“Can I help you? Asked the old man standing behind a counter in the store.
“I’m just looking, thank you anyway.”
“You're bored, am I correct?”
“I guess so.”
Synopsis- Rick Townsend is a bored teenager in Southern California. While visiting a mall, he buys an electronic game from the Wizard called 'The Adventures of Life'.
I must thank Puddin for her help in getting this story ready for publication.
The eastbound I-80 rest area near Ogallala, Nebraska, was sleepy at one in the morning. Almost the only sound that could be heard was the hum of cars from the nearby interstate.
During the daytime, the Ogallala rest area can be quite busy. During the middle of the night, more often than not, there is barely a stir. Two eighteen-wheelers were parked there, but their drivers were asleep in their cabs. Almost an hour had passed since a motorist made a brief stop to use the area’s rest rooms.
At ten minutes past one, a blue Volvo pulled into the rest area. It passed almost all of the parking spaces before coming to a stop. When it did, a teenage girl climbed out from the driver’s seat.
She went straight to the Volvo’s trunk. After unlocking it, she removed two items. One was a shovel, the other a burlap sack.
About ten yards from the car was a public trash can. It took some effort, but the girl was able to move it. When that task was completed, she went about digging a hole in the ground.
As soon as she felt she had dug enough, the girl stopped. She then reached for the burlap bag and placed it in the hole in the ground. Inside the bag was a container similar to those used at bank drive-up lanes except this one was bigger. Inside it were many up pieces of rolled up looseleaf paper.
‘If this doesn’t work, I don’t what will.’ The girl thought as she began shoveling dirt on top of the burlap bag.
My name is Naomi Feinstein and I celebrated my seventeenth birthday less than three months ago. If anyone should find my container by accident and read these words, I ask you to please return them the place you found them, because I’ll need them later on.
The unusual story that follows is the effort of over two years work. As I said in my previous paragraph, I’ve lived a little over seventeen years, this time around. When I reach my eighteenth birthday, I’ll begin life again from day one.
Like some bad remake of the movie ‘Groundhog Day,’ I’ve been living the same period of time over and over, from roughly 1992 to roughly 2010. The only change has been where in the world I was living in each new life I was put into.
In each life there was one constant. I was always born a girl. But why don’t I start from the beginning? It’s a long story.
One day, when very feeling bored, I visited a Southern California mall, South Coast Plaza, it was, in Costa Mesa. It was there I came across this very odd store called Spells R Us. My name at the time was Rick Townsend.
“Can I help you? Asked the old man standing behind a counter in the store.
“I’m just looking, thank you anyway.”
“You're bored, am I correct?”
“I guess so.”
“You're tired of doing the same things every day.”
“Are you some kind of mind reader?”
“Maybe, but by the look on your face you give the impression you are seeking some kind of adventure. I can help you if you allow me.”
The old man went into some monologue about being a wizard and the shop I was standing in being a magic shop. He told me there were ways to relieve my boredom, at the cost of a small fee.
“What’s this like?” I asked pointing to an electronic device. It looked like some kind of game console, but it only had one button. It was called ‘The Adventures of Life’.
I was shown the game and even given a demonstration. The device apparently could read whatever I was thinking. If I wanted to be someone else, all I had to do was think of that person and press the button. Totally gnarly!
“This is weird,” I said after turning myself into my eight-year-old brother Donny. “Can I change back?”
“Of course you can, this was just a demonstration.”
So I pushed the button and was back to being Rick Townsend again.
I ended up buying the thing. It cost me $29.95. Before I left the store, the old man warned me to read the directions before using it for real.
Guess what? I never read the instructions. I still don’t know what they said.
I stepped out into the mall, still bored and wondering what I’d do next. Eventually I sat myself down and watched as people came and went. I took the gadget out of the bag it was in.
Some teenage girls only a few years younger than I was back then, walked by. They were having a good time, talking and giggling together.
I was bored and saw them having fun. The next thought I had was, wouldn’t my life have always been more fun if I had born a girl.
Without any further thinking, I pushed the button on the gizmo given to me by an old wizard.
The next thing I knew I was coming out of some cave or cavity into a place that was brightly lit and full of giants. Something was connected to me and one of the giants snipped it. It hurt, so I tried to say something but only a plaintive wailing sound came out of my mouth.
I couldn’t understand a word that was being said. The giants were all speaking a language I didn’t know. Then after I was cleaned up a bit and placed in a blanket, I was given to a tired looking woman.
She cried as she held me for the first time. I didn’t know it yet, but I had been reborn Christine Hansen. The language they were speaking was Danish. My place of birth was somewhere in northern Denmark, Aalborg, I think, in Jutland – that's the part of Denmark that isn't islands – but it’s been a long time, and we moved when I was pretty young.
I’m getting a little ahead of myself. All that information came to me over a period of time.
Somehow the gizmo had turned me into a infant girl who was just in the process of being born. A teenage boy’s mind in a infant body, just lying there most of the time, and sleeping like a cat; you would have to think would be a maddening experience but it wasn’t. I was bored – that was for sure – but I had plenty of experience with that, and I spent a lot of time asleep. My Mom played with me a lot, making faces and pointing at things, the way moms do, and talking baby Danish talk all along, and pretty soon I was speaking it, not much, at first, and absurdly pleased with myself when I managed a single word, but it was Danish.
I grew up in the months and years ahead. I don’t remember the exact moment I learned that I wasn’t a boy anymore, but it was sometime early on. I do remember one short moment of shock at my change in gender, but it didn’t freak me out as much as you’d think it would. I guess I’d sort of known, after being diapered and bathed so many times, but hadn’t really thought about it, strangely enough.
So I got my idle wish, and Rick Townsend grew up as Christine Hansen. My father was a lawyer and he and my Mom moved to Copenhagen when I was three or four. Eventually Mom gave birth to two more children, both of whom were boys.
I had a nice life as Christine. It wasn’t ever very exciting but had more pleasures than bad times.
Did I hate being a girl? No, but it took a little getting used to. It was odd. My parents took me to Tivoli, and the big LegoLand amusement park in Billund, and I had fun, running around looking at everything in a cute little ruffled red skirt with layers and a white blouse with ruched sleeves that made me look like a perfect doll. I loved that outfit, because it was in the Danish national colors, and I thought it made me look almost grown up. I still had Rick Townsend’s mind and he had never been gay... well, not then, but it didn’t seem odd at all, really. So I pretended to be interested in boys when I reached the age of crushes and dating, but never did anything. As for girls, I never met one as Christine who was attracted to other girls.
As time passed I came to the conclusion the life of Christine Hansen would be the one I’d live till I died. So why not make the best of it. I grew up middle class and because I was the only female child, I was somewhat spoiled by my parents.
I was a very good student and as my teenage years ticked away, I decided on a career. My choice was to be a doctor, maybe a pediatrician.
The day of my eighteenth birthday was like any other. I got up at six in the morning and went straight to the bathroom. As I brushed my teeth, my world began to spin.
Suddenly I was coming out of a cave or cavity into a brightly lit area full of giants. I had been born once again. This time it was on a junk in Hong Kong harbor, and they were speaking Chinese, so I had another new language to learn.
As I grew up again a tiny infant girl, I began to ask why this was happening to me. It didn’t take me long to figure it was that gadget I’d bought, but why was I being reborn all over again?
Maybe it was a glitch. So I decided to see what happened when Xin Chao turned eighteen. By that age I was working in a cannery. My working class parents didn’t have money for higher schooling.
I went to sleep on the eve of my eighteenth birthday. The next thing I knew I was again coming out into a brightly lit room. I had been born a girl for the third time. This time I was in the country of Peru.
After five or six lives, I came to recognize the pattern. I’d be born a girl and live as one till the moment I turned eighteen years of age. Then I’d move on to another body. There was no rhyme or reason as to the transfers. I’d move thousands of miles or sometimes just a handful of kilometers like when I went from being a seventeen-year-old girl in Austria to an infant Hungarian girl.
Yes, as I wrote this story, I tried to recall how many times I was reborn a girl. I can’t nail it down, but the total is somewhere around 200 give or take five to ten.
How many different countries have I been born in? That is also kind of vague, because the level of education I got in each life varied and a lot of stuff disappeared, sort of. There were so many years between one life and the next... Hey! You try living for three or four thousand years – four hundred of them as a tiny baby with fuzzy thinking going on, if any – and see how your memory holds up. These are the countries and amounts I’m sure of where I spent several lives:
China – 15
India – 13
Brazil – 10
United States and Indonesia – 9
Brazil – 7
Pakistan, Japan, Russia, and Mexico – 6 each
Nigeria – 5
Bangladesh – 4
Some of these totals might be off. As I noted above, the education I got varied and sometimes I never learned exactly where in the world I was, or what language I was speaking. The totals for Bangladesh, China, and Nigeria might be higher than the numbers above.
Canada, Germany, United Kingdom, France, Italy, Turkey, Spain, Colombia, South Africa, Vietnam, Egypt, Iran, Australia, Greece, and Thailand were also some of the countries I was born in multiple times, I think. I don’t know, though; maybe they just looked the same.
One and done countries that I know of included Peru, Denmark, Botswana, Sri Lanka, Cyprus, Nepal, Iraq, Andora!, Portugal, The Congo, Bhutan, Kuwait, Austria, Hungary, Montenegro, Tunisia, Chile, Bulgaria, Yemen, and Lichtenstein!
I never figured out why my eighteenth birthday was the time I reverted to being an infant? I think the electronic gizmo that changed me considered eighteen the age the child became an adult, and my crazy first wish had been about growing up as a girl, so it was trying to make that wish come true. At eighteen, I was no longer a girl but a woman, so it turned me back.
Honestly, I think girlhood ends when a female child has her first menses. She had become a potential mother and that makes me view that person as a young woman from that point till her eighteenth birthday. I’m glad the box didn’t think so, though, or I’d never have had as much freedom as I usually did, in most countries at least.
My lives varied as much as the locations. I was a spoiled rich girl a few times, and the daughter of Bedouins or similarly hard up people other times.
Physical attractiveness varied too. One time I was a stunning Chilean girl named Renata who finished first runner up in the Miss Teen Chile pageant of 2009. In another life, somewhere in Africa, I had multiple facial warts, chin hairs, and the most awful teeth I'd ever experienced. I lived lives on both ends of the physical attractiveness scale and many places in between.
My sexual orientation varied from body to body although I tended toward lesbianism, maybe because I'd been a heterosexual male, but I really didn't know. Most of my bodies were at least in part bisexual so it wasn’t usually all that hard to adapt the culture around me, tempering my attraction to other girls and young women with concern for the consequences if that attraction became known, and perhaps, in part, I'd been afraid of relationships in which the possibility of children might arise.
If my body was totally heterosexual, and it did happen, sometimes I fought it, because of the circumstances of the society I was living in, but in most cases I didn’t. If I dated boys, it was one and only one at a time. I was never promiscuous.
The body I had as Renata was totally lesbian in its sexual orientation. I pretended to like guys when socializing with other girls, including other beauty pageant contestants, but my heart was never in it.
The Miss Teen Chile contest is a six-day affair and the contestants arrive on the weekend before it starts. On Sunday night a dinner was held for all of us. At my table there were several other contestants, and one of our dueñas, but the girl across from me was beautiful, at least as attractive as I was, and I could hardly take my eyes off of her. We introduced ourselves, and I learned her name, Concepción Muñoz.
From the first moment she spoke, my gaydar set off an alarm. Her voice was low and husky, smooth and sweet and slow like thick dark honey. When our eyes met for the first time, Concepción’s eyes stared right through me and into my soul. By the time I became Renata I'd had at least twenty encounters with other lesbians or bisexual women, so I knew the looks she gave me weren't critiques of my gown or makeup. As far as she was concerned, I might as well have been naked, and she planned to arrange just that as soon as possible. All the while, we both kept up a running stream of empty dialogue that had nothing to do with what we were saying to each other.
As far as I was concerned, Concepción was the most beautiful contestant at the 2009 pageant. She also had a sweet personality that matched her physical beauty. Beauty pageants can bring out whatever nastiness lies within contestants, but she wasn’t like that.
I was going to approach Concepción but she beat me to it on Monday. She asked me if I wanted to watch soap operas that night before going to sleep.
“Yes, I would like that,” I said, looking Concepción straight in the eye. “They're having reruns of La Gata, with María Rivas tonight.” By then I could see the hunger in her eyes. She wanted me, and I wanted her.
“I loved that show! And La Gata's real name was Renata, just like yours.”
I blushed. “That too.”
During pageant week, contestants are rarely alone. Chaperones accompany us everywhere. One of the jobs they do is to keep contestants from ‘mixing’ with males except under very tight controls.
One of the ways they do this is by having at least one guardian stationed on the hotel floor all the contestants were sleeping on. They were there to keep one of us from sneaking off without permission, or to keep anyone else from sneaking in.
When Concepcion arrived on the floor Monday night, we went straight to one of the chaperones. “Señora Gomez, with your permission Renata and I want to watch soaps before going to bed. May we please? They're showing a La Gata marathon, and I loved that show as a girl.”
Señora Gomez was quick with her answer. All the contestants had been talking about soaps and two beautiful girls like Concepcion and me couldn’t possibly have any other reason to want to go to a room together. “Yes, you may go.”
“Gracias, Señora Gomez.” I said before walking off with Concepcion to her room. Our rooms were on opposite ends of the floor.
Once I was safely inside the room, Concepcion put every lock possible on the door. The moment she was done, I pulled her face to mine and began to kiss her. Concepción kissed me back every bit as passionately.
I’ve lived over one hundred lives since then, but the three nights with Concepción at that Santiago hotel still remain vivid. We totally shared our bodies with each other and our eyes looked deep into each other's souls. We licked, kissed, sucked, fondled one another etc. Anytime I think of those nights, I become very aroused, but I also long to see her again, to hear her sweet voice.
Concepción and I made love on three separate nights during pageant week. Our chaperones never suspected anything. We never sneaked off to the other's room but asked for permission first. Concepción and I never spent the whole night together but instead called it a night after an hour to ninety minutes. Then one of us would return to our own room. On the way there whichever one it was would say buenas noches to our chaperones.
Concepción won the pageant, and I was the first runner-up. I was happy for my friend and lover. The most beautiful teenager in Chile had won and I knew just how beautiful Concepción was.
A month after the pageant was over, Concepción visited me at my home. We made torrid love the whole week for six straight nights. I continued to see Concepción right up till Renata turned eighteen.
So I was openly gay or closeted in many of my lives. Probably even a majority. Sometimes I didn't have a choice about marriage, or what I was allowed to do and be. Once I was married at the age of thirteen in Turkey. My husband was twice as old as I was and abusive. By the time I turned seventeen, I had already given birth twice. The arrival of my eighteenth birthday couldn’t come too early in that life.
Marriage and motherhood weren’t necessarily bad. In one life, I grew up in a Orthodox Jewish community in Israel. My marriage was arranged while I was still a small child, but as it turned out, Noam and I were best friends growing up. We genuinely loved one another, and by that time I’d spent so many years as a girl – and then a young woman – that the idea of marrying a man, or having sex with one, didn’t seem that odd any more. Guys were cute too, and in that life it didn’t seem likely that I’d be meeting many lesbians. We were married at seventeen and I had already given birth to a son when my eighteenth birthday arrived. That life may have been the one I most hated having to leave. Noam treated me like a treasure, a woman of valor, more precious than jewels to him, and the mikveh, the monthly ritual bath after my menses, was a wonderful ceremony of reconnection with the Earth and my woman’s nature, floating in a warm pool of living water with the mikveh lady nearby with a warm towel when I rose into the world again.
I’m happy to have experienced parenthood. It was the most adult part of all the lives I lived. That time with Noam was when I first experienced the real joy of bringing a new life into the world, a gift to the man I deeply loved, after carrying it inside of me for nine months.
Renata Hernandez, the Chilean beauty pageant contestant was another favorite life of mine and not just because I got to do the lesbian tango with another Chilean beauty. In that life I may have had my best Mom. Madre Hernandez was a hard working woman who raised me on her own after my Padre died when I was three.
I bonded with all the mothers who wanted to bond with me. Most were kind and loving and I learned much from them. Madre Hernandez always said if you work hard good things will come to you.
When I turned ten, Madre entered me in my first beauty pageant. These affairs cost money and we never had much. Madre kept saying to me good things would happen and eventually they did. I gained a wealthy sponsor when I was twelve and shortly afterwards, Madre met my second father. Madre and Padre soon married and my second Padre treated me like I was an angel. Our lifestyle became much improved due to Padre. Madre had been so right from the beginning. Good things would happen to us.
Madre also knew I was gay, and rather than treat me with scorn, embraced me. Not long before my eighteenth birthday, Madre said she hoped I would come out one day. She wanted the Chilean public to see Gays and Lesbians were people just like them. Mom believed in fairy tales coming true and through my experiences, I came to learn they sometimes did.
In a few lives, my eighteenth birthday never came at all. One time I was suffocated as a newborn by my Dad, probably in China. Another time I died as a result of driveby shooting as I played outside the Florida home of my parents. One time my father tried flying the small plane he owned in poor weather and killed me and my mother in the process.
I’d liked my Dad in that life, where my name was Patricia Lamont. Dad just made a very bad decision and his entire family paid the price.
Another favorite life of mine was as a girl named Kilma Gurang in Nepal. My father was a Sherpa who helped men and women climb some of the world’s tallest mountains. I assisted my father to do this and got to summit Mt. Kanchenjunga (Kanchanjaŋghā, the third tallest mountain in the world, lower only than Everest – Sagarmāthā – and K2) on three separate occasions. What a view it is from over 28,000 feet. I felt like I was on top of the world, and the mountain climbers were starting to ask for me by name, especially the groups with women climbers. That was my only life where I was that athletic, and spent so much time in the wilds or hanging off the sides of mountains. It was way cool.
One of the worst lives I experienced came in Canada. My Dad sexually abused me from the time I was eight. My mother didn’t believe anything I told her. Eventually I told a teacher, and I was taken from my parent’s home for a time but given back eventually (Unbelievable right? The social worker was as incompetent as he was overworked) to my parents. Dad, growing paranoid, stabbed me to death shortly after I came home from school one day.
In another life, my mother must have been an abuser of narcotics, perhaps crack cocaine. For I was born brain damaged and had the perpetual mind of a small child. In all the lives I grew up, I started out as an infant but eventually grew up. In that life I never had the faculties of a normal child. Fortunately I died at a young age, maybe three or four years old.
Every time I was reborn I had no idea of what I’d be in for. All I knew is that the moment I turned eighteen years of age, I’d go back to the starting point or what I began to term the tunnel of love, better known as my mother’s vagina. I came to prefer the Tunnel nickname, though. A baby is made by physical love (and hopefully there is emotional love present also, but as experience has told me, that isn’t always the case) between a man and a woman.
I was never anyone really famous, but I came close a couple of times. Renata Hernandez was one instance, Olga Karpov was another. In that life I became one of Russia’s promising young female chess masters. That life was a mix for me overall. I had success on the chess board and had a loving mother. On the deficit side my father was a violent drunk who beat my mother regularly the last few years of his life. I only shed a few tears when that father died when I was fourteen-years-old. We were better off without him.
I did meet some famous people along the way. Nell Carter, Lea Salonga, and Saddam Hussein to name three. The only famous person I came to know personally was the former Polish President Lech Walesa. His granddaughter Kristina and I were best friends and we often played together at her Grandfather’s home.
By the way, I've been brought up a member of each major world religion on multiple occasions and raised by atheist or agnostic parents in other lives. In this life I am Jewish and my father is a Rabbi. Dad is the only Rabbi in western Nebraska and I’m the last of my parent’s five children to be living at home.
In this life I’m admittedly a bit of a spoiled brat. I was able to sneak out tonight and drive away with the car given to me by Mom and Dad on my seventeenth birthday. If my parents learned I went out, they will scold me but that is about all. See I’m their little Princess. All my other siblings are boys.
I know what you're probably thinking right now, did I ever remember what happened historically in one life and try putting it to profit in another? The answer is yes and no. I did remember history from my previous lives but only in couple of instances did I share it. Many times I might know that something was going to happen, but I was half a world away with no way to do anything about it. If you're living in a village in Albania, still using oil lamps for lighting the evening meal, knowing that the New York Stock Exchange crashed on the nineteenth of October, 1987, doesn't do you much good. My memories weren't all that reliable in any case, because by the time I was in a position to do something about my foreknowledge, a couple of hundred years might have passed and I'd forgotten what it was I was supposed to remember. Sometime, it didn't do any good anyway, like in the case of 9-11, where I tried telling someone about it but they thought I was nuts. He and his wife died on American Airlines Flight 77 that tragic day. At the time my father was a staffer at the French Embassy in Washington D.C.
In another life I impressed my father with my correct sports predictions. He took me to a racetrack to see if my magic also worked there. No such luck because that was the first and last time I ever watched horses race in person. Eventually, I gave up on trying to take advantage of whatever it was I knew, because I knew that it wouldn't make any difference in the long run. In a few years, I was going to take another trip through the Tunnel of Love and I'd be starting over. What I did do was build what I thought of as monuments for myself. I was pretty sure that the people around me went on after I disappeared, so I concentrated on helping them, in whatever way I could. That way, I could imagine them going on, but better for having met me.
I hardly ever leaped in and out like that Sam character in Quantum Leap. The most common place for me to be when I got to my eighteenth birthday was asleep. When I was awake, I was almost always doing something completely mundane. I think the oddest departure was the time I stepped in camel shit just moments before moving to my next life.
The new lives always began the same way. I was either coming out of my mother’s body naturally or born by caesarian section.
I'd been married three times and Noam was the only husband I really loved. I'd been pregnant seven times and had given birth on five occasions. I never had an abortion performed on me, but had considered it one of those times I got pregnant while I was in an abusive relationship with a man named Axel. That was in the life where I was a Swedish girl named Linnea Alsvik
I was never a participant in a same sex commitment ceremony. How many girls did I sleep with or have sex? Too many to count! Sorry, I shouldn’t brag, but the number was probably close to how many different lives I lived. In one life, I had sex with at least fifty girls starting from the time I was twelve. There must have been something in that small Austrian town’s water that made girls twelve to seventeen become so uninhibited around other girls and young women.
Those last few days before I transferred to a new body were almost always emotional. Sometimes I felt happy and sometimes sad. It all depended on the life I had at the time. Note: I didn’t always know when my eighteenth birthday was coming. In approximately two dozen of my lives there was little tracking of what day and year it was, so I couldn't keep track of my birthdays.
I have learned something from all the lives I had. In my most recent lives, I have tried to use my time to help people. It isn’t always possible, because my freedom varies from life to life, but I've come to enjoy helping others. In North Platte Nebraska, I work as a volunteer youth counselor.
Why am I burying this message? It is just an odd feeling I have. None of my lives have ever intersected, but I think if it ever occurred, the spell would be broken. Hell, there's no harm in trying.
The location I chose was centrally located. I’ve been born on the North America continent less than in Asia but here I have travelled much more extensively. There’s a chance I might be able to visit this rest area again and I-80 is one of the main east-west arteries of the United States.
I might try this in Indonesia also. It all depends on which island of that nation I am living on at the time.
I could write a great deal more about my experiences but have decided not to. This may not free me from the endless circle. Will I be like this forever? It’s not a bad thing, all the experiences I had, I’d just like to become an adult woman one time, to see my children grow to adulthood rather than having them snatched from me as tiny babies.
Once Naomi was satisfied her bag was indeed covered up, she moved the trash can back over the burial spot. She then walked back to her car.
“Daddy, this is the place. Please stop here,” Seventeen-year-old Allison Hawkins of Casper Wyoming said to her father.
“Princess, are you sure your friend isn’t playing some kind of joke on you?” Phil Hawkins asked his daughter.
“No, Naomi wouldn’t do that to me. Please Daddy, stop here, for me.”
Phil Hawkins could never say no to Allison. So he put his right turn blinker on in preparation for leaving the interstate.
The Hawkins family car had barely come to a stop when Allison leaped out of it. “Daddy please pop the trunk for me.”
Phil did as his daughter said. Then he turned to his wife, Marisol. “I still don’t understand why we are doing this.”
Marisol Hawkins said the same thing to Phil as she had the last five times they discussed Allison’s mystery visit to a Nebraska rest area. “Allison wants to come here, so let’s just indulge her.”
“I’m ready, Daddy,” Allison said. She had a pair of gloves on now and had a shovel with her. Phil then set off with his daughter, still not knowing what they would find at the rest area.
Marisol Hawkins watched as her husband and daughter walking away. Then the mother made a sign of the cross before beginning to pray the rosary.
“What I want is under here, Daddy,” Allison said excitedly as she and her father reached the garbage can. She tried to move it on her own but was too weak. “Can you help me, Daddy?”
Phil did as her daughter asked. “Are you sure your friend isn’t playing a practical joke?”
“Yes, Daddy, I’m sure.”
“Next time tell Naomi to use Facebook instead,” Phil joked with his daughter who laughed along with him. The garbage can was now out of the way.
It was broad daylight but nobody at the rest area paid any attention to the father and daughter. Phil, making quick use of the shovel Allison had brought along, dug up the burlap bag in less than two minutes time.
Allison picked the bag up. This was the first time she’d ever connected her separate lives, which seemed to be going on in parallel, as far as she could tell. What if she’d met herself burying the bag? Could she have simply called up directory assistance and called herself on the phone? She held the bag in her hands, stroking it, feeling the shape of the cylinder inside. In the process, she wiped it clean of all the dirt on it. “Thank you, Daddy.”
As Allison walked back to the car with her father, a funny feeling swept her body for a few seconds. Was she finally free of the spell?
When Allison got back to the Hawkins family car, she placed the bag in the trunk. “I'll open it later, Daddy. Can I use the bathroom before we leave?”
“Go ahead, Princess. Your mother and I will be waiting here when you’re done.”
Phil Hawkins got in the car with his wife. “I don’t know what is in that bag, but I don’t care. Ali was so happy to find it.”
Marisol stopped praying the rosary. “We have to do anything Ali asks us now. I am still praying to God for a miracle.”
“I’m praying with you, sweetheart. Maybe those people at MD Anderson can help Ali out a little too.”
My life as Allison Hawkins and more
November 12th, 2009
Dad stopped driving when we got to Wichita Kansas this afternoon. We’re staying in a Holiday Inn Express and the plan is for us to stop in Houston tomorrow night. Mom and Dad have something planned for the day after tomorrow but they aren’t telling me what it is.
Yippee! I found the sack. Now is the spell broken?
I have almost six months (Next May 6th) before I will know for sure. If the burlap sack doesn’t work, I’ll have to just continue on.
In one of my Indonesian lives, I buried a similar sack on the island of Java near one of its many volcanoes. Around two hundred lives later, I was a girl named Madri Ghani and I had a chance to recover the sack except Mt. Merapi erupted first. My strict but otherwise loving Muslim parents at the time wouldn't permit me to travel till it was too late.
That same life may also have had my most awkward departure. I got married on the eve of my 18th birthday to Karim Wahid. A long celebration followed the marriage ceremony and it was not till the wee hours of the next morning that Karim and I finally became joined on the marital bed also. My husband had just completed making love to me, when my world began spinning again. The next thing I knew I was coming out of the tunnel of love. A wall calendar behind my mother's bed told me I was now a girl in Mar Del Plata Argentina.
Before writing this entry, I reread what I wrote previously. So much more has happened since I buried this sack as Naomi Feinstein. I tried adding up all the lives I had since then, the number is somewhere around 500.
Yes, I travelled down the Tunnel of Love another 400 plus times in addition to being born by caesarian section. The results were overall good but had a few horror stories were thrown my way too. I try very hard to forget the life I starved to death somewhere in Africa and another where I was gang raped in Mexico.
There were a few accidents along the way. I was riding a bicycle in the Czech Republic when a car struck and killed me. A mudslide ended one life I had in the Philippines. In a third, I was killed in some kind of car accident as Dad drove me and my mother home from the hospital. That life, all two days of it, was the shortest I experienced.
The good lives were more numerous, but I seemed to be born a lot on islands or in remote locales. Maybe the spell did this to thwart my efforts to end it, who knows, but I was born in the Faroe Islands, The US and British Virgin Islands, Madagascar, Iceland, Jamaica, Newfoundland, Corsica, Leros, Okinawa, Palawan, Pitcairn and other islands. It’s very hard to get anywhere when you are hundreds or thousands of miles from a major land mass.
Just like before I was Naomi Feinstein, I never grew up to be someone famous. The closest I came was while I was a Japanese girl named Akiko Shigeta. Aki had a beautiful singing voice and her career was just starting to take off when I reached eighteen years of age.
The most famous person I met in my last five hundred or so lives was Pope Benedict XVI. In that life I was an Italian girl named Gisella Moretti and the youth choir she belonged to had been chosen to sing at midnight mass on December 25th 2005.
As a Cuban girl named Domenica Ruiz, I got to know Elian Gonzalez slightly. We lived only a few blocks away from each other and our mothers were friends.
One of the more curious lives I had was as a Norwegian girl named Hannah Ersland. When I exited the Tunnel of Love, I couldn't hear a word being said in the delivery room. I had been born almost completely deaf. Of the 700 or so lives I lived, this was the only time I was ever born with a handicap.
As a result, my early childhood as Hannah was a little more difficult than most of the ones I had experienced before. I had to learn to communicate in a different way. When I was eight, I was fitted with Coklear implants and things were much improved.
That wasn't the only different thing in that life compared to the 500 or so I had lived before that one. When Hannah was born, my far was in the delivery room with my mor. Two years later my mor gave birth to another girl, who my parents named Lisa.
Not too long after Lisa was born, Far began wearing women's clothes full-time. As an infant I came to note many things about the parents but this was the first time anything like this happened. My Norwegian parents loved one another very much but there was something different about them. Not the least of which had been my far sometimes putting on female clothing.
But dressing as a woman every day was just way out. And my mor was telling me to address my father, not with the Norwegian name for father aka far, but as Mora. My biological mother was mor and Dad was now Mora. I was calling them both Mom.
When I was six, I went to stay with other relatives for a month. When Mor and Mora came back, I sensed something different. A few months later I walked in on Mora as she was getting undressed. She no longer had male genitalia.(I had seen far naked when I was an infant) My biological father had undergone a sex change operation.
I thought this way cool. My Dad had been able to have his body changed to the gender she truly felt she should have born. More incredibly, my parents continued to love one another. Their relationship had transitioned from heterosexual to homosexual in nature and the love they had for another was stronger than ever.
Naturally, I loved both my mors very much. I wasn't bothered in the least by having same sex parents. On two occasions I got into fights with another child after they made fun of my Mors. Those boys hate for what they knew nothing about made me angry. Eventually I took pity on the classmates who shunned my parents. They didn't know what it was it was to watch true love take place on a daily basis.
There was one other occasion where I had same sex parents but life wasn't so smooth. In that life I was born in South Korea but adopted at age six months and renamed Suzanne Powell. When I got to the United States, I had two Moms. Mom Laura and Mom Beth who raised me in San Francisco.
When I was age six, Mom Laura and Mom Beth broke up after a series of violent arguments. Mom Beth had been seeing a man. After breaking up with her significant other, Mom Laura needed time to get her life in order. So I went to live with my grandparents for four years. They had a small farm in Northern California and I had lots of fun there but missed my Mom.
I went back to living with Mom when I was ten. Mom remained single but shortly after I turned fifteen, she met my Mom Emily. They had a commitment ceremony a year later and I was maid of honor. I had two loving parents once again.
About ninety to one hundred lives after I was Naomi, my name was Lauren Ross and I lived in Winnipeg. My parents had no interest of visiting Nebraska, so I tried stealing my Dad’s car and getting myself there on my own. A suspicious border control agent caught me as I tried crossing into the United States.
I was returned home and Dad immediately grounded me for a month. Nine days later he changed his mind. “Tomorrow is your birthday, I’m going to forgive what you did last week.”
“Thanks, Dad,” I said before giving my father a hug. The next day Lauren Ross turned eighteen and I was off to my next life. I think it was in Egypt.
I got married four more times. Each happened when I was just a handful of weeks from my eighteenth birthday. The marriages were all right I guess, but I still preferred women and none of my husbands was anything like Noam.
Allison Hawkins is one of those lives I chose to have a boyfriend. His name is Bobby Washburn. We are both leaders of the Youth Group at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church in Casper Wyoming. We are also active participants in a Christian youth group where members have pledged not to have sex before marriage. As Allison, I have kept my vow. Bobby is patient also. He says he is perfectly willing to wait till our wedding day.
Over the course of my many lives, I'd given birth to five children, but the one I named Chelsea was born premature and died soon afterwards. There may have been no time in all my lives that I cried harder than when the doctor came to tell me my baby Chelsea was dead.
Chelsea was the daughter of Jill Sommerset. In that life I was an English girl living in Manchester. My parents were horrible and I ran away from home at age fifteen. Chelsea’s father was a man named Nigel who I lived with for over a year.
Something I keep thinking about is what happened to my children after I jumped to my next life. I pray that they are all well and happy.
Around sixty lives after Lauren, I became Maureen ‘Molly’ O’Brien. My family lived just outside Madison Wisconsin and when I became a teenager I started making plans to get to Nebraska. I did this by becoming online friends with a girl named Debbie in Cheyenne Wyoming (She was the closest person I knew to Western Nebraska). When I turned fifteen, I started cultivating plans to visit Debbie sometime after I turned seventeen. Mom and Dad approved of what I was planning, and I looked all set.
Then an automobile accident made my Mom a quadriplegic. Initially Dad went to pieces because of what happened, and I took on the responsibilities of caring for my three younger siblings and taking care of Mom. It was a lot of hard work but somehow I did it and Dad pulled himself together.
With all my new responsibilities at home, a trip to Nebraska became an impossibility. I hated when Molly turned eighteen, for that was one of my five or ten favorite lives I lived. My parents were arguably the best I had, Mom and Daddy needed me, my siblings were great, as were my friends, and I liked Wisconsin.
Molly didn’t have a girlfriend, but my classmate and close friend Kimberly Kim was giving me signals she may have been open to knowing me sexually. While studying for our senior final exams, KK and I kissed two times. We didn’t go further, but I think we would have if we had more time. Concepción may have been prettier, but I get as aroused thinking of KK as I do when I recall my Chilean friend.
KK and I were supposed to go to the University of Wisconsin together but Molly turned eighteen first. Another trip down the tunnel of love, and I was a baby girl in Switzerland next.
After Molly, I didn’t even come close to getting a Nebraska trip planned, alone put into action. In the North American lives I had before Allison and after Molly, I either lived my whole life close to place I was born or had parents who rather be hit in the head with a rock than make a trip to western Nebraska.
“Why would we want to go there?” My Dad asked me in my life as Sharon Daugherty. My family was moving from Louisiana to Idaho at the time. Dad was a Lt. Colonel in the Air Force and I was a military brat.
In one life, where I was born in India but my parents immigrated to America, my family passed by the Nebraska rest area on our way to our new home in Washington State. Unfortunately, I was seven years old at the time and ten years too early to find Naomi Feinstein’s burlap sack.
All of that is in the past now. I have the sack.
It’s getting late and I am getting real tired. One day, after I learn if the spell has been broken or not, I’m going to write down everything I remember about all my lives.
December 24, 2009
I haven’t written anything for over a month and here is the reason why.
The reason Mom and Dad were taking me to Houston finally revealed itself the day after I last wrote. I have cancer. It is metastasized malignant melanoma. Back when I was eight years old, a mole was taken off my body for biopsy. It tested as melanoma but Mom and Dad never told me that. Till recently I had no signs of further disease. A routine physical I had in October showed some spots in my lungs. The doctors in Houston are experts in treating melanoma and that was why Mom and Dad took me there.
I have stage IV melanoma and patients like myself have a median survival rate of less than a year.
When I got all this news, I was bitter and angry. My parents shouldn’t have waited to tell me my diagnosis. I’m the one who is sick and dying and therefore I should be the first to know. I’m not a little girl anymore.
Obviously I wouldn’t have gone and retrieved the sack either. Now I hang in the air waiting to learn if I got days left or more trips down the tunnel of love.
After getting back from Texas, I withdrew from friends and my activities and sulked at what was happening to me. But why am I writing now? It is simple, I put my faith in God. He knows what is best for me, and if that includes my dying in the next year, I will accept it. After all, I will get to see God if that happens.
Also I don’t feel cheated. After all, I lived life hundreds of times over and even if I didn’t grow up, I've had experiences that no one single living person on this planet other than me has gone through. I got much to be grateful for.
I’m not giving up and will continue to fight. Bobby, who has treated even more fantastic after I got back from Houston even when I was being a pain in the ass, asked me if I wanted to marry him after we both turn eighteen next year. Both of us celebrate our birthdays in May and Bobby is going in the Marine Corps shortly after our high school graduation.
I told Bobby I’d think about it. I don’t want him marrying me because he takes pity on me. I did enough of that already and have moved on.
Merry Christmas everyone and God bless us all.
May 7th, 2010 Diary entry
My eighteenth birthday came and passed yesterday. The spell is broken.
The cancer I have is out of control. I’m holding on at this point and not sure if I will even make it to my graduation day. Bobby is still asking if I will marry him. I think I’m going to say yes. He, and my parents have been by my side through this whole ordeal. His love has kept me strong and of all the boys I met, he is the only one who compares to Noam. I shouldn’t deny Bobby or I the chance to be together. I’m going to tell Bobby yes tomorrow but only after talking to Mom and Dad first.
I don’t have much energy to write anymore. What I said last December still stands. I have experienced more in life than most and I consider myself blessed as a result. If God takes me soon, I will go with him eagerly. The only sadness I feel is for Bobby, but more particularly for my parents. I’m their only child. I pray to God he keeps them strong after I’m gone.
The applause for Allison began even before she started walking across the stage. Every single one of her classmates were standing and cheering as she went to accept her diploma.
“Congratulations, Allison, I’m glad you made it.” Allison took the diploma handed to her by her high school principal.
“Thank you, Mr. Humphries.” After she shook the Principal’s hand, Allison looked towards where her parents and her husband Bobby were standing. All of them were crying.
Allison began to walk off the stage. Only a few seconds passed before she began to feel dizzy and her head began to throb. Then her legs collapsed out from underneath her and she fell to the floor unconscious.
The high school graduation ceremony came to a screeching halt as school officials rushed to Allison’s side. A Physical Education teacher did a quick examination of her.
“I can’t find a pulse. Someone call 911!”
Allison suddenly found herself in the Spells R Us store. The wizard and a young lady were standing behind the counter.
“Have I died and gone to hell?” Allison was back in his original body. He was Rick Townsend again.
The wizard laughed. “No, Rick, Allison is about to go to heaven but I thought we should have a word first.”
“I’m dead already?” Rick felt drained and emotionless as he talked with the wizard.
“No, Allison is still alive. She will be taken to the hospital but die not long after arriving there. You suffered a cerebral hemorrhage just moments ago.”
Rick talked with the Wizard about the magic that had been cast on him. One of the rules for ‘The Adventures of Life’ game did involve the magic coming to the end if the user connected two different lives they led.
“I wish I had known that when living in the Virgin Islands. Corrine lived on Tortorola and Monique lived on St. John. It was only a three-hour trip by ferry.”
“If I recall correctly, Corrine was having far too much fun with an island beauty named Melinda.”
Rick laughed. “Those were some great days. Thank you for everything.”
“You are very welcome, Rick.”
“Can I go now?”
“Rick, you enjoyed the lives you had. Am I correct?”
“Yes, I did, for the most part.”
“Which one was your favorite?”
“That’s a tough question. I had four or five lives that I really liked.”
“If you were offered the opportunity to live one to adulthood and the rest of its natural life span, which one would you choose?”
“That’s a tough question. Are you offering me a choice?”
“Yes, I am, Rick. You were a very good, kind, and helpful person in almost all your lives.”
“Thank you and I appreciate your offer. I can’t make up my mind.”
“We have a little time but not much, Rick. If Allison were to die before you make a choice, I can’t help you anymore.”
“You can’t raise the dead I guess?”
The wizard chuckled. “No, I can’t, nor change Internal Revenue Service files neither. There are limitations on a wizard’s powers.”
“I can’t be Allison, can I?”
“No, Rick, I’m afraid not. She is going to die very soon.”
“Other than Allison, my favorites were Renata Hernandez, Yael Weiss, and Kilma Gurang.” Yael was married to Noam, Renata was the very lesbian Chilean Beauty, and Kilma the mountain climbing daughter of a Sherpa.
“Didn’t you like being Molly O’Brien too?”
“Yes, Molly was another favorite of mine.”
“Which one would you like to be?”
Rick talked for a few minutes about the things she liked about all four girls the Wizard or she had just mentioned. There were only minor negatives involving each of the four. Israel was not the safest place in the world, Renata lived in a strongly Catholic country that didn’t look favorably on gays and lesbians, Molly had a tough home situation because of her mother’s condition, and lastly Rick thought Kilma was very unattractive. In his opinion Kilma would have a hard time finding a companion male or female.
“You’re wrong about Kilma. Yes, she is far from being a knockout but Nepali men and lesbians (they do have them in Nepal) find her no worse than average looking, but in a way you are right. Kilma is a tomboy and that will scare off some men”
“Ok, you’re probably right about Kilma, but I felt so empowered in that life, and strong. Can you tell me anything about their lives after they turn eighteen?”
“No, except to say you would be very happy as any of the four you mentioned to me.”
I still don’t know who to choose. Whose life she'd once lived should she try to make better? Would she feel guilty for ones she took a pass on?
After another minute passed without an answer from Rick, the wizard made the decision for him. He waved his arms twice and the young man disappeared from the store in a flash.
Danny spoke for the first time. “So who did you choose for Rick?”
“All four of the young ladies we just discussed. Rick will live the natural lives of Yael, Renata, Molly, and Kilma. Rick is a good person. He deserves to be very happy four times and besides, in all four instances she will continue to help others.”
“What will happen when the last of those lives come to an end?”
“Rick will go to Heaven.”
“Boss, are you telling me you believe in God?”
A grin formed on the Wizard’s face. “Danny, let me tell you a story…..”
Rick blinked at the flash, but when he opened his eyes again it was dark and he was lying down, a warm coverlet covering him and a warm presence behind him. Someone was shaking his shoulder, saying something, but he couldn't focus, disoriented and confused.
“Yael, Yael," the voice was saying softly, almost whispering.
It was her husband, Noam, but she hadn't heard his voice in many years. A feeling of relief, of love, washed through her as she remembered him, remembered where she'd been, so many nights and years ago, but now she was home, safe in his arms again, her husband's strong arms. She nestled into his embrace, relishing his warmth, her senses flooded with his once familiar scent, tears filling her eyes as she was falling, falling into love.
“Yael, my darling, little David is awake and wanting to be fed again.”
With a shake of her head, Yael – she was Yael again – brought herself to full consciousness as she rolled towards him. “Noam, my sweet man, I was dreaming that I'd lost you, but now you're here again. Please bring me our boy.” She touched his arm with trembling fingers, his profile against the light creeping through the shuttered window inexpressibly dear and familiar to her.
She felt the mattress shift as Noam went to get their son, who was just across the room, close enough that she could hear him breathe. Yael did some quick thinking. The Wizard had returned the former Rick Townsend to what was arguably his favorite female life. She was a wife and a mother again, she'd live to see her son grow up, there would be a daughter, and another son, she knew this as if it had happened yesterday, even though it was still in her new future, a future she'd never seen. In that future, she saw Renata, Molly, and Kilma too, misty visions of the Wizard’s magic. He was going to let her complete all her favorite lives, but only after she'd lived the full life of Yael Weiss, and not now. Now was full, overflowing with possibilities, with a real future and a real life with the man she loved and her children, grandchildren, generations yet to come, an onrushing avalanche of life springing from her loins and love.
Yael unbuttoned her nightgown, releasing her breast as she prepared to feed her son.
Noam was apologetic as he handed David to her. He loved his wife and knew she worked incredibly hard for their family. The five-week-old boy had not begun sleeping through the nights yet, so Yael was exhausted by lack of sleep in addition to all her other burdens. “You're crying,” he said.
“Tears of joy, my husband. I had a bad dream, but now I'm awake and everything is perfect again.” Yael put David up to her left breast. Her baby boy latched right on and began to suck as the familiar feeling of love suffused her body, making her feel more real than life, etched into the moment like a painting by Degas.
As her baby suckled, his dear mouth making those dear sounds as he nursed, Yael became so filled again with love she thought her heart would burst, she was so much in love, in love with her husband, loving their son, loving the life they were making together.
She reached out to take her husband's hand as he bent down to kiss her forehead, hungry for the feel of his flesh and bone.
“Is there anything I can do or get you?” he asked.
“No, Sweetheart, nothing. I have everything that I could ever want right here.”