There are a lot of times when you go places that you want to go to and go places where when you are there you get stuck wondering how you got there. And when you know that you aren't comfortable in your own skin, going places is always something to do. When I look back at my life, living at home with both of my parents, perfect picture on the outside but cold and frozen on the inside, I don't understand a lot of things. I can see how we don't hug or appreciate the company of each other, and I notice how distant my parents appear around each other. My family is hard to describe, just like ripples on the surface of a lake. My family and I always were just … together. It didn't matter what happened or how, we just crumbled. Undeniable truths can't be changed, just like reflections in a mirror.
I remember the very first time that my life stopped being black and white; the very first time someone shattered the glass and let the color leak into the untainted pages of my book. If this unreal thing had never happened to us, I would have never known or even come close to guessing that my enemy would be the person to save me. Or how much in need of saving he was before our paths crossed very literally and in the freakiest way possible.
I wrote this to tell you our story, so here it is on the morning it started.
It was morning, everything felt kind of heavy, my arms could not move, my legs were like lead, and there was a soft but heavy weight on my chest … and it was purring. And breathing. Oh..
Jerking up on my bed―that I would later notice was not my bed at all―I let out a shout in a voice that also was also not mine. It was too dark for it to be seven in the morning, the time I normally got up at to go to school, so something must have woken me … up … oh, that's right, the weight. What was it? I heard a hissing noise followed by the sound of tiny little claws scratching on the floor boards.
But my room has a carpet, I thought with confusion. What is going on here?
I reached out to the left and met with a wall before I took note that I was definitely not in my own room because my room wall in my house was usually to my right, not my left. The dresser was less cluttered than I remembered it to be when I had fallen asleep the night before and I grabbed for a light switch but only found a lamp, which I groped until I found a small peg and flicked it on.
What happened to my room? Where am I?
When I looked around, my eyes that weren't my eyes, adjusting to the sudden brightness, I realized that the weight on my chest―which was considerably broader and hard with muscle―was actually a cat, large with black and white fur and big green eyes. It had probably been sleeping on top of me. But .. we didn't have a cat because dad was allergic to the fur. So …
Where the hell am I?
Bolting up from where I lay, stumbling over my own or well, not my own feet! What the …
I screamed when I found the bathroom and looked into the mirror and the face of Jonathan Penloza stared back at me. Of course I started to cry, what else would I do?
My name is Vienna Marker, and up until that morning I was a fifteen year old boy with strawberry blonde hair, clear brown eyes, two parents, and a big brother, who lived in a big white house on the other side of town. And yes, don't say anything. I am a boy with a girl name.
When I woke up that morning I found that I was, for some insane and impossible reason, in the body of Jonathan Penloza, this skater type kid who was nothing but a bully at my school. Jonathan has always been tall with black hair that barely curls around his ears, and green eyes. His skin is dark and kind of like a cinnamon color to my―his―eyes. When anybody sees him, they automatically think about a nice young man who is helpful and kind but really, he is a mean person who treats others unkindly and has a disregard for other people's feelings. He'd been that way ever since I could remember.
That freak out? It was two hours before; now it was almost eight in the morning and it was time for school. I stopped crying around seven and spent about half an hour inspecting Jonathan's body. He is not really all that weak in any area if you get what I'm saying, and he has a birthmark under his rib cage shaped like a heart. He is seventeen years old and for some reason I was stuck in his body and I hoped it didn't not mean that he was in mine.
I stared at him in the mirror for a long time, trying to deny that he really did look handsome, before I dressed him―me―for school; I hoped I could find my body there and if I couldn't, I would go to my home and look for myself. I smiled weird and kind of laughed; I never would have thought I would think such odd things.
When I heard Jonathan's laugh for the first time I stopped at the room door and blushed. He had a nice, soft laugh.
There was an aging woman on the couch in the next room; the house was really small and in poor shape, with only two bedrooms it seemed and a kitchen and living room but no diner or place to eat food. It was nothing like my home, which was two stories with seven rooms, a big balcony, two dens, a game room, and had a pool and everything. I did not know that Jonathan was poor. His body felt sad feelings and I almost started crying. I had always treated him wrong because I thought he didn't have a reason for his unkindness.
I'm such a jerk, was my only thought then.
Hopefully I would be able to fix things. Like I was saying, Jonathan's body felt sad things, depression, loneliness, and loss. And now that I was forced to think back on it, I had never once seen him be sad at school. He was always smiling as if there was nothing to be upset about but if this was how he felt underneath, than he had obviously been faking all those smiles. And when I thought harder, I never had seen him be unkind to anyone, just say unkind things. When we had been younger he had called me a spoiled rich brat and had laughed at me when he had said it; I had thought he hadn't liked me and needed a reason to be mean but now I saw why he called me that. My ignorance to his situation and his feelings baffled me greatly.
The woman on the couch was really old and I guessed that it couldn't be his mother but was probably his grandmother. I stumbled in her direction, feeling awkward after an even more awkward morning of dressing Jonathan's body; I had picked out his clothes carefully, trying to match his style of dressing as much as possible so I wouldn't make him seem weird and unlike himself. He did dress nice though.
I was not really sure how to act or how he would act around her so I said, "Buenos días," my voice was in Spanish, which is a language I never learned how to speak but that his mouth remembered it like it remembered his feelings. "I ... um, I …"
Jonathan's grandmother looked up and smiled that warm smile all old people seemed to have and said, "Ay, good morning, mi nieto, are you alright? I heard you scream."
"I … I am okay, ama," another word that his mouth remembered. It was good that his body had the recall functions or else I would have done or said something stupid. It looked like Jonathan's grandmother really loved and cared for him so I went to give her a hug. "I am going to school now, ama, I will be back later."
"Ah, bien, cuídate, mi nieto, take care of you." She kissed my cheek and smiled a sad smile again.
I wondered if Jonathan had any parents or if he had a job or had to go somewhere before he went to school, I suddenly didn't want to bare letting this old woman down or messing up his life. So I tentatively asked, almost crying on the inside, "Ama … w…where's m-mom?"
Jonathan's grandmother frowned and then touched my―Jonathan's―hand. "Esta en el cielo, mi niño; she is in the sky with your father."
Like I had suspected, and now I really was going to cry really hard because I felt like a jerk. Jonathan had such a difficult life and I had only made it worse by being mean to him for being mean to me. With a blushing face, I grabbed his backpack and ran out of the house. Outside, it was a pretty day so I slowed down to a walk and figured out which direction the school was in.
It wasn't too hard, Jonathan didn't live too far away from our high school and his friends caught up to me immediately.
"Jonathan!" I turned around after I recognized the voices of Zach and Gorge Ramirez, twin brothers who had always hung around Jonathan since I could remember.
Zach and Gorge look exactly the same, with light brown hair that is long on Zach but shorter on Gorge, dark brown eyes that look kind of red in the sunlight, and tall, thin, wiry bodies. They had been nice to me in middle school, they were only one grade above me, but when they got into high school and I followed soon after, they had started acting like jerks because they were always defending Jonathan from me. I felt terrible but I couldn't look like that in Jonathan's body.
So I composed my face and tried to put on that passive stare and slanted smile that Jonathan usually had on his face. I noticed how much I actually had been watching him since I first started high school so I blushed a little.
"Hey, guys," I mumbled, griping the strap of Jonathan's backpack over my shoulder.
"How's your ama doing?" Gorge asked me with concern, his smile was gone and his lips were pressed into a fine line as he walked along side of me.
"Yeah!" Zach bumped me into Gorge from the other side and I was walking between them. "How is she? I hope she didn't take too much damage from the fall yesterday, she didn't look too hurt."
"Is her cold gone?" Gorge asked, just as Zach stopped talking.
I was still taking in the knowledge and trying to fight back the sadness in Jonathan's body but there were tears gathering in the corner of his eyes and I couldn't control his tear ducts. I had always been such a cry baby.
Gorge gave me a sad look and I was surprised they'd seen Jonathan cry before. "Don't cry, Jay, she'll be okay, right?"
"Yeah, yeah," I nodded quickly and rubbed at my eyes but I was still frowning and Jonathan's body wouldn't let me do otherwise. "She didn't seem bad when I said good-bye this morning. If you can forgive me, I want to walk to school alone today."
I did not stumble with my words and appreciated it because I tended to be a stuttering idiot.
"Ah, okay, we understand," Zach said, nodding. "But," he suddenly grinned. "First you have to tell us! What are you gonna do about Vienna, huh?"
"Wh-what are you talking about!" a thrill ran down Jonathan's body and I observed that it was also my own feeling that made us shiver. There was a dark red blush on my face and I could feel my―his―blood burning.
"Oh, don't play dumb. You told us just two days ago that you wanted to ask him out," Gorge smiled happy too, grasping his brother's hand and tugging him along. "He lives west of the school. You should ask him today and tell us how it goes."
Zach looked weirdly at his brother but excitedly looked at Jonathan. "Don't forget to be polite. And smile! He really likes your smile!" he called back before letting his brother drag him away.
I stood there frozen and stuttering for a short moment before realizing I needed to find myself so I could ask myself out on a date! Then I scolded myself and hung my head when I realized that if he was in my body this was going to be really awkward. Holding on to his backpack, I ran in the direction of the school, hoping that Jonathan was in my body and that I could catch him before class started so we could find a way to switch back. How bizarre, that day had been a really bizarre one.
Do I like his smile? I thought, as I walked along the sidewalk staring at Jonathan's shoes. I was still red in the face and it only got worse as I thought more about it. He had always been really distant from people now that I considered it.
If Gorge and Zach like him, he can't be as bad as he acts, can he?
The sad feeling inside him was really terrible, and me being who I am … or that I had been the day before, couldn't help but worry for him.
What am I going to do? Am I stuck here so I can help him? Comfort him maybe? What am I going to do!
First thing was first; I had to find my body. I was walking up to the school and looking around when I spotted him, me I mean, my body! And I was right; Jonathan was in there.
Who else would dress me like that?
I was wearing a faded blue top with a pair of calf-length plaid overalls with the buckles unhooked so the straps clattered by my thighs, my long coat covered the hastily put together outfit and the long black length of it fell around my favorite pair of high top combat boots. He had wrapped a scarf around my neck, covering my chin and most of my cheeks, which were a bright pink either from the cold or from the embarrassment. I did like the cap he had stuck in my blond hair and I did look kind of cute, but I also looked like a skater! Aw… I hadn't looked like that in a long time and I guess Jonathan did have good taste when it came to dressing me! But come on, skater, really?
Jeeze, what am I thinking? That is my body and this is his! What are we going to do?
"Jo―Vienna!" I stopped myself with Jonathan's voice and ran over; when we were standing face to face we just completely froze. It was so embarrassing he must have been so angry that I had invaded his body and his life but he was also in mine and I had the right to be equally angry.
My heart thumped in my chest and we both had the same expression; a sad, remorseful look that said only one thing; I'm sorry.
"M-Marker?" he opened my cute little mouth and talked with my soft and fragile voice, it was so strange to stand there in front of myself. "Is that y-you?"
So, we were in each others bodies. I was as awkward in his body as he was in mine, I could clearly see it on his face that he was embarrassed that he had woken up in my body and that he had to dress me. No wonder he covered me up, I was just fifteen back then. He made me look adorable really, with that flushed expression. I have got to stop thinking about myself and how cute I am like that.
He stumbled and tried to say something and then just decided to shut up and not say anything at all.
My face―which was actually his―was turning so pink. "J-Jonathan y-you, you, you really are… You are in my-body! Oh …" I groaned.
"Shut―shut up you dummy!" Jonathan knocked his palm against my forehead―gosh, my body was so short. He had to reach up on his toes just to do that. "I can't be seen talking to you. You're that stupid rich boy."
"Yeah, right. The stupid rich boy you wanted to ask on a date," the words were out before I could catch them and I startled, feeling bad for saying that so harshly.
"Who the hell told you that!" Jonathan made anger look cute on me but he looked like a angered baby animal and I couldn't really take myself seriously; I mean, come on, I was and still am short and really childish, no one could take that face seriously. And then I remembered that was actually my face and that I was that silly idiot.
I backed off and smiled weird, "The twins. I saw them this morning, don't worry, I didn't say anything stupid or make you look like the idiot you are!" I exclaimed. "And don't forget that we have kind of a situation here, J―Vienna! We kind of can't help but be stuck with each other until we fix this."
"Jeeze, keep your voice down you ninny," Jonathan hissed and glowered at me like this was my entire fault. "Don't be so loud, Jonathan," he emphasized as if to remind me that I was talking with his voice and his body. He did have a reputation to keep up, or at least thought that he did. "You'll make me look mental."
Ugh, this jerk, who does he think he is! …besides the guy stuck in my body.
He was blushing from anger, I realized. He must have been really angry and again I feel bad because he was probably worried about his grandmother and upset that he hadn't been able to see her this morning because this whole mess had happened. I felt bad now and I gave him a sad look.
But I was still mad at him anyway and I couldn't control what I said. "Well, you dressed me like a skater. I have the right to make you look stupid! I at least tried to make you look and act like you're still you." I had the right to be upset and I said so. "You're always so mean to me, Jonathan. And all I am trying to do is be nice."
"Damn it, no llores," my voice sounded so weird speaking Spanish but it didn't sound bad because he knew the language. "Don't cry, Marker, not because you'll ruin me but because you know, just don't cry."
He wasn't able to tell me what he wanted and I could tell that he was struggling. This was so frustrating and I was so angry; angry that this had happened to us. "What are we gonna do? I don't want to be a guy for the rest of my life!"
"Well first we should get out of here," Jonathan looked like he had calmed down and I was glad at least one of us was thinking straight. "Class will start soon and we will get in trouble if we stay here. C … can we go back to your house or something? I promised ama I wouldn't skip class anymore and it would hurt her if we went back to my place," he mumbled the last part. "Besides it would be hard to explain all this to her."
"Yeah, no kidding," I muttered quietly. I tightened my hands around the straps of the backpack on my shoulders. "We can go back to my house, my parents work all day and my brother is already in college so he doesn't live there anymore. I don't want to trouble your grandmother anyway, she is really kind."
Jonathan nodded my head, "Yes. Come on, let's go."
"Vienna, wait," I said quickly. "I mean, I'm sorry, and stuff, for always being a brat to you."
"We can talk about this stuff later, come on, run."
He took my hand and my heart skipped a beat and by my heart I mean his but his heart was my heart now and his body was not as sad anymore because holding hands with me made him happy. It made me happy, too. He took my hand and he led me away and I really was happy.
AN: This is my very first story on FictionPress. It is a major improvement now that my beta, Art Silver, has proof-read it and made it readable. I would like to have people read this, since criticism is greatly appreciated. This story is very short, simply because I have no confidence.
Please read and review. I'd love to know your thoughts on Vienna and Jonathan. :)