When I regain consciousness, my brain can tell that I find myself in a new place. I hear the muffled sound of soft rain outside of whatever bedroom I woke up in. I smell a woman’s scent. I feel as comfortably warm as a human being can be, lying in bed and covered by its sheets, but I also hold the body heat of another person in my arms. I feel her soft hair against my face, her back against my chest, her ass against my penis, her thighs against mine, her feet between mine.
Alazne has slept in my arms for the first time, and she remains huddled against me. When I was a ghost I daydreamed so many times about this moment, and yet I had never thought that I would be able to return to life. I should feel much happier. I shouldn’t be taking this miracle for granted, but my emotions feel out of sync. Is it due to them passing through Asier’s brain? Or is this body still shaken by the car accident?
My left arm is numb, caught under Alazne’s neck. When I move my right arm slightly, it rubs Alazne’s breasts, which despite being covered by her bra and her top they feel so good against the bare skin of my arm that I don’t try to move it again. My heart starts beating faster.
“You’re awake,” Alazne says softly. “I’ve been up for around half an hour.”
I moisten my dry lips with my tongue and I kiss Alazne’s neck. She shivers and narrows her shoulders.
“Rare of you to wake up this soon,” I say.
“Y-yeah… I thought I would have ended up so exhausted from the great time we had yesterday that my brain wouldn’t work until around twelve in the morning. But I guess that at least for today, I have broken another one of my habits…”
“Being this close to your warmth,” I whisper into her ear, “having my penis nestled between your ass cheeks like this… I’m finally in heaven.”
Alazne rubs her butt slowly against my erection as I hug her tighter with my right arm.
“I-it feels real good…” Alazne says in a thin voice. “Makes me feel wanted.”
“You know you are.”
Alazne hugs my right arm. She runs her middle finger slowly over my hairs, making me shiver. She gets to the edge of my hand and strokes the tips of my fingers, then grips them.
“Tell me things about you, Asier,” Alazne says dreamily. “Tell me what makes you happy. What do you like to do in your spare time?”
“Why do you ask?”
She has all the reasons in the world these days to want to know everything about me. It just happens that Asier isn’t even my name, and that I’ve never been a good liar. I hated liars, actually. I considered honesty to be one of my main virtues, no matter how much the person on the other side of the conversation was bothered by what I had to say. But by possessing a dead man’s corpse to date Alazne, I signed up for a lifetime of deceit.
“Just curious…” Alazne answers. “Maybe I can learn more about you.”
“There really isn’t much to know. I’m a boring guy.”
“I doubt that, but if you say so…”
Alazne’s hand moves up my arm, and she makes a fist around my bicep. She squeezes it gently.
“You’re pretty strong,” says Alazne, with a hint of arousal. “Do you work out?”
“I do, yes. I have an exercise bench at home, as well as dumbbells, a barbell and a variety of weighty discs.”
“Oh, you’re into weightlifting?”
“It’s not just that. It’s about self-defense. You never know when some random Eastern European blond guy would want to flatten your intestines. Lifting weights is good for building up your strength.”
“Do you want to show me sometime?” she says playfully.
I want to eat her up.
“You will get to see it for sure, as well as many other things. But I already proved to you how I strong I am, didn’t I? I recall you squirming under me as I pushed myself deep inside you, and you couldn’t even more your arms.”
“Y-you’re right. You did.”
I nibble on her ear. My girl cock is getting harder, bending now against one of her ass cheeks. I’m sure she can feel its pulse.
“And that’s exactly what you needed, isn’t it?” I whisper into her ear canal. “That I would take full control of you, and all you had to do was feel pleasure.”
Alazne is breathing harder.
“You are small and you have a soft ass, Alazne. Perfect spanking material. You did tell me that you needed a boyfriend who would discipline you.”
Alazne turns her head towards me and I hold her glistening gaze, as much as I can see in the morning light filtered by the curtain.
“B-but I’ll be good, I promise.”
“That’s perfect, because I need you to be a good girl right now.”
Alazne smiles as I let go of her and pull my left arm from under her neck. I maneuver under the sheets so I straddle Alazne’s waist while looking down at her flushed, sleepy face. My hands run across her bare, warm waist and up her belly. I slide my hands under her top, then lift the bridge of her bra until my fingers gently caress both of her tits. They’re warm and soft, and the nipples have already hardened. I squeeze and fondle her breasts, alternating between tenderness and firmness, while I pinch her right nipple with my right thumb and index finger.
Alazne closes her eyes and exhales softly.
“That feels good, doesn’t it?” I ask.
“Mm-hmmm,” she moans, nodding her head.
I roll the sensitive nubs between my forefingers and thumbs while her chest raises to meet my hands. I lean down and press my mouth to hers. Our saliva tastes stale and mostly bad, but it doesn’t matter to me now. I move my hands down to the bottom hem of her top. Alazne raises her arms obediently over her head, allowing me to pull the top off her body. Her bra follows.
I hold up the top.
“I hope you can clean this properly without fading the Wings of Freedom logo.”
“W-what do you mean?”
“Somehow it ended up with huge semen stains down the front.”
“W-what? No it didn’t!”
“I’m afraid it did. Don’t worry, I can buy you anything, even more ‘Attack on Titan’ merchandise.”
Alazne reaches with one hand and tries to wipe the stain with her thumb and index fingers, but the semen this body produces is just too powerful.
“You planned this, didn’t you. So I would have to dress with more girly clothes.”
“So you wouldn’t wear anything, more like it. Don’t worry. After we shower we can go downtown and buy clothes you like. It isn’t raining that much. Right now though, I’m starving and I want to taste your body all over.”
Alazne gives me a seductive grin as she slides her hands down my chest.
“You’re going to have to let me taste you first,” she says. “The Chinese from last night didn’t fill me enough.”
I push the sheets off my body and I stand up next to the bed, facing Alazne, who sits up and hooks her fingers in the waistband of my boxers. She slowly slides them down my legs as she kisses her way from my stomach, across my hip bones, and to the base of my cock, which hasn’t gone down since I woke up this morning. As Alazne smears the sensitive skin of my shaft with her warm saliva, I slide my hands through her light brown hair. She opens her mouth and takes me in.
I close my eyes as Alazne’s wet mouth slides slowly up and down my hard cock. She swirls her tongue around the tip in a figure eight pattern. The pleasure is nearly unbearable, but to my surprise I also feel relieved: if Alazne keeps her mouth busy, she won’t ask me questions for which I would have to fabricate the answers.
After we bought a bunch of clothes for Alazne in the stores of the Mendibil mall, we parted ways so I could return home and make sure that my ghost roommate and confidant Kateryna hadn’t killed herself due to her recent despair. Just kidding, she couldn’t get rid of her consciousness even if she was serious about suicide, because she’s trapped in the afterlife.
That night, which I spent at Alazne’s apartment again, I offered to bring her the following morning to another potentially exhausting adventure in Donostia, but she refused. She wants to ease herself into doing more and more things slowly, because her brain isn’t used nor suited for it. We got together the next afternoon at three, and walked hand in hand to the center of Irún so we could order coffee in one of the popular restaurants and coffee shops along the Luis Mariano street. We end up choosing to sit at an outside table under a retractable, two-sided awning.
After we both order coffee with milk and the waitress leaves, Alazne rests her chin on her hands while offering me a lovely smile. Her light brown hair and eyebrows contrast starkly with her pale, freckled skin, particularly in the sunlight. She looks beautiful, even though she’s dressed simply in a long-sleeve green sweatshirt and black capri pants.
“I used to force myself to walk up to the center of the city and sit for at least an hour in a coffee shop to read, mostly to avoid spending the entire day at home like I needed. Like my brain demanded, more accurately. Still, I could feel the anxiety mounting by the minute.”
“It’s a good thing you were pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, given how you could have ended up.”
“I felt that it was good, yes. Still, I’m talking about a period of several years. For the last couple, I barely went out unless I had to work. It got so tiresome, sitting alone at a coffee shop, feeling people staring at me and wondering why I didn’t come with someone. Two waiters, one a young guy and the other a woman in her forties, asked me whether I had ordered two coffees. When I repeated that I just wanted one, they said they were kidding. Fucking assholes… And one day as I was sitting calmly like we are doing now, a guy came over to me, put his arm around my shoulders and tried to talk to me right into my ear.”
I press my lips together as I feel my blood pressure raising.
“Did you kick him?” I ask in a grave voice.
“No, but I wanted to. He wouldn’t leave me alone. I felt my heart beating faster and faster as he sat beside me and didn’t want to go away. I was sweating. My palms felt wet. It was disgusting.”
I squint and nod in understanding. Alazne continues.
“I couldn’t control myself anymore and ran out of there while people stared at me. I got home and cried.”
“What the fuck did he want?” I ask in a raspy voice.
“No idea. I couldn’t understand his language.”
“Wonderful. Alazne, now that I have this well-built body with some muscles, it’s not just for keeping you warm in bed, but also for tearing apart anyone who bothers you.” I feel my hands balling into fists. “If you see him again, point him out for me. He will feel the pain of a thousand deaths.”
The waitress comes back with our coffees, and one look at my angry face makes her stop in her tracks. I force myself to relax as I take a deep breath. I avoid looking into the waitress’ eyes, though, as I am embarrassed. I don’t recall getting this mad back when I inhabited my original female body, the little I remember after twenty years a ghost. Is the testosterone speaking through me?
“Thank you,” Alazne says, and she pays for both coffees before I can think of objecting to it.
After the waitress leaves again, I purse my lips as I look at the cup of coffee in front of me. I should calm myself down before touching it.
Alazne puts her hand on mine, and strokes it. Her warmth relaxes me as if I were a wild beast to which she was singing.
“I shouldn’t have mentioned that,” she says softly. “Obviously it was going to bother you.”
“I am a bit out of shape in controlling my anger.”
I recall my shameful diarrhea incident, and that for a split second I had wanted to crush that Oleksiy’s face until no discernible facial feature remained.
“Don’t be. I just didn’t expect I would get this angry again so soon.”
Alazne looks at me curiously, but I want to bite my tongue. Thankfully she accepts that I don’t want to talk about it, and she allows me to drink a bit of my warm coffee.
After Alazne sips her own beverage, she speaks camly.
“Remember that during our marvellous first date to the amusement park, you mentioned that you had travelled around quite a bit?”
I clear my throat. Is it lying time? It looks like lying time.
“I guess I did, yeah…”
“Please, tell me some of the stories. I always wished to travel, but it’s hard when I can barely leave my house due to the anxiety. Not to mention that I’ve never had the money.”
“That’s a shame. You’re missing out on so much.”
I want to kick myself for saying that. Not only I must have made her more curious about my experiences, but it’s silly for me to say so: after my first years as a ghost travelling throughout Europe, the experiences ended up feeling so stale and pointless that I never left Spain again.
Alazne rubs my hand slowly with her thumb. She doesn’t need to tell me how much she cares for me already: I can see it in her eyes. And yet I’ll have to deceive her over and over.
“Hopefully you can share some of your experiences,” Alazne says. “I don’t doubt you’ve seen plenty of the world.”
“Well, I suppose I have. I once met Charles Dickens…”
Damn it, that’s not believable. I purse my lips, then smile and scratch my nape like a mischievous child.
“I totally made that up. There’s no way I’d meet someone as famous as that, even if his ghost still wandered around. I once saw a seven-year-old get bullied by some teenagers, though. That was pretty awful.”
“I meant your experiences travelling, you idiot!”
“Ah, those. Yeah, I guess I did. A lot of them are pretty mundane, but I guess they can get pretty exciting as well.”
“Tell me about some of them.”
I go into a story about an avalanche I skied on once. This leads to a story about a drunken party on a train in China that the other passengers didn’t know was happening, and from there I go into a story about how I smuggled home a baby monkey in my backpack. Alazne keeps laughing.
“Alright, now how about you tell me some true stories?” she asks.
I try to contain my nervousness. I did visit every country in Europe, but I happened to be a ghost back then, so none of the ways I reached those countries nor how I entered many of the buildings where I had the most interesting experiences will make any sense. My ghost powers allowed me to pass through walls, walk along the bottom of lakes and swim through the ground. On top of all that, my memory is hazy about many events. I’m fucked.
Desperately, I try to rack my brain for any story that’s halfway believable. I feel a headache coming as I furiously search through old, dust-covered memories that haven’t been accessed in many years. After about a minute of searching, I give up.
“I can’t do it,” I admit. “All of my experiences are so outlandish that I can’t come up with anything that seems remotely believable.”
Alazne is even more intrigued.
“Did you have one of those wild youths in which you grabbed a backpack and just travelled through different countries?”
“Well… I guess that’s close to accurate. I spent from 2003 until 2008 or so abroad. I did get on trains, buses, taxis, and similarly useful vehicles to reach further destinations.”
“I thought you had travelled around for a few months at the most! You spent years? Where did you go?”
“Well, I visited many different places in Europe. I started in France, and travelled to places like Monaco, Vatican City, Germany, Ireland and many more. Basically anywhere I could physically move to, even if I had to get on a plane or a boat.”
Alazne is looking at me with different eyes now, proud but also a bit intimidated, as if my revelation had hurt her self-esteem.
“Wow! What’s it like there?”
“There’s a lot of history. Many, many people. Lives that had started without me having any say in them, and that I became disconnected from entirely once I chose to walk away.”
“Did you do it for fun?”
I wring my hands, and then I regret that I have lost myself browsing through the faded memories of those years. I take a gulp of my coffee.
“It wasn’t about that. I wanted to see new places and try new things. I needed to learn more about myself, my condition, and about others with my same problems. I feared… that if I stayed back home, I would surrender to despair like most around me, or go insane.”
“So, did you?”
I was going to ask which one of my previous sentences her question refers to, but I stop myself. I’m opening up too much.
“Ah… I learned about many kinds of insanity. For example, I spent some time in Switzerland with a reclusive guy who did little else than listen to music. Lorenzo was his name. Quite a few of the songs you got to hear during our date to Monte Igueldo I learned about through him.”
Alazne looks to the side as if imagining a scene, and when she holds my gaze again, she’s frowning slightly.
“What was wrong with him?”
“He was afraid of people. He felt safer in his house.”
“That doesn’t sound so bad. Why did he need your help?”
He may have needed my help, but he didn’t even know I existed. I shake my head.
“He didn’t. He was too far gone. One day I came back to his place and he had cut his wrists. That was that.”
Alazne’s eyes tremble as she keeps staring at me. She swallows. I take a deep breath and wait in case she wants to comment on it, but she doesn’t. I shrug.
“By the time his parents saw his body, they didn’t recognize him anymore. I can’t help but think they wouldn’t have been able to recognize their son even if he was still alive. Did you know that they threw away his music? That was the worst for me, somehow. The only thing that had brought the guy some joy, and his parents discarded it like nothing. Didn’t even bother listening through the stuff that had been keeping him alive until then.”
Alazne’s eyes quiver, and she frowns.
“That’s really sad,” she says in a low voice.
“In time I’ve learned to let go of the past. It doesn’t serve any purpose other than to weigh you down.”
It’s easier said than done, though. During my travels, when I wasn’t doing previously impossible things like sleeping in the forest by my ghostly self during a storm, looking at junk at the bottom of rivers and lakes, jumping off rooftops, and a fuckton of spying on random people’s houses, I felt drawn to misery, which seemed to be the only domain that I truly belonged to anymore. When I wanted to rest for a few days or a week, I ended up running into some terminally depressed person, or hanging out with bored, cranky, miserable ghosts as long as they hadn’t gone insane. Now I wish I could forget all of it. I wish I had been born the moment I woke up in Asier’s body, that I had lost my memories as I keep assuring everyone, and I could face the future like the man I’m supposed to be. Instead of that, for every step I take I will keep dragging years and years of loneliness and nightmares, and lying to the face of the only person in this stupid world that I have ever loved.