Chapter Description: Mikey has gone through a traumatic event and it's time to go to his new home. However, before they get to Milena's house they have to stop at Mikey's place to pick some things up.
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Mikey walked through the hospital and out to Milena’s car. He felt somewhat robotic as he sat in the passenger seat, he felt strange sitting down in a car without a booster seat. When Milena sat down she could clearly see something was bothering him.
“Everything alright?” Milena asked as she put the keys in the ignition.
“It’s just…” Mikey shifted in his seat and pulled the seat belt, “Mom has… had a special seat for me. They said it was what saved me…”
“What kind of seat?” Milena asked. She suddenly realised getting into a car might be quite traumatic for Mikey bearing in mind what happened the last time.
“A booster seat.” Mikey said quietly.
“Oh, well, I guess we can see about getting a new one.” Milena patted Mikey on the back.
Mikey was surprised. He had often been bullied or laughed at when people saw him sitting in a booster seat like a toddler. More than a few times he had begged his mom to stop making him sit in it but she always insisted. He hadn’t expected to miss it.
The car pulled out of the parking lot soon afterwards. Mikey looked out of the window, he felt tense for sure but it wasn’t as bad as he expected to be back in a car. He was grateful for a change of scenery after a week staring at the ceiling of the hospital. After a few minutes he started feeling more comfortable and started relaxing a little.
“If you are feeling up to it I thought we could swing past your place.” Milena said after a few minutes of quiet driving, “So you can pick up a few things. Is that alright?”
“I think so.” Mikey replied.
As the car pulled up at the curb Mikey felt like a chill ran through him. It was so strange to think that his mother wasn’t in there waiting for him. He supposed he was still in quite a bit of shock because he felt like the full weight of everything that had happened should make him inconsolable with grief.
“Come on.” Milena said softly with a hand on Mikey’s shoulder, “I’ll be with you.”
Mikey briefly flickered a smile. He was grateful to not be alone and if his mom had decided Milena was the person best suited to look after him he wasn’t going to disagree. Mikey opened his door and stepped out on to the pavement, with Milena close behind he walked up the garden path. Against the front door there were some flowers that had been left by neighbours.
“That’s nice.” Milena muttered as she picked them up, “We’ll take these back to my house. I should have a vase for them somewhere.”
Mikey opened the front door and stepped inside. He let Milena know that his stuff was in his bedroom and he walked up the stairs. When he pushed open his room’s door he felt almost surprised to see that everything was right where it had been left. With the complete uprooting of his life Mikey almost felt like his room should’ve somehow been a mess.
Mikey’s bedroom was hardly usual for an eighteen-year-old man. In fact little had changed since he had been a baby. The walls were a baby blue with white clouds painted on the upper half though after many years they had faded and grown somewhat dirty. The bed still had childish sheets on it and a lot of his old toys, although not played with, hadn’t been thrown away.
Mikey pulled a suitcase out of his closet and opened it on his bed. He started taking as much clothing as he could and piling it into his case. It felt strange, he wasn’t sure if he would be coming back to this house ever again, he didn’t know what the future held at all.
Mikey walked over to his chest of drawers. He looked over his shoulder towards the bedroom door to make sure he was still alone and then pulled open the top drawer. He looked down at the diapers he usually wore to bed. The tightly packed white plastic underwear laid in piles and took up the whole space. There was no way he could transport the whole lot with him in his suitcase. He wanted to keep them secret as well, he didn’t want Milena to know he still needed them. Without his mom to protect him he felt an obligation to be a man, diapers were something he had to leave behind.
Pulling out a few of the diapers Mikey closed the drawer and went over to his suitcase. He had just placed the padding on top of his clothes when he heard the bedroom door suddenly open. He slammed the lid of the suitcase down and spun around to block the view. Milena was stood in the doorway looking a little unsure.
“Is everything OK?” Milena asked. It was clear from her voice that she suspected something was up.
“Yes.” Mikey replied a little too quickly.
“Do you need any help?” Milena continued after taking a moment to look around the room.
“I’m fine.” Mikey replied.
“Alright. I’ll be right out here if you need anything.” Milena gave a little smile, lingered for a couple of seconds and then left the room and pulled the door to.
Milena stepped back into the hallway and slowly walked down the landing. Her mind was going a mile a minute and her old friend’s house was only bringing up more questions. Mikey’s room didn’t look anything like she had imagined. She had thought there would be posters of women or rock bands, she had expected a mess on the floor and all sorts of teenage and young adult paraphernalia but had instead found something between a nursery and a child’s bedroom.
“What was happening here, Nadine?” Milena asked her dead friend.
Milena continued down the hallway and saw another bedroom with the door open. It was Nadine’s room. It had the strangest aura, a room that wouldn’t be used again but was ready for it’s owner to come home at any moment. She knew she shouldn’t go snooping around her dead friend’s things but she noticed something on the bedside table that made her pause.
After making sure Mikey was still in his room Milena stepped inside and walked up to the bedside table. Sitting on the top of the table right next to an alarm clock was a breast pump. Milena owned more than a few pumps of her own thanks to her therapy, it was unmistakable.
Milena picked the pump up and turned it in her hands. She was frowning as she tried to comprehend why Nadine owned one of these. Had she been expecting another child? Neither the hospital nor Mikey had said anything about it.
On a hunch Milena went back downstairs and into the kitchen. She pulled open the freezer and had to stifle a gasp when she saw a huge stash of what could only be expressed mother's milk in tell-tale bags, labelled and dated. Nadine must have been pumping milk for a local milk bank, she mused. Odd that she was still lactating so long after weaning Mikey, though.
She hurried out into the hallway just in time to see Mikey dragging his overloaded suitcase around the corner at the bottom of the stairs. He looked up at her but she had already donner her poker face.
“Ready to go?” Milena asked.
The drive from Mikey and Nadine’s house to Milena’s was about three hours. On the trip over the car remained mostly quiet. Mikey’s mind was focused on the diapers in his bag and how he would hide them, he just couldn’t let Milena know how pathetic he was that he still wet the bed. Milena on the other hand was still pondering the breast pump and milk. She had maintained her milk supply after inducing for Mikey so many years ago by a steady schedule of pumping for clients and the local milk bank, as well as her much preferred method of nursing her patients. Using the comfort of her breasts as part of her regression therapy sessions was a sure-fire method to take a patient back to the safety and comfort of infancy, and Milena herself found it enjoyable, but she didn’t know why Nadine would still be doing it. She had seemed so adamant about weaning Mikey when he turned 4 years old...
“So what have you been up to all these years?” Milena asked eventually to try and distract herself from speculation, “What did you do at school?”
“Not much.” Mikey replied.
“Do you like sport?” Milena continued, “I’ve been a big baseball fan for a little while now. Maybe we could get tickets to a game.”
“I guess.” Mikey shrugged as he spoke.
To Milena it was like talking to a stone wall but that was understandable. She had to be patient with her new charge, he was a young man trying to find his footing in life and had just been dealt a horrendous blow. In fact, considering the loss he had suffered it was remarkable Mikey was doing as well as he was.
When the car rolled to a stop in the driveway of Milena’s house they didn’t immediately get out. Mikey looked at the new place he would be staying, it was an impressive house. It was bigger than what he had been used to at least. He had to keep reminding himself this wasn’t a place he was just visiting, it was his home now. It was difficult to believe he may never go back to the house that had been his home as long as he could remember.
“Milena, how are you?” A voice came from the driveway next door, “Everything OK? I saw you rushing off earlier.”
Mikey watched as Milena got out of the car. The voice was coming from the fence and now he could see who it belonged to. A beautiful and young looking woman with black hair was smiling over the waist-high fence with a small child in her arms. Mikey followed Milena’s lead in stepping out of the car and grabbing his bag.
“Hi Demi.” Milena said, “It’s a bit of a story. I’ll tell you later.”
“Sure.” Demi was looking over at Mikey with a frown.
Mikey watched Milena take a deep breath and walk up to the fence. She leant forwards and whispered to the next door neighbours but Mikey was too far away to hear any of it. He instead stared at Demi’s breasts which were scarcely smaller than Milena’s or his mother’s. There must be something in the water in this town that caused women to grow much larger than normal.
Mikey saw Demi’s face go from a warm smile through shock, sadness and by the time Milena leaned back she was covering her face with her free hand and seemingly on the verge of tears. She nodded her head and gave Mikey a pitying look as Milena turned away.
“Come on, let’s get you settled in.” Milena said. She reached for Mikey’s bag to take it in for him but the young man pulled it away.
Milena just smiled and went to the front door. Mikey followed and they were soon inside. As the door closed behind him Mikey stood awkwardly nearby unsure of where to go. His first impressions of the house were positive, it was clean and tidy and felt comfortable.
“Let me show you up to your room.” Milena said as she passed Mikey and started up the stairs, “Can I help you with your bag?”
“I’m fine.” Mikey replied as he started dragging the suitcase up. It was clear to everyone that he was struggling with it.
Mikey was a frail boy and with even the best will in the world he would struggle to carry such a suitcase. He knew he was very small and weak but he wouldn’t let Milena help, partly out of wanting to show he wasn’t as pathetic as he might seem and partly because he didn’t want the woman to find his diapers.
“Why don’t you let me he-” Milena started as they neared the top of the stairs.
“Just let me do it!” Mikey exclaimed. His frustration boiled over.
By the time the two of them had reached the top of the stairs. Mikey was red in the face and sweating a little bit. As he took a moment to get his breath back he saw Milena looking down at him with concern. He took a deep breath and picked up the suitcase again. With a nod of the head he let Milena he was ready for her to proceed.
“It’s not much.” Milena said as she pushed the door open, “But you can have it for as long as you want and you’re free to decorate however you want.”
“Thanks.” Mikey said simply as he pulled his suitcase in and dropped it in the middle of the floor.
The room was doubtlessly bare but it also looked comfortable. There was a large window on one side that overlooked the road outside, a small desk was sitting underneath it. There was a chest of drawers to one side and a closet to the other. On the opposite wall was a standard wooden bed.
“I’ll let you get settled in.” Milena said as she gave Mikey a pat on the back, “I’ll call you down when dinner is ready.”
Mikey waited for Milena to leave before opening his suitcase. Seeing the diapers and clothes his mom had bought him he suddenly felt overcome with grief yet again. He flipped the lid closed and took a deep steadying breath, he could worry about unpacking another time. Instead he pulled out his laptop that had been in the backpack over his shoulders and started setting it up on the desk.
It was nice to be able to get back to some semblance of normality. Mikey logged on to his computer and found a few messages from people offering their condolences. He had never had many friends being the quiet bullied kid and most of the messages had come from family that he never really saw. He didn’t care though, he didn’t want to read any messages about how people were sorry for him and instead opened a folder of home videos and pictures of his mom to distract himself.
Stories of Age/Time Transformation