“There’s a little boy there, I want him to be my friend.” I bury the blankets around my face, pressing down on the sides and holding my breath.
I push my head under the covers, trying to ignore the nagging feeling of my broken routine. It’s driving me insane and I start chewing on the skin down the side of my thumbnail, ripping the skin until it bleeds. The skin is hanging from the edge slightly and I start tugging at it, wincing at the sharp pains shooting through the short limb. I can feel Vicky shifting on the edge of my bed, clearly trying to give me chance to sort myself out but she’s growing restless the longer I stay tucked away in this safe haven.
I don’t know whether her response was in confusion of what I said, or because she understood and is actually shocked by what I said. It sounds even worse having said it out loud, I have an obsession with a child, for Christ’s sake, a little boy! That’s not normal. The skin rips more and I gasp in pain as the skin comes off in a thin strand, the cut reaching the top of my knuckle. The silence is stretching on and on and it would be calming except for the tension hanging in the air, threatening to drown us. My fingers are tingling slightly and I begin to gnaw on the nail of my third finger, read to pull it off between my teeth.
“Bill?” The soft tones of her voice startle me and I tear it a bit too far by accident, the rip reaching part way down over the fleshy part of the nail. “Talk to me.”
I pause, listening to her breathe on the other side of the thin blanket that separates us. “I can do this thing. It transforms me into anything.” Another pause. “I pretend to be a child, so I can play on the swings.” Complete silence has descended over the both of us as she shifts slightly on the top of the covers. “There’s a little boy there, called Ryan… I want him to be my friend.”
She’s just shuffling about, not saying anything to me and I bury the blankets around my face, pressing down on the sides and holding my breath. The material heats up around my face, almost suffocating me before Vicky realises what I’m doing and pulls it away from me. Her angry gaze peers down at my flushed face, and I smile sheepishly, hiding my head behind my hands. “Sorry.” I mumble, rolling over, facing away from her. The alarm clock begins beeping again and she makes a noise synonymous to a growl, standing up and pulling the plug from the socket, cutting the noise short. My hands are tingling again in slight panic and I throw myself beneath the blanket again. “Can I show you something?”
“You can show me anything. You don’t have to ask.” I really did have to ask, she doesn’t understand, but her voice is softer than I expect and it calms me slightly. I hold my breath as I let the tingling take over. It’s quicker than last night, and soon I’m stretching myself out in the bed to try and make myself look the same height as I usually am. My hair no longer covers my eyes and my fingers don’t quite fit over my face anymore.
“I do have to ask.” My voice is higher and slightly squeaky and I can almost sense the frown she must be wearing right now. Without warning, the blankets are ripped from my face and I lay there exposed, my hands instinctively racing to hold up the boxers that are now way too big for me.
The silence in the room is deafening, Vicky’s face a look of pure shock as she gazes at my 7 year old body. She pushes herself from the bed, hands flying to her mouth and she takes a couple of jolted steps backwards as I blink innocently at her. I shift uncomfortably at so much skin being on show and clear my throat uncertainly. “Uh, top drawer on the left…can you pass me something to wear.” My voice suddenly sounds alien to myself, despite hearing it on a regular basis. The tension in the room is reaching an all time peak as she doesn’t move, eyes glinting in…fear? Confusion? Interest? “Please?”
I wait a moment, but there’s still no movement and I sigh, closing my eyes and let the warm sensation overcome me once more. When I look at her again, my feet are touching the end of the bed and I reach my arms up, letting the tanned muscles stretch above my blonde mop of hair.
“Gabe?” Finally, a reaction.
“Gabe Saporta, as in Cobra Starship? As in, worked in the office with me?”
“I’m still me. William, not Gabe.” I feel more at ease in Gabe’s skin, the confidence creeping its way into my mind and growing. I wiggle my toes and sit myself up, swinging my legs over the edge of the bed, just as a clock alarm sounds from the depths of my apartment. My body stills and I will the sound to get out of my head, to get out of the room. A minute passes before I shake my head and crack my knuckles, standing up with a mega-watt smile gracing my features.
I never really got over leaving Gabe behind, the only persona where I felt completely comfortable. My anxiety disappears quickly, my head slows down and I can live my life relaxed instead of constantly on the ball. I had to make the decision of being myself or being a “perfect” individual. Sadly, the idea of always concentrating on not letting my façade slip and being someone else for the rest of my life was daunting and unsettled me. I tucked the hoodies and “bling” away, reverting to my own form.
The infernal beeping coming from the kitchen begins to irritate me and I step forwards, intending to switch it off. I’ve barely moved before Vicky’s on me, palms racing over my skin, fingers poking and prodding at my ribs and causing me to double over in ticklish laughter. Her hands move fast as if checking to see if I’m wearing a suit or I’m some sort of hologram. I twist and writhe against her touches so unsure of whether to be turned on or just extremely ticklish. “Vicky, VICKY! Stop, please!” I manage to choke out, eyes watering as I throw myself back onto the bed, gasping for air and still twitching slightly.
“Gabe, Bill, this is fucking creepy.”
My face drops as she looks at me and I know I’ve blown it. She’s frightened and that scares me too. “It’s me, though.” And the next thing to leave her mouth shocks me.
“Have you ever been me?” She peers at me, a slight smirk stretching across her face. “Or any girl.” I hold my hand in front of my face to distract me for a moment, turning it blue and thickening the fingers before shrinking it to a green, gloved hand with spindly joints and stick-like limbs. I chuckle in my head as I wonder to myself of turning myself into the Green Lantern before looking back at Vicky, letting my hand spring back to Gabe’s tanned digits.
“I’ve never thought about it, never thought of being anyone really. Just me, Gabe and a child. That’s all I’ve ever needed to get through life. Aren’t you angry, or scared?”
“Just do it.” Now she’s grinning at me and I crinkle my eyes in curiosity before letting her drag me back to my feet. “For me? Please?” I don’t even realise what I’m doing until she starts giggling. “You call them breasts? They’re like a tiny bit of useless flesh.”
And that was it. Any fear dissipated almost instantly and she spent the day making me morph into things I’d never even thought of.
The bottle of wine sitting in front of the candle looks beautiful. I can’t help but stare at the way the flame flickers; cast into a million shards as it reflects off every miniscule surface of residue in the bottle and lighting up the room. I concentrate on the flickering as I shift my body slightly letting my skin pale into a green hue, waiting for Vicky to guess who I am.
“Okay, okay. The Incredible Hulk.”
“You didn’t let me get to the fun part.” I sulk, sticking my lower lip out slightly and pouting. Vicky stands up from the floor where she’d been laying and walks over to my ever-changing form sprawled across the couch. She pokes at some skin before slumping back down next to my feet.
I immediately grin, throwing myself to my feet in front of her. “Don’t make me angry.”
“Oh my- we don’t need the whole theatrics, Bill.” She rolls her eyes mockingly before gesturing for me to carry on.
“Don’t make me angry, you won’t like it when I’m angry!” I scream, ripping my shirt from my chest as it heaves, expanding outwards and flexing the growing muscles as they strain against the emerald skin. My trousers are getting tighter around my gargantuan legs and oversized body and I wince ever so slightly as I feel them tearing at the seams before falling in shreds to the ground. “My favourite pants…” Bruce Banner’s gruff voice notes sadly and I chuckle quietly at the sound. Glancing down, I notice ripped material encasing my thighs and gasp. The purple material wasn’t there before.
“I didn’t know I could do that. I can make clothes?!” I pick at the purple cloth only to feel my fingers pinching at my own skin. “Ouch! That’s me, holy shit, that’s my skin.” I quickly shrink back into myself, covering my now exposed dick with my hands. I’m slightly disturbed at the way it turned out and look towards Vicky with wide eyes; she’s almost rolled completely off the couch, eyes crinkled in laughter. “It’s not funny!”
She just laughs once more, wiping at her eyes before throwing a pair of pants at me from the washing pile on the end of the seat. “That was great, you should walk around town like that one day.” She’s still giggling and I slap her arm lightly before sitting down, now clothed. “Okay, right. So you actually told me this for a reason. You had a plan about this kid?”
Back to that. I can’t tell her the whole plan, she would freak out. I need to make it as innocent sounding as possible, because the complete immoral attitude surrounding my concept would not go down well with her…or anyone for that matter.
“I want you to pretend to be my parent. Then I can invite him back to play. I can buy second hand toys or whatever to make it seem like I play with that stuff and he can come for meals or whatever.” Then he can come more often, I can get him to stay with me. He needs to stay with me. I can’t keep going back to that paint splattered swing, second from the left, across the soft tarmac, past the roundabout, the climbing frame, the wooden hut…I can’t listen to him say things about his parents, so clueless to the severity of his home situation. I can keep him safe, I can keep him away from all that.
My hand twitches slightly.
I can make him mine.
Was the ending too rushed? :/