Down Under

I’ve not felt like myself lately. I look at all the Australian guys around town and just wish I looked like them. I’m boring, British, and skinny. Just… pure jealousy… If only there was a way to change that…

Story Request by @0w4n

It’s funny, the things you want when you know you can’t have them.

Just two weeks ago, you were a regular guy. Skinny. British. Slightly pale from a lack of sunlight but not quite to the point where you’d be described as "pasty."

Such a horrible word.

There wasn’t anything wrong with your life. You had a flat. A decent job. Money to spend on luxuries now and then.

Everything was perfectly fine.

Then again, that was probably the problem, wasn’t it?

"Fine" wasn’t good enough. It wasn’t exciting. It didn’t have any thrill, any promise.

You wanted more, and naturally, the easiest target of your desire turned out to be the Aussie tourist-types walking around your quiet little seaside town.

For a while, you were satisfied with just watching them from afar. Pining for livelier days.

Not of late, though. You’d grown tired of living vicariously through them, their little gatherings on the beach. You wanted to join them. Be carefree. Happy. Exciting.

You couldn’t bring yourself to approach them, though. You were too shy. You thought you were boring, after all. You didn’t think they’d be all that interested in hanging out with you.

You didn’t expect that one day, while walking home from work, they would approach you. They invited you to a "barbie," and you hemmed and hawed at first. They were insistent, though, and you couldn’t find it to say no in the face of their exuberance.

You went. They plied you with meat and shrimp and beer and for a glorious few hours you could forget that you had a boring British life to go back to at the end of the day.

It was disappointing when the party ended. You were still you. They were still them. You were stuck here. They weren’t. Even so, you slept better that night than you had in weeks.

They found you again the next day. Another barbie. More meat and shrimp and beer. Another taste of the life down-under, brought to a sleepy little town by the sea.

A week had passed before you even noticed. You’d spent so much time with your new "mates" on the beach that your pale arms had the beginnings of a nice tan. The next time they invited you out, you decided to ditch the shirt.

You were afraid they’d poke fun at you for being so skinny but they didn’t. If anything, they seemed proud of you for stepping out of your comfort zone. By the end of the day you felt like a king.

The next day, they caught you before work. They bundled you toward the local gym before you could complain. They started you on something light. Something easy. Surprisingly, you took to it like a duck to water.

By the time the workout ended, you were sore all over, and a whole shift late for work. You felt so good, though, so you found it difficult to care. You didn’t even have to think about it when they invited you to the beach.

It was a few days before you realized you’d forgotten about work altogether. But it felt so good to work out with your mates. You were making some good progress, too, packing muscle on your bones by day and bronzing your skin on the beach in the afternoons.

When you looked at yourself in the mirror, blue-eyed, sandy-blonde, muscular and tanned, you could almost forget that you were British. Your Aussie mates have accepted you as one of them, and you certainly looked the part, now.

Strange, you thought to yourself. You were pretty sure you’d always been Aussie. You didn’t just meet your mates a few weeks ago, you’ve known them your entire life.

You didn’t think about it too much. It made your head hurt. Part of you insisted you were supposed to be a thin, boring, British guy, but that just didn’t make any sense to you.

So you let it go. And it felt so much better to let it go. You didn’t have to get all confused in your head about your identity. It was so weird in the first place, anyway.

You had always been an Australian surfer bro, right? Hopping from coast to coast, going after the next big wave, partying with meat and beer and shrimp on the barbie as the day was long.

Out with the dregs of the old you went other important things. Math. Science. Literature.

You didn’t even know what convinced you you knew about those things. You were always a meathead. The dumbest one of the group. Obsessed with your body. Looking good for the guys on the beach. Showing off those glistening muscles and hooking up with any guy who showed even the slightest hint of interest.

That reminded you. You had a hook-up lined up. Ending the last night with a bang before you and the mates headed to the next beach, looking for the next wave.

Your life was great. Exciting. You loved this little town’s beach but you were glad you didn’t have to be stuck here.

You couldn’t even imagine what it would be like. It was too quiet. Too boring. And that was one word you could definitely never use to describe your life.

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