I stared at it.
It wasn’t mine.
I know hands do look very similar to each other. But this one wasn’t mine. Nor was my left hand when I looked at that.
After all, I am thirty-seven. By now, I should know what my own hands look like. These weren’t them… either of them.
There wasn’t much else I could see, apart from the hands that weren’t mine. The arms they were attached to weren’t mine either.
After all, that definitely wasn’t my shade of nail varnish. My fingers were not, last time I looked, long thin and elegant. The last time I looked, my hands were thick, hairy with meaty fingers. Man’s hands.
Bedsheets hid the rest of my body. There were a couple of mounds under the sheet in my chest region that hadn’t been there before, and my legs looked shorter thinner.
The last thing I remember?
I was driving. I remembered that.
I remember a screech of tyres… a bang… a clatter… and the world turning upside down. I remember voices, flashing blue lights and a pain that sent waves of agony through me.
Then, nothing except more vagueness, more disembodied voices, more shifting colours that failed to resolve into anything resembling a scene I could make sense of.
There are a few later, more coherent, memories of my eyes opening, sometimes in the daylight, sometimes in the dark. Never for long though. Just like stop-frame images of this room, this hospital room. And that machine still next to me making those electronic beeps every now and then.
At no point though, could I remember being a woman.
My name was… is Bill… Bill Hayes. I’m a… well, we’ll get back to that.
First, I need to sleep.
But I can’t… I need to know… who am I?
It isn’t mine. I know my own hands. I know my own body. These are the hands of a man, meaty, chunky. The sort of hands you’d want to lift you up if you fall, strong, safe looking. My hands are thin elegant. I spend a fortune every few weeks getting my nails done too. You have to look right for… well, there is a reason I need my body to look right.
And this… that is not my body. No Way. Mine is a slim figure with shapely breasts, not too big, you know but people can tell I’m a woman. Looking down I can see this is the chest… the body of a man. I can see hairs poking out of the top of this horrid puky green hospital gown thing they’ve put me in. The room smells of hospitals too.
Breathe, Jenny, Breathe.
This must be a hallucination. The drugs they pump you full of these days.
Try to relax.
Jenny Hayes. I am Jenny Hayes. I was driving along… there was… some kind of accident. I remember the screech… the brakes… metal against metal… then nothing but pain… agony.
Then the calming voices, the blue lights.
But where is here?
And who am I?
Who am I?