Lately, I've been having this awkward feeling, as though my life is so boring and meaningless that it's driving me nuts. In an attempt to retain my sanity, I've been searching for something that can change my life. It's not a big deal, just something different that can keep my mind busy.
I got into basketball recently, and I couldn't have done so at a better time. This could be the change I was looking for, being involved in a sport is also a great hobby. It'd keep my mind and body sharp and it would even get me in good shape, what's not to like?
This morning felt particularly cold, even for a winter morning, so I decided to wear my favorite hoodie to school: red with long sleeves, featuring the number 29 on the chest (though I never knew what this number was a reference to) and a handy front pocket; underneath it I was wearing a plain T-shirt, sport sweatpants and sneakers suited for quick b-ball matches. The cold weather wouldn't stop me today.
Before leaving home I took a gander at my reflection in the hallway mirror (which was so high in the wall that I barely could see my face on it). A couple of new zits were adorning my fair and kinda pale face. Not really liking what I saw, I decided to wear the hood covering my short hair and darkening my face, only letting the shine of my grey eyes out.
I went out afterwards, handling my basketball. It was still early and I would have the chance to practice on the school's court a bit before classes just as I intended, I really wanted to take my new hobby seriously.
-"Hi there Magner!" - I heard somebody cry out.
The dark skinned student calling my name was Jat, one of my classmate buddies who also happened to like Basketball (he was into it before I was). Our lives were ruled by the constant quick matches we had. I obviously wasn't the only one who felt cold, he was wearing a heavy black and white jacket that seemed like it would limit his movement a bit, as well as sport sweatpants and sneakers so that he would stay as quick as usual.
-"What's going on here?" - I asked after noticing some rubble and a huge hole near the basketball court.
-"I think they might be doing some plumbing work on the school's old pipes or something" - Explained Jat scratching his head through his plentiful wild hair.
-"Guess we'll just have to avoid falling into it during the heat of the game"-Obviously.
It was going to be a quickie half court match (street rules!) and I admit I had a rough start. Jat was completely beating my ass since my dribbling was still very lousy, making it easy for him to dominate me. To get even, I opted for making long shots which, so far, seemed to be my specialty. Plus, the heavy jacket wearing down his arms would give me an edge with this strategy.
Jat, not one to give me any chance, charged against me and swiped the ball from me in a quick and smooth move before I could take the shot, all so he could seize the opportunity and take the shot himself. Luckily for me, his shot was horrible, causing the ball to violently bounce from the rim and into the big hole near the court.
-"Whoops!" - Exclaimed Jat clumsily.
I told him to not worry about it, I would go get it quickly, just in and out before anybody could see us and get us in trouble, but first I wanted to take off my beloved hoodie. Cold or not, I didn't want it to get all smeared with whatever sewer sludge those pipes could be carrying.
-"Hey Magner!" - I heard a female voice calling as I handed Jat my hoodie.
A tanned girl was approaching us. I knew her, her name's Lynn and she was one grade ahead from us. I knew her because she was tutoring me on math last year (numbers weren't exactly my friends) and even though I liked her, she was only an eccentric chick I barely knew (I mean, seriously, she dyed her hair magenta like some cartoon character). I noticed she was wearing a small red striped top over a sleeveless plain shirt and some baggy pants that covered her feet. Not very appropriate for winter, or in good taste.
-"Would you lend me your hoodie, Magner?" - She asked me politely since I had already taken it off -"I rushed out of my home like this thinking it wouldn't be so cold" - huge mistake.
-"Knock yourself out" - I replied, after all, it would speak poorly of my manners to let a girl freeze -"Just be very careful, I love that hoodie." - I added.
-"Thankies!" - Exclaimed Lynn gleefully as she quickly put the hoodie on and warmed herself with her arms.
I didn't pay much attention to Lynn and instead focused on getting the ball out; I recklessly dived into the hole (getting my sneakers muddy) and retrieved the ball - "CATCH!" - I warned as I passed the ball to Jat and then climbed out of the hole holding to whatever I could (and I think I heard something snap on my way up). I was completely dirty and freezing, but it was okay and I was eager to warm myself with some basketball.
We got to play a few quick matches before the bell rang the beginning of our classes, where I was bored out of my mind as I awaited for more basketball, I was itching for a rematch after the severe beating Jat had served me. We stayed after school to play a few more matches, we were enjoying ourselves paying little attention to the time; somewhere around the fourth match I noticed how Lynn didn't give me my hoodie back.
-"I'm such an idiot!" - I cried out dropping the ball.
-"Chill out man, it's just a game." - Replied Jat jokingly.
-"No, Dude!" - I said picking up the ball -"Lynn's got my hoodie" - I explained a little shaken -"I gotta get it back! See you later buddy!" - I rushed out of there as fast as I could, my Hoodie is serious business.
I knew the way to Lynn's house very well, after spending so much time there being tutored it was imprinted into my brain, problem is her home was kind of far away so running all the way thru was really tiring, I rang the bell and waited there gasping for air and breathing heavily.
-"Magner?" - Lynn sounded surprised as she opened the door -"Oh, right! You came to pick up your hoodie, didn't you?" - She deducted.
-"That's right"- I replied still breathing heavily.
-"Boy you look really worn out and shaken," - Lynn said gently - "Come in, I'll get you a drink." - Just what I needed.
I went in and took seat on a comfy couch on her living room, it was a place I knew well and if I had to describe in a single word I would choose "Ordinary". Lynn approached me holding a plastic glass full of a curiously pink liquid - "Here" - she said as she handed me the drink. I held it with both hands and sniffed it. It actually had a nice aroma to it, but it still looked a bit funky to me.
-"What's this?" - I asked a bit doubtful.
-"It's lemonade" -Lynn replied -"I don't know why, but every time I make lemonade it turns pink" - She explained -"Anyway, I'm going to go get your hoodie" - she said as I chugged down the lemonade like there was no tomorrow, I admit it was very refreshing.
Lynn handed me my hoodie, I didn't put it on immediately as to not get it messy (plus it wasn't as cold right now) - "Thank you" - I said politely but Lynn claimed it wasn't a big deal, it was her who was thankful because I let her use it, she said I was a "life saver", whatever.
Now that I had my hoodie back, I went home, had lunch, took a bath and then I wore it again as I went out to practice some more until the night fell, it had been a good day and I was starting to feel like I wasn't wasting my life. It was all good.
-"CLANG! BANG! CLANG! BANG!" - My alarm clock had such a subtle ring.
I woke up slowly even though I wanted to get to school early once more to play some basketball, Jat surely would be early too as we were developing a little friendly rivalry. As I set my feet on the floor I felt something wasn't right, I was standing on the lower end of my pajama pants.
-"That's weird" - I thought to myself, I didn't remember them being big enough as to drag them thru the floor like this, but then again these are old, perhaps they had just loosen up and they were starting to fall down, great.
I rolled up my pants a bit as to not drag them further and prepared for my morning routine: taking a shower, getting dressed up and having a quick breakfast; as fast as I got ready and move out (still gulping down some toast) I picked up my dear hoodie as I would never even think of going out without it.
-"Hmmmph!" - I grunted noticing how the sleeves were covering my fingers further than usual -"did she stretch it out?" - I pondered to myself, after all, Lynn was taller than me and she most likely pulled it all over to suit herself, or maybe it was all in my mind, who knows?
I took a glance at the mirror on my way out as I had become accustomed , those zits were still there and a new one had appeared on my chin though I couldn't check it quite well, I had to stand on my toes to confirm that I indeed had a zit on my chin -"GREAT!" - I exclaimed with sarcasm as I picked up my basketball and hit the road with my hood on.
My trip to school was very uncomfortable, I couldn't stop stepping on my pants as I traveled through the sidewalks. It was very annoying and I couldn't stop thinking about how I would end up ruining them. I shouldn't have worn the loose ones today.
Jat was already there when I arrived school, waiting for me by the basketball court and this time he was wearing a different jacket, one what wouldn't restrict his movement, he wouldn't show any mercy.
-"Are you ready to get your ass kicked again?" - He boasted.
-"You wish!" - I replied between giggles, I was ready to get even.
Jat was playing an unusually aggressive defense, completely covering me and making dribbling difficult. Once again, I would have to rely on long shots and my accuracy. Jat charged against me, but I was able to shake him off with a fake shot. I found my chance and took the shot, but the ball bounced off the rim. That's weird, not even close.
-"Tough luck!" - Called Jat as he tried to catch the rebound.
I tried to keep up with him and nab the ball, but I kept stepping on my pants, I stopped to roll them up and Jat scored easily.
-"Damn these pants!" - I growled in anger.
I kept screwing up my shots, every single one of them; some of them didn't even reach rim height! The ball also kept slipping away from my grasp due to my stretched out sleeves getting in the way and it was overall my worst losing streak since I began playing basketball. Jat had dominated me entirely in what probably was the most humiliating defeat in my entire life.
-"Today was just not your day dude" - Declared Jat jokingly.
-"I'll make you pay, you'll see!" - I replied as the school bell rang.
Once again, I couldn't focus on my classes. This time, it wasn't because of basketball. For starters, I felt very uncomfortable at my desk for some reason; I just couldn't find the right position. Then I was having trouble holding my pencil as my sleeves were getting in the way again -"Why did you have to stretch my hoodie Lynn? - I growled to myself as I clumsily dropped my pencil.
I tried to reach for it but I couldn't quite get it, since my hand wasn't even reaching the floor (which was odd as I never had this problem before) I tried to reach it with my feet but that didn't work either. After several failed attempts one of my classmates took pity on me and picked up the pencil.
-"Here" - she said gently and sweet as she handed me the pencil.
-"Thanks" - I replied a little ashamed, thinking I had ridiculed myself.
After school Jat offered me a rematch, but I told him I couldn't because I had stuff to do, I was lying, I hadn't gotten over my losing streak and I didn't want to be further humiliated. I went straight home and ensued on my usual routine, considering along the way to practice some more by myself in the afternoon, just me, the court and my hoodie, rolled up naturally.
My practice session was a complete letdown. I practiced my shots but I missed a good bunch of them, I couldn't focus properly, did I really lose my once prodigious accuracy? It wasn't just missing the shots, it was not even getting them high enough, not even close, it was really discouraging but, hey! Nobody said it was going to be easy dominating this sport.
-"Accept change. Embrace Change" -
I found myself laying flat on my bed with my eyes wide open, staring at the roof in a zombie-like state. I had the most terrible night, I didn't sleep at all waking up over and over again due to a malicious migraine (among other awkward sensations keeping me awake), I hope I didn't catch a virus or something.
I looked at my alarm clock realizing I still had about ten minutes before it rang, but, what the hell! I'm up already, might as well start my morning routine. As I got out of bed I noticed how my pajama pants were sliding down my legs, just as I suspected the elastic band was failing me and these wouldn't stay in place anymore, I took them off and went to the bathroom. As I stood there just in my boxers wiping the sleep out of my eyes and scratching my head I noticed yet another strange occurrence.
-"This can't be right" - I declared loudly passing my hands all over my head.
As my hands scanned my scalp I felt a handful of silky smooth hair that definitely wasn't there when I went to bed, it was impossible for so much hair to sprout in so little time having in mind that I had recently got a haircut (almost entirely shaved).
-"How curious" - I mused as I managed to pull out a single hair quick and painless.
I was truly fascinated; I never had such a long and smooth, thin and plain hair. The plainness was especially surprising since my hair always curled in a very messy and annoying way, the very reason why I frequently cut it short.
I took my sweet time in the shower mostly because it was so relaxing and revitalizing, especially after such a miserable night, I didn't want it to end. By the time I went to the kitchen to have breakfast my mom and sister were already there (looks like I wasn't gonna get to school as early as I planned), as I was putting on my hoodie as I walked down there they were quite surprised when my head popped out showing my flowing new hair, my sis even dared to touch it claiming that it felt smoother than hers, but she probably was making fun of me.
When going out I tried to take my usual look at the mirror, but I couldn't quite reach it, did somebody elevate the mirror? Why? I picked up my basketball and rushed for the school, at this rate there wouldn't be any match between Jat and me.
-"Dude, You're late" - Jat nagged me, but he quickly moved on to other things -"What happened to your hair?" - I could see this question popping up a lot today.
-"Don't ask, I'm not even sure myself" - I replied passing him the ball -"let's jam"
The match started up evenly, I had rolled up my clothing so they wouldn't get in the way this time and play my best since the beginning, Jat was also playing carelessly. I finally managed to pull myself ahead in the score, ready for victory but Jat wouldn't give in.
-"Embrace yourself buddy!" - He yelled out in a menacing manner dribbling into my way, I was there, standing strong ready to nab the ball from his tight grip.
Jat ran over my like a speeding train knocking me out of the way, I honestly didn't think he could be strong enough to make me fall so hard, like a sack full of oranges, twisting my ankle.
-"You okay man?" - He asked me as he lend me a hand to stand up -"I didn't figure you would crumble that easily" - He said trying to apologize; I was as surprised as he was.
I limped my way to a nearby bench, guess the match was cancelled for today, can't play with a twisted ankle. We chatted as we waited for the bell to ring, somewhere along the discussion I felt a hand shuffling my new smooth hair, I turned my head quickly and I saw it was Lynn passing by on her way to her classroom or something. Why did she do that? Guess she thinks she is close enough to do so.
Once again I couldn't focus on my classes (I was becoming an alarmingly reoccurring issue), my head and ankle hurt like hell and I couldn't think straight due to my lack of sleep. At some point during the school morning one of my teachers asked me something but I didn't really hear the question -"Change is good" - I answered not really thinking or even realizing what I just had said. The whole classroom busted into a roaring laughter but I was so absent minded and hurt that I didn't care, plus it was Friday and thankfully it meant we got to go home early.
Jat helped me on the way back home, I could barely walk with my ankle like that and he was being nice enough to walk a long me so we could chat. Being the beginning of the weekend we decided to go out to the movies to the premiere of the "Killer robot governor from the future" and it sounded like a fun movie romp, but something curious happened on the theater lobby.
-"Guess who girly!" - Yelled some stranger out of nowhere grabbing me by the back covering my eyes with his hands.
-"What the hell is your problem jackass?!" - I growled at such transgression of my personal space as I broke out of his hold.
The stranger looked at me in shock, his face had turned red in shame and he mumbled incoherently before properly reacting -"I'm sorry dude!" - He said backing away - "but you kinda looked like someone I know on the back side" - my expression must have look really furious judging by the way he rushed out of my sight. Jat was giggling like crazy and I truly felt angry, but it could have been worse, for example I could have been the other guy, plus the movie most likely would cheer me up.
-"Embrace Change. Change is good" -
-"Nom, nom, not now, five more minutes please..."-
-"Accept change. Love change" -
Saturday morning, I shouldn't even be awake, I mean, what time is it? Ten o'clock? So early! But once my slumber is interrupted there is no turning back so I'll get up already, whatever. First thing I noticed was my "new hair" all over my face blocking my sight and itching my face, I bet I had an extreme case of "bed head" so I better get it done nice and smooth.
I soaked my face a little to get the sleep off and then combed my hair until it was perfectly tamed, while doing so I realized my hair had grown even more, almost shoulder length, I looked like some sort of hippie.
-"It must be hormones, maybe?" - I mumbled to myself in my sleepiness, heck, I wasn't even sure hormones could do that.
I was sleeping just in my boxers (since my pajamas were ruined), so I had to clothe up a bit before going out my room to where my mom and my sis probably were. I reached for the first piece of cloth I could put my hands on, which happened to be my dear hoodie; wearing it covered way beyond my hips (for the first time it was useful to have Lynn stretch it). Maybe I'm going crazy, but I couldn't help but feel that maybe I was shrinking, but that was a silly idea (also impossible), it was definitely stretched out.
I went to the kitchen hoping to get some breakfast, but seeing the dirty, empty plates on the table I realized I was late to the party.
-"What's for breakfast?" - I asked mom as she passed near me carrying a basket full of laundry, maybe if I begged a little she would cook up something for me.
-"Whatever you prepare yourself sleepy head! Loree and I already had breakfast" - she scowled me -"I'm busy now, so work it out yourself" - she added.
-"All right, all right, I'll get to it" - I had no other choice.
I decided to make myself a sandwich and while I was busy preparing it I noticed mom had stopped by and was staring at me in a weird manner, at first I pretended to not notice but having her there staring after she told me she was "busy" kinda annoyed me.
-"What are you looking at?" - I asked.
-"Could you come over here for a moment?" - she told me putting away her laundry basket.
I went to her side and she started shuffling my hair passing her hands all over my head, apparently I had done a poor job combing my hair -"It's gotten even longer" - she commented declaring the obvious, she then turned herself and got back to back with me -"Honey, were you always this short?" - she asked.
-"Yes" - I replied -"Well, I'm not short, I'm just saying you, as well as many others, are taller than me by far" - I like to think myself as being average.
-"Weird" - She sighed as she went back to her laundry basket -"for a moment I thought you had gotten shorter, I guess it was my imagination" - how curious.
-"Must be the hoodie" - I mean, it must make me look shorter stretched like this.
-"Maybe" - she said on her way -"Embrace change, change is good"
-"What was that mom?" - I'm pretty sure I heard wrong that last bit.
-"I said, don't make a mess in the kitchen" - right.
With my sandwich ready I poured some orange juice into a glass and enjoyed my breakfast of champions laying on the couch watching T.V., because Saturday is a day to rest and do absolutely nothing as comfortable as possible. Half an hour later, or maybe a full hour (not sure, I think I saw at least two shows) mom came back with her laundry basket and put it between me and the T.V.
-"I need you to take these to Loree's room and put them in her drawer" - she ordered.
-"EEEEEW!" - I exclaimed grossed out -"But these are Loree's clothes! Why doesn't SHE take care of it?" - I mean, what a horror to touch your sister's underwear.
-"Because she is not home and don't you even dare to suggest I do it myself, there is still lot of laundry to do" -there goes my plan B -"So you better grow up and start helping me!" -Bah!
I entered Loree's room carrying the basket, it was so tidy and perfect, unlike mine, but I assumed it was because mom had already done it while Loree was out. There were lots of pictures of her friends atop her drawer, I mean LOTS, and they were everywhere! I wonder where the pictures of me or mom were.
I opened the underwear drawer first, I wanted to get over with the nastiest first, quick and painless, I quickly put every piece in not really caring if I was doing it right, I didn't want to sink my hands in there, touching my sister's panties was creepy enough as it is. I went on to the next drawer, this one held her school uniforms: a short sleeved, plain white shirt and a red and white plaid patterned short skirt; I stored each piece carefully and I was ready to keep going, but when I held the last skirt I felt a bit curious, something in that reddish plaid pattern was utterly adorable.
-"I bet the girls in Loree's school look hot on this!" - I thought to myself.
Then I saw my reflection on Loree's cheval mirror: me, holding the skirt like a twerp. Suddenly the silliest and naughtiest idea crossed my mind, how would I look on that skirt? I'd probably look funny but, naturally, I quickly shot down that idea, it was stupid, gross and would probably speak poorly of my manhood.
-"I'm so silly" - I sighed between giggles and stored the last skirt completing my mission for good.
I went back to the couch and more T.V. watching ensued. Even though I refused to try that ridiculous skirt I admit the morbid curiosity was eating me on the inside, it was such a funny feeling and it kinda felt good, and I was getting worried about that. Thankfully Mr. T.V. was doing a wonderful job distracting my mind from such mischievous thoughts, also mom helped a bit too, assigning me to do some of the house's chores, she even gave me the laundry basket once more, it was time to sort my own clothes and clean my room too.
Tidying up my room was such a harder chore than I thought, I never realized how much crap I kept laying around nor how unorganized my life was overall, man, how could I live in such cesspool all this time? It was kind of nice to finally get rid of all the useless trash and finally have everything neatly organized.
After sorting all my clothes in my closet and drawers I figured it was a nice time to take a shower. As I was cleaning myself I was having fun with the way my long hair covered my face and made me look like a cartoon character, I just wish it didn't make me look so damn girly. At some point mom knocked on the door and announced that she would go out to get something for our lunch (I was hoping she'd come back with some pizza) and wanted me to know I would be at home alone for some time, meh, what am I, a toddler? What did she expect me to say? "No mommy! Please don't go"?
After my shower I quickly put on my boxers and a plain shirt, followed by my beloved hoodie and I was about to put my pants on but that morbid curiosity showed its ugly face once more on my mind. I couldn't believe I was considering doing it, I should not! But mom was out no one was home, what harm would it do? Who would know? After thinking it thru a few minutes I chose to go for it, I'm such a crazy idiot!
I ran pantless straight into Loree's room and quickly took out one of the skirts -"It'll be quick, very quick" - I kept repeating to myself as I held the skirt in front of the cheval mirror. I decided to end the madness and wore the skirt and it was it was pretty comfortable actually! How curious!
I took a good look at my reflection I was even striking some silly poses and swinging my hips side to side laughing out loud, it was so ridiculous yet so strangely satisfying, I had that weird feeling again. After I had my fun with it I decided it was time to take it off, mom could be home any minute now, so I proceeded to store it away. As I was taking it off my eyes passed thru the room's window and noticed (horrified) a neighbor watching me thru her own window.
-"NO!" - I shrieked in my mind. How humiliating! I quickly closed the blinds, put the skirt back into the drawer and ran to retrieve my pants.
I felt so humiliated and became paranoid for the rest of the day, it was my punishment for doing such a stupid thing, I couldn't relax for the rest of the day, I didn't talk to anybody about anything, I just felt so stupid WHAT THE HELL WAS I THINKING?! Why did I do that? What if our neighbor tells anybody about it?!
-"NO!" - I cried out loudly tortured by that brief moment of misjudgment, it was one of those things I would never forget, EVER.
-"Change is good, embrace change" - I kept hearing that on my head.
I had the strangest dream ever, I couldn't quite remember what happened in it or what I saw, I just knew it had been weird and it caused me a ominous feeling of restlessness and dread. What I could remember was that weird voice echoing in my head, saying things along the lines of "Accept change", very creepy, but I didn't care for it that much, I was no stranger to creepy dreams.
To spice things up a bit I decided to actually wake up early, Sunday was pancake morning and mom makes the best pancakes ever, I couldn't afford to miss them. I took the first shirt I could put my hands on and it turned out to be a black shirt I mistakenly had bought one size to big so it looked like nightie.
-"Good morning" - I said in an uncharacteristic (and cute) manner.
-"Good morning sleepy head!" - Mom greeted me as she prepared the pancakes - "How nice of you to have breakfast with us for a change!" - she added.
-"Pancakes! Pancakes! Pancakes!" - I chanted as I sat to the table, I had nothing else in my mind.
Loree was seating besides me and she couldn't move her eyes away from me -"Come a little closer "- Her expression made me think there was something in my face, but surprisingly she was actually admiring what WASN'T on my face, she even started to caress my face.
-"Your face cleared up!" - She said as she moved my head from side to side to get a better look.
-"Really?!" - I exclaimed surprised as did my mom.
I scanned my face with my own hands and I certainly couldn't find any zit or pimple on it, mom also rushed to me and searched my face the same way Loree had done so, she looked quite pleased. I ran to the bathroom to see myself in the mirror.
-"Now that's a face I wouldn't mind showing to the girls!" - I thought to myself as I saw my reflection.
I passed my hands all over my face once more, it was so hard to believe, but then I noticed something else, all the hair I had in my arms had disappeared, or at least it was considerably reduced. I felt my right arm with my left hand and it felt so silky smooth and sensitive, it sent pleasant chill thru my entire skin.
When I went back to have breakfast my pancakes were already waiting there for me and I was not one to waste any time, I devoured as soon as I sat down (naturally, not before flooding my pancakes with maple syrup) completely ignoring the endless chatter mom and Loree engaged in.
-"Embrace change" -I heard someone whisper.
That was neither Loree's nor mom's voice, it was that voice from my dreams; I thought I was entirely awake by that time, but I guess my brain was still a little sleepy or maybe I was going completely crazy.
-"Mom" - I called her.
-"What's wrong Magner?" -she asked me putting their conversation on hold.
-"Look, feel my arm" - I said offering my right arm -"Is it normal for it to feel so smooth and tender?" - I was genuinely concerned.
-"You're kidding me?" - She asked as she gently passed her hand through my arm -"Ha! It runs on the family deary!" - She said as if it was nothing and she offered her own arm -"Here, feel mine" - As I felt mom's skin I felt a bit awkward, but it certainly was as smooth and tender -"Loree's skin feels the same, it's a good thing, you'll see how much girls like that when you get a girlfriend" - Oh! I really like the sound of that.
After breakfast I went back to my room to tidy it up, I didn't feel like living in a dumpster anymore so it was a good time to make this part of my daily routine; everything went swell except for that stupid voice in my head haunting me, hearing this disembodied voice was driving me crazy.
I spent most of my day watching T.V. until I got a call from Jat in the afternoon, he said I should go to the basketball court in the nearby park so we could challenge a couple of guys he said played every week there -"Sure, why not" - I told him, sounded like fun. I got my hoodie on and went out to meet Jat there.
The wind was chilly so I wore the hood, Jat also felt it as he was wearing a nice, warm beanie and a striped scarf, hell, even our opponents were wearing heavy clothing, they were both taller than me, one also was chubby. I was pretty confident; we surely can take on them.
We played half court since some kids were doing stuff on the other half, I was cool with that, and it would make the match more intense. Due to my recent streak of bad shots we would try a close range tactic with constant passes.
Everything was working out perfectly, our passes were fast enough to faze our opponents and we could dominate them easily. We had established a four point advantage by the time the other time caught up our plan and tightened their defense; they still were no match for us though.
-"Pass it up!" - Jat cried out as he just had shaken off the guy marking him, he was ready to score the victory point.
I had little time to react as the other guy was rushing towards me, I hopped slightly to pass the ball and let Jat score, I must have startled my opponent with that hop as he lost his balance and fell all over me (making my hood fall off, revealing my face) and we both slammed into the ground.
-"I'm sorry" - He told me as we both got up -"I didn't realize you were a girl" -OH! He did not just say that!
-"I am a guy you asshole!" - I scowled in anger -"Did the fall damage your brain or are you just stupid?!" - that comment really struck a nerve on me.
-"Chill out man! It was an honest mistake" - said the other guy and shortly both of them left a little annoyed.
-"Can you believe these guys?" - I growled.
-"Well, you gotta admit it" - Jat commented -"You kinda look girly with your hair like that and your zitless face" - what a joke.
I punched his gut in a friendly manner for that low blow, but hey, it was okay, it was a joke between buddies, what really mattered was our victory so we went to gorge ourselves in pizza and watched some movies on my home to celebrate.
It had been a good day and I slept like a baby that night, for a change.
-"Accept change! Embrace change!" - That damned voice just wouldn't quit!
I heard it in my dreams, it tortured me in my sleep and now it became a pest while I was awake, yapping endlessly on my mind, I had to shut that annoying girl voice somehow. I got out of bed growling, making a huge effort trying to think of something else, ANYTHING, as long as I could shush that voice in my head, but I couldn't focus enough, I still heard it faintly on the back of my head.
-"SHUT UP!" - I screamed only to find out (in horror) that my voice had changed.
The sound poured out of my mouth, but it wasn't my voice, it was so high pitched, like a little kid. I covered my mouth with my hands and jumped out of bed, went straight to wash my face and maybe soak some sense into myself.
-"You screamed Magner?" - Asked mom from outside my room, she sounded worried.
-"No "- I replied on that high pitched voice and quickly tried to imitate my usual voice -"It wasn't me mom! Must have been Loree" - I said, but my voice still sounded weird.
I couldn't believe this, easily the weirdest thing that ever happened to me or was it? Thinking things over the sudden hair growth, the clearing of my face and smoothing of my skin and now my voice it was like some kind of bizarre reverse puberty! NO! That was crazy talk, sure this was unusual, but I wouldn't it let take a toll on what little sanity I had left, not these weird changes and not even that creepy voice in my head, I only needed a little will power to get over this whatever it was.
I engaged on my usual routine, as I showered I realized my hair was past shoulder length -"I'm so getting a haircut today" - I thought to myself as I cleaned myself, I also noticed that the little chest hair I had once apparently had fallen off as well as most of my body hair and rashes, while I did mourn the loss of my manly chest hair, it was nice to have rash free body. I dressed up in my usual fashion, some jeans, a plain shirt and my dearly beloved hoodie.
-"Embrace change!" - Shut up voice in my head!
I didn't care that I was late for school, this whole issue was really messing my head up, I even had forgotten about basketball. Mom came near me looking concerned, surely she saw in my face how troubled I was.
-"You didn't leave early today" -she said -"You had picked up such a healthy schedule lately so you could train with Jat"
-"Not today" - I said letting my voice slip a little -"I'm not in a mood for basketball today" - I replied nervously as I tried to ignore that damned voice.
-"Embrace change" - my mother's lips were moving, but what I heard was that awful voice.
I ignored whatever it was that mom actually said and went straight to school, wearing the hood, I didn't want people to see me in this state, after what had happened yesterday and the changes on my voice I was truly becoming more like a girl.
-"What's up Magner?" - greeted me Jat and I just replied with a hand gesture - "You didn't show up for a game" - He scowled me -"And when you finally show up, you don't even have the ball with you, what's wrong?" - I silently replied with a "who knows" gesture.
Jat got close to me and poked my belly -"You're not talking to me? You're mad at me?" - How could I explain this? I negated with my head and then I pointed to my throat -"Oh, your throat is sore! You lost your voice!" - he deducted and I nodded, that would keep people from making me talk.
We went to class and everything was going swell, nobody made me talk because Jat informed everyone about my sore throat every time anybody asked me something, doing away with that problem, but the problem of that voice in my head still haunted me and it was becoming increasingly harder to ignore. A few classes left, as we were getting close to the end, that asshole of a math teacher came to make my day harder, not only he taught my least favorite class; he also hated and picked on me.
-"Magneerrrrrrr!" - he called me out dragging the "r" like a fake Russian accent -"Where do you think you are? Get that ridiculous hood off immediately!" - Crap! I REALLY didn't want people to see me like this, but I had no choice, I took it off against my will.
The roaring laughter came immediately as I showed my face and long flowing hair, even the teacher laughed before shushing everyone and getting on with the class -"That's just great" - I thought to myself.
We were subject to an improvised quiz, whoever finished got to go home early, so at least everyone was motivated. I did my best to resolve the quiz, for once I was glad to be doing math since the numbers kept that voice in my head in check or so I thought, it still took a huge effort to ignore it it actually took its toll on me, my head started to hurt, I was having a migraine this was too much for me
-"Why do you resist? Just embrace change, change is good!" - I hate you stupid voice! Knock it off! -"EMBRACE CHANGE!" - I can't take it anymore!
-"SHUT UP!" -I screamed my heart out in a high pitched howl.
Everybody in the class room stared at me, specially the teacher who sported a quite angry expression, but that was the least thing in my head at that moment, that voice kept tormenting me, it was finally happening, I FINALLY LOST MY MIND! I stormed out of the class room and rushed back home.
I entered my home once again ignoring whatever mom said when she saw me and locked myself in my room. I took a bottle of aspirins out of one of my drawers and chugged down two tablets, hopefully they would make the voice in my head disappear. I dived into my bed face first and buried my head into my pillow, hoping to make the voice go away.
-"ACCEPT CHANGE! LOVE CHANGE! EMBRACE CHANGE!" - the voice kept hammering on my head for a long time until I fell asleep, that's when it finally stopped and I didn't wake up for the rest of the entire day.
-"Wakey wakey Little dolly!" -
-"Wake up you sleepy girl!" -
What a nice rest I had, it feels so good to have a nice nap, but, what time is it? For how long was I asleep? Guess there is only one way to find out, just a little glance at my alarm clock
-"SIX THIRTY AM?! - I yelled in a damned high pitched scream.
I couldn't believe I was asleep for over twelve hours, what did those aspirins have in them? This wasn't right! Nothing in my life was right anymore!
-"Come home Little one" -
-"I am home!" - Stupid voice in my head! Leave me alone for good!
I had been sleeping since yesterday's noon, so I really needed to take a shower more than any day. I got undressed on the way to the bathroom; my hoodie was the first one to fall, followed by my pants and my shirt and then my boxers before I opened the shower, if I were not so sleepy I would have realized sooner.
-"EEEEEEEEK! EEEEEEEEEEK! EEEEEEEEEEEK!" - I cried in a horror like never before -"NO! Nononononononononononononon! NOOOOO!" - it was a nightmare, the worst one yet!
I jumped out of the shower, I had to see myself in the mirror; I had to check and double check! I had to make sure I wasn't going crazy, but the mirror never lies, it was real, it had happened, against any logic I had been transformed into a girl.
-"You're such a pretty little girl!" - boasted the voice inside my head, as if I wasn't freaked out enough already.
I closed the water flow and quickly put my clothes back on, I couldn't let anybody see me like this, nobody could know I had become a girl (and one with a pre-teen body, to add insult to the injury).
-"Magner, are you ok?" - Asked my mom from the other side of my door -"Did you let out that shriek? - what should I tell her? I prepared the best imitation of my old voice I could
-"Yes mom, I'm sorry, I had a night terror" - hopefully she would buy that.
-"Are you feeling ok? You slept the entire day away, are you sick?" - I had to choose my answer carefully.
I could tell her I was sick and I wouldn't have to go to school and face the humiliations that (somehow) I'm a girl now, on the other hand, if I told mom I was sick she would probably come in to check me or worse yet, call a doctor and find out about this how would I explain this? I couldn't. Maybe if I could pretend I'm still a boy, my hoodie really helps hide my body and I could try to figure out this problem for now I guess that's what I should do.
-"I'm okay mom, really" - I replied forcing my voice to the extreme -"It's just that I haven't been sleeping well lately, but after this titanic nap, I think I'm okay now" - I explained.
-"All righty honey" - she apparently bought it -"I'm going to make breakfast now that you woke me up" -good.
-"Why do you desire to stay a boy so much? Embrace change!" - Those words finally meant something.
-"I won't surrender!" - I exclaimed to myself -"I am a man! And I am going to shut you up, even if it means stabbing my brain with a pencil!" - I threatened.
-"It is useless little girl, you lost already, the only thing you can do now is accept your defeat, embrace change" - we'll see about that.
I kept going like I always do, pretending everything was okay, I had no other choice, just like in these recent days it only got harder and harder as I went on, that voice on my head was in full force and my mind was tired, it was too hard to keep my free will.
-"You can't handle this, little one, why don't you just give up and enjoy it?" -
-"You'll see it isn't easy to take me down!" - I assured as I arrived school holding my basketball.
-"What are you talking about man?" - Jat asked me when he saw me coming his way.
-"Basketball, man!" - I exclaimed covering up the fact that I was talking to myself.
I passed the ball over to Jat and I was ready to head to the court when I felt someone's hand on my head, sending chills all over my body. Déjà vu.
-"Hi there Magner!" - It was Lynn, what does she want now?
-"What's up Lynn?" - I asked her a little shaken.
-"Oh!" - She exclaimed in (obviously fake) surprise when she heard my voice -"Not much, not much, I just wanted to know how you were feeling today" - Hmmm
-"I'm fine" - I replied, Lynn was starting to make me feel very nervous for some reason.
-"For real? I think you look off today," - Did she just say I looked "off" today? Could she be suspecting something? -"but when I say 'off' I mean it in a good way, different is not always a bad thing, change is GOOD!" - Lynn
-"What did you just say?" - I asked fearful, she couldn't possibly have said what I thought she said
-"EMBRACE CHANGE!" - she said loud and clearly with a malicious grin on her face. Ladies and gentleman, that was the last piece of the puzzle, or more like the whole thing.
That voice on my head IT WAS LYNN'S! How did I miss that? And those changes..they started the day after I went to Lynn's house, everything was so clear now!
-"YOU BITCH!" - I yelled at her -"You did this to me! It was you all along! - I kept yelling in anger.
-"Yup" - she said as if it was nothing -"I'll see you later pumpkin" - she whispered to my ear before leaving.
In that very moment I desired nothing but to catch Lynn and tear her away with my own hands, but, something was stopping me, no matter how much I wanted I couldn't attack her, I couldn't move, my will was slowly crumbling
-"No, no, no! That's not very lady like! You have to be a good little girl, and it's school time for you missy!" - Scowled Lynn's voice in my head as the bell rang.
-"For your information, I'm going to my classroom because I want to, not because you said so" - I exclaimed like a sore loser on my way to the classroom.
-"What a shame, we couldn't play" - Jat told me as we marched towards our classroom -"What were you and Lynn talking about?"
-"Oh, nothing, we were discussing the possibility of more tutoring" - I'll have to play along for now.
I didn't even care anymore for my classes, should I even bother with them anymore? My mind kept receiving constant blows on the "hands" of that voice in my head telling me to surrender and how my struggle was pointless, there was no way I could win and how I should embrace change, I was so tired but something kept me going, the one thing I could cling to: my desire to catch Lynn and force her to reverse this madness.
As soon as the bell rang letting us out, I rushed for Lynn's house, nonstop, despite my fatigue both mental and physical, I didn't care how much I was damaging myself, I had to get to the bottom of this.
-"Isn't it wonderful? You're finally coming home "-
I knocked at her door violently, I knew she was there waiting for me and I would get some answers from her even if they came from her dying words. Lynn received me with a smile on her face and looking very calm, seeing her face made me feel so made me feel so calm ¡No! I was angry I should be but I wasn't I was confused What was this feeling?
-"Don't stand there little one, come on in" - She told me politely and I followed her in, almost as if my movement had been automated -"You look tired, rest in the couch" - she instructed me and I did as she said like a submissive dog.
-"I am a boy! Stop pretending I am not!" - I yelled out of breath.
-"You're such a silly girl" - she said heading for the kitchen.
-"but why ?"-As I asked her I could feel her will overwhelming mine.
-"I live here by myself" - she explained all the way from the kitchen -"Do you know how lonely it feels to live by yourself?" -where was she going with this? -"I need company, I need someone to take care of, I need a little sister to live with me!"
-" but .why why "- I couldn't even articulate my thoughts correctly anymore.
-"Why did I pick you of all people?" - she kept talking while doing whatever she was preparing on the kitchen -"I'm not sure, I guess I took a liking to you after all the hours of tutoring, I just knew deep down that you would make the perfect little sister" - perfect little sister?
-"How you do it?" - I asked, or tried at least -"it was pink liquid thingy right?" - it had to be
-"The lemonade? Not really! That was just lemonade," - I didn't see that coming -"No, your transformation was a bit more subtle. You see, I noticed how you wore that hoodie every day, every single day! When I got my hands on that little hoodie of yours I put a spell on it, as long as you wore it would gradually turn you into a girl, simple!" - I REALLY didn't see that coming!
-"You're a witch" - I manage to say clearly -"and you you and "- the fact that she wasn't even looking me face to face angered me -"What the hell are you doing there!" - I managed to yell again -"Look at me me when I speak "- I couldn't go anymore
-"Calm down, calm down" - I heard her say as she came back to me -"I was just making a glass of delicious lemonade for my dear little sister" - she exclaimed happily as she handed me a glass of her pink lemonade.
I held the glass with both my hands and took a big gulp, it was so refreshing! -"Thank you!" - I said politely. It was so nice of her to make this delicious lemonade for me, Lynn was such a sweet and loving sister, she obviously loved me as much as I loved her, she was the best sister any girl could ask for.