…Still nothing from you Verde? Fine.
Alright, so, the morning of November 25th, 2014. I woke up stupid early, at about 5:30, my body damp from the terror induced sweating. I took a sigh as I realized that it was all a dream, that my skin wasn’t ripped off, and that my body wasn’t stolen by some mysterious dream woman. As I walked out of my bedroom, I realized just how early it was. So early that my mother was still asleep, and the sun hadn’t risen.
Instead of heading back to sleep, I decided to get started on my day… and I decided to begin it with a shower to rid myself of my teenage bodily odor. It was more of a rinse than anything, a rinse that reaffirmed that I was, indeed, in my original body, and that things were back to normal. I dried myself off, put on my uniform, and was ready for school by 6:00. However, my early rising caused my mother to come into my room and have a word with me. Her hair was still down, and she was still in her pajamas.
“Hey, are you feeling alright sweetie?” My mother, Caroline, asked with her soft and soothing voice.
“Yeah, I just had a nightmare and couldn’t get back to sleep,” I answered, knowing that there would be follow-up questions.
“You sure that’s it? You seemed a bit… out of it last night. Is everything alright?” My mother asked as she placed her hand on my shoulder.
“I was just feeling a little funny last night and wanted to get to bed early. I feel fine now,” I answered, lying to both my mother and myself.
She looked at me as if she saw through my lie but did not want to say anything about it.
“Well, okay Jad. Just remember that you can talk to me about anything.”
I left for Maxxie’s at about 6:45, getting there a couple of minutes before seven. Babs was thankfully up and had taken care of Maxxie and Terra. I greeted Maxxie as she was sipping her Charm Tea, reminding her that we were bringing Terra with us today. She simply nodded in response, still taking in the rejuvenating effects of her Charm Tea. We eventually all got into Maxxie’s car and picked up Zoe and Shiaka. I’m sorry if I’m skimming over this, but… I don’t think you really care about all these details. Speak up if you have any objections.
I’ll keep on going then.
I, myself, Jad Novus, looked like trash today. My skin was far paler than usual, I had some discoloration around my green eyes, and my mess of curly hair was still a bit damp as I left the house. I was in a navy dress shirt, with my dark gray pants. Same basic clothes as before, but in my disgruntled state of mind, I gravitated towards darker clothing. I dunno, I guess it’s symbolic and all that crap.
Maxxie, Maxxisaurus Omega Flare, had brushed her hair today, presumably for me, but I could see the lack of sleep she got reflected in her brown, freckle covered face. She had on a pink blazer, a violet dress shirt underneath, blue-ribbon on her collar, skirt just above her knees of the same color, and some thigh-high white socks. She looked like quite a cutie, which made the idea of taking her body for the day all the more upsetting, as I’d be taking that cuteness away from her.
Zoe Xing was looking sharp as usual, his face stern-looking, slick black hair, and rectangular glasses that helped make him look more like a teacher than a student. An image reinforced by his tall and muscular build and his clothing. Today he had a black blazer, white dress shirt, black pants, and a cobalt tie. I’d say that he looked like a typical young salaryman. You know, with him being half-Asian. But that’d probably sound racist or something.
Shiaka Kurokawa had a nervous look at her face, more so than usual. Her silky blonde hair gracefully draped over her shoulders, onto her other winter uniform. It was a simple white dress shirt with a cream-colored sweater vest, a knee-length dark navy skirt, and tan skin-colored stockings. She was fidgeting in the car, her bright blue eyes bouncing around like a trapped animal searching for a way out. Part of me wanted to say something, but I know that if something truly made her uncomfortable, she would say as much.
Terra Flare was the oddball amongst anybody who would take a look at our crew at the time, being a ten-year-old pre-transition transgirl, living as a boy for the time being. Today, she was dressed in a light sweater and jeans, as her school did not have a uniform policy.
We made a detour to Terra’s school. The same private school that Maxxie attended before she headed over to Oransen Elementary School. With our destination in sight, Zoe pulled out the VD.
“I just want to make sure neither of you are having any second thoughts,” Zoe said as he looked at Shiaka and Terra.
“I… I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t, at least a little,” Terra said, trying to sound more feminine than normal.
“I am indeed nervous. However, I believe I am— no, I am strong enough to go through this,” Shiaka answered with a huff.
“Excellent. Now, how about you two?” Zoe asked, turning his attention to Maxxie and me.
“I would play the Viewtiful Joe ‘just go for it’ sound clip or the Amy Rose ‘I’m getting excited’ one. But neither sounds quite right in my head, so I’ll just go with… yep-a-dep-a-yo-yo! Let’s get this swap on!”
After saying that, Maxxie took a swig of her thermos full of Charm Tea. Which wouldn’t really help her. It would just amp up whoever swapped into her body.
“Well, I don’t know how to drive, so shouldn’t we wait until we get to school?” I asked.
“Nah, I can just drive while I’m in Zoe’s sexy little bod!” Maxxie flippantly replied.
“Ah, right, right, sorry, I didn’t sleep all that well last night,” I said as I rubbed the back of my head.
“Well, that’s good to know,” Zoe mumbled sarcastically.
With that, the three-part swap happened. Shiaka and Terra. Myself and Maxxie. And Zoe and Maxxie(J). Meaning it was Terra(S), Shiaka(T), Zoe(J), Maxxie(Z), and Jad(M) after the fact.
I found myself sinking into the sensations of Maxxie’s original body within a matter of seconds. Even on this freezing morning, it still instilled my soul with a sense of warmth. The clothes tightly hugged my frame, allowing me to embrace their soft texture. I could still taste bits of her Charm Tea resonating throughout my mouth. And as I looked down at myself, I couldn’t help but let out a girlish giggle. Maybe it has something to do with Maxxie’s usual energy, brain chemistry, and usual mood, but I simply felt a lot better just by being in this body. It filled me with a warm and cozy feeling that I most enjoyed.
After momentarily zoning out, I was called back to reality by the sound of Zoe’s original voice moaning in pleasure.
“Oh yes, this was one damn good idea. Chiseled features, toned bod, and, yep, a nice big one in the sack!”
I looked over to see Maxxie(Z) with a hand down her pants, her deep voice sounding… unsettling when paired with her usual cheery intonations.
“Please, try to control yourself when we arrive at school, Maxxie,” Zoe(J) groaned from the backseat.
“Shiaka, Terra, how are you two holding up?” I asked as I heard nothing but awkward grumbles from the two.
“I— oh, wow that is soft— so is her— my voice, I guess…” Terra(S) murmured as she glared down at her current body, one hand on her blonde hair, the other on her chest. Not in the sense that she was fondling it. She was just feeling it and examining the weight. At least, that’s what it looked like.
“Check-one-two— Hm… This is certainly… different from before. Everything’s not as small as I expected too. I guess I didn’t grow much during puberty, so…” Shiaka(T) thought out loud, testing her prepubescent voice.
“Do you want one of us to walk you up to school-lu, Shi-Shi?” Maxxie(Z) asked, sounding far more creepy than she intended. …Or, at least I hope so.
“Um, sure, I guess…” Shiaka(T) replied.
“Alrighty! ‘Maxxie,’ please walk your swissy to the land of education, edutainment, and moe memories!” Maxxie(Z) requested of me as Zoe(J) grumbled at her behavior.
“Ma— Zoe, for the last time, moe does not mean something nostalgic and good, ya nut can! True moe is… hang on, where’d I put that MP3 brick? I wanna preach my words with that one Gurren Lagann track playing softly on the car speakers.” I rambled, trying to get my Maxxie impression at ‘Maxxie-mum’ efficiency.
“You don’t bring that device to school because it has hentai music on it. Now walk your sister through the cold so she can finish her boyhood and begin her girlhood!” Maxxie(Z) shouted back at me, unbuckling her seatbelt.
“That won’t really happen for a few months, ya wisenheimer!” I said.
In retrospect, that was probably not the best thing to say. But it was true. Terra still had six months of fifth grade to complete before she could be a girl 24/7.
“It’s the big picture Miss Flare, now go and do your due diligence,” Maxxie(Z) said as she exited the car
As I shouted at Maxxie(Z), I grabbed Shiaka(T) from the middle backseat and began my ‘due diligence.’ As I stepped out of the car, I realized that Maxxie has chosen to wear shoes with a bit of a heel today. Nothing too intense, just an inch or so, but it was strange not having my feet on uneven surfaces. After I got my bearings, I grabbed onto Shiaka(T)’s hand and began walking up to the school with her. Looking around, I saw that the school was almost completely empty aside from two or three children on the playground… only to remember that it was 7:30 and elementary school didn’t start for another hour.
“Alright… ‘Terra,’ you sure you have everything you need?” I said, continuing to imitate Maxxie.
“I should be fine… sis. Terra… I left some notes in my backpack in case I get confused, and I can review them before school starts.”
I snickered as Shiaka(T) fell into her role so easily. I thought about giving her a pat on the head… but I didn’t want to risk triggering her before leaving her alone. At a building that, in some way, resembled the place where she was nearly killed.
“Yeah, and you’ll have plenty of time, as school doesn’t start for another hour… Sorry about that, but that’s the way the pancake flips!” I said with an awkward chuckle.
As I wandered back to the car, I felt guilty about leaving Shiaka(T) alone in a place she never once visited before. It was probably a decade since she last experienced that, as she always had us of her parents by her side. She knew to call any of us if she needed help, or she was slightly worried about anything, but there was still a tiny, almost insignificant, risk of something bad happening.
Shiaka said that she wanted to do this, that she was ready for this, but… this worry was enough to turn my smile upside down. I let out a hefty sigh as I returned to the car, this time entering the passenger seat, buckled up, and found myself gazing into the rearview mirror. I saw my disgruntled expression, and I hated it. I tried adopting a sly smirk in response, hoping that Maxxie’s signature smile would help boost my spirits. But… it really didn’t. Because I knew, the smile was not genuine.
“So, ‘Shiaka,’ how are you holding up?” Zoe(J) asked the woman next to him.
“Huh, do you— oh, sorry, I guess I should get used to that. Um, am I going to need to socialize a lot with others at school or…” Terra(S) murmured as she looked down at her cute little sweater vest and skirt.
“No. Both Terra and yourself are very reclusive young women who mostly interact with us. Simply stay quiet, follow the directions, give simple replies when prompted, and you should be fine.” Maxxie(Z) said.
While she pulled off a good Zoe impression, she looked almost… annoyed. I was not sure if she was actually annoyed or trying to look serious but… wait, no it was both. It was definitely both.
“Alright, but the multiple class thing always worried me. I mean, that and the halls it just seems to be… a lot to take in.” Terra(S) mumbled as she began curling up in her seat.
“Terra, look, you are a strong girl, you studied the school map, nobody will suspect anything even if you act a bit odd. Just keep a cool head and everything will be fine. Don’t fall down the butthole of despair, for you have the ability to become the ultimate hope!” I said, channeling my optimism and Maxxie-isms.
“Ultimate hope? Terra never played Danganronpa, so she doesn’t get the reference.” Maxxie(Z) explained as she drove to our destination.
“Oh, wait, but I thought—” I stammered
“It’s rated Mature, so I should not play it until I’m older.” Terra(S) meekly explained.
“I would sooner comment about how its subject matter is quite dark when you get down to it,” Zoe(J) explaineed. “The series centers around a group of high schoolers murdering one another in an ill-guided pursuit of freedom, which is made all the more foul by how—”
“A-buh-bup! Spoilers, dude!” Maxxie(Z) interjected.
“Well, the trailer for Absolute Despair Girls made the ending to the first game super clear,” I added. “So I don’t know if that is actually a spoiler. I mean, that one trailer is basically the ending of the first game,” I commented.
“I swear, if that doesn’t come out in the West, I’m gonna be one salty little clam, nipping on NIS America’s bum.” Maxxie(Z) ranted.
“Both Danganronpa titles did better than they expected in North America, so I’m sure it will be out sometime next year, in 2015.”
“Yeah, it better… Super DR 2: Sayonara Despair is probably my game of the year.”
“Zoe, you cleared twelve games that came out this year. Your GOTY status does not mean much.”
“Yeah, but there honestly was not much competition this year, as developers have been slow to adapt to new hardware, and the bulk of major releases this year were exceptionally buggy or rough at launch. I mean, Ubisoft somehow managed to break Tetris for PS4. Fucking TETRIS!”
“I honestly thought that was a joke when I first heard the news,” Zoe(J) butted in. “It is mechanically the same game that flawlessly ran on a GameBoy, yet it sometimes struggles to run on modern hardware. All due to… what was it, a friends list feature?”
“For reals, I thought these new consoles were super easy to develop for, since they’re basically all PCs.” Maxxie(Z) scoffed.
“I remember reading something on NeoGaf about how compliance has gotten a lot laxer and, because they got rid of patch limits, a lot of publishers are pushing games out early so they can patch them later,” Terra(S) commented.
Yes, Maxxie had a policy where she did not want Terra to play Mature-rated video games until she was in middle school… but she let her browse freaking NeoGaf.
“It is all part of a troubling shift in the industry,” Zoe(J) began. “While many titles have been patched extensively, issues persist for others. From general functionality issues to save errors, and so forth. They are deemed to be acceptable hindrances to the experience that are left untouched. Instead, the development resources that would be put into patches are placed into the development of additional content. It is all part of an industrywide shift to present products more like services through a variety of downloadable extras. With the extras for some titles being so plentiful that a graph is required to understand what each edition of a game contains. It’s an understandable business practice, to an extent, but it amounts to a worse product for customers such as ourselves. It is such a blasted shame…”
With that somber little note on the current state of the video game industry, we arrived at school, shared a brief reminder of when and where we would meet up, before going our separate ways.
Well, Zoe(J) and I both took the same path to our respective body’s lockers, as Maxxie and I had lockers right next to each other thanks to a little request she put in with the school. This usually resulted in us having a conversation leading up to the first period. Despite being in swapped bodies, Zoe(J) and I continued that practice, musing over the game industry in nerdy detail. A conversation that only lasted until the ringing of a familiar bell that called Zoe(J) and I over to our Psychology class.
As expected, a large number of students had taken an early Thanksgiving break and decided to skip school. This meant that my class simply went through a review worksheet. It was simple, and I completed it with half of the period to spare. As such, I was left to observe my surroundings as I sipped the Charm Tea that I neglected during our car ride. Only a few sips were left, so I topped it off and unintentionally let out a very loud ‘ah’ to show my satisfaction with the drink. It was delicious and just drinking it made me feel like I could fight a bear and win. Just like Mamoru Takamura from Hajime no Ippo…
Anyhow, upon finishing my worksheet, I realized I made a major mistake. I had forgotten to properly imitate Maxxie’s handwriting. I had her pencils, hands and, well, everything else to remind me, but I still wrote like I was in my original body. Seeing as how she is an artist, she knew how to use a pen to create things that look nice, and her handwriting reflected that skill. Instead of channeling that and relying on muscle memory… I wrote like Jad.
Disappointed with my work, I began rewriting my answers, trying to mimic the handwriting belonging to the hands I currently possessed. I ultimately succeeded… at least somewhat. It looked far too wavy, almost as if I were trying to find a middle ground between cursive and… normal writing. Meanwhile, I could see that Zoe(J) was taking far more detailed notes in my notebook, imitating my flawed penmanship while simultaneously improving upon it. I thought about saying something, but Zoe(J) had his nose buried in his Psychology textbook. Not only was he able to complete his worksheet despite having never taken a Psychology class before, but he was blazing through the book, flipping from page to page.
Distraught and discouraged, I began glancing around the classroom. Looking at the familiar assortment of faces I vaguely recognized, and names I could not recall. Normally I would just glance over them… but I found my eyes drifting towards the butts of those in the front row, admiring them, and feeling… aroused.
I had rarely, if ever, felt aroused. While I did sometimes get erections, that was just due to irritation, stimulation, and hormones. Not because I personally found something to be… sexy. As such, I have identified as asexual. My mind was asexual, but this body… definitely wasn’t. It felt good to identify something as sexy, but it also felt so very… wrong.
“Hey, Maxxie, are you feeling alright?” Zoe(J) asked me, imitating myself perfectly.
“Huh? No, I’m just dandy, Jad-y. I’m just feeling like a bit of a space today, aight?” I said, trying to act nonchalant and Maxxie-esque, folding my arms behind my head.
After that, I began to shut my eyes and contemplate the relationship between the sexual orientation of the mind and the body. If we assume that the two forces interact with each other to form a comprehensive sexual orientation, then what would happen if the two were switched around.
If an androsexual mind was put into the body of a gynesexual, which sexuality would prevail as the dominant one as the years went on? Would the mind influence the body, or would the body influence the mind? Would a child’s mind, if it were placed in another child’s body, change their sexuality as they mature? I asked questions, but I had no answers, just blind theories. No solutions, only problems.