This is so cool Everyone is gonna think I'm my own dad! Well, time for this GROWN UP to go into my grown up work building! Yep. Just gonna walk in there in my SUIT and be an ADULT.
"Oh...uh...Good morning!" I don't know that guy's name. don't have my voice anymore. It's weird to have dad's voice come out of my voice. My voice is so much higher. Dad's voice is like a grumble. He always sounds angry. But now I'm totally him. Why does my chest feel warm? It's the weirdest feeling. Man, I'm as tall as all th grown ups in this building! So cool.
Okay, so I got to Dad's office. I have my own desk. I thought it would be bigger. Huh. I have a phone and there are lights on it and...I have no idea how this phone works. Huh. So I sat at Dad's office just thinking various thoughts about how I usually spent my day. You know, lining up for the teacher on the playground in the morning and then going to class and reading and then playing with my friends. I don't have any friends here. I wonder if they play at all. Like do they have a break where they play sports at all? I guess not because it's a big building. Everything is so boring so far.
The door knocked. "Hey Wayne," said a guy who didn't bother to be let in. "I got reports here that need your approval. We are looking over more financial specs for the trade ads. The trade show meeting got moved up to TODAY so we need you there by 11 sharp."
"Oh. Of course. Where is that?"
"In the meeting room. Where else are we gonna have it, on the roof?"
"Have you talked with Debra yet about the legal consultancy for the new configurations yet?"
"Okay, well when you do, just let me know and I'll have the boys downstairs start on the Q89C so it can clear the rest of the hurdles, you know?"
"Oh yeah, right."
"Alright, well I'll let you get to it, buddy."
The door closed behind him. I have no idea what he was talking about! I have no idea what I'm doing. Maybe if I turn on Dad's computer. It's so old. Okay. Files...no games. Huh. Dad has a bunch of numbers here...man look at all these files. I have no idea what any of these are for. Names. Numbers. More names, more numbers. Okay I'm calling Dad. Oh right, I sort of sent him to school. Woops. I should have brought him with me. I'll text him.
'Hi dad how are u how do u do this job?'
DAD: GET OUT OF THERE NOW OR YOURE GROUNDED
'Dad they want me to...i mean u to go 2 a meeting at 11.'
DAD: WHAT? WHY? WHAT'S GOING ON!
'They said they have a trade show. Do you get to look at cards there? Like Pokemon cards? I am not going if they have Yu-gi-oh.'
DAD: IT'S NOT FOR FUCKING YUGIOH!!
'Don't say that word! You tell me not to!'
Then there was no answer. I tried but I guess Dad got caught texting. Oh man I hope Miss Pennescot doesn't take my phone away! I basically just went on dad's internet and played games for a while but then I realized I could do whatever I wanted to do. I looked in his drawer's for a while. I had been feeling really weird all morning, like my muscles were twitching and everything. I came across a bunch of office supplies but no toys. Then I saw a packet of Dad's Camels. What! He told me he gave up smoking! He lied! Oh man. My stomach is growling. Now I can't stop thinking about smoke and how good it smells. What is wrong with me?? I don't think cigarettes smell good but oh god they taste so fucking good.
WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME.
So I decided to call my best friend Kyle. But when he answered it was a little boy's voice.
"Hey. It's me," I said, stupidly before remembering that I was actually talking to Mr. DiPaolo who was in my friend's body. "Um. It's...Mr. Conway. Yes, can I speak to uh...your father? Bob, please?"
"Suuure. HEY DAD IT'S FOR YOU!" Lucky for me I had the DiPaolo's home phone number.
"BOB DiPaolo speaking. How can I help you?"
"Uh. Um. This is um. This is. Like. It's me. It's George and I'm my dad and is this Kyle?"
"Of course it's me! Hey, let me just step outside. Okay, that's better. I don't want dad to overhear me. Isn't it awesome being an adult??"
"I...I thought it would be but I'm totally scared now. I might really screw up Dad's job. What do I do?" I wanted to cry. "He's gonna be so mad at me." I was beginning to tear up.
"Dude, listen. I found another spell. You can like, get all your dad's knowledge and stuff. I've got all my dad's know how and I went to work for the first time yesterday! I work 12 to 8 today so dad and me are just going over the basics. He still doesn't know I'm the one that switched us and I don' t feel like goin' back yet."
"But like...I can't be my dad. And you can't be your dad! What about your mom!"
"Dude, relax. I'm only gonna do this until my mom comes home. For now, I'm havin' fun!"
"um okay okay look I guess can you do the spell and give me the power to like do Dad's job cause I'm really scared now."
"You have to exchange it with him. He has to give it to you. My dad doesn't even know how to drive now! He was so mad and he threw a tantrum. Dude, I had to put him in a corner! I put my dad in a time out! This is fucking awesome! Oh yeah and I can totally say bad words now!"
"Oh. that's good I guess. Look um. I'm just really nervous about all this so I want to go back. But I lost the way for us to switch back so can you give me the papers again? I'll have dad wear something of his so he can go back to being dad and we can go back to normal. I don't like this as much as you do!"
"Okay stop worrying. You're a total grownup now. You can't be acting like a baby, George. Okay? Be a man. Act like your dad or at least pretend to. Sheesh. You are really bad at this."
"I'm only 9 years old! I have people calling me Wayne or Sir. It's weird!"
So Kyle agreed I should come over to his house later and he'd make a spell for me. But I had to wait until later tonight.
So anyway. Dad texted me just a few lines about how I should fake being sick and leave but I didn't know what to do. I guess I should do as he says. So the next time the weird guy came in and started talking about things and I had no idea what he was talking about, I said I thought I was getting sick. And he told me in a panic that the meeting couldn't be moved. That the BOARD were all going to be there and they needed to talk about the trade show and so much money was on the line because it was in three days and they had to do some emergency preparation because the materials were all wrong and fucked up. Wow. Adults curse at work? Dad said they never curse at work. He said I should never curse because adults don't in the adult world...he lied to me!
So I had to make a decision and decided I would fake being sick at the meeting. So I went downstairs and saw there was a bagel shop across the way and I ran across to go in. Geez, I'm tall now! It's so weird to be tall as grownups! So I bought some oatmeal cookies. I ate one and drank some milk and got some orange juice. I really didn't feel well. I saw a guy outside the building dad works light up a cigarette and my mouth watered. Dad's body really wants to smoke, I think! Well I'm not going to. It's gross! A cigarette would be so good right now. It would really calm my nerves.
It was like dad's thoughts were in my head. Weird. Okay, so I prepared for the meeting by watching Spongebob on Youtube. Then I felt better. So I did what I had to do. I asked dad where the meeting room was and there was no answer so I just walked around until I saw someone getting in the elevator. So I got in with her.
"Hey, are you on your way to the meeting?" I tried to sound all casual and dadlike.
"Oh. Yes, sir. I didn't have much time to prepare, though."
"Yeah, me either," I said, trying to sound like Dad. So I just followed her on the floor she got off and we rounded several corners until I saw the meeting room and only a few people were there so I walked around until I found a bathroom...
I got inside and sat down and guys in suits, and a few women were talking about all these projects. I noticed that the company dad worked for was all over these brochures and they were spread across the table. So I looked at one. Everyone was talking about consumers, and I know that means people that buy things because dad taught me that word. Logistics. McKee Logistics. Logistics. That sounds...mathy. Does dad do math at work? He always told me he had to and if they want me to use long division, they can think again because I am so NOT going to.
So the meeting started and I listened for a little while and made a show of putting my hand on my stomach. So they kept talking about how all the material had been written for the wrong models because we were discontinuing that software and moving forward and needed to push the Q89C model and we needed to push our 24/7 tech support help line as being American and not in India. And none of the promotion was overlooked very well because it had been done months ago before...
And so that is when I gave my performance. I was in several school plays so I know how to be an actor and also I know how to get out of school because I had to fake being sick the day Billy Shruckner wanted to beat me up after school and then when my mom came I told her the truth and then all hell broke loose because she told his mom and now he has to go to therapy and he hates me.
I started off rubbing my stomach. A few people noticed and then I stood up so the entire table had their eyes on me. I ran for the door and then tripped and all the oatmeal/milk/orange juice I had mushed together in a styrofoam cup came out and I made really good vomit noises.
"OH MY GOSH I'M SO SORRY! I TRIED TO HOLD IT IN. I THINK I HAVE THE FLU."
"The flu? Someone get him out of here now!" a woman cried.
"This is all my fault?"
"Wayne, can you hear me? Are you okay?" I sniffed. I had also bought a salad at the sandwich shop and I had stuck my finger all over the onion that came with it and it had been right near my eye as I was on the floor, so now I was all teary-eyed.
"I felt sick earlier."
"I told him he should come anyway. I am really sorry, guys."
"Wayne never gets sick. Donny, you really should have listened to him. We can't afford to have him infect the entire building!"
"He's the boss, though!"
"Of his department, not yours. Don't pull that line with me. Wayne, do you need us to call you an ambulance?"
"Uh...no. Just call me a ride home, okay?"
Academy Awards, here I come! Dad will be so happy! Um. Sort of.
So...long story short I got home and mom wasn't home but I had dad's keys that he had given me. I wonder if I should take the car out for a spin while he isn't here. And then if I crashed it he would totally kill me so..maybe not. Anyway, I still couldn't reach dad. It was recess now so I should be able to. But he wasn't answering. I hope dad didn't get me into trouble. I will be so mad if I am in trouble when I go back to school. I took off dad's office clothes and got into some comfortable sweat pants I found and rubbed my hairy new body. This was pretty cool, I thought. I hope I have as much hair as dad does someday. I mean, other than now. When I'm me and I go through growing up and stuff.
It was at this point that mom came home and it was not good. I mumbled I was sick and had to come home from work and she was screaming and frantic and she gave me a thermometer and said I didn't have a fever. She was talking about a doctor. I laid down on the couch and just pretended to be sleepy. "Mom, don't do that. I just wanna go to bed."
"Ugh. You are zonked. Okay, well sweetie? Hello?" She was in front of me up close crouching now. "I have to go pick up Brian soon and I need to drop off my orders at the post office. Just stay here and I'll pick you something up at the pharmacy. What hurts right now?"
"My stomach hurts and my head hurts," I said, trying to sound pathetic.
"Don't worry, I think it might be what Amanda's husband had, we just saw them so you probably go tit from him. Okay, just rest and I'll be back after my errands. I won't kiss you for a little while, is that okay?" She kissed her hand and patted my head.
Yeah, you shouldn't kiss me, I thought to myself. But then I felt my penis move. Why was my penis moving???
After mom drove off I got up off the couch and threw the blanket off. I was hungry so I helped myself to some leftovers in the fridge and some chips. Wow, I'm really hairy. It itches, too. I've never had chest hair before. It really itches! I turned the TV on and did some channel surfing. There were all these women playing volleyball and normally I wouldn't care about that...
I don't want to say a lot about what happened here but it kind of freaked me out. My penis got really hard and I started touching it and it got even harder and bigger! Like it got real big! Did I have some kind of adult disease or something? So I looked it up on the internet and that is when I learned a lot of things. Normally dad is there if I'm on the internet because he says I'm not old enough to go on the internet alone. But I found out all about all the...stuff that adults do. Or at least the basics. You know, I'm really glad I have the internet and that I'm not actually super old like dad. He said when he was a kid they didn't even HAVE the internet. That is super dumb.
Anyway, I wanted to see if my penis would do more, like the photos I saw but then Mom drove back. I got back on the couch and put the blanket back on and pretended to be asleep.
"Honey? Could you open your eyes? Sorry to wake you but have you seen a small box lying around? I forgot one of my orders." I blinked. Oh right. Mom has her own business where she makes jewelry and stuff so we can make more money for bills and things. I once did a report on it.
"I can't find it anywhere." Brian was suddenly there.
"Daddy!" He ran up and hugged me.
"Brian, get off me!" I pushed him away.
"Because Daddy is sick, sweetheart. He doesn't want to get you, sick." Brian looked sad like he was going to cry.
"Oh..yeah. Sorry, buddy. I would if I could. You don't want to get sick, do ya?"
"I don't care. I want to hug you, Daddy!"
Suddenly, something dawned on me. The missing pieces of magic paper. Mom's missing box.
"Brian? Do you know where Mommy's box is? The little one?"
Brian didn't answer.
"Brian?" Mom asked. "Answer your father, sweetheart."
"We won't get mad, I promise. But mom really needs that box, sweetie."
"I forgot. I'm sorry."
"You forgot where you put it? You were playing with it?" Mom took over, nonshalantly. "George, you know, you shouldn't play with other people's things. Remember what we talked about?"
"Yes," Brian said, looking at the floor.
"Brian, you uh...you want to help mom, right? Try and remember where you put it."
"It's with my toys," he said and grabbed mom's hand and the two went off to his room. She came back triumphantly.
"Sweetie, would you mind just watching him a little bit while I...on second thought you should probably sleep."
"You want me to watch him? I'm pretty awake now." I know, I know. I know I never want to watch Brian but if he had mom's package...
"It's just he really needs to eat. The kindergarten had their half day today, they do that every two weeks now, you know. Anyway, just give him the lunch I made in the fridge this morning."
"Okay, sure," I agreed. She blew me a kiss and was out the door. Good ol' mom.
"And honey, put a shirt on. You don't want to make it worse,"
"Oh, Right." I found a shirt in dad's room. At first I went into my room. Luckily, mom didn't see me and she already left. I was about to put on one of MY shirts when Brian came in.
"This isn't your room!"
"Oh. Right. Of course. Because I'm the dad."
Brian squealed with delight following me around. I found one of dad's shirts and tossed it on. So weird that I can wear his clothes now, that I'm big enough to wear them. And I want a cigarette so badly right now. I tried to ignore the impulse my body was craving. Brian followed me into the kitchen.
"Here ya go," I handed him the plastic bag.
"I need a plate!"
"Oh. Right." I had fun opening the top cabinet. I'm tall enough to reach the plates now! I smiled in triumph. Maybe being dad for a day isn't so bad! I gave him the sandwich and some cheddar cheese slices and crackers. I sat down across from him at our circular dining table. Okay. Don't be a mad big brother. Be the daddy he loves.
"Brian? Did you see...some slips of paper on the floor the other day with my name and dad's name...I mean...my name and uh, George's name on them?"
George didn't answer.
"Sweetie? If you saw them, I really need them."
"They were so pretty," he said in his sad-guilty little kid voice.
"I knew it! I mean, uh...that's okay...uh...champ. But if you could give those back, it would really make me happy, okay?"
"Okay, daddy." Brian got off his chair and went to his room and I followed him. We were very lucky to live in a house where we could each have our own bedroom. VERY lucky. Brian opened up his dresser drawer and bent down on the floor and bingo, there were the papers. "There's your name. And there's George's name. And there's my name!" Oh no. Oh, crap crap crap. Written all over the ink in little kid scrawl was Brian's name in crayon.
"Oh that's just great!"
I looked at Brian. Uhoh. He was starting to cry. Then he was crying. "No no no. Nonono. Don't cry, Brian. I'm sorry. Uh...it's just. I uh..." CRAP. "Daddy is just sick is all. And I love you. I'm really sorry, Brian."
"I wrote my name just like the teacher taught me cause I love you. Now you have my name, too!" He sniffed. I picked him up. All the way up. I was so big now I realized I could do that. I hugged him.
"You really do love me and your brother, don't you?"
"I love George and now my name is next to his and I made it pretty, see?" he said.
"Well, that's okay. Just don't cry. Daddy just needs some rest. I'm really sorry. Hey, why don't I give you a cookie?" I rubbed his head, with its hair full of tangled light brown curls.
Well that did the trick. Soon Brian had forgotten I'd snapped at him. I tried to call Kyle but no answer. Oh right. He was at his dad's job, presumably knowing what he was doing. I wished I felt the same way. I had no idea if the slips of paper would even work now. And if they changed me into Brian, I really didn't want to
For the rest of the day, I pretended to be sick until dad got home. It was not fun. He told me that he couldn't talk to me because he had been hiding his phone under a book but the teacher finally caught him.
"I had to spend recess with your teacher. She's a lovely woman but I found the entire experience humiliating. I had to assure her I would respect her in the classroom.
"She usually doesn't do that."
"Yeah well she sort of caught me using it more than once."
"Dad! I don't wanna miss recess!"
"Yeah, well I don't want to miss going to my fucking job and losing it." he seethed through his teeth, out of mom's earshot. "When are we switching back?"
"Yeah, I'm going to get some help on that tonight."
"Help? So you know the person that did this. Okay. Okay. Okay look, we will have to go out together. When can we go?"
"Well he gets off work at 8."
"We'll have to tell your mother something. You're supposed to be sick."
"We can tell her that I need to take you to the pharmacy? Maybe you can pretend to be sick." I said.
"No. I'll come up with the lie here. Your mother can smell bullshit. Okay. Okay. When it's time for us to leave, you'll tell your mother that you need to have a very special father son talk with me. And you'll need time to do it. Like an hour or two or more. Okay?"
"Okay!" I said, cheerfully.
I pretended to be sick more and watched TV. Dad checked his emails when mom wasn't looking.
"YOU THREW UP IN FRONT OF THE BOARD?"
"Oh. Yeah. It was pretty cool. I put some oatmeal cookies and juice and milk together and put them in a plastic baggie and then stuffed it all in my mouth when I went to the bathroom."
"Huh. Okay, that actually isn't half bad. But never do it again!"
"Daddy, will you play with me?" Brian asked me. My eyes drifted back to dad, in my body.
"Here. Why don't you play with me, Brian?"
Brian got all excited because I usually don't want to play with him. Maybe I should play with him more, I thought. Dad in my body was being a really good brother, helping him draw with crayons and playing board games with him. I guess over the last year or so I'd been hanging out with Kyle so much I'd sort of just wanted to ignore him. I was afraid he wouldn't be able to keep up and I didn't want Kyle to dump me because of Brian.
Speaking of which, I got a text from Kyle finally. I was supposed to come to his house at 8:30. I told dad. Then we had dinner and mom made me some Jello and eggs and toast because I was still pretending to be sick. Everyone else got to eat chicken and mashed potatoes. I told Dad we could walk there but we needed to leave so we'd be able to get there when my friend got there. So he and I talked alone and then he sent me to mom with a planned speech. I got dressed in dad's jeans in his room and put on my best "concerned dad face".
"Uh..honey, I uh...I need to go for a walk. With George. For a very special father-son talk. He's asking about...penisses."
"Oh. Geez. NOW?"
"Yeah yeah, I really need to talk to him. Someone told him some things at school and you know kids these days and the internet so uh...I'm going to answer all his questions. I am gonna be a few hours. We'll just walk around the street."
"Oh wow. Okay, well are you sure you should be up right now? RIGHT now?"
"This really can't wait. I think he needs to talk now."
"Okay, father of the year. Make sure and bundle up. It's not that cold tonight but you could get really sick if you don't. Don't go too far, take your phone with you. Just promise me that if he turns out to be gay like your brother, you won't take it too hard."
"I know, I know. You don't think he's gay. But a mother knows these things."
A mother knows WHAT things!?
So once we were outside and bundled up and walking around.
"Um, dad?" I asked.
"Yes, son," my dad replied. "Try not to walk too fast, son. My legs are smaller now."
"Oh! Sorry. I just. Um. Gay is when guys like each other, right?"
"Oh god. I don't want to have this conversation now."
"Mom thinks I'm gay. Am I gay, dad?"
"How the hell would I know?" Dad asked. "You'll figure it out when you start to...I guess I really am having this conversation now. I guess we didn't have to lie about that. Okay...so just to back up..."
And then dad told me the basics, which made the internet photos I saw make a lot more sense.
"So, when my penis got hard today, I wanted to have sex??"
"Well, biologically. Yes. But you just jack off if you're alone. That means you get hard down there and then you cum. And it kind of just shoots out."
"Yeah, that is not the reaction you are going to have when it happens."
"So why does mom think I'm gay? And why do you have a plastic penis in your room?"
"What?! Oh. That. Your mother keeps that because she thinks it's funny. It's actually...a little gift your uncle left behind."
"Because Uncle Travis is gay?"
"Yeah but the only reason we waited to tell you is because he doesn't have a boyfriend and he didn't want to make a big deal out of it. He asked us not to say anything. Your mother wanted to. It's NOT a big deal, though. We all love Uncle Travis, and his being gay does not change anything."
"Hey, your kid is awesome!" said a woman who was talking with her girl friend in the shade of a tree they had just crossed.
"Oh. Thanks." Dad and me both said at the same time.
"Mom likes gay guys, huh dad?" I said, when we were out of earshot again.
"Well yes, she has several gay friends. There's nothing wrong with it."
"So why does mom think I'm gay?"
"Ugh. Because she's your mother? I don't know. You'll figure it out one day and then you'll tell us. I don't really care. As long as you never do drugs. Because then I will kill you." Dad said, and even though he was a nine year old I was really afraid of the way he'd just said that.
SO we got to Kyle's house and Dad recognized it.
"Kyle? It's Kyle."
"Sort of," I said.
"What do you mean, sort of?"
"He sort of...looks different now." Dad got that LOOK in his eye.
"Do you mean to tell ME. That Kyle swapped bodies with his dad? And that he swapped our bodies? KYLE. Who is 9. HOW did this happen? Start talking! I've been real patient but I need to know now!"
"Hey. Keep it down out there," a man's very deep voice boomed. "Come inside, dude. Both of you." I gulped. Dad marched in my 9 year body as menacingly as he could.
I noticed that Kyle had shaved most of his dad's beard and he wasn't wearing a shirt. He was huge! He got some milk from the fridge and chugged it.
"Fucking dad can't tell me not to drink milk directly from the jug anymore! Ha!"
"That's...greeeeeat," my dad said carefully. "So I assume I'm speaking to Kyle now, and not Bob."
"You assume correctly, brat."
"Hey, don't call my dad a brat. That's not nice."
"Sorry, bro. You want a drink? Maybe a beer?" He got a bottle out and handed it to me. Dad intervened.
"No. You are not giving a nice year old a beer!"
"He look like he's 9 to you, little boy?"
"Can I dad? Please?"
"No. Your mother would smell it. I'm not going to explain that. No beer. That's final."
"Dude, he's still my dad," I told Kyle.
"Whatever." He twisted the cap off and drank it. "I can still do what I want. ISN'T THAT RIGHT, DAD! I CAN DO WHAT I WANT CAUSE I'M THE GROWN UP AND YOU AREN'T."
Kyle's form came marching from the other room. He had Kyle's semi longish hair and buck teeth. "What's going on here? Son, why are they here? Are you thinking of doing something with them? Please don't. Just run. Both of you right now. I'm actually BOB and this is my 9 year old son KYLE in that big body up there!"
"We know. Hi, Mr. DiPaolo."
"OH NO. You swapped George and Wayne? Why would you do this?"
"So..he knows you're the one that swapped you two."
"Yeah, I told him. I think it's funny."
"Kyle, you can't...you can't really stay in there. You don't know anything about being a grownup." My dad tried to reason with him.
"Shows what you fuckin' know. I know everything my dad knew about construction and now I can drill all fuckin' day. What do you think of that? I ain't goin' back to being in fourth grade. I hated it. I'd way rather do my dad's work than homework!"
"Talk some sense into him! My wife is going to be back in a few days! Please!" Mr. DiPaolo pleaded. "I can't be in this little kid body anymore." He started sniffing.
"Is he being mean to you?" I asked in concern.
"I ain't bein' mean, I'm just treating him like he treats me, isn't that right, dad?" Kyle sipped his beer casually. "You say I'm outta line, you spank me, and I spanked you real good right back. And if I go back, he'll just spank me again, won't you?"
"No, I won't! I promise!" wailed Mr. DiPaolo. I really felt sorry for him.
"This is deplorable. Neither of you knows how to be an adult."
"I took all my dad's know how so yes I fuckin' do now how to be an adult. I have a magic spell and I'm gonna give it to George so he can do your fuckin' job." Kyle sauntered into the living room and plopped himself in his dad's easy chair. He flipped the TV on to the channel he wanted. Sports.
"But...we want to trade back. I feel bad. Really bad. I didn't want to make my dad miserable and this is all my fault, I'm really sorry Dad."
"Something tell me it's not ALL your fault, son," my dad said, taking my much bigger hand in his. "We both want to switch back. Please help us do so."
"No. Not gonna do it. Not til you give him all your knowledge."
"But I want to go back to school!"
"Dude, you have the chance to be a grownup. Just take it."
"Something you're forgetting. If you have adult knowledge, then you must know about sex. Dads and moms have sex with each other. THAT is my son. He is not going to have sex with his mother. And unless you're on Jerry Springer, NO ONE is twisted enough to think that's ever going to happen. "
"What's Jerry Springer, dad?"
"I'll tell you when you're older. Well...you know what I mean."
"Fine." he huffed. "I was just trying to give you something cool, George? Okay, how about this? I'm gonna give George the ability to be someone else. Whoever he wants. It has to be a grown up you know. You need a piece of clothing and you need to give it to him to turn into that person. You didn't tell him how I did it, right?"
"No," I looked guiltily down at dad. "He said not to!" I protested before he could even say anything.
"If that is what it takes, fine. You can give George the ability to turn into a grownup. BUT only if he wants to. And only if he agrees to it."
"He has to, or I'm not gonna fuckin' do it."
"Why do you even care about me doing it? I mean, dude, look at you. You're huge and all but we can't stay this way."
"Oh I can do whatever I want. When my mom comes back I'll tell her I'm getting a divorce and I'm gonna keep my fuckin' huge arms."
"What? Dude, she's your mom."
"Stepmom. You don't know anything, George."
"Look, I'm not going to interfere in whatever is going on here. Because I can't. No one would believe me in a million years," Dad said. "But look at your father. He's scared. He's been reduced to a child. You have his maturity or at least some of it now. Use it. Try thinking about how he feels. If he's more like a child now, he feels the way you used to. Now I know your family might have it's problems, but you don't want to become what you hate. Believe me. I've seen that happen before."
"Nice try. I'm gonna make my dad be a little kid and I'm gonna whoop his ASS if he doesn't do what I fuckin' tell him to."
"Okay, I tried. Can you switch us back now?" Dad said. Kyle's voice with Bob inside started whimpering and he fell onto the rug crying into a pillow.
"You gotta let him turn into an adult so he can still hang out with me."
"OHHHH I get it. Dad, he's afraid we won't be friends anymore if he becomes an adult."
"Yes, this was the entire plot to Big. Minus the more fucked up elements."
"Never mind. I'll rent it from Netflix. I suppose your uncle has some clothes but this has to be his choice. George?"
"Okay! I mean. I can be Uncle George sometimes but I gotta go to school, too, Kyle!"
"If you miss it so much, fine. I ain't goin' back!"
"So you'll swap us."
"Yeah, but I hid the stuff. You'll have to be your dad for one more day and come back tomorrow."
"Another day? Another day!"
"I can give you the spell so you can take your dad's knowledge. That way you can go to work tomorrow. Then afterwards, you guys can swap back. Deal?"
"Is..that okay, dad?"
"I really can't miss work anymore this week. I can't believe I'm about to say yes to this."
"Cool. Just sign this paper. It already has the spell but you have to agree to give him your adult knowledge. He'll give you his kid knowledge."
Dad and I looked at each other. We both signed.
And like that I got a bit dizzy and it was like coming out of a fog.
"How you feel, bro?"
"Okay, I guess. I really need a cigarette, though," I said. I fished for the Camels I usually kept in my pocket. Wait. I don't smoke, I'm only 9! "Dad, can you wait for me outside, please?" Dad looked up at me.
"I..I can't remember what my job even is."
"It's logistics. Don't worry, dad. I'll be sure and take care of everything tomorrow. Please just meet me outside."
"Hey, are you still whining, Bob? Get the fuck up to your room." Kyle said, imposingly. Bob trudged upstairs in his new little Kyle form.
I lit up a cigarette and took off my shirt. It was hot and I was fucking tired.
"God, I needed that all day." I blew out smoke. "Holy crap, I'm smoking! Dude, I'm smoking!"
"Yeah, it takes a while to adjust. Just wait til you get to your dad's work. It's a fucking trip. So you want that beer now?" He smiled.
"No, dad was right. I mean, I was right. I mean... my wife. I mean...mom would smell it on my breath. I'm supposed to be sick. I need to get home. Thanks for the help. Can you swing by my place tomorrow at the same time?" I continued to take a drag and blow smoke.
"Yeah. Yeah, that's fine. Just remember. You need to be a grownup sometimes to hang out with me. I don't want us to stop being friends."
"Don't worry, dude. It's cool. Have a good night, brother." I realized I sounded a lot more mature. I walked Dad home.
"I don't feel like me. Like all my knowledge about my job...I just...I can remember being a kid and a little bit about college. It's like I can't access anything recent. Not my jobs or meeting your mother..."
"Don't worry," I told him. He started to cry.
"It's not fair!" his voice cracked severely. I put my cigarette out. I picked him up.
"It's going to be okay, big guy. We aren't like them. I'll get us back to normal. I love you, Daddy. It's going to be okay."
"You promise?" Dad sniffed.
"Yeah. And if Kyle doesn't give us our right bodies back, I'll kick his ass.
"Okay. Thanks, son." He sniffed.
Our roles had changed so suddenly I didn't even know what to think. I went home, and smiled wearily to my mom..er..."wife". I gave him a big hug and we said our prayers, I had him brush his teeth and take a bath, and then I put Brian and my dad to bed. I turned on his nightlight so I wouldn't get scared. The next thing I knew, the alarm was going off. I had to get up, take a shower real quick, put my work clothes on (and I knew how to tie a tie now!). I told my mom I had a 24 hour thing and that I was starting to feel better. I grabbed a quick breakfast. As my dad and I got in the car, he asked: "Are you really going to drive? Can you drive now?"
"Yeah, don't worry. I got it covered."
"Of course he can drive, he's Daddy!" Brian laughed, his mirth making me smile. My little guy.
"I love you so much. Give me a hug!" I said, even though dad shrugged it off. "No, dad. I don't want the other kids to see."
"Did you just call me dad?"
"Yeah. But..only if someone overheard," he said suddenly. His eyes widened and he ran off with his backpack. I walked Brian to his kindergarted class and gave him a big, big hug. He wasn't too big for that yet, thank goodness.
"I'll miss you so much! Be a good boy!"
"Thanks, Daddy! I love you! Bye!" he waved dramatically.
I realized I was feeling like I had become dad in many ways. Maybe that explained Kyle. If Kyle's dad was a jerk then maybe Kyle had absorbed his personality traits as well as his knowledge. Maybe the magic was much more powerful than he expected.
But don't worry, dad, I thought as I drove to my first day of work in the adult world. I will fix this, or my name isn't Wayne Conway!