Skye's the Limit, Chapter 8 - I'm Useless, But Not For Long

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8 - I’m Useless, But Not For Long

“Look, Skye, I’m sorry,” Lela said, re-balancing the paper bag she’d brought from my house the night before in her free hand. “Maybe I got a little carried away.”

“A little?” I glared up at her, rubbing my bottom lightly, even though it didn’t actually hurt anymore, at least not physically. “You made me wearing a frickin’ diaper!”

“A Pull-Up,” she corrected me. “And I’m sure your parents would have done the same thing.”

“Would they have spanked me?” I demanded.

“Well, no, probably not,” she admitted. “And I said I was sorry. I just got carried away, okay? It won’t happen again.”

“It better not,” I grumbled. “Or the Pull-Ups, either.”

She hesitated. “Skye, you know I can’t promise that. If you’re going to have accidents, you need some kind of protection, whether you like it or not. I won’t tell your parents, though, okay?”

“Fine,” I sighed. “I won’t tell them you spanked me.” Honestly, I don’t know how much they’d really care, considering it hadn’t even been that much of a spanking, but I couldn’t risk them firing Lela. They’d just hire another babysitter, after all, and they wouldn’t know who I really was. Nor would they be likely to believe me if I told them. And if I -did- tell, she would just tell them the circumstances, and I could end up in Pull-Ups for longer than an afternoon.

“Well, I’m glad we settled that,” Lela said with a smile. I couldn’t quite tell if she was being condescending or not, but I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt, since we were nearly back at my house.

My hand tightened around hers as we approached, my legs taking smaller and smaller steps. Lela slowed down in response, watching me curiously, but not bothering to ask what was wrong. It was, I imagine, pretty clear. My feet stopped altogether at the edge of my lawn, and we stood there for a time, just staring at the front door.

“You can’t stay at my house forever,” she told me finally. “I’m sure your family wants to see you, too.”

“Not yet,” I shook my head. “I can’t do it yet.”

“Okay,” she said gently, squeezing my hand in support. “What do you want to do instead?”

I shrugged. “Anything else.” Ideally, I could have been searching through the book for a solution to my little… ‘problem’, but it had vanished, at least according to Lela. I didn’t really have any reason not to believe her, though it was, of course, possible that she just hadn’t looked in the right place. However, if it wasn’t there - and to check that for sure would require me to go back into my house, which I was trying to avoid - then perhaps it was back where I’d gotten it.

And so I suggested, “Let’s go to the library.”

“All right,” she shrugged, looking a bit confused. “If you really want to…” She started off down the sidewalk, my feet coming unstuck to follow her as she flipped open her phone and called my house. It was a quick conversation, which I tried not to listen in on too much, not wanting to hear Lela talking about what a good girl I had been that day. “I just have to get you home before dinner,” she told me at the end.

“Hopefully it won’t take that long.” But, of course, with my luck, it probably would.

“You’re sure you wanted to come here?” she whispered, just inside the library. “We passed the park on the way and…”

“Yes, I’m sure,” I said a bit testily.

“Okay,” she shrugged. “Have fun.”

First, I checked the shelf where I’d found the book, but, of course, it wasn’t there. It took me a few moments of checking all the shelves around it, in case it got put in the wrong place, to recall that I hadn’t gotten off the shelf at all, just picked it up after running into that girl.

Well, that was fine. I went over to the little row of computers, hopped up onto a chair in front of one, and pulled up the electronic card catalog. Unlike Amazon, however, “Skye’s the Limit” brought up exactly 0 results. I tried taking the e out of my name, and got a few hits, but, from their plot summaries, I could tell none of them were the right book. Still, I wrote down their call numbers on one of the pieces of scrap paper they kept by the computers, just in case.

Before I could go try to find them, though, I started up Firefox and pulled up Amazon. I got the same results I had last time, except that this time, I was able to go through all of them to see that my book wasn’t there. At all.

“Son of a bitch.” I barely kept myself from slamming my fist down on the computer table. What was going on? Had the book somehow erased all reference to itself? Was I just going crazy?

Before I came to any conclusions, I decided to take my own advice to Olive a few days ago - was it really just a few days ago? - and Google it. Just the title by itself brought up a few thousand results too many to be useful, but adding “Keith” helped a bit. Throwing in “Lela” brought it down to a manageable level, though I almost tried searching again with my own name, before realizing how stupid that was, since it was already part of the title.

It still took a few pages before I saw something that looked like it could be referring to the book. The link to me to a site, not Wikipedia, though it looked an awful lot like it.

“Skye’s the Limit,” it said, “is the story of a teenaged girl called Skye. When Skye’s boyfriend, Keith, breaks up with her for no apparent reason, her life is turned upside-down, and she turns to her best friend, Lela.”

It was almost completely useless, though it was nice to know that there was still evidence that it existed. And then, as I thought that, a picture loaded on the side of the page. It was a woman, maybe in her mid-twenties, with brown hair and brown eyes. She looked strangely familiar, though I couldn’t put my finger on why. I moved the mouse over the picture, missing it the first time, left it there until the alt-text popped up.

“Lydia Newman,” it read. “The author of Skye’s the Limit.”

The name sounded familiar, too, so I wrote it down, and was about to do a search for it when someone tapped me on the shoulder. I gasped and jumped, spinning around to find an amused Lela there. “We need to get going,” she told me.

“But we just got here,” I protested.

“I need to get you home,” she said, holding out her hand. I closed the browser with a sigh and got down from the chair, sticking the paper into my pocket and taking her hand.

“Do you know,” I asked her as we were leaving, “a Lydia Newman?”

She thought for a moment before shaking her head. “I don’t think so. It sounds familiar somehow, though.”

“Yeah,” I sighed. “I know.”

My body slowed down as we approached my house, but at least it didn’t stop completely this time. Lela held the door open for me, and I stepped inside, looking around nervously. Other than being bigger, it didn’t seem all that different, not yet anyway, but that didn’t do anything to ease my tension.

“We’re here!” Lela called, stepping just inside the door.

“Hey there!” my mom, who also looked bigger, answered, popping out of the living room. “Did you girls have a good day?”

I nodded and Lela said, “Yes,” and then, “See you tomorrow, Skye,” and then set the bag down and abandoned me there. I guess since it was my own house, it technically isn’t considered abandonment, but that’s what it felt like.

Mom held her arms out, and I stared at her for a few moments before going over for a hug. Every step made it feel as if she had grown another foot taller than me, until, once I was finally right in front of her, her arms about to close around me, I thought that maybe she had become roughly ten feet taller overnight. “Did you have a good time last night?”

“It was okay,” I said.

“Aww, what’s wrong?” she asked, pushing me away from herself, holding me at arm’s length.

“It’s nothing,” I shook my head, even though I wanted to scream, ‘Why aren’t you freaking out?!’ But, in her mind, like in most everyone else’s, apparently, nothing was wrong. “I just feel a little sick.”

“Well, maybe you should go lay down,” she suggested. I nodded, grabbed my bag of stuff from in front of the door, and slowly made my way back to my room.

The doorknob seemed so high now, so far away that I was afraid to even try to reach up for it, scared that it would be out of my reach. I heard my mom approaching, however, which got me to get over my fear and quickly duck inside, shutting the door behind me.

But what waited beyond was even worse. It was as if a can of pink paint had exploded inside my room, coating everything. My bed was the same, but the bedspread had the Disney Princesses on it, and was, of course, pink. My posters were now of unicorns and rainbows and that kind of crap.

My head began to spin as I tried to take in it all, nearly making me lose my balance as I walked over to my dresser. I was -just- tall enough to be able to see into the top drawer, but I tried the one below it first, the one where I kept my pajamas. Sure enough, there was a stack of Goodnites in there, next to nightshirts with more unicorns, and kittens, and one that just said “Princess”, with the i dotted in a tiara.

The drawers below weren’t all bad; there was still some denim in there, mostly cut-off shorts, along with the pinks and the yellows. My closet was mostly the same. There was a cute little denim jumper that was actually kinda cute, though it looked like it might be a bit short. There were quite a few rather frilly little dresses, and a tutu. It wasn’t quite as bad as I had feared.

At least until I went back to the dresser and slowly pulled open the top drawer. At first, it wasn’t too bad, either - some tights, including a rainbow striped pair, some gratuitously cute panties I normally wouldn’t be caught dead in, but that at least were real underwear, some socks. And then I saw them. More Pull-Ups, like the ones Lela had made me wear that afternoon, sitting there, staring back at me, like they had some kind of a right to be in -my- underwear drawer.

And then, there at the back… A diaper. No, not just one, but a stack, small, but still far too many. I stumbled backwards, shaking my head as it began to spin again. I sat heavily on my bed, trying to steady my gaze, as the whole world seemed to spin around me, mocking me.

“This isn’t happening,” I whispered to myself. “This isn’t happening.”

I fell back onto my bed, squeezing my eyes closed; everything was still there when they opened again.

“Are you feeling all right?” Mom asked from the other side of my door, knocking lightly and then opening it a tad. She might have opened it further, if I hadn’t left the bag sitting right in front of it.

“I’m not hungry,” I mumbled, curling up on my bed, facing away from her.

I heard the bag being pushed across the floor by the door, and then her hand was on my forehead. “You don’t feel warm,” she said, then moved her hand down to my feet, taking off my sandals. “Is it just your tummy that hurts?”

“It doesn’t hurt,” I told her. “I’m just not hungry.”

“All right.” She bent over, kissing me on the top of my head. “Get some rest, sweetie.”

But once she had closed the door, I got up off of my bed and went over to my desk, pulling open all of the drawers frantically. They looked a lot like I imagined Olive’s looked like - full of coloring books and crayons, and construction paper and glue sticks and safety scissors. But not the book I was looking for.

I pulled the piece of paper from my pocket, laid it on the desk. Lydia Newman… I glanced over at my bookshelf, to see if maybe she had written anything else I had, but there were just a bunch of kids’ books there now, of course. I wanted to scream, even though I knew it would just bring my mom, and maybe my dad, back to my room to see what was wrong.

I didn’t. Instead, I crept out of my room as quietly as I could, down the hall. I could hear mom and dad in the kitchen, talking, so I allowed myself to speed up as I went into the living room, snatching up the phone book from the coffee table where it, and the phone, resided.

Back in my room, I tossed the book onto my bed while I grabbed the piece of paper and a crayon, then joined it, sitting cross-legged as I flipped through the pages, looking for the N’s. And there she was, in black and white, a Lydia Newman. It wasn’t necessarily the same one, of course, but it was too big of a coincidence for me to ignore, especially when I saw that she lived only a few blocks away.

“Lydia Newman,” I said out loud, tasting the name on my tongue. Why did I still feel like I knew her from somewhere? Who was she? Did she know the truth about what had happened to me? And, more importantly, could she help me reverse it?

Skye’s the Limit, Chapter 8 - I’m Useless, But Not For Long

There isn’t much else I can say which I haven’t said. It’s good, and I shall keep reading it.

Skye’s the Limit, Chapter 8 - I’m Useless, But Not For Long

I concur wholeheartedly with the last part of your statement there, Dark!!

Keep up the good work Libby!!

Skye’s the Limit, Chapter 8 - I’m Useless, But Not For Long

I’m starting to absolutely love this. Keep it up!