I'll lay it out for you straight. I am - I was - a con-man. I'd been grooming a mark for a long time, playing the long game and I was going to score big - millions big. We were driving to the bank, it was a Friday if I recall sometime back in the summer of 2001, when a truck hit us side on. The mark was killed instantly, I was a little luckier.
Well, I guess that's a matter of opinion.
When I briefly woke up I was strapped to a gurney, being hurtled down a hall to an emergency operating room. Next thing I knew, everything was black, I could see a far off light. I knew I was dead. I begged for another chance, for forgiveness, for life but I kept on floating towards that light until it was all that I could see.
Then I woke up again. I was in ICU. I tried calling for a nurse, but I couldn't speak and all that came out was a gurgle. As it turned out, I was a complete mess. Apparently, I'd needed brain surgery to remove chunks of skull from my brain. My jaw and entire left hand side had been crushed by the impact. I was fully expected to be in a coma for the foreseeable future but instead I woke up and set some alarm bells ringing.
You're probably wondering what this all has to do with me, I mean, your dad. Well, he was a doctor at the hospital, my doctor. When I woke up, he came to see me. I wanted to be out of that bed more than anything. I wanted to take that second chance. I reached for his hand with my good arm and then it happened.
One minute I was laying crippled and broken in a hospital bed, the next I was standing up, arm outstretched and looking at an empty bed. I felt different, healthy and, most of all, I felt confused. I was in a daze, thinking I was dreaming and wandered out of the hospital. I had a sudden urge for a very strong drink. I knew a bar I frequented nearby so I headed there as quick as I could. Except when I got there, I realised I didn't recognise it and yet somehow I did. I grabbed a seat at the bar, then Steve greeted me with a "Hey, Mike, the usual?" and I nodded, feeling simultaneously confused and indifferent, as anyone would react to a friend saying their name. When I saw the face staring back in the bottom of my glass, I drank quickly and left.
The face staring back at me wasn't my own, it was the doctor's. But it was mine, it felt right somehow. I knew that I had a son called Justin and a wife Marlene. And I knew I didn't, that I wasn't a doctor and I was a con-man called Blake Tilsdale.
I'm sorry kid, you probably think this is some kind of joke, some kind of stupid prank, that your dad's some kind of psychopath that gets kicks from messing up his kids with this nonsense. I wish there was some way to prove it.
He isn't dead, he's still alive here in my head. He misses you, so I miss you. Sandra feels bad about it all too - that's who I am now and let me tell you, being a woman is a completely different ball game. I accidentally did it to her too. We, I ran to a motel and I accidentally became the cleaner. We're only lucky she had no kids, no husband, no one to miss her 'cept her boss. When it happened the second time, I was ready, I understood. I touched her and suddenly I was gone, I disappeared and I became Sandra, her body, her mind part of my own.
I call it Becoming. Seems as good a name as any. I wish I could take it back but I'm sorry. I killed your dad, that first time when I stole his body and his mind and again when I destroyed his body Becoming Sandra. He's gone, but not forgotten. I hope you can forgive me.