Inquisitive: Part 10
By Hassan Izzo
Shortly after, I stood at the front door. Dressed and ready to go, I psyched myself up to go out into the world. I had no intention of actually making an appearance at school. That could wait. Today was a recon mission; a day to get my bearings. I’d replaced the school books I found in a record bag with a change of clothes. I took a deep breath, opened the front door, and was met with a smiling face.
“Hey, I was just about to ring the doorbell.”
Shit. This was not part of the plan. “….hey.”
“Morning Megan,” said my mother from somewhere behind me.
“Morning.” replied Megan, looking behind me.
“Have a good day at school.” said my mum.
Megan turned around. She was obviously waiting for me to step outside so that we could start our journey to school. To say I could have done without this development would be an understatement, but it occurred to me that there would be a lot more surprises to come. At least I knew that my friend was called Megan. For the time being I was going to have to remain flexible and just go with the flow. So I stepped outside, closed the front door behind me, and prepared for my first day at school.
Megan was a talkative girl with a permanent smile on her freckled face. At first I tried my best to engage with her and fit in but I quickly became distracted and as it turns out, Megan was quite the one-way conversationalist. All that I had to do was nod and make agreeable sounds every now and then. The reason that I became distracted was a combination of two factors: firstly, Megan was talking about a boy from school called Liam, which by itself is unremarkable. As she continued to talk I saw a woman at a bus stop that I couldn’t take my eyes off because of her attractiveness. This jarred and conflicted with what Megan was talking about in a way that made me self-conscious and it quickly dawned on me why. Just where exactly did I fit in now? Just because I was in a girl’s body did not make me attracted to men, and yet if I were to ever have a girlfriend I would be classed as a lesbian. How would I define myself going forward? It was a proposition that entangled my mind so completely that I was taken by surprise when we reached the school gates.
I stopped in my tracks and looked at the other boys and girls arriving. I felt uneasy as I caught the eye of a boy strolling in, which was quickly followed by a wave of nausea. I took a few deep breaths and tried to will my stomach to calm down. Something new was disturbing me and it was my gut that was reacting the quickest.
“Claire, are you OK?” asked Megan.
My mind caught up with my gut and I felt unsteady on my feet. Just how many others like me were there? How many of these boys and girls were being inhabited by the spirit of a dead person brought back? How could you tell who was real? My head started spinning as these thoughts circled my head. I spun around and ran off, desperately wanting to be anywhere else but here.
I stood in front of the bathroom mirror with a plastic bag in my hand. I looked at myself and felt physically sick. Every little movement I made brought home to me just how much I didn’t belong in this poor girls body; this vessel was not intended for me. I stared intently into the mirror. “Grandma, if you can hear me, I need to talk to you. Please.” I waited for some kind of response. Nothing happened. “Please, please say you can hear me.” Again nothing. I felt hopeless. “Fine.”
Like any other writer, Hassan Antonio Izzo is happiest when he is sat at his desk putting words down on paper; whether it be updating his blog, working on a short story, script, poetry, journalism, or wrestling with his first novel. If anything stands a chance of getting him away from his desk, a few drinks with friends would stand a good one. His biggest claim to fame is that Quentin Tarantino loved his Mr T t-shirt when he met him; which was pretty cool.
A proud South Londoner, you can follow on Twitter @Hassanizzo86