Author : Sarah Klein
He was getting another body. Again.
Always something new, though. Many people got almost the same body again – erase my scars, make me look younger, but I want to keep my fingerprints, they’d say. Smooth out the wrinkles, get rid of my freckles – that was what this business was really for. But he was different. This was his drug. Instead of once, it seemed infinite. This time I want brown hair, this time I want more muscle, this time make me blind in one eye. It was his experience, he said.
I didn’t call it an experience. I called it stupid and wasteful. He was never one to listen to anyone else, though. Ostracized by his family, he lived alone. Friends visited him occasionally – he was no hermit – but many people looked down on him. Everyone I knew thought I looked down on him, too. But every soul has their shady, heart-wrenching secret, and mine was that I loved him. Well, he knew it, of course. I’d confessed to him twice during our lengthy friendship, and both times he had brushed it aside. He didn’t feel that way, he said, and I don’t think he ever felt that way for anyone. Still, we continued being friends, as we enjoyed each other’s ideas and conversation.
But soon, he was worse. Switching bodies more often, he also began to start experimenting with drugs. I found him several times passed out on the floor, paraphernalia scattered, vomit in gruesome puddles. Didn’t he want anything more than this? I asked him, pressured him, and begged him, but to no avail. He was self-destructing, and he didn’t care.
You can’t switch bodies forever. Each time, it gets riskier and riskier. They’d told him this was the last body they were giving him, he said, with a sigh of disgust. They don’t want the blood on their hands when something goes wrong. In his blissful, honest tone, he told me when and where he was getting transplanted. I’d always been good to him – it was impossible for me to do anything nefarious to him, and he knew that. But I was losing him, and I knew it.
It’s illegal to break into a procedure. It’s illegal to tamper with a procedure. It’s also extremely easy, if you know how to be quiet and who to bribe. There may be laws, but without proper enforcement, they’re nothing but paper. And so, I found myself in his room, looking down at the two bodies and all the tubing. I smiled, seeing his new body being very similar to his original one. For some reason, it made me feel like there was some way for his redemption. I pricked my finger carefully, watching the blood form into a single, round droplet. Carefully inserting it into the rest of his blood transfer tube, I slipped it back in and left. I didn’t know what it would do, or what havoc it would cause. He’d have some of me, even if I never had him.