Last summer, I jumped off a roof. Let’s back up- my best friend betrayed me one night last summer.
She had the grand idea to host a dinner party, and she made me come to it. Which was fine for the record. It’s just that she invited someone else — a half hour after it all got started who walks in but the monster I despised most in the world? It was up to three other girls to approach me offering a much-needed heads up that he’d arrived. Shivers attacked my spine and on my life, I swear to you, I very nearly vomited. I slipped out the back door and there was none other than Evan McShane.
Wearing the same outfit as always, fingers wrapped around a beer so the blue stone in his class ring could hold my attention for just a second every time the sweeping porch light bounced off it, he stood cooly. By the time I closed the door, he was staring me down. He had a way of undressing me with his eyes the better to eat me alive. Alright, so that wasn’t necessary to say. You know what else wasn’t?
“Look who it is!” he called out. “How them legs holdin’ up all that junk?”
“They’re running on the fuel of unicorn blood and gasoline,” I replied. No, I don’t know why I said that. If you would please just go with it, we shall continue. Where were we? Ah, yes, I was attempting to escape.
“I missed you, you know that?” he says next.
“Aw, how sad- you haven’t found another girl to stalk and harass yet.”
“I like ’em sweet, and they just don’t make ’em like they used to.”
“Finally gave up on the pretty young things, did ya, you pervert?”
“You were a pretty young thing when I found you, remember?”
Ugh, how could I forget? I met Evan three years ago while we were at Yale. It was a party, coincidentally, but it was a real party nothing like my friend’s summer dinner among friends (and the devil himself, Evan McShane). I was dating a Princeton student back then and, of course, every rich prick ran in the same circles so they vacationed together in Greenwich. Anyway, practically everyone worth knowing was there and so was Evan and so was I. It’s true, I was both pretty and young at the time because I was so naive. I didn’t know the girlfriend of one friend is considered communal property among circles of drunk boys rejoicing in the fabulousness of their old money wealth. Then life knocked me down and built me up just to knock me down again and I learned my lesson. Anyway, I’m going to skip over all that, and while we’re it let’s not dwell on what was said before he smacked me across the face and walked away.
It was the next morning that our story really begins. I woke up in a gray room. At the time, I had no idea where I was or how I’d gotten there. My first thought was to call someone, but my phone was nowhere in sight. Actually, nothing I recognized was within my sight, even my clothes. I got out of bed, though I will say it was about eighteen times more comfortable than mine, and moved towards the door of a stranger’s bedroom.
My head felt like it had taken a couple of laps through Hell and emerged back where the sun shines trying to scramble together half a life. It looked worse for wear too. And, uh, about that. When I looked in the mirror I didn’t see myself in the dirty glass I found the image of one Evan McShane. His eyes, his nose, his jaw, his mouth, his forehead, his cheekbones- all there. His collarbone, his chest, his shoulders, his arms, his abs, his nasty trail of dark hair I would wax the first chance I got- fully accounted for. My mind was occupying the physical matter of the one I despised most. Not going to get into all the backstory, but suffice it to say his body was the means and mine the motive, he the crime and me the crime scene. But I was now in control of the evidence- I carried his fingerprint.
I returned to the bed and lifted a cell phone in a greenish-black case from the nightstand, unlocking it on the third try. The first thing that drew my attention was his call log. Missed calls from unknown and anonymous numbers separated by missed calls from the LAPD adorned his history. His outgoing calls were momentary flashes of one female name accompanied two emojis, and typically these contacts had sent him angry messages. Well-hated my new body was. Good.
Anyway, I learned via the phone also that I was late for work and this was no bueno for me (actually, no bueno for him and perfectly alright for me). I opted to take the day off, relaxing at home. A pigsty, if I do say so myself but not unliveable by the third bottle of Fabreeze and a Chanel №5 whose owner was an enigma. I didn’t anything else out of her purse, but I did wonder about it. You don’t leave your purse in someone else’s house and you don’t leave your own house without your purse and yet, un monedero sin una mujer.
Anyway, don’t mind me tossing in some Spanish now and then. It’s just a thing my mind does. I will say, it sounded foreign and strange on his tongue like it was tripping out every syllable and second-guessing every sound. Also set aside the fact that I’m about twice as likely to be talking to myself as I am to anyone else.
The day I woke up in his body, I cooked myself breakfast and nearly set the house on fire. I should say, nearly set the whole house on fire because the kitchen did, in fact, burn for a minute there. Not my fault, don’t sue me. After that, I simply got dressed and walked about four blocks until I reached my office building (not his, mine). I climbed all the way up the fire escape and stood on the roof. On the roof, I stood for a long time just thinking about what would happen. Only when I became an adult did I spend actual time considering the actual consequences of my actions. Do not recommend. But, this didn’t stop me from changing my mind. I knew what I was there to do. I stepped on to the edge and took a simple swan dive down.
I stood in the cloud of white light for some time while the world went black and an eternity later, I woke up again. This time, I was in my own bed and my own body but I felt something had changed and the questions churned in my head, burning in my brain.
What have I done?
Thank you for reading this story I wrote a while ago. For more like this, see my recent posts on Medium.
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