I said the summary was inside, so here it is.
Summary- Straight-laced, straight A high school honor student and medical volunteer Damien Riley has a difficult life...in his own eyes. He is constantly the victim of jealous bullies, has thick glasses to help improve his terrible vision, and is trying to get over his foolish obsession with popular athlete and pretty boy (as well as well-known school slut) Tyler Barnett. His wealthy parents are in the middle of a complicated divorce, and his sister is repeatedly trying to find him a fiancé in a world full of greedy people. With spazzy brown hair and a thin, wiry physique worthy of any geek, he isn't exactly popular, and he isn't brave or out-spoken. However, one night he does something that leads to his death, something heroic and unbelievable for somebody so timid. In return for this act of selfless-ness, the higher beings of heaven agree to give him another chance at life, and let his soul return to his body.
But somebody made one hell of a mistake. Instead of landing back in his own body, he instead wakes up in the body of seventeen-year old sex kitten and high school drop-out Jasson Riley. Confused and stuck in a body not his own, Damien doesn't know what to do or how to change it...or how to get out of Jasson's rather interesting night job. How will he ever get over his infatuation with Tyler? And, even worse, how will he ever get back into his own life?
What's a poor nerd to do?- Chapter 1
I don't really know how I managed to survive the day. Honestly, what had Thomas been thinking? A regular school...that was a laugh. Had he honestly thought that I would fit in better here when I hadn't even fit in at the posh private school I had attended before?
Sometimes I wonder if my father gets a sadistic thrill out of seeing me come home black and blue.
I'm not surprised, really. I've never actually tried to make friends with any of the people at Central High, and I never really had any real desire to stand up for myself, not when all odds were against me and my scrawny little form. I get beaten to a pulp on a regular basis because of my glasses, my family's wealth, my squeaky, wobbly voice...the faults are just too numerous to count, and I wasn't about to add 'failed in self-defense attempt' to the top of the list under "Reasons that Damien Christopher should not see another day." I'm not suicidal, and I'm not stupid. Ask anybody, and they will happily tell you that I am a child prodigy as far as bookwork goes, and easily dominate the school as the top of my class. No, intelligence and mental strength is hardly the problem, not in my life. Physical strength, however...there's the kicker with me. If I had muscles in any form, I probably wouldn't have half the problems I have now.
I'm not saying strength would solve everything: like I said, I'm not that stupid. However, I do think it would solve a few things...my tormentors would think twice about taking my glasses if they thought I could take them back, is what I'm getting at. However, that isn't my only motivation for wanting physical strength...
Tyler Barnett, sexy, blond, athletic, (damn him) has overlooked me again.
Okay, that isn't exactly true. Nobody overlooks me, not really, but they might as well for all the good their sneers and looks of jealous disgust do me. Damien beating...a spectator sport, and a fine one besides. Like moths to the flame, my fellow pupils flock around me and my tormentors, today no different from any other day, cheering, betting...(which, while I'm on the subject, I have eighty-two to one odds, and if I ever won one of my fights, somebody out there would make a pile...if somebody was foolish enough to bet on me.)
Back to my original point. Tyler Barnett...basically the hottest thing that my rather limited life had ever seen, but more than that, even: he's nice. Nice. Call me stupid, foolish, ect., but I am being quite serious when I say this about him. He is quite possibly the nicest popular person I have ever met before, and it is why I think about him now. And, not only is he nice, but he also happens to be homosexual as Hell, as Thomas once described him.
Just like me. And God help me if Thomas ever figures that out. My life would have ended, quite simply, and I would have had to be home schooled or some such ridiculous thing. Every hesitant 'hello' I had ever said to anybody in this school would have been wasted.
This was what I was thinking about as I walked, no ran, home today. Like always, this was not the only thing I thought about. I thought about Tyler, about my perfect grades, about my sister; pointless, normal things. I didn't think about my mother...what's the point? She wouldn't be there when I came home...she wouldn't be there ever again, but then, I didn't really have the heart to blame her for it. If it was me, I wouldn't want to stay married to Thomas Christopher either, or even live with 'his children.' No, I didn't blame her. I blamed Thomas. I blamed Sara, my demanding, arrogant sister.
But, most of all, I blame myself.
I know what people say. "Tell your children it's not their fault"...the beginning of any divorce talk, regardless of whether the parents actually give a crap about their kids or not, begins with those words. It's all but a rule, and heaven forbid anyone break it and a poor, spoiled little youngster develops a family-love complex. I'm cynical, I know, but I can't help it. My parents have been trying to get a divorce for three years, a very long time considering what they have been fighting over: money. Mom wants money: Thomas doesn't want her to get it. Sara and myself don't even enter into the conversation, so it's not too surprising that neither of us is too fond of our parental units just about now. Although, as Thomas said before, the divorce hasn't or won't affect our allowance, so we really have nothing to complain about...shows how observant he is.
This is what occupied my thoughts for most of the way home. Everything, the day's beating, Sara, my homework load, the divorce...it was like some sort of living nightmare, and then what happens? It starts to rain, and I still have another mile to go.
Sometimes I just wish I was dead.
When I arrived home, I wasn't too surprised to hear that Sara was hosting another of her rich-but-not-too-rich get togethers with the other female members of this particular species who worshiped her. There was shopping, and gossiping, and a very detailed discussion about the who's-who of high school...it was just sick.
I understand why they flock around her. Truly, I do. My sister is, much as I hate to admit it, the main shareholder of looks in our family. Boys flock. Girls flock. The sexless flock. They're like a damn group of birds, and the fact that my sister is beyond bitch-hood doesn't seem to matter.
Naturally, I avoid them all. I have enough problems without one of her "you-could-use-a-girlfriend-let-me-find-you-one" discussions. I never bothered to tell her I liked men. Sara can't keep her mouth shut for two seconds without letting a secret slip, and it would only be a matter of time before Thomas found out. Or, even worse, somebody I liked found out. Somebody like Tyler.
I sighed, pushing my self-aquired dinner aside. I wasn't really hungry when I got it, and it was only a very short time before the females traveled to the kitchen to laugh at my sticky-out hair, or just sit in a corner and giggle. I really didn't want to be around for when the cackling began, and since it was somewhere around nine o'clock, Thomas would be joining 'us' shortly.
Even though I had only been home just barely long enough to complete my homework and plan out my schedule for tomorrow, I had to get out...again. There was nothing wrong with walking for a while, was there? As far as I was concerned at the time, no. Thomas owned a large, comfortable house in a safe neighborhood, and the only people who went outside after nine on a flippin' Monday were those who were crazy and bored, like me. There aren't many of them, at least as far as I know, so the chances of being mugged were a minumum. So, I shrugged on a jacket, and headed outside, walking along the somewhat dull pathway that went through our 'garden.' We used to have a garden...back when somebody other than me cared enough to tend to it. I tried, really, but I just didn't have the touch to keep fragile little flowers alive, and my allowance wasn't exactly enough to hire a gardener to do it either. Finally, I just had to give up on it...it was perhaps the saddest moment of my life.
I didn't really notice my surroundings much after that. Houses, buildings, street lights...all went unnoticed after a short time walking, until I was forced to stop and consider where I was. I rarely wandered so far that I got lost, but that night I had. Then I was simply wandering around looking for someone to ask how to get back on Central Avenue.
In the hour or so that passed, I saw only one person, a boy, roughly my age but with an unusual stutter that prevented anything coherent from coming out of him. He pointed in a general direction, and I really didn't need anything more than that: I would find it eventually. I thanked him, because I tried to be polite on a regular basis to everyone but my tormentors and my family, and started to walk away, crossing the street quickly as soon as I was sure there were no cars to cause a problem. The boy, nameless and with brown hair and a slanted ball cap, called out after me, having apparently remembered something else. Without bothering to check the street, he followed me.
The boy never saw the truck, but I did.
I don't know what motivated me to run back to the street. Under normal circumstances, I would have had no choice but to watch as the large gray Dodge slammed into the stuttering boy. There would have been no safe option for aiding him. There wasn't then either. But still I moved, pushing him aside. I should have pulled instead of pushed. It seems such a simple thing to do, and it would have saved two lives instead of just one, but pulling took time, time I didn't think I had. Having been only a yard or two away, safely on the other side of the street, the momentum I gained by running and shoving wasn't much, but when I crashed into him instead of the speeding, swerving vehicle, it was enough to get him out of the way.
I had less than a second to take my last breath, and then there was nothing but darkness.
I heard praying, muttering above me, and I woke to the sight of the brightest light I had ever seen shining directly into my eyes. What should have blinded me, or at least hurt, seemed not to affect me at all.
"Damien, brave Damien, wake up," whispered a disembodied voice, a female voice, soft and coaxing and with a gentle, almost motherly touch. It was beautiful to me, and I couldn't help but close my eyes again. I wished my mother had sounded like that when she spoke to me.
"Damien, Damien, Damien..." It was a chorus of soft praising, a honoring of a hero, and I didn't know why they were saying my name. I had never been a hero.
"Damien, what you did was brave, and self-sacrificing. Another life, in place of your own...for this deed, we give you another chance at life."
I nodded blankly, not really understanding, and felt myself drift through a bright haze...
I woke with a headache, pounding and insistent, and a vague recollection of the strangest dream...a dream worthy of a mental patient, that one. I had dreamed I died, for God's sake, and then was allowed to come back because my normal, timid self had pushed a boy my age from an oncoming truck. As far as deaths went, it wasn't that bad, I suppose.
But since it was, after all, only a dream, it really creeped me out.
I yawned, stretched languidly, and reached my hands over my head. I felt them connect with smooth wall, and I frowned. I touched it again. My bed isn't near a wall... I opened my eyes, and sat up, startled, as my vision came in perfectly, no glasses required. My mind took in the unfamiliar surroundings in amazement, my body quivering as I lept out of the bed like it was poisonous, and felt cool air touched my bare back. My eyes widened, and I touched the skin on my back, feeling muscles I had wanted and tight, tied strings of a somewhat indecent shirt. A backless shirt.
I whimpered, and looked around, near panic. A dream...I must still be in my dream. It had to be a dream.
But I didn't remember going to bed.
I whipped around, studying the dimly lit room in shock. It looked real, so real, the lamps covered in red, see-through cloth, the furniture plush and silken. Maybe it was a prank, a design of my sister's so that I would begin to see it her way, and date one of her chosen 'girlfriends.'
But I didn't remember making it home.
I pinched myself, panicking more when it stung. I hurried through the small apartment, wandering out of the bedroom into a kitchenette, and then into a bathroom. The bathroom was clean, oddly clean, and there wasn't a single lewd item in there, nothing really...except a empty bottle, and a cabinet with a mirror on the front. I reached for the bottle, picking it up and briefly scanning the label. Sleeping pills...two right before going to bed, prescribed to a Jasson Moore, due to run out in about two weeks.
Yet the bottle was empty.
I dropped it, recoiling, and pulled back slowly. Why am I in Jasson Moore's apartment? What happened to him? What happened to me last night? Then my eyes hit the mirror, connecting with the startled green ones in the reflection. My eyes are not green.
It was due to an instinct that I automatically looked around for the owner of the eyes, and encountered only open space. I looked back into the mirror, raising my shaking hands to touch the small, triangular face staring at me, and to wrap a red, perfectly formed curl around my fingers. A stranger was looking at me through the mirror, but yet every move I made, they mimicked. As my breathes became hurried and afraid, so did the man's in the mirror. Somehow, that man was me.
I have always been a rational person. I calculate odds, I deal with ratios, I work with real life, and suddenly, I was in a body that did not belong to me. The body of Jasson Moore. And god only knows what had happened to him. So, being a rational person faced with this situation, I did the only thing I could have done.
Eh, it's a start. Much thanks to Tylorez, who drastically improved my self-confidence when he was beta reading my story. Read and review please...really. I could use the input.