She and Me

Is this a dream?  This has to be a dream.  But dreams…  Dreams don’t feel this real, do they?  Dreams just sort of, happen, without really thinking about it, like you’re watching yourself do it and that’s not really you.  So this, this can’t be a dream.  Because I know this is really me.  Except… This is not me.

Sunday morning, 9:42 A.M.  I need to finish reading Chapter 6 for Economics tomorrow.  Trig homework due Tuesday.  Roommate’s out of town, said he’d be back around dinnertime.  Probably need to stock up on Cherry Coke again.  Boring agenda, normal life; a life that just happens, without me really having to think about it.

The first thing that’s different is when I sit bleary-eyed on the corner of my mattress, the top of my head a few inches shy of the galvanized supporting beam of my roommate’s top bunk.  Dust motes wink at me as they float around in the stale air of my dorm room, barely visible in the grey morning light.  That’s not when I notice; I’m too tired to realize that if I’m sitting straight up on the side of my bunk, my head should be hitting that beam.  But it doesn’t.

I yawn and scratch my painfully-matted hair, trying to straighten it out a little.  That is when I notice.  The yawn sounds different, and the hair feels different; too high-pitched, and too long.  Instinctively I grab a fistful and tug on it; definitely real, definitely mine.  The corner of my eye catches a look at my forearm as it lazes about on my thigh and sees its smooth sun-baked skin.  My arm is supposed to be pasty white and a little flabby.  But it’s not.

“Huh,” I comment in a hushed tone, in a voice not my own.  “So I’m in a totally different body.  Well okay then.”

I honestly can’t say that I have any stronger emotion than that, once I finally figure it out.  My heart should be racing out of my chest right now; I should be freaking out for dear life right now.  But I don’t.  Maybe it’s because I’m still too tired to really give a damn, or maybe it’s because I’m expecting to wake up; I don’t know.  The strange part to me isn’t even that I’m in the wrong body: the strange part is that I don’t really feel the need to ask why.  I don’t feel like freaking out all around my room, asking where I was last night, or desperately grasping for a mirror.  I should, but I don’t.  Everything just feels normal, like I’ve been planning for this day for weeks or something.

It’s weird.  It’s just so weird that I feel so normal about this, being in a different body.  I know that it’s weird, but I don’t feel weird.  Seeing a completely different body still dressed in the same clothes I went to sleep in?  Not really that weird.  Squeezing my arm and feeling the lean muscles I never had but apparently do now?  Not really that weird.  Even when I lift my shirt up and see that I’m a girl when I definitely was not before, even that isn’t really that weird.  Just, “Oh, breasts.  How about that.  I kind of suspected that with the longer hair and voice, but, you know, I didn’t really know for sure.”

I finally stand up and pace around a bit.  She (Or I?  Shme?) is at least six or seven inches shorter than I used to be, and a lot lighter; my lounge pants keep trying to slip off my (her?) hips with every three steps.  Is this what it feels like to go on a really good diet?  I mean, I’m don’t think I’m that heavy, but when you just lose fifty, sixty pounds like that, you can’t help but notice.  Even something simple, like walking one way then quickly turning around and going the other way, I can feel myself turning faster without all the extra weight.

Yet, not once do I feel like she’s “small”, just “light”.  She’s got to be some sort of an athlete.  Tennis, volleyball, basketball maybe; there’s not an ounce of unnecessary fat on her anywhere.  I should know: I checked.  And that was weird too, for all the wrong reasons.  Here I am:  a man, suddenly in a girl’s body, stripping down and kneading every inch of her brilliantly-toned, brilliantly-tanned body, not because I’m some horny letch, but because I just can’t get over that this is what it feels like to really be “in shape”.  I go so far as to give her breasts a good squeeze too, but even then the only thing that really crosses my mind when I do is, “Huh, pretty firm; sort of like a nice steak, you know?”

This has to be a dream.  It’s not possible.  It’s not possible for a man, any man, to have this sort of opportunity with a woman and not have a single lewd thought in his mind.  Even thinking about trying to have lewd thoughts doesn’t bring any to mind.  The back of my brain keeps screaming and screaming, “Feel something; be a man, damn it!” but it’s the easiest thing in the world to push it aside, because a much larger and more certain part is telling me, “It’s all right.  You don’t have to have an erotic fantasy.  Just embrace this.  Embrace it for what it is.”  And he’s right.  Or maybe she is; maybe I have her brain too?  Maybe that’s why I don’t feel like I have to slobber all over myself?  Whatever the reason, I don’t worry about it.  It doesn’t matter.  I’m cool.  I’m chill.

On a whim I throw on my gym uniform and wander outside; thankfully it fits her just fine, thanks to the modern wonder of the elastic waistband.  Shoes are pretty loose, but luckily my roommate’s got small feet; he won’t mind.  It’s a drizzly spring day, and the misty raindrops hit my new skin like a fresh shower.  I know her nose and eyes aren’t any different than mine, but it just smells nicer out here than it ever has before; it looks nicer.  The grass is still brown and dirty from melting snow and thousands of unconcerned shoes, the cloudy sky seems to suck all the color out of everything, and the leafless trees on campus spiderweb over my head like a forest from a horror movie, but I wouldn’t ask for it any other way today.  Today, I feel like I’d be fine with just about anything.

I run.  I don’t know why, but I just start running, down the sidewalk, across the faculty parking lot, and out around the gigantic main lawn.  On a Sunday morning like this, I’ve got the whole place to myself: just me, the birds, the squirrels, and whoever’s up there beyond the clouds.  My steps kick up thin splashes behind me as I lean forward, raindrops running down her forehead and slicking back her short black hair.  Before I even feel like I’ve started I’ve already circled the yard, and I think, why not?  And I keep on running.

It’s fantastic.  It’s like I’ve never really ran before in my whole life, compared to what this run feels like.  Her body’s used to it; she doesn’t get tired, she doesn’t get sore, even though I’m practically sprinting the whole way.  A pleasant warm heat runs through her muscles, tingling the skin and keeping the rainy cold out of my bones.  Her chest heaves as she subconsciously takes the shallow short breaths of a natural athlete; no pain, just practice.  I push her to the limit, ducking her head down and dashing for all she can muster, and I can’t hold back the smile that’s spread across my face.  I’m enjoying this!  Running, running around in circles for absolutely no reason, and yet I can’t think of the last time I’ve felt so happy.  This, this right here, this is pure.  This is what fun is supposed to feel like.  I know right now, in this moment, that I feel ten times better than I could have possibly felt had I just sat on my bed and “experimented” with her.  Sure, that might please the body for a while, but this run right here, something so simple, this is straight from the soul.

I don’t know how many laps I end up taking around the yard once I finally slow down and let her catch her breath.  Two?  Four?  I still feel so full of energy that I could do a dozen more if I wanted to, and I’d still be loving every step.

“Damn…” I wheeze out in between gasps for air.  “She is in way better shape than I’m ever going to be in.  Whoever she is.”

“Thank you,” I hear my voice say a little down the sidewalk.  “It’s nice to finally hear that from a guy for a change.”

Hands still on my knees and back bent forwards, I turn my head to the side and see, well, me.  Me with my dopey, patchy, beard and brown buzz-cut hair, standing under a blue umbrella I don’t own, wearing a college hoodie I don’t own and jeans that are four inches too short for me.  I’ve got this little smile on my face, like I’m just happy to be here, and I bet that whoever she is inside that body, she’s seeing herself make that same exact smile.

“So, you too, huh?”  I ask, walking over to myself as I wring some of the water out of my shirt and her hair.  The cotton clings to her body like latex, accenting that beautiful little lithe form of hers.  I almost feel embarrassed to be seen like this, but then I realize that it’s her body; she’s seen way more than this before.  And I don’t feel so bad anymore.

My body shrugs as he holds the umbrella forwards, shielding us both from the rain.  “Yeah.  Guess we swapped.”

“Guess so.”

For what feels like five minutes we just sort of stand there in the umbrella, looking out at the campus, saying nothing to each other.  I think we both think there’s nothing that can be said, or maybe just nothing that needs to be said.  The pitter-patter of rain drops on the umbrella, the solitude of being the only two people in sight, knowing that we both know what the other is going through…  It’s nice.  It doesn’t need to be perfect.  Nice is fine.

“Do you, ahh, do you want to do something?” she asks, finally breaking the ice.

I twirl my hair as I think, a subconscious twitch I realize that I could really get used to.  “Well, I guess I’ve got some Economics reading due tomorrow.  Are you in the two o’ clock class?”

“Oh, no, I tested out of Basic Econ.  But I need to check out a business journal from the library for a paper I’m working on.  You could read it there, maybe?”

“Sure.  Let me go get my book.”

She follows me back up to my dorm where I grab my book before toweling off quickly and changing shirts; she doesn’t mind.  There’s that little voice in my head again, telling me that I’m supposed to think it’s awkward stripping in front of the girl who’s body I’m in, but I couldn’t care less.  I mean, if she did it to my body, I wouldn’t care either.  It’s just not that important to me; not something that I need to get worried over.

The library is only slightly more populated than the campus:  a few lone people here or there surrounded by their laptops, books, and stapled homework packets.  I follow her around as she peruses the journal racks, looking for the particular addition she needs.  I never really noticed just how tall my body is compared to hers, but I sure notice it when she grabs the journal off the top rack without a stepstool.  It makes me wonder how she feels about my body compared to hers.  I don’t really feel like I’d have much to offer such an athletic girl like her, but I don’t ask.  Who knows, maybe she feels the same way about her body.  After all, when you’re stuck in it day in and day out, you don’t really think it’s anything special.

We find a pair of lounge chairs on the second floor that are removed from anyone else around, next to the windows.  The rain seems to be clearing up already, not like it was ever raining very hard to begin with.  I nuzzle into the corner of my chair and flip to Chapter 6, while she does the same with her business journal.  Words fly by about pre-tax and post-tax figures that I only vaguely file away into my short-term memory, but it’s no real different than any other time I read it; it always takes me a while to get focused.  Even then, I don’t really feel any sense of urgency or dread whether I get it or not.  This of all days is not a day for that, and I don’t think I could get agitated over it if I even tried.  Everything just seems to “click” today.  A cool day.  A chill day.

My eyes drift over to the me reading the business journal and taking notes on it, neither of which I could ever see myself doing.  There’s really nothing I can say:  he’s me.  I see him every day.  He’s just this guy I know.  Should I be feeling sexually attracted to the girl inside of him right now?  Some strange melding of body and soul in a way never before imagined?  The ultimate unity of man and woman, or something like that?  If so, I don’t feel it.  She looks back at me, looking at me looking at her, and I shrug, and she shrugs, in a mutual acceptance and understanding of the situation that I couldn’t put to words if I tried.  If I could, the best I could come up with would be, “It happened.  Here we are.”

“Do you… mind if I hugged you?” I ask her suddenly, the thought popping into my head as inexplicably as my mind popped into her body.  I have no idea why I asked it, but now that I’ve said it, it seems like it was the right thing to ask.  It seems “okay”.

She sets her journal down and tilts my head to the side, just a hair.  “Sure.  Sure, I think that’d be all right.  Do…  I mean, can I hug you back?”

“Oh…  I don’t see why not.”

Both of us just sort of sit on the edges of our seat cushions for a while, not really sure who should get up first.  I bite the bullet and do it, and she follows as we meet somewhere in the middle and wrap our arms around ourselves.  My head nestles itself under my body’s scratchy chin, bringing our height difference to the forefront yet again, and it’s weird; I’m in the girl’s body, but I can tell I’ve got the firmer grip of us both.  My ear hears my heart beating in someone else’s chest, and I smell me, mixed with the foreign touch of someone else’s clothes.  A stray beam of sun from the retreating clouds bounces light over a cloud of dust motes.

This, this is nice.  I like nice.  I don’t need perfect, I don’t need erotic, I don’t need romantic…  I don’t really even need an explanation.  I’m fine with nice.  I’m fine with chill.

I’m fine with this.

{Inspired by the dream of a friend, and used with permission.  At first it seemed normal enough, but when he stressed over and over again how it wasn’t sexual, just “nice”, just “chill”, I fell in love with it.  Thank you, friend, for inspiring me.  I hope you like this!}

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