Chapter Description: Brandon gets Christmas Vacation, as any 9-Year-Old would.
"Mom, I’m home." Alex dropped his bag by the door of the trailer. His family
lived in Happy Hills trailer park, in a suburb near Boston. Needless to say, they didn’t have much money.
"Mom?" he yelled again. It’s not like she couldn’t hear him, they only had two rooms.
"Honey, come in here." Alex turned into his bedroom to find his mom there. He didn’t have a father, because... He didn’t want to get into it.
Alex was surprised to find his Mom with a different woman, she was short and looked in her forties or early fifties.
"This is Mrs. Figg." said Mom. "Sit down. We need to have a chat."
Alex stared at his mother for a long time.
"Your making me younger?" he thought of how absurd that sounded. "Is that even possible?"
"Yes." said Mom. "Mrs. Figg is going to give us fifty thousand dollars to test it out. It will be good, honey. You will be able to grow up again, but in a real house, with a real life!"
"I have a real life!" He yelled. "I’m going to collage next year and I have a girlfriend! You can’t do this to me. It can’t be legal."
"It is, if your mother has agreed" said Mrs. Figg.
"Besides honey." said Mom. "we wouldn’t be able to afford collage for you. You would be stuck here with me. Now, we can at least have a source of income again."
"You won’t have to worry about collage anyway." said Mrs. Figg. "soon, you will only be worrying about getting dirty, playing outside, and wishing you were as cool and mature as those grow ups who get to go to collage."
"That was seven months ago." said Alex
"And that was it?" I(Brandon) said, "They just took you away?"
"Yep." said Alex. "And I’ve been regressing ever since."
"Regressing?" I asked, "What’s that mean?"
"It means to rewind, become younger, lose progress." Alex didn’t like talking about it. "I’ve lost all my friends, all the work I’ve done, and soon, I won’t even remember losing it. I’ll just be a dirty little kid who only likes Mac n Cheese and hates baths."
"We should make a pact." I decided to say. "Let’s make a pact to help each other not to forget our old lives, We’re both going into the fourth grade, it shouldn’t be that difficult to hold on to ourselves. Then, we can just goof off, and be little kids for a little while, but we will always know who we really are."
"Hm....Sure." said Alex. "Yah, that sounds good. It’s a deal"
The next few weeks were the best that I had since before the procedure. Instead of being sullen and fighting the urge to be a bit silly, Alex and I embraced it. We ran around at recess, played hopscotch, traded Pokemon cards, among other things. We said to ourselves that this wasn’t us letting Mrs. Figg win, because we both still were teenagers at heart, and knew we were really above these children.
Every once and awhile, one of us would have a lapse in memory, and the other one had to snap them out of it. One time, I started babbling about what it would be like next year in sixth grade, and how cool it would be to be older, and Alex had to remind me that wasn’t the case. I remembered pretty quick. I’m sure that by now, if we hadn’t met, we would both be mentally gone.
I did keep noticing slight changes, however. One of the things I did to keep hold of myself was to watch NCIS or some other crime scene investigation show. I was still able to comprehend it until a week ago. I was watching, and realized I had no idea what was happening. They were talking about Blow and Weed, and I really had no idea what that meant. Was he a gardener?
It also recently occurred to me that I no longer knew where babies came from. I asked Alex the next day, and he reinformed me. I think if one of us did ever lose ourselves, it won’t be him.
A few days before Christmas, Alex started telling me about Santa.
"He’s this fat guy who brings you presents, for free! My mom said he only brings it if your good though." Alex seemed extremely excited.
"Santa isn’t real." I said bluntly. "Just made up to subdue the energy of little kids like us."
"Yah haw he’s real!" said Alex.
"How old are you?" I asked. A common question between us lately, to make sure.
"I’m Ten---- I mean seventeen. Crap, I did it again, didn’t I?" Alex said.
The more I thought about Santa, though, the more he became real to me. There was no way my parents would lie to me like that, Santa had to be real!
Our post office has one of those bins that goes to the North Pole. I wrote Santa a list of things I wanted. It was pretty short.
What I couldn’t comprehend at the time was that the list goes right back to the parents. My mom looked at the one thing I wanted and her heart broke.
This year, I don’t want a car, a new phone, a new bike, or anything of that nature. This
year, all I want is to be Sixteen on my birthday. That is all,
Brandon Fredrick’s, Age 10
She showed his dad. "Ive been thinking... She said. "Maybe this wasn’t right for him. Maybe we should stop the process"
"Hey honey." said dad. "Just give It a little more time. He’ll get used to it."
As the days got on, the holidays came. Of coarse, I didn’t get what I wished for, only a gameboy (to replace my phone) and a few sets of Legos. I knew that Santa probably couldn’t interfere with things like this, so I forgave him.
During Christmas vacation, my family decided to go on a ski trip. Mom and Dad apparently thought it would cheer me up a bit. Fact is,it didn’t.
Im an amazing skier. I was thinking about going for the Olympics when I was old enough. However, I learned how to ski when I was 12. So right now, I had no idea what to do.
I fell down so many times that I was numb everywhere. Finally, Mom decided to get me a lesson with a ski pro.
"It’s his first time." she said to the instructor, "He just turned nine."
I didn’t really take in anything he taught me, because I knew I would just forget anyway. After the instructor failed to teach me anything, we just went home.
New Years was really weird. Usually on new years, my family talked about how the year was as a whole, and things we would try to do for next year. My dad also used to let me have a sip of champagne at the strike of midnight, just to express how much of a man I had become. Not this year, this year I got a sippy cup with some juicy-juice in it. I asked if I could at least have a soda, but apparently I’m not even allowed that, now.
As Dick Clark on TV counted down the last minute to midnight (Poorly), I also recounted my crappy year. Back in august, I remembered being annoyed that I had shrunk an inch. Now, I was about 4’3" and I couldn’t even reach a cabinet anymore.
"5" said Dick Clark on the television.
I was only nine, now.
I probably couldn’t get into a PG movie alone.
I couldn’t even cross a street alone.
I could barely understand adult words anymore.
I was going to be stuck as a little kid, without dignity and stupid as hell.
"Happy New Year!" said Dick, two seconds late. I silently drank my juice and went to my bed, and cried myself to sleep.