Posted: 24 December 2004 at 11:53am
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It was like any other day.I got up in the morning only to find my foster mother angry at me, like always. She always shouted at me, usually for no reason. I dressed and ran out of the house as soon as I could. I decided to skip breakfast because of my mother's sweet disposition. It was a friday and I couldn't even think of the nightmarish weekend which lay in front of me. I was lost in my own thoughts when the loud honking of the school bus rudely awakened me from my daydreaming.School was better even though I was considered the weird kid with no friends. Atleast nobody shouted at me telling me how useless I was. School was like heaven in comparison to home(if u can call it that). I always had some or the other excuse to linger around at school long after everyone had gone home but today I was out of luck, I couldn't even get myself a detention. I started to walk home as it would take more time this way instead of riding the bus.
As I walked I felt a strange tinge of excitement as if something good was gonna happen that would change my life forever. I suddenly felt a hand on my shoulder. As I turned with a heavy heart, thinking that it was one of the bullies, I was taken aback when I saw that it belonged to a handsome guy. He was tall, had blonde eyes, looked athletic and had the confident charm of a person who is born with a silver spoon in his mouth. He smiled and said, "Hi! My name is Joe. What is yours?" His voice had an unearthly charm to it.A strange force compelled me to answer and I took a deep breath and said,"Hi Joe! I'm Jenna." I was happy that atleast now I had a reason to delay my fateful return home. He said after surveying me for a moment, "Come with me." I followed him obediently as a dog follows its master.We went towards a clearing in the woods.
That was my biggest mistake and the start of all my troubles. Anyway we sat down and he said,"I know you don't like your life. You don't have a family. Nobody cares about you. You have no friends. You are alone in this world." With every word he said I felt a rising feeling of panic and wanted to run away but somehow my legs had decided to fail me at the time I needed them most(well, maybe I need them more to away from my mom when she is in one of her danger moods.Those spell disaster). I said (trying an unsuccessful stab at being humourous),"How do you know this? Are you some kind wizard?" He smiled (and he looked more human and less divine when he did that)and simply said,"It doesn't matter. All that matters is that I am right." I said still baffled,"Yes,but..." He cut me off and said,"My life is the total opposite of yours.My parents are rolling in wealth. I am an only child and so unfortunately fully spoiled and pampered. I am very popular in school with an endless number of fake friends but no true ones. I usually,no always get whatever I want." I said dreamily trying to imagine the picture,"That must be like heaven." He snapped and said,"Yeah, but I am sick of it." Then an urgent tone he asked,"Would you like to have a life exactly like mine?" I replied,"Yeah I would love to,but..." He cut me off once again and said,"Perfect." There was a flash of light which almost blinded me and I felt as if I was falling and falling(it never seemed to end)......
I woke up in a bed in an unknown room. I sat up and walked to the mirror. I saw my reflection in the mirror and to my horror, it wasn't me at all. I screamed and to my horror my voice had changed too. When Joe had asked me to change lives with him, he had been serious and the worst part was not only our lives but also our bodies had switched. I was a guy!!! Hearing my scream(in Joe's deep, male voice) a woman came running up the stairs. Without even thinking I asked her," What happened to all the snow?It certainly can't melt overnight." She gave me a weird look and started laughing," Are you crazy? This is Florida. It doesn't snow here." I was taken aback and said softly,"Florida???" By the looks of it she looked like Joe's mom. She replied,"Yes, what happened to you? Why were you screaming?" Then answering her own question she said,"Must be a bad dream. Now hurry up and get ready and remember today is your wrestling speech and you don't want to get late." I was even more scared now. I did not wrestle, and I was the worst public speaker there could be. I went to take a shower and realized that I couldn't even look at my own body. How ironic when this was supposed to make my life better.Well I decided not to take a shower.That task could be tackled later.
I went to school in a huge car with a driver. WOW!!! And Joe's dad had given me 50$ as lunch money (now I knew what Joe meant when he said spoiled and pampered). Anyway as I reached the school,I felt lost as it dawned on me that I didn't even know my friends, my schedule, my locker(oops, I mean Joe's)!!! Suddenly a huge group of obviously popular and cool kids came towards me and started talking all at once. What was I supposed to do? I didn't even know my own locker and classes. Then I just said," I need to go to my locker." One of the guys said,"Isn't that what he is for???" They pointed towards a nerdy looking guy. I said,"But thats mean." And I walked towards that guy and I said,"What is your name?"He said,"Charles". He seemed surprised out of wits that I had spoken to him. I said,"I'll walk with you to my locker." He just nodded. All the other kids were looking at me as if I was out of my mind. I ignored them and spoke to Charles,"Since how long have you been getting my books for me?" He just replied with pride,"Since Kindergarten." I was shocked and said," Thats not a thing to be proud of. From tomorrow there is no need for you to get my books." He said in a shaky voice,"But what did I do wrong? Please forgive me.Don't do thid to me." I was angry at Joe by now,"You should take any nonsense from anyone.You are just as special in your own way as we all are.All of us are equal." I was gonna continue when a girl with glasses came towards me and handed me many worksheets and said in a shaky voice," Here is your homework. I did it perfect." I looked at her surprised and said,"What is your name?" She started crying and said,"I'm sorry for whatever wrong I have done.I didn't mean to harm. Please don't tell anyone." I started laughing amused by the whole situation,"You did nothing wrong. I just wanna know the name of the girl who does my homework so well." Now feeling that this was the only approach I could use.
Till now my "friends" had come n seeing them both the girl and Charles hurried away. They wisked me away to this huge hall like auditorium as they called it. And before I even realized it I was standing in front of about 700 people and talking about wrestling as if I was born to do the thing.And I realized that with Joe's body I had got his qualities too. I was happy. School went by great. I wqas popular and liked by all, I couldn't believe it. But the worst part was when i had to take a shower. I still somehow hadn't learned to live with the fact that I was a guy.
But soon days turned into months and months into years. Two years later I was standing in the my (i was settled into my new life and body fully) bedroom. But somehow with all the popularity too there was something missing. Then I realized what it was - true friends. Everyday was like a drag. I knew what would happen and I would excel in everything. Life as a popular kid was dull. No fun, no surprise, and most of all no spontaniety. It was as if there was a fixed schedule I had to follow. People were always carefully noticing what i was doing. There were so many popular kid "rules". You can't do this, can't wear that, can't say this. CAN'T and DON'T were the two words I heard day in and day out.
I was sick of it. It was as if everyone was waiting for me to make a mistake. They were waiting as a hungry lion waits in the shadows for its prey. I just sat on my bed and somehow my whole earlier life was unfolding in front of me. It was jeering and laughing at me. I saw my earlier self saying mockingly,"This is what you always wanted now why are you so miserable? Now why do you want to be me?" And before I knew it tears came out of my eyes. I didn't care I was a guy or that what would someone say if they saw me like this. The entire pain and tension of the last two years was flowing in the form of my tears. I just kept muttering,"I wish I was myself again" over and over.
Then I heard a voice,"What are you shouting for? Wake up." I opened my eyes and it was the face of my foster mom. I overjoyed and I hugged her for the first time in my life. She went away grumbling but didn't say anything. I ran to the mirror. I was me again. The TV was on and I saw that the whole SWITCH was a dream. I was so happy. I skipped of to school merrily and full of life. This dream had taught me one important lesson that always love what you have.
Later that day, I missed my bus and had to walk home. On the way I felt a hand on my shoulder. And as I turned my smile faded and my happiness vanished because what I saw was not good. I saw a handsome guy with blonde hair and blue eyes standing. He smiled and said in a deep, unearthly voice,"Hi! My name is Joe. What is yours?............................