back to the table.  She picked up a crayon and began to color, her hand shaking as she finished her drawing.  The minutes passed like hours.  No further words were exchanged.  Finally, Amanda’s mother arrived back home. 

Amanda ran to her mother, giving her a big hug.  “I missed you so much, Mommy!  I really missed you!” she exclaimed in a way that practically sounded euphoric.  Amanda’s mother wanted to pick her up and hold her, but realized that it might embarrass her in front of Jocelyn.  She knelt down, hugging her daughter and kissing her cheek. 

“Did you have a good time with Jocelyn?” she asked Amanda.  She turned around and looked at Jocelyn, who shot her a smile that was vaguely threatening.  “Yea Mommy, we had a lot of fun!  Jocelyn is the best!  She played with me all day!” she exclaimed.  Amanda’s mother paused, her intuition detecting something off in her daughter’s voice.

Jocelyn got up from the couch and made her way to her purse, picking it up and walking towards Amanda and her mother to say goodbye. 

“Well, it was good seeing you guys.  Maybe I can come by and Amanda and I can hang out again before I go away to college!” Jocelyn said, crouching down to give Amanda a hug.  Amanda’s mother noticed her daughter tense up as Jocelyn put her arms around her, adding fuel to her suspicions that something was amiss. 

As Jocelyn closed the front door behind her, Amanda’s mother looked down at the picture her daughter colored.  Half of the page consisted of straight, uniform lines.  The other half looked as if it had been colored during an earthquake.  She looked over at her daughter, who sat on the couch, curled up in the fetal position with her Barbie doll. 

Something wasn’t right.  It didn’t take a Harvard grad to figure that out.



End Chapter 5

Another Way, Another Day

by: BackToBabyHood | Complete Story | Last updated Jun 16, 2022


To comment, Join the Archive or Login to your Account

The AR Story Archive

Stories of Age/Time Transformation

Contact Us