I could hear Becky crying over my dead body that wasn't really dead. Of course, I didn't know where my body was.
I let out a scream and slapped my hands over my mouth.
"Tiffany?" J called loudly. "What's going on?"
"N-nuttin!" I stammered in my high voice. I stared at the pretty wide-eyed face in the mirror.
What if I had gotten some random pregnant chicks body and the random pregnant chick had gotten my body? What if that girl was running around whoring it up? I mean, after all, Howie and AJ knew where there bodies were even if they weren't in control of them.
My palms were beginning to sweat. Becky was worried I was dead or cheating. I could guarantee her I wasn't dead...
I screamed again. What if the chick who had gotten my body hated men and killed herself? My gorgeous form could be laying in an alleyway right now!
There was a noise at the lock and a second later Brian slid through, key in hand.
"What's that?" I asked. He held up the key.
"A key to the bathroom door. I have a key to all the doors. Y'know, cause it's my place."
"Why didn't you use them before?"
"I don't like barging in on people!" he exclaimed. He ran a hand over his forehead. "Damnit, this is getting worse and worse."
I suddenly realized I didn't hear Beckers anymore. "Where'd she go?"
"She's in the living room. She thought maybe you had gone into labor." Bri's eyes suddenly shot down to the floor. "You're not, are you?"
"No!" I said. At least I didn't think I was. I would have felt at least a little something right? All the chicks I knew always complained it hurt. A lot.
"Why were you screaming?"
"I just had a thought," I said. "What if the chick has my body?"
"The chick I am now!"
"I'm so confused," Brian muttered. He seemed to need a moment to think it over. When the pieces finally felt into place, his eyes widened to the point of no return.
"You think some chick is walking around like you?"
"Crap. That could be bad. Really bad." He stared at my chest. I folded my arms and glared. He tried to diffuse the situation with a cute smile. It worked. "But what's the possibility that it would be a chick from anywhere around here?" he asked. "Even if that did happen it would probably be a girl from some small town no one's heard ab--"
"NICK'S ON TV!" AJ screamed at the top of his lungs.
Feeling like I was going to pass out again, I sat down on the toilet. Bri waved his hand.
"I'm sure we heard him wrong. I bet--"
"NICK'S RUNNING NAKED DOWN RODEO DRIVE!" AJ bellowed. "HE'S BEING CHASED BY A HERD OF GIRLS!
"WHAT THE HELL IS HE DOING?" Becky shrieked. "WHY IS HE NAKED?"
"Oh my god," I mumbled. "I'm going to be stuck like this forever. I'm going to have to find a baby daddy and go on food stamps and--"
"STOP FOR A SECOND!" Bri grabbed my shoulders and shook. I looked up in surprise. My bottom lip quivered.
"Don't you cry," he warned. "I can't stand it when you girls cry."
"You shook me," I said in a tiny voice. He dropped his hands and squatted down.
"Listen, I think AJ and I are going to need to track your body down," he said more calmly than I think he really was. "I'm going to talk Becky into hanging out with you. This is your chance. Find out more about her. Redeem yourself."
Before it's too late wasn't spoken, but the words hung in the air between us. I sniffled. Bri reached out and brushed my hair away from my cheek gently. I never noticed how pretty his eyes were before.
"It's going to be okay. I promise you," he whispered. He stood up, kissed my cheek and left the bathroom. I sighed.
I knew that if we ever got all this figured out, that somehow, some way, I was going to learn to be as good of a husband as Brian.
Either that, or I was going to have to steal him from Leighanne so he could be my baby-daddy...
AJ drives like a maniac. I had my seat belt on and pulled tight across my chest and my eyes closed as he ducked and weaved his huge truck through traffic. I clung to the handle over my window and mumbled the lyrics to a Chris Tomlin song to keep my nerves down. AJ glanced over at me, "What's wrong with you?"
"You drive like a crazy person," I whimpered.
"At least I've never gotten a ticket for driving too slow," he said pointedly - referencing this one time when I got pulled over for going too far under the minimum speed limit on an expressway.
I swear, some people never forgive you for things like that.
When he finally screeched his way into a parking space along Rodeo, I leaped out of the truck (literally, it was so high I pratically needed a parachute) and sprinted in the direction AJ had said "Nick" had been going on TV while he stuggled to swipe his credit card through the parking meter. As I was running, I started hearing the faint rumble of screaming girls ahead of me, and knew I was getting closer.
Then I heard them.
"Oh God, no," I muttered. I sped up, trying to outrun the police that were evidently on their way. I yanked my backpack from my back and started pulling out the clothing of Nick's that we'd shoved into the bag. I turned a corner and there he was, standing in a water fountain.
"I WANT MY BABY!!!" he was yelling, "I WANT MY FUCKING BABY! WHERE THE HELL IS THAT BITCH NURSE?! WHERE IS SHE!!!!"
Oh. My. God.
I shoved through a throng of people that had gathered around. Several paparazzi stood to one side, their flash bulbs going off, shouting over here, Nick, over here! Several murmurs of "oh my God, Brian's here, too!" snaked through the crowd as I shoved, trying desperately to beat the cops to Nick's body. The sirens were still blaring, but I'd definitely arrived before they had.
I got to the fountain and shouted, "Nick!"
He didn't respond.
Of course he didn't respond. This wasn't really Nick - it was whoever Tiffany really was. Whatever her real name was.
"HEY!" I bellowed, "HEY!" When there was still no response, I reached up and grabbed for his hand but missed and grabbed --
Something of Nick's I never wanted to grab. Ever.
Stunned by the touch, "Nick" looked down and our eyes met. Panic went through them. "Don't touch me!" he yelled, "Don't touch me! I want my breasts back!"
Several people in the crowd cracked up. One mumbled "How high is this guy? Jesus."
"Please," I begged, "Some cops are coming... and I can help you. Just get down, put these clothes on, and we'll get you home."
"I WANT MY MOTHER FUCKIN' BABY!"
I swallowed. "I know where your baby is," I hissed.
Nick froze. Looked down at me. "You do?"
"Yes," I answered. "Now please... Before you get arrested. Please."
Fifteen minutes later, we were sitting in AJ's truck, stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic Nick's body was back in his dirty sweats and boat-sized sneakers and AJ was sitting in the driver's seat, snickering at the image of Nick standing buck-naked on a fountain screaming for breasts and babies. "I cannot wait to YouTube this," he chuckled, "Oh God, I can't wait."
"Where's my baby?"
"Relax, you didn't give birth yet," I said quietly. "Well Nick didn't give birth. Oh God. This is so confusing."
"What's your name, snookums?" AJ asked.
"Lorraine," she replied, "But my friends all call me Lainey."
"Okay, Lainey," AJ grinned.
"Stop it," I snapped at AJ, "Don't hit on her, she's a dude. You're sick."
"You're hitting on Nick," he pointed out.
"He's a chick!" I said.
"You're hitting on me?" Lainey asked.
"No," AJ said, turning red.
"I didn't mean you," she said pointedly to AJ, "I know you are. I meant you," she looked at me. "You're hitting on my body?"
I turned red.
"Yeah, with his male best friend inside it," AJ added.
Lainey turned red. "You guys aren't like feeling me up and shit right?"
AJ blinked rapidly and turned to face forward. He clearly didn't want to talk about his sandwiches theory from earlier that day. I sighed, "No, we're all married men and..." I stopped. "Oh GOD," I muttered.
"What?" AJ and Lainey both asked at the same exact time.
"AJ, we can't go back to my place with - with--" I looked at Lainey/Nick, "---uh, them," I stammered.
"Why the fuck not?" AJ asked.
"Because," I said, "Becky's there. Nick doesn't want Becky to know he's a woman."
"He'd rather she think he was buck naked on a fountain on Rodeo drive screaming for breasts?" he asked.
"Well I don't know, but... but.. until I have a chance to talk to him, could you keep Lainey with you at your house?"
"Why can't we just switch bodies back?" Lainey demanded. "I don't like this man body."
"Do you know how to switch back?" I asked. Lainey shook her head. "Well there ya have it. We'll get you two together and try to figure it out after I have a chance to get Becky out of my house and talk to Nick."
AJ sighed. "Rochelle is gonna be so freaked out..."
"You can't tell Rochelle," I snapped.
"WHAT?" AJ's eyes widened, "Dude, how the hell do I sneak this Nick-woman into my house without RoRo knowing he's a she?"
"The same way I'm avoiding explaining to Leighanne that she's a he!" I yelled.
AJ smacked his forehead, "This out of body shit? It needs to stop. I need Tylenol."