Day in and day out it was the same thing, over and over again. He was really beginning to wonder if they did this on purpose. It wouldn't surprise him if the answer to that question was yes. Really, how could he be a part of such a silly bunch of mindless drones that his classmate were? He ignored the nagging voice in the back of his head that reminded him he was being far too harsh on them. It was by no fault of theirs that he moved at a faster pace in learning than they did and he really shouldn't be annoyed with them when it meant that he could complete all of his homework before getting home. Not that he would turn it in the next day but his mother and father always checked to make sure that he had it done before he was allowed to do anything else and he really didn't want to have to spend any more free time on this useless process than was really necessary. He had to admit, as useless as the voice usually was this time it made a good point.
"Hey Eve! Wait up!" Oh great, the annoyance was back. Brown eyes locked onto his as Jordan ran up to him. Jordan was taller than him (though so was most everyone else with his pitiful height of 4'10") with pitch black hair that was cut short and mocha colored skin. If Eve had to guess, he would say that the other was of Hispanic decent though he always claimed to be of Native American roots. Jordan was the star player on the Football team at their small high school and most of the student population would be jumping at a chance to get to talk to him. Eve had known him for years, going back to their grade school career when the other was bullied for being too small. Ironic that it was Jordan who received the growth spurt and not him, the one who had protected the 'little weakling, wasn't it?
"Hi Jordan," He forced a bright smile on his face. Jordan was his only real friend at this school even if the other was far too loud and obnoxious for his tastes now. He rather missed the way the other had been when he was younger. He was much more pleasant then and it wasn't such a chore to greet him every day.
"What hour do you have next?" Jordan blinked at him, curious. It was the first day of the second term after all, so the scheduling had changed. It was the last class of the day and he hadn't seen the other at all so this was the only class that they would have together. Eve hoped that wasn't the case. "Maybe we'll have a class together for once! We haven't had a class together in forever!"
"Henderson for English." Eve replied monotonously. He had memorized his schedule during the break between terms so that he wouldn't be looking for the classrooms for the first time when they restarted school. Jordan frowned as he glanced at his own schedule and beamed. Eve fought back a groan. That meant that he too had Henderson next and Eve would be putting up with the other for the entire hour. Maybe he could start some conversations that weren't about that horrid game that Jordan had somehow gotten entranced with over the years? Ugh, either way Eve was going to bet that the rest of this period was going to be hell on earth for him.
"Chikushou." He muttered in annoyance as they entered the classroom and he noticed the seating chart. Of course he'd forgotten that one of the reasons that Jordan had become his friend was because they had the same first letter of their last name which meant when they had classes together they often ended up sitting next to each other. Sure enough it was Jordan Reinford and Eve Reynolds at the two desks in the back of the room.
"Just like old times!" Jordan grinned happily. Eve fought back the urge to snarl at him. It would help if they were both the same as they were then.
"Alright class!" Mr. Henderson called them to attention, cutting Jordan off from explaining exactly why the Timber Tigers (their school mascot) had lost in the last game. Eve found that he was eternally grateful to the man for stopping the football rant before it could really begin. God, what was so interesting about one sport?! He didn't understand and he doubted that he ever would understand but he listened anyways. He always found himself listening no matter how many times he complained in his head or vowed never to listen to the annoyance he still ended up in this same position whenever Jordan found him. He knew why too, though he hated admitting it even to himself: the idiot was his best (only) friend.
'Says a lot about me that I don't even really like him, doesn't it?' He thought to himself ruefully. It hadn't always been that way either. He glanced at the front of the classroom as Mr. Henderson began introducing them to what they would be doing this semester. When he had first met Jordan he had adored the small boy (really, just when had that changed?) and had enjoyed their conversations that had ranged from all subjects and not just about football as they were now. Just when had they grown apart? When had he stopped caring that he was losing interest in the only person that really cared if he was around?
The bell rang, signaling the end of the last hour of the day. Eve gathered up his things as Jordan resumed his conversation on football. He was explaining something that had to do with specific plays and such that they used during practices but Eve knew none of the terminology of the sport and found himself even more annoyed and hopelessly lost. He was just glad that the other seemed to realize this and changed the subject. "Are your parents still laying into you to do better in school?"
'Of all the things to change it to!' Eve cursed. Jordan just had to go there, didn't he? "Yes." He said shortly, hoping that the other would get the hint and leave it at that. No such luck.
"Man that sucks." Jordan winced. "Your parents are really strict, ya know?"
No, he didn't know. He had only lived with them his entire life. Really, that was a stupid question to ask! Eve fought back a snort and gave the other a small smile and shrugged. "That's just the way they are. They want me to do well and get into a good college so I'll have a future."
Well that's what they wanted people to think. Eve knew that they wanted him to do well so that he would have a strong career that they could brag about. They already had a strong standing in society but knowledge of their underachieving son was common around their circles and a cause of 'disappointment' for them. They had always made sure they knew how much he disappointed them with his academics, his personality, the way he dressed, etc. Sometimes it made Eve wonder why they even had a child in the first place if all he was to them was a failure.
"I know!" Jordan exclaimed, interrupting his thoughts. "Let's walk home together, just like we used to! Mom's been insisting that I ride the bus lately but I'm sure she won't mind if I walk to your house with you. She always seems to think that something's going to happen to you if you're by yourself."
Eve blinked at the taller boy. Really now? Mrs. Bena was always a worrier but Eve hadn't known that he had managed to become part of select few that she worried about. He considered the proposition before nodding. "Okay."
Jordan beamed at him.
The screech of tires was deafening and Eve felt like he was flying. Everything hurt and he could hear screaming in the background. He felt like he should know who was screaming and why they sounded agonized but nothing was coming to mind. He hit something and felt his body bounce off the hard surface of whatever it was. Pain was a main factor in his disjointed limbs. Something sticky was covering his body but he couldn't look to see what it was. He couldn't move anything and there was something heavy on top of him.
"Eve!" He knew that voice but he couldn't open his eyes to see who it was. "Come on, wake up! Eve!" God, why were they so loud?! Couldn't whoever it was tell that he was tired and in pain? He wanted to sleep and the darkness sitting in the back of his mind felt like the relief from the pain that his body was feeling. He wanted to be free from the yelling and the loud bundle of noise that was all around him. So he allowed himself to float to that blackness and away from it all. Nothing mattered.
Eve moaned as he opened his eyes slowly. He blinked around in confusion as he noticed that he was surrounded by white walls and bustling people. Confusion set in as he attempted to find any sign to his current location. He didn't have to look long as he dodged a nurse wheeling a hospital bed by, obviously in a hurry as she rounded a corner. Eve found that knowing his location didn't help at all with his confusion as he wondered how he had gotten to the hospital from walking home with Jordan. He couldn't remember anything after leaving the school.
'Jordan. I'll find him and he'll explain what's going on.' The teenager decided as he made his way through the crowd of people in the sterile hospital. He wasn't sure which one he was at but he guessed that didn't really matter, did it? He would find out soon enough when he found the football nut. Eve ignored the bad feeling that curled in his gut as he continued to search.
He yelped as he dodged a group of oncoming people and nearly just brushed off the occurrence as a worried family that had gotten some bad news when he recognized one of them. "Mom?" He called out, blinking. His mother didn't even flinch or show any sign that she had heard him. Frowning and more than a little worried Eve ran after them, dodging visitors and patients already roaming the hallway as he did so. His worry increased as he noticed that his father was with his mother and both looked worried. His parents never looked worried unless it was about their image in life. Eve was still a few feet away from them when they stopped at a room and entered.
The first thing he noticed when he stopped was that despite his run, he wasn't tired or panting. That rang alarm bells in his head and Eve felt uncertainty curl in his stomach as he looked upon the room that his parents had entered. Something told him that he didn't want to know what was inside that room, that he should just turn away now and leave it to them. A more vindictive side of him thought that if there was someone so important in the hospital for them to be so worried about that he should have been told about that person sooner and they wouldn't appreciate him intruding. In the end he was more curious than anything else and silently slid the door open. His parent were surrounding a hospital bed, overlooking the occupant with hawk eyes and tears. He frowned in absolute confusion as they didn't even look up to see who had entered the room and turned his sight to see who was actually in the bed. What he saw made him nauseous. Lying in the bed, dressed in bandages from head to toe was himself.
"W-What?" Eve stared, wide eyed and uncomprehending as to what was going on. He didn't remember doing anything that would cause him to end up in the hospital, never mind that fact that he was standing in the doorway to the room.
"Eve." His mother whispered and caressed the face of the boy on the bed. He felt a faint tingle against own cheek. What? What was happening? Was this one of those nightmares that people had where nothing made sense and they woke up feeling lost and confused some time later? He hoped it was because his parents would never act like this. They never acted like this. It was always about how much he disappointed them or how he needed to work harder to make them look better. There was no care there!
"Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds!" The door burst open behind him. Had he shut it after entering? Eve didn't remember but this was only a dream so it didn't matter, did it? The new person was Jordan, his arm in a cast. Eve stared at the bruised and banged up boy. "Is he alright?!" Jordan looked devastated, which was weird since he was standing right in front of him.
"He's still unconscious." His father sighed. Eve noticed that there was a clear line of stress on the usually calm and stoic man's face. "He has a concussion and a broken leg. They think he has a broken rib or two but they have to x-ray to be certain. There are also multiple bruises and he might have fractured his right wrist but they also want to x-ray that to be certain as well. He's scheduled to go to x-ray in a few minutes."
"The driver died in surgery," Jordan reported in a whisper. He looked shaken and pale. Eve was starting to wonder if this was really a dream or not. "They said that he was heavily intoxicated and didn't even notice the light change until it was too late."
"Yes well," Eve's mother looked at the football player in what looked to be gratitude. "If you hadn't pulled him out of the way of the second car, Eve might not even be here right now. Thank you, Jordan."
Jordan gave her a weak smile and looked to the boy on the bed. Eve refused to think of that as himself. He was already having enough problems handling this as it was and to think of the figure of the bed as being his body would be too much.
"Just what is going on here?" Eve whispered to a room where no one could hear him.
It was official. He had two broken ribs and one cracked rib. His right wrist wasn't fractured but it was definitely broken. Eve looked at his doppelganger in annoyance. When he managed to wake up back in that body he was going to hurt. A lot. And school was going to suck. At least he was going to have help from Jordan, as the other had already assured his parents when they had brought up the same concern.
Speaking of concern, it was becoming one to the staff that he wasn't awake yet. Eve wasn't really as surprised as the rest of them seeing as he was standing right next to them, but that wasn't the point. The point was that he had no idea how to get back into his body and it was starting to really worry him. Well, he was more than just worried at this point no matter the what view he was getting of the people that usually surrounded him.
That was another thing that was annoying him; he couldn't deny that there was some good coming out of this situation. He was seeing a whole new side to his parents and Jordan. The football fanatic hadn't mentioned the sport the entire time they had been in the hospital, even brushing the subject off when asked about it. Eve wasn't really sure why the other was avoiding discussing his favorite topic but he figured that it had something to do with the accident and parts of it that he couldn't remember. He muttered something unfavorable under his breath about the entire memory loss factor before going back to his thinking. It was the only thing that he could do at this point anyways.
"After this I not even am going to bother with the pretending anymore." Eve muttered, annoyed, as his parents once again demanded an answer from the doctors to exactly why he wasn't waking up. "They can just attribute it to the car accident and that'll be good." Really though, how was he going to get back into his body? So far he had tried everything he could think of (jumping up and down on the bed, laying down of the body, closing his eyes and praying, etc.) and nothing had worked! He was getting tired of just sitting here and waiting for something to happen, dang it!
"Gah! I just want to go home!" Eve shouted. He wanted to actually be in his body to see this new perspective of his parents! He wanted to converse with Jordan and finish his homework and stop pretending to be something he wasn't because he was just so tired of hiding! It was almost like a switch had been flicked and Eve felt a tug in the pit of his gut. His vision was blurred into darkness.
He blinked open his eyes and was greeted with the sight of a ceiling. 'You have got to be kidding me.' It had been that easy the entire time? Oh come on! Of all the things to bring him back into his body all he had to do was really will himself back?! Well that was rather pointless wasn't it?
Eve winced at a slight banging in his head and was forcibly reminded that he had a concussion. He still had no memories of the accident but he was starting to wonder if he wanted to know. The pain that he was in signified the he really didn't. He groaned and shifted a little.
"Eve!" Jordan grinned beside him. "You're awake! Mr. and Mrs. Reynolds! He's awake!"
His parents flocked to his bed in a hurry and began fussy over him, demanding answers to how he felt and if he needed anything. Eve stared at them with wide eyes and let them fuss while a small smile crept onto his face. Maybe this was all they really need, just a burst of reality to bring them all together. Eve glanced at Jordan's arm and noted the stiff posture of the other. He would definitely be more observant of others and he would attempt to keep from pushing his friend away. There was definitely more to Jordan's life than the football player was telling and Eve wanted to know what.
For now though, the other just leaned back and enjoyed being fussed over. He would introduce them to his true thoughts in a little while but he saw no reason to burst their bubble for the moment. That could come later....